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Showing posts from November, 2011

It Gets Easier Each Time

November 28, 2011 – I’m reading a book called Spiritual Radical, a biography of Abraham Joshua Heschel. Heschel was an Hasidic rabbi and scholar, brought to the United States at the beginning of World War II by an American rabbinic seminary. Having experienced at first hand the suffering imposed upon so many millions of people in Europe by the Nazi’s, he was aghast at the adamant refusal of American Jews to accept that things were as bad as he, and others, insisted they were. I think there are many environmentalists today who can empathize with Heschel’s heartsick disbelief. Truly, there are none so blind as those who will not see!


Truth can be the sternest taskmaster. Terrible truths can break the heart, throw lives into utter disarray, destroy friendships, tear apart families. Indeed, they have been known to overthrow governments, Egypt being a case in point. Because we hurt already, as a result of the lies we have learned in place of the truth, we believe the truth will be unbearab…

Headed for a Post-Carbon World

November 21, 2011 - Here in Loveland, Ohio, birds are singing up a storm, and snapdragons are going to seed in record numbers. In just the seven years I've lived here, I've seen the date of the last leaves falling off the trees - usually a big thunderstorm with lots of wind carries them away - change by as much as two weeks. The forecast high for tomorrow? Sixty-five degrees!!

Anyone who keeps abreast of climate change news knows that it's pretty much all bad these days. I'd say the same about the economic news, but for one thing: the more our carboniferous economy slows, the likelier the environment is to recover. Production of everything from energy to processed foods creates greenhouse gas emissions. Less production, less pollution. As much as I'm confounded by the Republicans' economic strategy (it is my contention they are intent upon bringing down world governments by means of unrepayable debt), I firmly believe they don't understand what's coming …

Occupy Climate Change

November 14, 2011 - The International Energy Agency (IEA) has a reputation for conservatism, so its latest report has been regarded as something of an eye-opener. The Agency has joined the ranks of other former climate change mealy mouths (you can just never be too sure, can you?) who now think it's time for immediate action. They've put a pretty fine point on it, too: should governments/agencies fail to act decisively within five years, all hope for a 2 degrees Celsius (roughly 3 1/2 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in average global temperatures will be lost.

Not that the IEA should be regarded as the know-all and be-all of climate change. To repeat, their assertion of irrevocable climate change is significant because they have heretofore been reluctant to go on the record with an "official" opinion, particularly one in support of looming disaster. Unfortunately, IEA officials still toe the line when the executive director talks of "growth, prosperity, and rising p…

The Journey, Not the Destination

November 7, 2011 - Now here's a word I definitely think is destined to become a part of everyone's vocabulary: ecomobility. Meaning, of course, getting around in an environmentally friendly way. You know what the examples would be - things like walking, biking, taking the bus or a train. In fact, Inter Press Service, in their article titled "EcoMobility Gaining Ground, Step by Step," defines it according to what it is not: mobility without private cars. I think that's quite elegant, actually.

Cities as geographically disparate as Berlin, Tokyo, New York and Bogota have all decided that the cost of cars and their pollution, noise and congestion is a price they are eager to forego. (Paris is allegedly on this list, too, but I have to say that when I was there last year, I saw lots of the publicly available bicycles lined up in their bike stands, very ostentatiously being ignored.) Perhaps that was the rub, because it's not as simple as merely making bikes, buses…