Saturday salmagundi

• The official souvenir program for the inauguration of William McKinley in 1901 included an almost-steampunk imagining of the inauguration of 2001.

At the close of his address, President Barrington was escorted to the Mansion of the States by the Governors of the 118 States and 99 Territories. Here a great banquet was spread in the main hall, covers being laid for 25,000 persons. All of the Government officials and the heads of the Army and Navy were present, and many notable addresses were delivered through the phonelegraph.

Click through to read that whole program — it’s fantastic, like something out of a short story by Jay Lake.

• And speaking of Jay Lake, the Acts of Whimsy fundraiser for his cancer treatment is a thing of beauty.

Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll, seems to be borrowing from Neil Gaiman. Newport’s new book is called God Is Alive and Well, by which he means that polling shows that belief in God is alive and well. The idea suggested by Newport’s title seems to follow the conceit of Gaiman’s American Gods, in which the strength and survival of the gods depends on the depth and number of adherents to their respective religions.

It’s a very cool idea as the premise for a fantastical, speculative novel (or an HBO series). It’s a very strange idea for a pollster or a student of religion.

• The fabulous ministry of The Reverend Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes.

• “Wilson and Krause encountered a pod of whales, made up of several adults and calves, that had apparently adopted an unlikely non-whale companion to join their clan — a deformed bottlenose dolphin.” They have pictures.

• “How to Start a Revolution.” Gene Sharp, now 85 years old, is the most dangerous man in the world.

• I’m looking at these lists of the “top 10 most psychopathic professions” and “top 10 least psychopathic professions” and thinking maybe they help to bolster my longstanding argument that journalists should be craftspeople rather than professionals. (They list “craftsperson” as a “profession,” though, so it seems either they or I have some misconceptions about those words.)

Angry, stupid white people on Twitter.

• The US government is “an insurance company with an army.” — Peter Fisher, undersecretary of the Treasury, in 2002.

• Religious right radio: Labor unions must be stopped because abortion and gays.

• More “gracious and cordial” Christians making up nasty stuff about gay people. I guess once you embrace the idea of Lying for a Good Cause, then it starts to seem like the more outrageous and vicious those lies are, the more virtuous you are for telling them. Or something.

• Here’s a map and diagram of what the NRA wants American elementary schools to look like. (Actually it’s a diagram of “The Citadel” — a heavily armed Randian utopia intended for somewhere in Idaho.)

• How good is Paul Bibeau’s Goblinbooks blog? So good that posts with titles like “A Message to the NRA From a Guy With a Duffel Bag of Guns” and “A Message to the Tea Party From a Guy Who Urinated on a Power Line” live up to those headlines with pitch-perfect panache.

Ric Alba:

Everyone has the drive to be known and loved. During the ’80s I couldn’t let myself feel the love so much, because I felt I wasn’t letting people know the real me. When you’re delivering to friends and fans, someone other than your true self, it’s nearly impossible to absorb the love people send you. It always feels like it was meant for someone else, and that you’re taking love under false pretenses.

Jodie Foster:

I want to be seen, to be understood deeply, and to be not so very lonely.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I doubt most of his defenders think “He drugged a thirteen year old girl and forced himself on her but that’s forgivable.”  They dispute the facts of the case. They believe that the things he did do not meet the definition of “drugging a 13 year old” or “forcing himself on her.”  Choosing instead to construct a narrative in which he “shared some recreational relaxants” and “Had vigorous but consensual intercourse” not with “a 13 year old girl” but rather with “An aspiring young actress who was in fact capable of consent but due to the lack of nuance in US age-of-consent laws was, we admit, technically not legally allowed to consent”, and therefore only see themselves as rationalizing statutory rape, which is a markedly easier rationalization. (Especially among celebrities who might have a haunting fear in the back of their minds that there might incidents in their own pasts where they had taken for granted that their partner was of legal age when they really should have asked to see some ID)

