Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mixed Bag

Aren't you glad we don't have to choose just one from the colorful but somber earth tone palette of the oaks or the fiery, florescent flames of the maples or the gold of the aspens and tamaracks? If Mother Nature practiced the same kind of monoculture that many of our industrial farms promote, our lives would be diminished and our forests less resilient.

photo of earth-tone oaks
earth-tone oaks                © harrington

Resilience may have to become a dominant characteristic of My Minnesota if we are going to have a (sustainable) future, and, it seems to us, that much of our historical training and education has focused more on efficiency (monoculture and mass production) than on efficacy. If you consider a recent study of climate change's impact on local communities, it appears as though we Minnesotans are in a better position, or at least have more time to adapt, than many other places, but, let's not loose track of the trouble our moose population is in and that much of it is attributed to global warming.

photo of flaming maple
flaming maple     © harrington

Fortunately, Minnesota is developing responses and adapting to our new reality. There are not one but two conferences next week that you should know about and see if you can fit into your schedule. On Tuesday, there's an all day stakeholder workshop on Scoping in response to Legislation passed in 2013 [that] requires the Department of Commerce to develop the scope for a Minnesota Energy Future Study of how the state can transition to a sustainable energy system that does not rely on fossil fuels. Then, on Thursday, October 24, Fresh Energy is convening a community solar conference. Solar has several roles in climate change. Eliza Griswold notes a mythic one.

photo of tamaracks and oaks
tamaracks and oaks          © harrington

Ovid on Climate Change

By Eliza Griswold 

Bastard, the other boys teased him,
till Phaethon unleashed the steeds
of Armageddon. He couldn’t hold
their reins. Driving the sun too close
to earth, the boy withered rivers,
torched Eucalyptus groves, until the hills
burst into flame, and the people’s blood
boiled through the skin. Ethiopia,
land of   burnt faces. In a boy’s rage
for a name, the myth of race begins. 

Source: Poetry (December 2012).           

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