Sun and Wind

October 26, 2016

I recently sent this op/ed piece to our local newspaper, The Standard Times. I have no idea if it will be printed, but I needed to do it.

Diversifying energy solutions is the sane thing to do

Both Mark Perry (October 21 – “Wind an even bigger boondoggle than ethanol”) and Rob Gramich (October 26 – “Wind is certainly no ‘boondoggle’”) focus solely on the financial aspects of alternative energy. What about the environmental and human impacts? I recommend a book by Thom Hartmann titled “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight”, where he details how the increased population’s need for food, water and heat have led us down the path to increased consumption of fossil fuels, basically the “sunlight” in the title.

Does anyone really think we have 300 million years of available fossil fuels to allow that process to repeat itself?

The earth’s landmass during the Carboniferous period was covered by dense vegetation and a rotting ground cover of dead plant matter. 300 million year ago tectonic plate collision and the volcanoes that followed swallowed up much of that matter and vegetation and locked it up with carbon. It took 300 million years to create the coal, oil and gas reserves we have today. Does anyone really think we have 300 million years of available fossil fuels to allow that process to repeat itself? We are using up the fuels at an alarming rate, and because the cost is low we don’t even think about the outcome. When it begins to dwindle, and it eventually will, if man has not figured out how to use the available sunlight, which includes wind and solar power both, we will see what living beyond all of our means from a fuel perspective will do to our world. Wars have been fought for less. When people can no longer provide heat for their homes deforestation will occur as they return to burning wood. The environment will suffer as the carbon dioxide levels climb, the ensuing environmental collapse will involve food supplies and create clean water shortages. This is an oversimplification of a complicated process, but you get my point.

We are at a critical juncture in our ability to maintain life as we know it on earth for future generations. Alternative energy is a big part of the answer.

Now I need to go recycle something.



A Western Sojourn

October 21, 2016

My friend Liz has a milestone birthday coming on Christmas Day. Yup, Christmas Day. It isn’t the best day to have a birthday and not just because of the double-duty present thing. It’s hard to celebrate with friends when they all want to be in their own homes doing their own Christmas thing. So Christmas […]

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A Happy Wedding Eve

October 11, 2016

This is the third year I’ve had a catering job at the Chipman Inn for the last weekend of September. It’s a popular spot at that time of year; the Vermont foliage is usually close to its peak, the weather cool and the hiking less buggy. This year was a bit different as the day […]

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Our Tribe

October 4, 2016

In the past I have written about my childhood summers on Cape Cod, and how lucky I was to have been able to experience this joy. The benefactor that enabled this experience was my father’s best friend, Merwin Sturgis. My dad and Merwin are gone now; I see them playing cards in a massive game […]

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I Know Her!

September 27, 2016

Were you aware that some deep-sea microbes consume methane gas as their primary source of carbon? These critters remove significant quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas stronger than carbon dioxide. If they didn’t the methane would make it into the atmosphere. And the atmosphere has enough problems already. What are these microbes? They are single […]

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Boat for Sale

September 20, 2016

They say the best days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. I can only comment on the first day. Almost 10 years ago we were very excited to buy our 34’ O’Day, Bolero. We had big plans, and early on we did everything we could to […]

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September 14, 2016

This 1984 O’Day 34 is located in Fairhaven (in water until 10/30/16) or New Bedford, MA (on the hard after 10/30/16) and is available for showing by appointment. The O’Day 34 design concept was aimed at moderate sailing performance and spacious accommodations. The shoal draft keel allows for access to more anchorages while still pointing […]

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A New Addition

September 9, 2016

No, we didn’t do something crazy like adopt a baby or get a puppy. My cousin Bob says he hates coming to my parties because all the food looks fake. We decided we weren’t getting enough use out of our backyard. It was lovely, but the large, flat stones with thyme growing around them made […]

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The Family We Make

September 2, 2016

I know I’ve talked about my “other” family. My two “brothers” and their mom, who is more like my sister. Mark, Dan and Carol came into my life by way of my dad’s best friend, Merwin. Carol married Merwin when her sons were young; thinking back I want to say they were 13 and 9 […]

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A Little Slice of Heaven

August 25, 2016

My cousin Claudia’s in-laws own a summer cottage in Enfield, NH, and have generously shared it with their kids who in turn have shared it with us. Lake Mascoma is their back yard, and the house has a dock with kayaks and canoes and a bunch of rafts perfect for floating on a hot summer […]

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