  • Jenora Feuer

     Or, a slightly more detailed version from Welcome to the New Scum

    The most egregious example of this comes in that pile of pap that Glenn
    Beck shucks like the Bible’s smarter, prettier sister: Atlas Shrugged. I
    have no desire to go into a list of why that book is a pile of shit, at
    least not right now. But there is a moment in it that so completely sums
    up everything that is wrong with the Tea Party/Randite/Libertarian
    worldview that it is breathtaking in its elegant stupidity. It is when
    Dagny Taggart finally gets to Galt’s Gulch, and it is a breathtaking
    panorama of loveliness with fertile fields and little houses, and people
    fishing and etc. It’s para-fucking-dise. And John Galt himself leads
    Dagny around showing her all the wonderful things they’ve done. And
    there are oil pipes in the mountains, and fields full of…stuff (She’s
    not much for details, our Ayn.) And it’s the most hilarious moment in
    the book, because you realize, at that moment, that Ayn Rand has no clue
    how the world works.

    See, I grew up on a farm. And I’m familiar with the sheer, bloody
    amount of work it takes to run a farm. Notice, I am not saying build a
    farm. Building a farm from scratch is an almost impossible undertaking.
    (Which is why *gasp* the pioneers did it all together in groups. No
    payment expected, just help out when its their turn. Buncha commies.)

    Certainly, a few years after this project got started, they would still
    be on the frontier edge of starvation, desperately going hungry in the
    winter so they wouldn’t have to touch their seed corn for the next year,
    anxiously scanning the skies for clouds. Living in one room cabins. Of
    course, Rand handwaves this by essentially giving them cold fusion, but
    even so, it Doesn’t. Work. Like. That.

    It is at that moment that you realize Rand probably never did a day of real work in her life.

  • Lori

    What Ross said.

    They’ve constructed a narrative of the case that ignores the actual girl and focuses on Polanski and an imaginary version of the girl. I think that’s born of a combination of fawning over Polanski, wanting to appear sophisticated by criticizing American provincialism (because FSM mocking the rubes has a long and well-established history in Hollywood) and herd behavior. None of which is the slightest bit OK.

    The sad part is that it’s not remotely surprising. First because of rape culture. Second because Hollywood can’t stop the perpetual ass-kissing machine even when it comes to standing up for their own*. There’s no way most of them were going to take the side of some little nobody against the great artiste.

    *See: giving an Oscar to Elia Kazan. (Ed Harris & Amy Madigan cemented my love for them by refusing to applaud for him. Nick Nolte is more than a bit of a train wreck, but I’ll always give him credit for at least 2 things—48 Hours and refusing to clap for Kazan even though it put him on Scorsese’s shit list.)

  • MaryKaye

     We have a secular version in the form of Tim Eyman, who keeps proposing ballot initiatives.  Many of them pass, but they are almost all unconstitutional, and known to be so even before they pass.  If he wanted to get them right, he surely has the resources; I have to conclude that it’s equally useful, even more useful, to him to get them wrong.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    We have a secular version in the form of Tim Eyman, who keeps proposing ballot initiatives.  Many of them pass, but they are almost all unconstitutional, and known to be so even before they pass.  If he wanted to get them right, he surely has the resources; I have to conclude that it’s equally useful, even more useful, to him to get them wrong.

    Yeh gads, I hate that man.  His position on everything can be summed up by the philosophy “Taxes bad”.  No, context does not matter, if it is a tax it must be evil and struck down or at least neutered.  For several years now, raising money to push these ballots is his only source of income.  He even admitted years ago at taking more of the money for himself than he reported (through tears) and his followers still give him money because “taxes bad.”  

    Incidentally, I supported “I-831″, also known as the “Tim Eyman is a horses-ass” initiative.  

