We’re back from Sirius Rising at Brushwood. Some 1,200 or so assorted pagans, Wiccans, new-agers, had a wonderful time. The weather cooperated, mostly; and the Saturday-night bonfire, where we burned the Thunderbird of Communication, was as enormous as usual.
The idea of the daily community meeting (“village meeting”) is to pool ideas for making things even better. There was much discussion on our joint carbon footprint and what attendees could do to “green” Brushwood. The final conclusion was that each person should bring such things as solar-powered path lights and solar panels for any electronic requirement at their own campsite.
The wood burned in the bonfire is generally scrapwood and offcuts from sawmills; still it makes a significant addition to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The unspoken mantra is, “My bonfire is bigger this year than yours was last year, so ha ha!” We’ve heard the concept verbalized as a dick-waving contest.
If you didn’t see the PBS special last week on global dimming, you should endeavor to see a rerun of it; or go to the PBS website and see what you can call up. Anyway, the gist of it is this: Throughout the world significantly less radiation from the sun is reaching the earth’s surface than reached it even ten years ago. In Israel, for example, monitoring instruments show that over the last 12 years radiation has diminished by 30 percent. Why should you care? Sunlight is the only source of photosynthesis for all the crops of the world, and the pattern extends worldwide. Experts estimate that we would be experiencing something like 2 degrees more global warming than is currently happening if the dimming weren’t going on.
The principal sources of dimming are jet contrails, vehicle exhaust, and smoke. The question is, What can you do?
One morning at Brushwood as we walked away from the community meeting, we had to step over a pile of discarded soda cans thrown into the grass with a sprinkling of butts. This from professed earth-loving pagans.
Okay. You know what would make us happy–or happier? Congress, you pass a law (and occupant of the White House, sign it!) stipulating the following:
1. If you want to buy 20 cigarettes, you bring in 20 filters.
2. Any filters found abandoned on the face of the earth must be (a) recyclable or (b) compostable
Prove to me that I’m wrong, or offer a better choice of dispositions, and I’ll withdraw my suggestion. Meantime, I for one am heartily sick of what smokers do to themselves, to me and my descendants, and to the face of the Mother. I am heartily sick as well at the thought that my tax dollars may be going to repair the ravaged bodies of individuals who have knowingly addicted themselves and now expect me to pay for their rehab.
And how about a federal law (not piecemeal state by state) mandating, say a refundable deposit of $1–that’s not a misprint–on every aluminum can and every plastic bottle that passes by a merchant’s cash register?
Who else feels the same way?
Sure, in some states you already get money back for the cans anyway–but people still can’t be bothered to pick them up.
Ah well. We’re just a couple of cynical old grouches after all. In another few years it won’t matter to us. But if you have (or expect to have) descendants, don’t forget. It could conceivably matter to them. Let us know.
Blessed be those who walk respectfully on the earth. Gavin and Yvonne