Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our Dryer...

The rain finally arrived. With gusto. I took the pack of dogs out and got soaked and cold. Hung the clothes up on our fancy Living Room Clothesline. Our winter dryer.

Obama didn't grant the permit for the Keystone Pipeline. Good news. Climate scientist, James Hansen says that if the tar sands of Canada are developed, it is "game over" for the climate. Carbon Dioxide levels are expected to shoot up to 600 parts per million if that happens. Stopping the Keystone Pipeline is a good first start in making sure that the tar sands are never developed in a big way.

It is all about choices. Do we want Renewable Energy or Fossil Fuel use? How long must we wait until we rapidly begin the transition to Renewables? Part of the reason we bought this place is because we were sick of waiting for Renewable Energy to become the cultural norm. Our carbon footprint isn't anything to brag about: I drive 1,500 miles a month.

Life gets in the way of dreams sometimes. We ran out of money to invest in our bigger plans. Joni had to stop working and we had other unexpected expenses.  So you go slow. Choosing not to have a dryer is one simple way to lower our carbon footprint. Recently we've been limiting our Television useage to just an hour or two a day (especially now since our batteries are shot; our small generator died; and the skies are cloudy).

I've been toying with asking my Manager to change my schedule so that I could take public transportation to work (my biggest carbon offender is driving to work). It would involve a certain amount of planning, but it is possible, without too much trouble, to take the bus to Sacramento, the train to Martinez and then a bus all the way to St. Helena. And it isn't too expensive. And surprisingly, not too time intensive.

Back to Keystone and choices. Public policy is just public/cultural priorities given legs. And the public good does require an Activist government to enforce decisions. You can't rely on the market to save a species or the planet. The lesson of the Great Auk (the first animal to go extinct in North America since the megafauna died 10,000 years ago) is the only case in point needed to show that without public policy, other beings die. That is an immoral tragedy.

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