I'm so green,... I could be Kirkland's solution to air pollution... I am SO GREEN... I could be a secret agent for the board of Health. I recycle, refinish, economize, and compromise. I compost and mulch,and add starbuck's coffee grounds to my flower beds to dissuade the slugs , instead of killing them...( that would be politically incorrect), but they laugh at me and eat the hostas anyway. Sort of the way the Credit Card CEO's just smirked when the Great Obama told them to chill on the excessive APR's that they are so famous for.
I have lived and worked on the periphery of 'fast track' America my entire life. I say periphery, because my life has sort of been off the beaten track. Oh, I work plenty hard... I just never focused on making a lot of money. Somehow, the quality of life was more important to me. Ingolf is one of the people that taught me that.
Ingolf Johnson, goldsmith extraordinaire, and son of the Poet Laureate of Iceland. Ingolf loved Metaxa 7 Star Brandy.
Welll, Ingolf would get a snoot full, and then he would start reciting 'Beowolf'. In the original 'Old English, mind you. He would sway and wave his arms in embellishment, and then sway some more as he thespianized his way thru the famous verse. Ingolf was my neighbor in Old Greenlake... back when the Greenlake Grill was run by Vaudevillians Claire and Bernice Richardson. My shop was nestled between the Greenlake Grill, and Ingolf's Alchemy studio. I say alchemy because part of what Ingolf did, was size jewelry for the well to do Seattle-ites. He would file a bit here, file a bit there... then buff and polish till everything was shiny and new... and the customer would come and they loved Ingolf and raved about his work and everybody was happy.
Ingolf had a twinkle in his eye as he pulled down the blinds... he reached up and grabbed a couple of old glasses and wiped them down with the terry towel he always hung around his neck, and poured us both a shot of Metaxa. "Lock the door there wouldya" he would blurt... " and come over here and watch this..." He had flasks set up, and a burner going.. there were bubbles and smoke and steam and smells... and then... Ingolf did the strangest thing. He took the tools out of the drawer that hung below his fitting station, and then banged on the drawer. Slowly, a small pile of 'dirt' began to coagulate in the corner. He dumped the contents of the drawer into the flask and swigged on the Metaxa. Moments passed, then minutes as he was silent, and sipping intently, all the while stirring the contents of the flask. Then he strained the flask and dumped the residue thereof into a crucible. Over the flame of the bunsen burner he cooked the goo...until at last... it glowed eerily, and almost transparent it looked...the heat was intense too, but thru the fame there it was.. a chunk of GOLD... beautiful glob of pure 24 karak GOLD. Recovered from the filings of the weeks work. He drenched the lump in a cool water bath... then tossed it to me for inspection. It musta weighed an ounce and a half.."42 grams he corrected me... "42 grams of pure gold"... and his eyes twinkled.
Ingolf knew how recycle.
You see, if I had been working somewhere 9-5... I never would have met Ingolf, or witnessed that magic. I never would have gotten to know the Richardson Twins either, and I can assure you they were definitely worth knowing. I was lucky enough to have a rich tapestry of friends in my life, many of them much older than I... and it was they who taught me. Taught me the value of people. The value of Individuals, of going against the grain and forging ones on path. To me it became clear that these were the people that made America America. I was fortunate to have them in my life.
These same people also taught me not to be such a firebrand, not to believe that my innocent counterculture was THE ONLY WAY... no, they would point out it is just 'One Way". "One day, you will understand"... and interestingly... now I do.
"Use Bio Fuels" they bellow..."Use Electric cars" they demand. But you know, it takes as much as 170 gallons of fresh water to process a gallon of bio-fuel.... yep, that is 170 gallons of fresh water needed to produce one gallon of corn ethanol. Soybean biodeisel conversion takes as much as 900 gallons of fresh water to render a gallon of its biofuel. It only takes about 5 gallons of fresh water to make a gallon of gasoline.
So I am wondering. How is it better to use all the fresh water to make biofuels? Why make Biofuels at all? What of the poisonous batteries that power electrics?is that any better? Yet... don't let anyone at the PCC or REI sidewalk sale hear you say that. You will immediately be attacked as an uncaring,homophobic, politically incorrect, troglydite, and you prolly have a crush on Sarah Palin, too!
Somehow burning down the rainforests that create the planets oxygen also seems kind dumb. Especially if it is being done to grow crops that use water for biofuel production.
BUT, I bet the great Obama's man at the USDA is gonna make it possible for the government to buy all of the biofuel seeds from Monsanto that it can bag and haul in Halliburton trucks, ... at just a 'slight mark up in price above regular retail'. Afterall, we need to add money for graft and corruption, into the selling price. I mean, you gotta Love America. Where else can a virtual unknown run for president, be elected, have his abs photographed and make 7 million dollars in a single year. Awesome country.
Sometimes eco-yuppies miss the point entirely. Having a beautiful lush vegetable garden on the White House lawn and encouraging all of America to do the same is absurd. If all the eco-yuppies try that, there will be tons of fertilizer dropped into the soil.
Just so they can grow a Bonnie Garden. So,... maybe mega farms managed by trained professional farmers is actually better for the environment than all of the eco yuppie gardeners in Washington polluting the soil with hundreds of tomato plants and the associated Miracle grow.
Knee jerk reactionism is not what America needs right now. Pouring money into old gimmicks is not what we need right now. Neither is consumerism. But that is what our government is gonna do fo us... like it or not. They are gonna spend trillions of dollars on hair brained eco power schemes because someone with a big money agenda convinced them that somehow they would be politically correct for doing so. They are also gonna encourage the population to 'return the the spending levels of pre-crash America'...to buy buy buy to reinvigorate our economy...to spend more money... and keep paying interest ( and taxes)... support the banks and the thieves on wall street, and do it all in the name of GREEN.
I am glad I lived my life on the periphery. I am glad I have always been an eco-conscious tiller of the soil, and caloused hand, blue collar laborer. But somehow I still don't seem to fit in... because the answers I have found on my path just don't jive with what they are trying to spoon feed us. I am decidedly counterculture. A real life, long haired, pinko commie, tree hugger. But, just because I am left of Che Quivera doesn't mean I automatically accept whatever gospel the PC folks are purveying. Interestingly, I find myself at odds with many of the ideas I thought I would embrace. Biofuels looked good on paper... heck... I even used biofuels 30 yrs ago, right here in Kirkland. Gasohol was all the rage... 30yrs ago. It didn't work then, it does not work now and yet... it is BACK.
You just gotta ask yourself... when you see these things being sold to you as the "solution to air pollution"... what is the real agenda here? Who are these guys and what do they stand to make from all of this. Who are the guys behind the 'windfarms'? Who stands to make the money from Solar photovoltaic farms? Whose tax money is gonna pay for all this? How much is it really gonna cost us to be GREEN. What is the 'environmental impact of Green Industry? and finally, who told the birkenstock wearing, prius driving, same sex marrying, anti gun, pro-choice, double latte with chai and a twist of lemon grande sipping pseudo intellectuals of GREEN land that they were so absolutely correct about everything?
Do we all really want to drive a white prius? Do we all want to eat a vegan diet?
Are we all supposed to march in locked step arm in arm with the great Obama, into an uncertain Green Future? You NEED to stop everything and listen to NPR so you can answer this America, after all...
enquiring minds, wanna know.