Monday, December 29, 2008

The True Picture

Just today an email arrived from an old college excerpt from Chris Jordan's exhibit..."Running the Numbers, an American Self Portrait". Best you see this for yourself at

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Power of Ice

"Crack. Thud." woke me up at midnight. I could not see into the blackness but I could hear them. Every few minutes another, "Crack. Swoosh." or "CRACK. THUD." The rain started a couple days ago but tonight temps are below freezing. I was able to get home on Thursday in the rain. Strange that roads did not get icey but the continual drizzle coated the tree branches with a jacket of ice up to an inch thick. The weight of the water turned ice could no longer be supported by the stiff winter branches. The cracks and thuds continued all night and into the next day. I saw the eery orange glow and heard the moan of strained power lines. Dave woke up about 0400. We still had electricity then so we showered and saved our water to flush the toilet. Then we filled a few containers with water for drinking and cooking. Plus the rain collection barrel on the front step had just refilled with fresh, cold, rainwater. Power went out about 0845. We installed the wood stove a couple months ago. What a blessing! Dave had already piled wood in a sheltered area near the back door. Our kitchen stove is propane so there you go – heat, water, and cooking. We have a generator but Dave had not yet wired it to the house. After we cleared the driveway, we took a drive through the surrounding area. Wow! Power poles broken off. Power lines on the ground. Roads closed. And so many, so many, many broken trees. No businesses were open except two supermarkets, two gas stations (with lines over a mile long). Saturday we drove out west to Gardner to check on one of Dave’s sons and his family. The sad sight along the highway took our breath away. Acres of trees broken or bent to the ground – still covered with ice - brilliant in the cold, clear sunlight…like trillions and trillions of tiny white Christmas lights. Majesty was not sacrificed without glory.

Power came back to our area at 1545 Saturday. That’s about 31 hours. Just heard from my sister-in-law further west. They were out for 52 hours. The report this morning is: the state of Maine most of the 210,000 homes restored, New Hampshire half of their 275,000 homes restored, Vermont still 100,000 homes out, and Massachusetts about half of the 350,000 homes restored. Many of those left without power still have days ahead of them. A convoy of Ohio power company trucks drove by this afternoon on their way to join the repair team.

My first reaction to this whole ordeal was, “Give me my power back.” Then I realized that this was just a warning.

Get prepared for the future now.

And the Lord said to Job, "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

CO2 and more

In an article entitled, Carbon Is Forever, climatologists discuss the life span of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

"The climatic impacts of releasing fossil fuel CO2 to the atmosphere will last longer than Stonehenge, longer than time capsules, longer than nuclear waste, far longer than the age of human civilization so far." David Archer

Andrew C. Revkin at DotEarth pulls together the science and the attitude about carbon dioxide with reference to this artwork:

Marc Roberts’ latest “Throbgoblinsblogtoon (click to enlarge).

And then there's methane...see NYTimes article by Elisabeth Rosenthal, As More Eat Meat, A Bid To Cut Emissions.

Pigs, and Cows, and Chickens... OH MY....