Staying Green through Irene

Stocking up for Irene

Ten days ago, I, like everyone else, joined the throngs streaming into the parking lot of the local Giant in a last ditch effort to stock the shelves at home in anticipation of up to a week with no water or electricity. Despite the expectation of extended power outages, we were planning to stock our refrigerators with food in the hope that the power will be back on within a day or two, or with the intention to run one of the small gas-powered generators that fly off the shelves of local hardware stores in the aftermath of the storm. Compared to some, like citizens of Chester, Vermont, located in one of several counties where FEMA has been called in to provide assistance to individuals and families whose homes were severely damaged by flooding, we were lucky. We only lost power for a few days.

As I made my way through the store, no bottled water or bread remained on the shelves. I purchased a gallon of milk, knowing my two young children would polish it off before it went bad. As I stood in the alarmingly bare aisles, I wracked my brain for ideas, items no one else may have considered buying that didn’t require refrigeration or water to prepare. But, as they say, where there is a will there is a way. Read More >

Peak Oil, Food Systems, Irene, Debt and Deadlines

Last month I watched in amazement as a small but inflammatory political faction forced its agenda on the American people—and got results.  The debt-ceiling advocates bullied the issue into Congress using two powerful tools—threats and a deadline.

Our food system depends on petroleum

Standing in line at the Giant last Friday, I reflected on our collective ability to mobilize for deadlines.  “This is not a storm to be taken lightly,” said Governor O’Malley to Marylanders, and we didn’t. We loaded up coolers of ice and refrigerators full of food, double-staked the tomatoes, charged the electronics, filled bathtubs with water, even put away patio furniture in case it might fly into the air and smash our windows. “I just scored the last eight D batteries in Baltimore!,” crowed a friend on Facebook. Read More >