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.

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