With no fear of the law, the killer of 7 million stalks new targets.
The evening winds roughed up the trees surrounding his log cabin, which overlooked a lake that resembled the moon. He sat alone by the fireplace reading his favorite novel, waiting for the tea kettle to whistle like the night outside, so that the seven wafers nestled in the middle of the ottoman would have company as they listen to the symphony of the crackling fire.
This was his routine for Saturday evenings, and it had been for the 35 years he had resided reclusively atop his hill. Tea by the fireplace ignited nostalgia for the days of old. With seemingly no care in the world, he hummed the tune his mother’s music box had played when it opened—his killer, all the while, stared at him unnoticed.
What he didn’t know—no one did actually—was that the killer had silently rented a room from him—and the family before him—who, as rumor had it, all died unexpectedly on the same night. He picked up a wafer and took a bite, having no idea he would never clear the plate. Just as the crumbs hit his lap like flurries of snow, the tea kettle hummed a melody of its own. With glee, he walked to the kitchen, his house shoes tickling the hardwood floors. A large red cup with four black squares stood with its arms ready; holding a tea bag, a spoon, and a dusting of sugar—anticipating the fellowship of Earl Grey.
He poured the hot water into the cup, the steam feeling good on his face; he took a deep breath and appreciated the scent that visited his nostrils. After seconds of indulgence, he carried the steamy cup over to the ottoman and placed it next to the wafers. He sank back into his chair as he chewed.
Taking a gulp, he slowly sat forward and reached for his tea. It wasnt nearly cool enough but his patience had run thin and his other senses desired to engage the aroma. As the cup moved towards his lips the killer struck! The tea spilled on his lap, burning his skin—he screamed, his words unheard, but even if audible, they’d have been misunderstood. The cup crashed to the floor and shattered on impact. Immediately unable to see, he swung out to try and fight off the attacker. After more than two hours of struggle, he sank back into his chair and admitted defeat; his killer, already responsible for 7 million deaths, roams for its next prey, with no fear of the law.
Why is the killer so bold and fearless? Well, because the killer is a stroke caused by indoor and outdoor air pollution—particularly from using fire as the principle method of cooking and heating. In addition to killing an estimated 7 million people worldwide, pollution—which was also been linked to heart disease, pulmonary disease and lung cancer—was the cause of one in every eight deaths in 2012 and is now considered the “biggest environmental health problem” by Maria Neira, the World Health Organisation’s public and environmental health chief.
As quoted in the Telegraph, Neira said:
“Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution. The evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.”
Here’s the moral of the story: if you’re not paying attention environmental problems can kill you. And if you’re not engaged in solutions, you enable environmental problems to kill others.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Source: TBO Inc®
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Photo: Glenn Brunette/Flickr