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I think that for a lot of them, the motivation is that the story is close to a narrative that they’re afraid of. So they become so invested in defending against the scenario of “Celebrity unwisely has sex with a girl who turns out to be underage; she comes back years later and falsel alleges rape in a bid for fame/money” that they ignore the fact that this case isn’t that.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    TW: Roman Polanski
    I don’t even get how people can rationalize a grown man drugging a 13 year old girl and then forcing himself on her. I really don’t.

    I think that RP rationalized his actions in with the phrase “Everyone wants to fuck young girls.”  

    To which I counter a) “Eww, no, I would rather not.” and b) he is really rocking some unpleasant entitlement issues there.  

  • Lori

    I don’t think Natalie Portman, for example, is driven by fear of being accused of rape, statutory or otherwise.

    ETA: Not because women can’t commit rape, but because so few people believe that they can that false accusations aren’t really something most women spend a lot of energy worry about, even sub-consciously.

  • vsm

    The documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired took a different tact. It never tried to deny that Polanski was a rapist but focused on the way the trial was mismanaged. Apparently, there was an initial agreement between all parties, including the victim, that would have involved Polanski serving a month in jail. When the newspapers found out about it, the judge decided to go back on the deal, which resulted in Polanski fleeing the country. Or something like that: it’s been a while since I saw it.

    I didn’t find it all that persuasive, on account of the original deal being plainly unjust, but at least it was more honest than the defences centered on the 13-year-old girl’s character.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    So the “Patrolling Patriot Militia” would be what’s otherwise known as “Roving Bandit Gangs”?

  • Lori

    I didn’t find it all that persuasive, on account of the original deal
    being plainly unjust, but at least it was more honest than the defences
    centered on the 13-year-old girl’s character.  

    I don’t know that “more honest” is the right phrase. More like, very slightly less offensive. Positive points for not slut shaming. Major negative points for implicitly buying into the idea that the deal was in any way appropriate. More major negative points for being incredibly elitist and just generally bullshit.

    As you noted, the original deal was plainly unjust. How many of the people taking up for RP would support any other criminal who went on the lamb to avoid prosecution because a plea deal he should never have been offered in the first place was revoked? You might get a few publicly on board if the person was on the run from a drug charge, but I don’t think they’d be protesting in favor of John Doe rapist who just doesn’t want to do any real time.  

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    So the “Patrolling Patriot Militia” would be what’s otherwise known as “Roving Bandit Gangs”?

    The line between “unregulated vigilante posse” and “protection racket gang” is very thin indeed… 

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Whether the deal was “appropriate” is orthagonal to whether the deal was made.  If you’re prepared to say “What you did is especially heinous, so even though the judge acted inappropriately and miscarried justice, we’re gonna overlook that because the alternative is you getting away with less punishment than our moral sensibilities say you deserve,” then let’s just say “fuck this noise” to the whole legal system and lynch the bastard.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A month in jail, even by 1970s standards, seems pretty frakkin’ weaksauce for what amounts to age-disparity-coerced sex.

    If he hadn’t been rich and famous he would have gone into jail for a decade-plus easily.

  • Water_Bear

    Honestly, that doesn’t sound like such a bad option. If the legal system is consistently ruining lives over minor drug offenses and giving rapists a literal slap on the wrist, why should we rely on it?

    Not that I’m pro-mob justice per se, but it’s silly to treat the judicial system as sacrosanct just because it’s legal; slavery and wife beating used to be legal, and smoking a jay is still illegal. There’s no reason why we should have to abide an unjust system.

  • banancat

     The prudery that we have is very skewed to keeping taboo female sexuality.  Men are expected to ogle women and women (or at least a subset of women) are expected to cater to men’s desire by wearing revealing clothing and conforming to the prevailing cultural narrative of feminine sexuality.  It’s mostly just when women start wanting sexual gratification back that we become complete prudes.  The people who are complaining about professional cheerleaders’ uniforms are not generally the same group who complain about teen girls initiating sex with teen boys, and they do it for very different reasons.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s more than that, though. It’s also the kind of unhealthy legal and social expressions of regulation of sexuality that lead to things like moral panics over omgpedophiles. It’s at the stage now where some fathers say they don’t even hug their young kids in public for fear of being accused of such.

