Friday, August 15, 2008


Today I woke up and had the usual aches and pains but I felt even better than yesterday. So I went for a much longer morning walk than yesterday. I didn't feel quite so peppy on the way back, however.

Every time I take a walk the resulting pain puts an end to the siren call of the trail temporarily. Tomorrow I'm going to go for a hike. Maybe that will make me deaf to the trail for a little while.

Volunteering for the garden is a wonderful gig. I got some squash last weekend and decided to make a lasagna with them. The type of squash is like a giant zucchini. If you let it stay on the vine, it becomes pumpkin-sized, orange in color and not very good. We harvested them small enough that they are green like zucchini and ought to be tender and sweet like zucchini. It's cooking right now.

Continuing to use the Force to let new opportunities come my way, I discovered something called Green Drinks. It's an international organization of people who work in or study or who are otherwise interested in green issues. They meet once a month for drinks and networking. I'm going to go. I don't work, but I do lead hikes for the Sierra Club and my experience on the PCT certainly qualifies as green.

But how green am I really? I mean, I actually argued with a Greenpeace activist this afternoon. I thought it was very naive of her to believe that our votes actually matter anymore. I mean, look at Nancy Pelosi. She decided that maybe increased drilling for oil is ok since Americans want cheaper gas. Americans don't really want cheaper gas. They want a way out of this system that holds them prisoner and takes all their money. They want true alternatives.

And as far as alternatives go, don't get me started on wind power. I have walked for days in windmills. I have tried to sleep under windmills. I nearly got epileptic seizures from the flickering of the sun due to windmills. I saw a bear near a windmill. I hate windmills. They are ugly and noisy and each and every one has its own little dirt road. They are a blight on the landscape. They are just another quick, technological fix so that we don't have to make any sacrifices at all to change the way we live in our wasteful culture.

Meanwhile, we'll never get a politician who is willing to address the cold hard fact that we need to fundamentally alter our way of life if we are to truly address environmental issues. And since all the politicians are bought and paid for with corporate donations, voting is just a formality. There is hardly a choice to be made. It's corporate drone A or corporate drone B. I don't have any belief anymore that any of them will make any kind of change.

Doesn't mean I won't vote, though. You have to pick the devil who is likely to do the least damage.

Anyway, as someone who walked almost the full length of California and witnessed the reality of global warming, took time during the hike to write a letter about it to the LA Times that was printed, and who realizes the truth that we are all downstream and that rampant consumerism does not make you as happy as frugality and simplicity, I think I qualify to network among Santa Barbara's Green drinkers.

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