Poison The River - Part 1

| 9/17/2012 9:08:24 AM

Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is an Emmy Award-winning composer, NY Times best-selling author and noted philanthropist. Currently, he is releasing socially-conscious music and touring his "Concert & Conversation" series in support of his book Life Is What You Make It.

dirty river 

I wrote the song "Poison the River" after watching the documentary film, Last Call At The Oasis. I was asked to write a song for the Chinese release of the film for the singer Sarah Li. This is also the first song recorded in my newly finished studio in upstate New York.  And while I was thinking of all the facts and figures I could research and pull together for this essay, I realized that my own backyard was actually the place to start, as it increasingly is for everyone when there’s talk about water.

Now you may think I’m going to bring up the issue of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” But if you want to learn more about that, and how you, too, can light your tap water on fire, see the various articles on the subject and the film, Gasland.

No, this is about a simple act of dumping silt and other particulate matter from a reservoir into a creek so that the water is more palatable to drink while the waste creates a huge issue downstream (irrigation for farmers etc..). The creek looks more like a river of chocolate in Willy Wonka than the pristine stream it once was.

So I’m just going to focus on the “upstream,” “downstream” issue. Metaphorically, this is the issue of the day. For millennia, the downstream effects of the upstream behavior were never seen. Whether it’s in social, economic, political or environmental terms, most people went blindly about their business without seeing the full ramifications of what they were doing. This is not to say people didn’t care—although I’m afraid there will always be some of those—but “out of sight, out of mind” has played a huge role in how we’ve gotten into the environmental (among others) mess we’re in now.

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