I’m sitting in the middle of a field, alone but for a Ford F150 hitched to a cart holding 200 neatly stacked bales of hay. Rolf had finally rolled his ancient tractor out of earshot down the hill and the field fell silent.
For most of the afternoon, the sounds of the field had been overwhelmed by the grunting of that tractor, the irregular clanking of the baling machine, and the squeaking of the laden hay cart I sat atop. But now the wind’s rustle returned, and crows argued at the treeline beyond the rock wall. The hum of insects.
In that moment, with grimy forehead and muscles sore from the repeated impact of airborne hay bales, it hit me just how different my life had become. I came to help with haying as a favor to a friend of mine on the hill. That commitment was stealing time from my construction of a DIY solar dehydrator to help us process the neverending apples falling off our trees. Earlier I set up a crude roadside table from which to sell those apples, five for $1.
I mean, whose life is this?
It was all enough to jolt me a little bit, to realize that things really are changing. Wars are escalating. Weather is killing people. And in what seems like the blink of an eye my cubicle-inhabiting city kid existence has been transformed into a symphony of rural life.
That’s significant, because if I want to effect any change of my own in this world, it has to be with that life. I have to remind myself that no one gives a shit about what I have to say on Greece, #BlackLivesMatter, or all the rest. What people give a shit about is the kids, the chickens, and if I’m lucky, what’s growing in the backyard. It’s those things that matter, those things of universal good in my life that I need to amplify. And that amplification only happens when I roll out of my rut and start documenting this new life I’ve started.
Yes, I’m talking to you–the generic douchey-looking white guy in slacks standing at the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway shouting at the marchers at this weekend’s People’s Climate March, which brought 400,000 activists to NYC to voice their demands that the UN pass strong regulations at the Climate Summit on Tuesday.
You, whose total lack of understanding of everything that was happening led you to shout “get a job” over and over at the protesters (your lack of understanding apparently extends to the concept of what a “weekend” is, as we were there on a Sunday, and I can assure you the majority of us have 9-5 jobs).
Then when everyone around continued to ignore you, you turned to no one in particular and, looking for validation I suppose, said, “Seriously, how many of these people actually pay taxes?”
Since we didn’t get to have an in-depth conversation that I know would have been nuanced and intellectual and enriched both our lives, I have a few things to say.
As promised here is my next article (albeit a bit late)…
I want to start you off with something positive, an example of what we can accomplish when we all work together.
The construction industry is the problem. Wait, didn’t you just say the construction industry to the rescue? Why yes I did. But the construction industry is also the problem, indirectly. Overall unemployment is around 10%, however construction unemployment is at ~25%. That is the largest of all industries. When the building sector (i.e. construction) suffers all U.S. sectors and industries suffer.
<OpenInternet@fcc.gov> 11:16PM (11 hours ago)
Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We’re hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I’m very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.
I’m a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.
Federal Communications Commission
——- Original Message ——-
Subject: restore net neutrality
Net neutrality needs to be enshrined and upheld, please do so. Attempts to remove it are driven by nothing more than short-sighted greed and will foster inequality and impoverishment the world over.
Thank in advance for your staunch support of net neutrality,
It has been some time since our last post (especially mine) and I thought no better time than now to treat you all to my second article, on Science Pope. Eric has some crazy excuse for not posting in a while, some lame weak excuse like becoming a new dad to twins, and if you ask me it’s not that hard…
I kid, because I love. Eric and Sarah are having a great time with Briar and Grant; they are two of the cutest twins and a true joy to be around.
To be honest Eric has been diligently working on a very large, 3 part article and from what I have seen and read it is a game changer! (yep that’s right a perk of being an insider! I have seen and read it, so nah nah, nah nah) And let me tell you, it works on so many levels; it pulls at your heart strings, punches you in the gut and then tells everything will be alright, if we choose the correct adventure (the only catch is once we choose there is no going back and picking a new adventure like you know you all did reading the classic CYOA’s).
Choose Your Own Adventure! But choose wisely!
I can’t wait for you all to read it. So, until then you will just have to settle for my article which will be out in the next few days!
It’s been one year since I started this site, and without a doubt it’s changed me and my approach to the world. I went from someone who wasn’t much of a reader to gulping down books in twos and threes. I didn’t really have much direction in life, and now I’ve found purpose and a radically different worldview. I witnessed the strange comedy of pregnancy and extended my sense of self to include my two beautiful newborns. It’s been quite a year, one that’s made me feel rich and fulfilled in ways I’ve never been before.
Best anniversary gift ever!
This is long overdue but here we go…
Unlike my best friend and creator of this blog, I fall far short of the belief that humanity can take the needed steps in reducing our carbon foot print significantly enough to slow climate change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a complete lack of faith in the masses; it’s more a lack of faith in the 1% and the politicians they get elected and keep elected that ultimately truly matter in this equation. As much as the 99% hate to hear it, it’s true. Also, I fully understand that people make technology so, in turn, the subject of this post “People Won’t Save Us, Technology Will” is inherently flawed. Please bear with me and sit tight as I weave my way through a few topics to try and support my statement above.
Global Power Shift is changing the world. In June 2013, 500 folks from around the world gathered in Istanbul to revitalize the movement for climate justice. They met, they networked, they strategized — and now they need you.
This past November, I saw Do The Math in Boston with Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein, and I was inspired to become an activist. I had known climate change was a big problem, but the immediacy of the problem became real to me, and though there are so many messed up things in this world that need to be addressed, I realized this was the battle that deserved my undivided attention, because what else matters if we don’t have a planet?
(click to enlarge)
I left feeling invigorated, a little depressed, and scared, which is the mixture of emotions I suppose the speakers were expecting to invoke in the audience. But I also had another feeling: disappointment. While listening to these icons speak, unapologetically (and justifiably) vilifying the fossil fuel industry, I kept waiting for them to take a swing at another industry, one which most of us actively support, one which, according to a UN study, is actually the number one cause of climate change. But this industry, the meat production industry, wasn’t mentioned once.
Now, full disclosure: I’m vegan and I love animals. I don’t want them to suffer or be slaughtered for any reason, so the fact that raising and killing them for food is environmentally unfriendly is a convenient talking point for me as an animal rights activist (it isn’t so convenient for the planet I happen to live on that’s burning to death, but I guess I can’t have my vegan cake and eat it too). Yet although I now consider myself an animal rights activist and I’d say that’s my main reason for abstaining from feasting on their carcasses, the reason I initially went vegetarian was because I learned about the major environmental impact of meat production, and I realized I couldn’t be an environmentalist and a meat eater at the same time. It just doesn’t make any sense.