  • Lori

    The thing is, it’s not clear that the judge acted inappropriately and miscarried justice. Plea bargains fall apart with some regularity, for all kinds of reasons, one of them being that the judge refuses to sign off. The deal isn’t done until final sentencing and that hadn’t happened in Polanski’s case. The judge would not have had the power to send Polanski to prison absent a new plea agreement that included more jail time or a trial at which Polanski was found guilty of at least some of the counts that he refused to plead to. That’s hardly the same thing as lynching and thinking that it is, is giving Polanski far, far more credit than he deserves.

    Ironically one of the things Polanski claimed to justify running is that he thought the judge would take steps to have him deported. Fleeing the country being the obvious response to fear of deportation. I guess he figured he’d run, his lawyer would get the charges dropped for time served (45 days) and he’d be back in Hollywood before the next award season. I can’t work up too much sympathy for his miscalculation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I honestly cannot see conservatives welcoming Roman Polanski back into their fold and showering him with awards.   

    The appalling personal history of sitting Tennessee Congressman Scott Desjarlais would contradict that suggestion. He had extramarital affairs with multiple patients and recorded himself pressuring one of them to have an abortion because he thought that she was pregnant with his kid (even though he ran as a staunch pro-lifer). Tribalism and hypocrisy are hardly exclusive to liberals.

  • Lori

    I forgot about that guy. Good for you for remembering. I think my brain just rebels at holding on to the fact that people knew what he had done and reelected him any way.

  • vsm

    Indeed. I suppose the honest defence would be something like “Roman Polanski is a rapist and a terrible human being, but he’s also wealthy, happens to know the right people and makes good films every now and then, so he should be free”.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Except that we are all running that humidifier whatever we do. 

    Even if I could arrange my life so that I never needed to drive again (and I would need to never drive again — see my comment below),  that humidifier would still be going:

    My mail is brought by a person in a truck.  I don’t mean that trucks are involved at some point; I mean that the carrier actually drives the truck past my house every day and puts the mail in my mailbox on the way by.  Everything I buy is brought to the store on a truck, and prior to that, was brought to my city on a train.  More that 38% of the electricity to my city is provided by coal-fired plants (which means that even an electric car runs that humidifier around here). 

    I guess I could just ignore the humidifier that’s running on my behalf, even if I could stop directly running it myself, and just let the water pool on the floor and watch the paint peel off the wall, but I think that doing something to balance it out is better than doing nothing. 

  • DorothyD

    It’s been a while since I’ve thought about carbon offsetting, so I don’t know what the current wisdom is. But our resources for attacking the problem of climate change as a whole are very limited and should be directed to where they’re most effective. So if you have only X dollars to spend, it behooves you to spend then on what gets you the most bang for your buck. Which from what I understand is almost always on ways to reduce carbon emissions rather than offset them.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So on what should I spend, or to whom should I donate, money to reduce carbon emissions? With the note that mine are down about as low as they’re getting unless I can somehow persuade my folks to buy more local food (won’t work, because I complain too much about the tomatoes Dad grows when we eat them after Mom’s canned them–the problem is the skin bits detach and roll up and become inedible, but no one else has an issue) or Energy Star laundry appliances (our washer and dryer still work, so they don’t want to spend two grand on new ones). Drive less? Ha. I hardly drive anywhere but work anyway.

  • DorothyD

    Have you considered helping a neighbor reduce their emissions, say by adding insulation, purchasing CFL bulbs, replacing an inefficient appliance?

    I know there is government grant money available for home improvements; there may also be local non-governmental groups that do similar things. Locally here there’s a volunteer group that runs annual clean-up day for people who need the help; they’ve started adding things like weatherizing. Any such things near you? 

