Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One small step to dry my undies, one giant leap for the planet

The drying rack is in. At right, I'm tightening the clamps at the end of the super-strong stainless steel cable -- which is about 10 times stronger than necessary, but it was on hand and using it kept it out of the solid waste stream. There is no away in thrown away.

I used it to dry some towels from washing the dog. FANTASTIC! It's silly to be excited about something so simple, however, it will make the mundane task of drying laundry more convenient. It's not a huge energy saver, but it's the point that I'm setting up a system to use less energy.

I read more about chickens and their social instincts. Chickens invented "pecking order" and they implement it. I must have more than three chickens, otherwise they are like humans and gang up -- two-on-one.

According to Jeremy Hobson, "The pecking order starts with the 'top bird' and extends down to the youngest and weakest, which survive as best they can. The top bird is usually an old hen, although sometimes it is the most aggressive bird."

The chickens will provide a source of food, work AND amusement. Laughter contributes to a long life, so that will be a bonus.

It's nesting time! These birds must have a place to live. My brother Stephen, an inveterate cheapskate and fan of Craig's List, suggested I start looking there for a free or reduced price coop. If we can't find the right hen house or one to modify, we'll have to build our own.

In addition to the chicken books, I'm reading "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg. He starts off with the obligatory graphs showing rise of population and global temperature, and the fall of oil production and civilization. It's tough going.

The Boston Globe published a story Feb. 9 -- "Climate Change Takes a Mental Toll."

"Last year, an anxious, depressed 17-year-old boy was admitted to the psychiatric unit at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne [Australia]. He was refusing to drink water. Worried about drought related to climate change, the young man was convinced that if he drank, millions of people would die. The Australian doctors wrote the case up as the first known instance of "climate change delusion."

"Robert Salo, the psychiatrist who runs the inpatient unit where the boy was treated, has now seen several more patients with psychosis or anxiety disorders focused on climate change, as well as children who are having nightmares about global-warming-related natural disasters."

I can relate. My defense against depression and hopelessness is to:
  • Build a drying rack
  • Prepare to adopt chickens
  • Bike/walk/carpool/take public transit
  • Eat less meat
  • THINK differently about how I use energy
  • Take action with others to change thinking to change behavior on energy consumption

Which is why I like The "Transitional Town Handbook" by Rob Hopkins. He optimistically lays the case [with required catastrophic graphs] AND provides a road map for how to transition from a culture dependent on cheap oil, to a post-peak society.

We have to start NOW to smoothly transition to a local economy, sustainable energy sources and a following a new [old] way of life in villages.

1 comment:

  1. I have post environmental stress syndrome. or maybe the planet does! There's nothing like fresh eggs to help the planet. It's so simple it seems like a no-brainer, even a chicken could think it up!