Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cash Out Your Cashmere

Dear me. I just lost all four of my subscribers.

What's that? My mother's still reading? Well, she might not even welcome me home for Christmas after I post this.

According to an interview the Colbert Report on 7/30/07 --

-- and yes, I realize that all non-watchers of the Colbert Report instantly criticized the veracity of all this because Stephen Colbert is a comedian. However, his interviewees are not, and they typically have something of substance to get across, if they can make it through his wit. --

-- the cashmere trade is causing a great deal of environmental harm.

Here's the thing: cashmere has historically been very expensive, because cashmere goats have historically been very rare.

Now the Chinese have upped the number of cashmere goats to increase the supply. However, now vast areas of former pasture have suffered from overgrazing. In addition, goats have small, sharp hooves. Many goats with small, sharp hooves wandering around has killed the vegetation.

As a result, dust swarms have started that make their way across the Atlantic and negatively affect the western U.S., particularly the Pacific Northwest.

(Stephen Colbert simply suggested giving the goats some cashmere booties.)

I'm a natural skeptic, so I'll be double-checking this as soon as I come across my next ball of cashsoft on sale. (But it can't be that bad, can it?) However, the fact that I could ever afford a cashmere blend at all means that something has happened at the supply end to make cashmere more affordable.

Looks like we'll have to stick with other fibers, fellow knitters, at least until the supply becomes more limited again.


ihearttheastros said...

Well, I'm still here. And I dig the Stephen Colbert quite a bit, and actually learn a lot from his show and The Daily Show. It's always good to double check things, but generally I find that they're MUCH more informed and intelligent than all of those idiots on the big news networks.

And I promise to stay away from cashmere...which I can't afford anyway. I will still, however, enjoy Kashmir, by my Led Zeppelin. Lame joke, I know.

Octopus Knits said...

Nice post! It's definitely true that China and Mongolia (and probably several other countries) have greatly increased the number of cashmere goats they're grazing and this has caused a lot of environmental damage. I try to steer clear of cashmere myself.

Cobbalicious said...

Thanks for the confirmation, Octupus. At least I bought that beautiful ball of cashsoft before I knew about the damages. :/

Yellow Turtle, that's a freakin' awesome song. The CD of their live concert with the Egyptian musicians is one of the best recordings of all time.