“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” — Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Generation Hot

This blog is primarily about writing, but as you may know, I like to veer off the beaten path into the sustainable, organic movement, and plug progressive policies that offer hope for the future of the planet. On this note, I'm proud to say that our family farm is going solar. Ground-mounted solar panels are being installed this summer. This is what the frame currently looks like.

Thanks to the help of government backing, the glass panels will soon be in place and we'll start collecting energy from the sun, doing our part to get the planet back to 350, the most important number in the world. Scientists measure carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in parts-per-million. They now say that 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe upper limit for humanity. This number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year. We're currently at 391.

Is it already too late for us?

Mosquitoes are on the rise along with sea levels. Drought conditions are wide-spread, and insect infestations are mounting. We have new, strange bugs in our garden and a squash beetle infestation unlike any we've ever seen this far north.

From dust storms blanketing Arizona (as shown in this video on C.M. Jacksons' blog, states-of-mine: "You don't need a weatherman to know...") to our own weird weather here in the midwest, it's obvious that something is wrong.

We can get back to 350 if we act before we reach an irreversible number, but we need to stop taking carbon out of the ground and putting it into the air.

We need more of this....

And less of this.....

We should all get 350 T-shirts before Sept. 24th, the Moving Planet Forward, Global Rally Day. I'm picking out my color today. Maybe they'll add "Writers For The Earth" on the back. After all, writers are the most vibrant, alert, and fun people to be around. We nourish each other, as Joyce Johnson states in her memoir "Minor Charactors", her look back at the Beat Generation and her not-so-minor part in Jack Kerouac's life, Artists are nourished by each other more than by fame or by the public, I've always thought. I agree, and as we nourish each other, maybe we can pass the word and nourish this endangered planet at the same time.

OK....I'm stepping off my soapbox and into the garden. Happy day to you all.


Wine and Words said...

Agreed. And how exciting you are going solar!!! Those panels look so modern against the pastoral farm. Generations of farmers before you never would have thought it possible!

Pet said...

This is most important, we should all do our bit towards saving our planet, who else is going to do it!
Have you read Hot, Flat,and Crowded by Thomas Friedman? It really makes a good job of summarizing the problems of our system but as well some practical solutions, well worked out with numbers,including electric cars and so.
You may find it interesting:

Yvonne Osborne said...

You're so right. My grandpa wouldn't believe it. A long way from the windmill. Thanks for commenting!

I haven't read "Hot, Flat and Crowded" but I've heard of it. He came out with that several years ago, right? One of the forward thinkers that nobody paid any attention to. I'll check out the link. Thank you!

Mindy McGinnis said...

Great idea - I looked into a windmill for my backyard, but even with the government backing I couldn't afford it. It's one of my goals in striving towards self-sufficiency.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I wish the govt. was putting more tax dollars into wind, solar, etc. We got lucky. Our farm's application was the last accepted this year before the money ran out. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Yes and Thank You. I did not know about 350, but will be paying more attention to that. My husband wants to buy solar panels from Costco, but it only powers a refrigerator for the month. I need less appliances. :)

I have an abundance of cucumbers this year, and an abundance of strange bugs. Go figure.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Sarah,
Well....that's a start!

I've heard that this is a horrible year for bugs. Between the bugs and the deer, I was ready to throw in the trowel last week. I ordered neem oil (an organic solution) and hopefully it will come today.

Thanks for commenting!

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