  • EllieMurasaki

    I don’t so much have neighbors as I have people whose houses are close to mine. Mom has a few neighbors among the people whose houses are close to ours, but I am not nearly as good at socialization. Anyway, our house was one of the first up in the development, I don’t think any house in the development has insulation problems.

    I don’t know, but I can look.

  • DorothyD

    Also, replacing a functioning appliance with a more energy-efficient one isn’t always the best course of action, since you’ll be junking something useful and it takes energy and resources to produce the new one. Old refrigerators, those are usually energy hogs and replacing them will quickly pay for itself. One thing  you can do is get an energy-use meter,  monitor the appliance’s power usage, calculate the annual electricity cost and figure out how long it will take to recoup your investment on a new one. 

  • DorothyD

    Yeah, the socialization thing, I hear ya. :-)

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    Do you have a better idea for sucking carbon dioxide out of the
    atmosphere and putting oxygen in than planting as many trees as we can
    and keeping as many mature trees as we can from being cut down?

    Actually, the carbon offset programs we use here have additional measures, like putting people in the 3rd world – who are still burning wood for fuel and kerosene for light – solar ovens and solar lights.

    Less CO2 being produced = less CO2 in the atmosphere. (Plus improvment in the lifes of poor people).

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    At the center of the development is a business, III Arms, a modern
    firearms company that would employ residents. All of the company’s
    profits would be donated to the Citadel.

    Also, the problem of food storage is solved. Each household has to keep
    a year’s supply. I guess that means a seige only has to last one year
    then.

    I thought about this a bit more (much more thought than the idiot preppers apparently gave): disaster preparation is not only regional, it’s also short-term, because you expect that the infrastructure and civilsation around you remains standing and sends help to rebuilt.

    If you expect Mad Max because civilsation falls: because the govt. does … what? I could not come up with any type of govt. that causes civilisation or infrastructure to collapse overnight. Civil war, tyranny, or neglect of infrastructure like crumbling bridges: yes. But not overnight, and with many unaffected areas. The closest would be like in the short story “The last American” where a virus wipes out 99% of the population and only a guy in a remote hut in the mountains (and similar) survive. Without maintenance and with a lot of distance separating the survivors, everything breaks down quickly, and the kids of the survivors have to invent everything anew.

    But for longtime Mad Max Apokalypse, you can’t run a factory. Every factory in the 1st world today has suppliers it relies on. If you want to make weapons, you need steel and a smithy, plus a seperate place for the ammunition. Where are these going to come from if everything outside is in ruins? (And who are they going to sell the guns to: the residents? Then no wealth is created. The outsiders, like the farmers? Then they lose their monopoly of force).

    If I wanted to prepare for Mad Max, one wall is enough. No factories, just shops like a smithy. No suburban single-family homes, but longhouses – saves material and energy. Solar panels and wind-wheels for energy, and technology pared down to what is essential. Some ideas could be taken from 3rd world today, but they still rely on regular replacements from outside – that would need to be replaced. Schools with double system (theory and practical work) for medical and crafting (smithing for repair) work.
    I would probably use bows – either compound or crossbows – instead of guns as major weapon, because of the ammunition problem. Arrow shafts grow themselves, the heads can be made from metal or stone, and in a pinch (Mythbusters tested this) you only sharpen the tip without a head. Still enough to injure zombies and kill deer.

    Food: Organic farming (compost heaps instead of mineral fertilisier) and horses instead of tractors (besides the fuel problem there’s maintenance and repair). Also, it would be mostly veggies, maybe some chickens, because meat wastes too much energy and space.

    To prepare against FEMA, however, as has been said, no fixed town at all (esp. not one that can be bombed from the air!!!). Instead, some hidden mountain caves/ overhang (not visible from the air, deep down to avoid infrared satellite scanning), multiple sites, with food stored everywhere. That’s guerilla style.

    Neither is very comfy, since it’s about surviving. It’s either hard work for food/ stuff, or long walks from one place to the other, nights outside in the rain etc.

