Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Emissions


Today a very simple sentence came to me via a very convoluted route.
In college, taking a break from the candlelight dinners of Smith College, I lived for a few months with 3 brilliant scientists, all getting their PhDs from Harvard.
Yesterday I heard one of them on NPR talking about ... it all.
Dr. Andrew Dessler -- I loved when he first put that title on his answering machine - it was new then, bold, and all he had worked for -- I still think it sounds sexy.
He's from Texas -- works in climate. He's back there now, with his beautiful family and said when I reported
"it's a warm fall here,"
"get used to it."
I wrote him -- "where should I look?" He sent me a tip. A website it will take me some time to get the hang of.
But this morning, their first post was by an actuary who was recently solicited by the American Petroleum Institute to spend some time on an oil rig. She's written extensively on oil and consumption -- one article I saw was for the Wall Street Journal -- a pillar of reporting not known for it's liberal nature.

Gail the Actuary has this to say of solutions in her handout, "Another Inconvenient Truth:"

Is there an easy solution?
-- No, not really.
-- Conservation is a partial solution.
-- Alternative fuels (solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal) are likely to provide some help.
-- New technology like battery-operated cars are likely to be too little, too late.
-- We may need to unwind globalization; go back to simpler life styles, technologies that worked before.

It made me think -- it's so easy to get caught up in what we don't like about what's going on -- overwhelmed by an oil spill a day.
But there are things I simply can't imagine life without...
I would mourn my kids not meeting their grandfather.
I would mourn saffron.
I just loved hearing Andy's voice, sounding exactly the same 20 years later.
I would mourn beaches I've felt on my skin -- Elat, Big Sur, Capri.
My beaches.
Cixous says, when we own a thing we begin to kill it off... if this is true, is there power there, too? My oil spill, my emissions, my hole in the ozone.


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