Friday. Brunswick, Maine.
Rain pours down on the Cuddy Seafood truck where lobstermen sell their morning’s haul. Environment Maine reports, “to the south in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, ocean temperatures have increased enough to make lobsters more susceptible to disease, and as a result, populations have plummeted.” Lobsters play a bit part in my family’s seaside lore. Over Christmas dinner, my mother (who was born in Portland, Maine) will exclaim, exasperated, “try buying a lobster in New England!”
Saturday. The Old Albany-New York Post Road.
The rain begs off. Temperatures remain high. The sun peeps through. We traipse this historically-rich dirt road running a ridge above the Hudson River. A tower of large grey bullhorns looms overhead, ready to sound should radiation emit from the Indian Point nuclear plant. We look up. The horns are ominous.
My brother says, “You know, I wish they weren’t there at all.”
“What would you do anyway? Clog this old road and Route 9 and then the New York State Thruway with everyone else trying to escape?
Odd, but I think of Hillary Clinton escaping a nuclear debacle from her abode in Chappaqua, New York, skeetering through back roads to the Saw Mill River Parkway. Or will she escape by helicopter? On Christmas day, Matthew Wald in the New York Times will write about nuclear firms seeking rules to combat attacks. It is not a comforting article. On Tuesday, Dr. Helen Caldicott of Nuclear Policy Research Institute will announce a greenhouse gas reduction plan that does not include nuclear power.
Sunday. A country market on Route 9, New York.
“Green isn’t sexy,” says my sexy sister-in-law. Her sexy sister nods, “My friend drives a Prius and she wants to know ‘why is it always aging men who drive Prius’s?'” National Public Radio will report that Victoria’s Secret is using a bit of recycled paper in its catalogues to green its image.
Monday, Christmas Day. The Upper West Side.
At the edge of the bridal path in Central Park, a patch of daffodil bulbs push up 10 inch green shoots through moist soil.
“There’s a cherry tree budding at the Botanical Gardens,” says my brother, perturbed.
Monday, Christmas Dinner. Same venue.
My mother — a 30-year middle school science teacher — learns that the National Science Teacher Association has declined free copies of “An Inconvenient Truth.” She is already using a section of the film in her curriculum. We agree that under this administration, the nation and the public school system are in the toilet. We argue about ethanol.
Tuesday morning. The Hudson Valley Gateway.
My father visits. He believes the unusually warm temperature is nothing more than that.
“I don’t believe all that.” (All that is climate change.)
“Have you seen ‘An Inconvenient Truth’?”
“You should see it.”
We join my brother in neutral territory, thinning trees along the Old Albany-New York Post Road, up the road from the nuclear sirens where the December grass is as green as the boxwood.
Other goings on this week:
Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) airs a steady stream of green, sustainability and cleantech stories. Wind farms in New England feature prominently. Check out the photos of the Mars Hill wind project on J Kirlin’s website.