  • Tricksterson

    Ah but solar and wind power and organic farming are pansyhippiecommie stuff!  No Real American would ever use any power source but oil!  And maybe nukuler.

  • Mike Timonin

    Ellie – re: home canned tomatoes – is that the sort of thing which could be aided by offering to help can the tomatoes, and then peeling the tomatoes first? I recall that your family dynamics are somewhat fraught, so I’m not sure if it would be a “look at Miss Know it All, knows better how to can tomatoes” type situation or not – you (obviously) know better than I how your mom would react. 

    If not, peeling tomatoes is easy (at least in theory).  Cut a small “x” at the non-stem end of the tomato. Put the tomato briefly (and carefully!) in boiling water, maybe a minute or two, then immediately put the tomato into ice water. When it’s cool enough to handle, you should be able to peel the skin off easily. This also works for peaches and nectarines.

    Now that I think about it, I wonder if you could do like you do with peppers too – toss the tomato under the broiler for 5 minutes, then cool under a bowl, and peel. I think not – too messy.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If I’m there when Mom decides there’s enough tomatoes to can, I could try. Big if, though.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Yeah, that’s why it’s so dumb. Those people who would be prepared for real-life possible catastrophes are the rational, non-paranoid types.

    I’ve tried to think of scenarios where the whole civilisation collapses, but the only thing is a virus pandemic – and experts say we’re overdue one. There are two types of flu: one common among birds, one common among humans. One type has a high lethality (over 90%) but slow transmission (fluids), the other type has low mortality (below 10%) but fast transmission (through air). Given the millions of people living close to each other and to birds in Asia, it’s only a matter of time before the two types cross-over. And with an incubation time for flu of 2-5 days and modern air travel, it can spread several times around the globe.

    Plus, as the Mexican/ Swine flu epidemic scare some years back showed, not even modern countries are prepared logistically to quarantine hundred thousands of infected and millions of suspected people to stop the spread or treat the ill; and even modern countries would be overwhelmed to produce enough (perishable) vaccination once it could be produced.

    Or take Ebola and similar which is currently only limited because it’s deadly so fast – any mutation that delays incubation, and we’re fucked.

    Other natural catastrophes would still be limited: the San Andreas fault having a 9 quake? Thousands dead, infrastructure bust, but the East Coast is unaffected and can send help.

    Yellowstone supervulcano blows up? Most contintenal US affected, all northern hemisphere under “nuclear” winter*, but civilisation still intact so help could be send. In worst case, South Americans move north and re-settle.

    Asteroid strike, maybe hitting a fault line and causing quakes/ volcanoes in addition? Above a certain size, everybody is fucked who can’t get to a bunker; and the only preparation against that is on country/ International level anyway for detecting equipment and rockets to bring it off-course (not explode it).

    That only leaves small compounds in out-of-the-way places to prepare for a pandemic with 99% mortality rate worldwide (and subsequent breakdown of machines). Which is a remote chance, but possible.

    But even then, the long-term goal would not be just survival, but rebuilding civilisation. That means e.g. that 20 years after Collapse, you have at least 30 young people with some bags of seed grain, a few horses and well-educated to send 1 days march away and start a new village, plus enough children to stay in the original village. (Which means in turn at least 80 women, plus 80 husbands, plus 80 men who do the work of the women in the fields, to minimize health problems during pregnancy and breast-feeding).

    After a few generations and enough stable villages, you start towns, then cities. But to avoid re-inventing the wheel all over, you’d need plans – exact plans! – on how to build a PV or electric car factory – starting with building the factories for the supplies, starting probably with the factories to build the parts to build factories with. Which means not only many shelves of library, but probably inaccessible knowledge because it’s protected by trade secrets. Plus it would make sense to coordinate with existing projects – govt. and private – to store knowledge safely. Which again means trusting the govt. and not running away from it.

