Sunday, January 13, 2008


Backwards: at or towards the back or rear. in a manner or order or direction the reverse of normal.

I looked up the definition of this common word this morning because I wanted to try to get at the relationship between actual movement and the nature of movement. I guess I need to pull out the OED, but at least this is a start -- in any event, the idea of powering things with coal seems "backward" in both regards.

An administrative judge on Friday affirmed a controversial permit granted to Longleaf Energy Associates LLC for a coal-fired power plant in southwestern Georgia, the first to be approved in the state in 20 years.

This from Energy Law 360 -- which, it turns out, costs $3,000 a year after the first trial week -- so it's only headlines from here on out.

The language of the story --

The Energy Law headline reads:
Ga. Judge OKs First Coal-Fired Plant Permit In 20 Yrs.

The headline in the article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reads:
Environmentalists Lose Bid To Stop Coal Plant.

Language -- Energy Law puts the issue in context -- history -- they put it into the legal realm with the word permit.
Atlanta Journal and Constitution puts the emphasis on the negative -- they get the environmental issue right up front.

The thing about headlines is -- they are often misleading -- they are almost never written by reporters, and it is their job to get you to read the story, not to report the story. Still they can often give away a lot about emphasis and goal.

This from the legal abstract:

That granting this petition will prevent waste, avoid the drilling of unnecessary wells, promote orderly development and protect coequal and correlative rights of all owners in the Mobley Creek Field.

Coal. I sort of try to imagine the pollution of Dickens' streets magnified to the level they would be given our daily energy requirements now. In the last few days I've been noticing a cropping up of stories about nuclear energy plants. It's scary -- there would be the hope that we would move forward with our new understandings about global -- environmental and resource -- energy consumption. What if that's not where we are headed at all?

We go back to what is known -- places, objects, people -- what we know how to do, where we know we can find fuel and power. We go back despite the dangers -- despite the known effects. What is known is always less scary than the abyss of the future we can't fathom or recreate.


In my pursuit of definition this morning, I came across a site where a guy recorded Led Zepplin's "Stairway to Heaven" in both directions. You can listen at
I'd always heard about this, but never heard... very strange... I swear language and information have a life of their own...

“If there’s a bustle in you hedgerow, don’t be alarmed, now, it’s just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there’s still time to change the road your on.”

Oh here’s to my sweet Satan. The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan. He’ll give those with him a 666, there was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.

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