Monday, July 07, 2008

Germ Warfare

If there's any destruction during the G8 summit in Hokkaido, it's obviously going to be done through germ warfare.

I've been suffering from a terrible cold, going through several tissues per hour. I wanted to discard a bunch of tissues at my local subway station when I realized that the trash bins had all been confiscated. Anyone who wants to plant a bomb is just going to have to find another location.

Meanwhile, I'm carrying these germ-infested tissues around and probably spreading my cold all over school today. Not that anyone's likely to die from my germs, but it could put them out of commission for a while.

It's come to this - carrying our own trash bags around. That's actually not such a bad idea, if it acts as an incentive for people to cut down on their trash. If they discard trash just anywhere, though, the effect from contamination - especially of snot-ridden tissues - could be worse!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Gee, Ate

Check out the pre-G8 summit Oxfam demonstration in downtown Sapporo at the Oxfam International Blog. Because of a bad cold, I was too sick to participate, but my neighbor, Amanda, volunteered and met the head of George Bush!

According to the blog, “Oxfam will be calling on the G8 to make poverty issues central to their discussions. . . . The message [they wanted] to get across [on Saturday, July 8th] is that the G8 leaders shouldn’t come to the Hokkaidō summit and treat their visit as a holiday.”

Personally, I'm wondering how much can be accomplished in 3 days by world leaders flying in from various parts of the globe. “Flying in.” How seriously can they be taking the rising cost of fuel, to say nothing of its effect on the environment. Among the 20,000-40,000 extra police that have been mobilized for the event, most are not able to stay at the venue of the summit, so buses are transporting them back and forth to their hotels, as far as an hour away. That's an enormous use of fuel!

I heard from one friend that a woman living in Toya was going out to cut vegetables with a scythe. Security forces confiscated her scythe. Apparently this is to protect those who will be involved in discussions on alleviating world poverty. Gee, I wonder what they ate during their breaks from focusing on the poor. Locally-grown vegetables?

[I later learned that, indeed, fresh green asparagus from Biei, a town in Hokkaido, was served. See the Times Online article, G8 leaders feast on 13 courses after discussing world food shortages.]

See photos of Lake Toya that I took on a visit there in 2000.