Saturday, November 10, 2012

An Open Letter to Al Gore

Dear Mr. Gore,

     I am Yueyi Lee (my English name is Kate), a 16-year-old Chinese girl from Qingdao Number Two Middle School (which is the best school in Shandong province, one of the largest provinces in China).  I became concerned about environmental problems at a very young age.  Before the age of five I lived in a tranquil village near Qingdao.  A clear and beautiful stream cut across the village.  The stream was my heaven.  My friend and I loved to float on the stream, lying in the sun on the raft which we made of twigs and tree trunks.  When it was scorching, we enjoyed swimming in the cool and limpid river.  I moved out of that village at five.  Four years later I went back to visit my friends.  What I saw was nothing short of a nightmare.  The majestic stream had dried up and turned into a malodorous and dirty trash pool due to sewage discharge, overuse of water and global warming.  Although I have never gone back to that village, I became determined to do something, to do my part in helping clean the environment.  I save every drop of water by collecting washing face water to flush the toilet.  I dissuaded my mom from buying a second car since her present car consumes less gasoline.  I joined several organizations like YMP, which is an environmental project let by Lunds universitet in Sweden.

     Yesterday I had a chance to watch your movie, An Inconvenient Truth and the TED presentation you gave prior to its release.  I was totally astonished, by our vulnerable atmosphere, by increasing temperatures, by melting glaciers, by horrific hurricanes, by the possibility that my hometown, Qingdao, may be under water.  And we need – I need -- to stop it!

An Inconvenient Truth (2006) from rajiv dixit on Vimeo.

     I truly appreciate CERCLA -- the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.  I consider it the most effective and innovative environment program in the world.  I believe that companies will take action to reduce energy consumption, especially if they are forced to pay for the pollution they created.  I am of the opinion that China should adopt and enforce such laws to reduce carbon emissions as well.

     I want to protect our world, and especially my motherland.  I want to make a difference.  But my strength is meager.  Mr. Vice President, what should I do next?


-- Kate Li

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