    You also need a govt. inside the community/ village itself. The right-wingers are mostly authoritarians, which tends to lead to either split groups (north village against south village, as someone said?) or to a dispersal of the group if the original charismatic leader dies/ looses interest (the problem of the Greek after Alexander the Great died).

    Direct democracy could work on a small scale, but would need to be adapted to special circumstances: Heinlein in “Tunnel to the sky” wrote about this. It’s about a group of High School kids taking a survival test for a couple of days on a foreign planet who are accidentally stranded. Since they have not prepared for long-term colony, they don’t know which system is best and try democracy like at home, but quickly run into problems because inevitably, a few guys want power and scheme against the pragmatic experts, and the group almost falls apart before they manage to pull together again.

    * It’s not nuclear in origin, but I don’t know the current english term for “particles are blown into the atmosphere and darken sunlight so we get year(s) without summer”

  • Münchner Kindl

     I didn’t think about the specific place, but general “moving to remote area to survive” scenario.

    However, if intelligent people had to deal with this instead of fantasy-playing paranoid wingnuts, there are ways around this:

    traditionally, places in the mountains with short growing season and lots of rain = green grass keep cows/ cattle on it, use the milk to make cheese and trade the surplus for grain etc. from warmer areas.

    You could also bring in organic plant specialists to either adapt existing grain like rye to the local climate or adapt local plants into something edible (maybe by crossing).

    You could also try technology with hot-houses (solar-thermal is low tech) and similar methods to lenghten the growing season.

    Or, if you want to survive long-term, you could ditch the whole agriculture and return to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, which is more relaxed and not as terrible as some people think http://zompist.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/why-you-want-to-be-a-hunter-gatherer/  – which the native Indians practiced sucessfully.

  • Münchner Kindl

     A start is this article on cracked http://www.cracked.com/article_19641_5-seemingly-innocent-ways-youve-screwed-world-today and not do what’s listed there.

    These sites of compensation projects :  (old site in english http://old.stop-climate-change.de/en/ new site not yet translated http://www.stop-climate-change.de/) and Gold standard http://www.cdmgoldstandard.org/ are both recognized by neutral enviromental groups, Church groups (protection God’s creation) and development groups as being true and good (not greenwashing).

    You can use ecosia.org or znout.org instead of google as search engine. You can ask your internet provider to offset the power his servers use or switch to green energy. http://www.co2neutralwebsite.com/

    You can try to buy local and organic foods to reduce carbon (the production of mineral fertilizer alone uses a lot of resources). You can recycle things like Aluminium (uses a lot of energy when mined from bauxite, less when recycled) or reduce by bringing your own plastic containers. Lots of small steps.

    Plus the bigger side: lobbying your town to change to Agenda 21, the Kyoto protocol or similar to become a green city. Lobby your state dito. If you have community power providers, try to get them to switch to water, solar, wind.

  • Münchner Kindl

     You can simply invest 10 minutes each day you’re on the internet by clicking through these sites:

    http://www.thehungersite.com (Several tabs for different causes)

    http://www.care2.com/click-to-donate/  (Several tabs, including rainforest and climate change)

    Not climate change, but hunger http://freerice.com (you play quizzes and donate rice – fun, but addictive)

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’d heard of freerice but not the others. Thanks!

  • DorothyD

    Thanks! The Cracked.com link doesn’t work. Fixed.

    Nearby Big University Town has adopted Agenda 21. Not much chance the state will but we were pleased on our last trip upstate to see the brand new 56-turbine wind farm. Lots of wind here. 

  • Münchner Kindl

     Hey, that’s great.

    It’s where I find Fred always disingenious when he complains that the US has 0 offshore windfarms, just like landlocked Mali, because the US does have land-based windfarms : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wind_farms_in_the_United_States

    and offshore wind farms are more expensive to build and to maintain, difficult and disruptive to marine life to install (esp. if it’s off the continental shelf – it’s easy in the North Sea which is shallow comparitivly) but doesn’t automatically produce more energy.


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