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2007 Work Newsletter Article

Just submitted this for our Winter newsletter. Right on the dot at 500 words. Sweet! Written under the theme of Holiday Sustainability.

For some reason, full-scale environmental Armageddon has fallen out of fashion. When I was a whipper snapper -- plunking tokens to play Tron and Elevator Action -- a scarred environmentally-collapsed wasteland featuring overpowered cars with questionable safety features was cool. Adolescent boys from my era were taught that deserts were rad, or even, awesome. From Dune to Tattoine to wherever the hell Mad Max lived, pop culture was tellings us that greenery was for silly boys who actually thought Ewoks were a good idea and not the hell-spawn debasement of all that is right and good in the world.

But now, now we care about the environment. Anyone who has taken any sort of course, in well, anything, can tell you that Stuff is in limited supply; in this case, that Stuff is clean air and water. Before getting all hemp-sweatered and tie-dyed on you, let me just cut this short and say that environmentalism is a good thing, it's also just Common Sense.

(It's a pity that there are two groups on the issue, and I'll avoid political entanglements and just break it down to "People who thinks we should listen to Scientists when dealing with Science", and "People who think Economists have a lock on all this Sciency stuff, because, after all, they sure helped us avoid all those recessions what with their fidgety models which are only good in hind-sight". So much for avoiding political entanglements.)

But the seasons are turning, we are rounding the corner on that most profligate of holidays, I'm talking of course, about none other than Saturnalia. I'd detail the excesses of it here, but frankly, I don't want to bring down the wrath of the Watercooler Censors (a shadowy group trained primarily in lethal ankle holds). Let's just say that the consumer free-for-all we alternately enjoy/suffer under is not even close to how the Romans celebrated Solstice. And it's this spirit of excess that makes the holidays a tempting time to let go of our inner Suzuki and embrace our inner Bachhus.

I'm not suggesting that we all eat tofurkey in the dark while eating only fruits and vegetables grown from our compost heap; but there are ways to lessen our impact on the Earth.

- use LED Christmas lights instead of incandescent. They have a groovy glow and last ages longer.

- try to buy food that's grown locally, as much as possible. Closer to home means less fossil fuels used to move it from the ground to your plate.

- buy stuff for the younger ones that don't run on batteries. Chances are they'll be much less annoying (the toys, not the children).

- plan ahead to reduce multiple car trips. It'll also reduce your exposure to holiday traffic.

- consider knitting all your Christmas gifts. Or at least, you know, making some of them. A tastefully decorated frame with a loved ones picture is sometimes more appreciated than the Gigawatt Whatsamathinger For Your High Definition Entertainment Needs.


Anonymous said…
But I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need!
Niteowl said…
You better just hurry up and invent Mr. Fusion.

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