Tag Archives: climate change

The Toddler King (parts 1,2 and 3)

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The Toddler King

1

5 am. in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

a five hundred pound ball
of carbohydrate and grease
rolls across the parking lot
of a big box store

assault rifles take stock

the second amendment
thinks about making amends

the founding fathers
find themselves wanting.

2

5 am. in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

in the empty parking lot
of a big box store
a plastic bag pirouettes
on the halitotic breeze

national monuments
fear for their lives

the adjectives – good, bad, great-
drop in value again

the toddler king
picks a fight with himself.

3

5 am. in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

an empty shopping cart
rolls across the parking lot
of a big box store
and wishes it was
a metaphor for something

rivers say goodbye
to their banks

the ocean
eyes the shore

the toddler king pardons
those great American dioxides
sulphur, nitric, carbon
they are quickly released.

 

Parts 1&2 appeared previously on this blog, participating in dverse Open Link Night

Down and Out in Idabel

Pigments (2)

 

Down and Out in Idabel

How Myron found himself in the parking lot
of the Holiday Inn in Idabel, Oklahoma
looking out at the road
on a Saturday morning in April
– after a breakfast of brittle bacon,
sausages slick with grease,
dry fluorescent scrambled eggs –
is not important.

The road pauses, a skittish dog roams.
Myron’s eyes are drawn to a dead armadillo
upside down on the hard shoulder
an empty beer can in its claws
Old Milwaukee, prehistoric drunk,
someone’s joke.

A pick up truck passes
a pick up truck passes
a pick up truck passes
over the fence a cow chews grass
and makes a meal of it.
Dogwoods bloom.
The cow moos like a reluctant foghorn.
Myron’s mood turns
he thinks about the cow,
Manifest Destiny,
the plight of the bison
our lust for red meat
while greenhouse gas
shimmies upwards
ice caps melt
glaciers retreat
and looking down
the road to Shreveport
buoyed by the prospect
of seeing Idabel
in his rear-view mirror
he quietly resolves
to recover what he was
before sadness lodged
like a wet sack
in the back
of his head.

This poem originally appeared in issue 38 of The SHOp poetry magazine (print) which was a fine magazine, unfortunately they closed up shop a few years ago.

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Long Weekend

 

Haiku (conversation overheard in a downtown bar)

he wants to retire
back where all the spires conspire
to show him the way.

Too much of a good thing

summer evening
the red sunset bleeds regret
maturity lost.

Why can’t I write like Rupi Kaur? (1)

my quinoa* quota
was far from quotidian
thanks! sunflower seeds!
*’keen-wah

Climate Change is Opening Windows

rumours dropping from the eaves
neighbours thick as thieves
singing off key at three

o’clock in the morning.

Ship Wrecked

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Ship Wrecked

The ship of the world sails on

while America founders on the sand bank

of an old fool’s dreams.

 

“Danish Oil and Natural Gas…….has transformed itself into the world’s largest offshore wind farm company spurred on my Denmark’s aggressive efforts to decarbonize its economy.”

“BMW prepares to mass produce electric cars by 2020”

“China plans to spend $360 billion on renewable energy capacity by 2020”

“in May, India cancelled 14 gigawatts of proposed coal-fired plants, while seeing a steep dropoff in coal imports…”

Quotes from Corporate Knights Magazine , Fall 2017

 

 

Jeffrey Toobin – He’s not romantic about carbon byproducts

In a recent interview in the New York Times Book Review, Jeffrey Toobin (author of ‘American Heiress’), when asked the question “How do you organize your books,” replied that ‘he was romantic about reading not about carbon byproducts’. He apparently does most of his reading for pleasure on an iPad.

This statement bothered me for a couple of reasons.  A byproduct is “an incidental or secondary product made in the manufacture or synthesis of something else”, a book is not a byproduct of anything, it is produced using paper which contains carbon, but it is a product in itself unlike carbon which is an element and not a product.

But more than the semantics, there was something else.  There was a sanctimonious whiff to the statement, a hint of greener than thou, a suggestion of the moral high ground, an implication that Jeffrey is a greater friend of the environment than all you Luddite book lovers out there (myself included). So, I set out to try and determine whether reading a book on an Ipad is greener than reading an actual book.

Strike one against the IPad is that it consumes energy every time a page is read, whereas a book once it is produced consumes no further energy (for the purpose of this discussion let’s assume that the energy or power required is generated by the combustion of fossil fuel and therefore energy consumption or the need for energy results in the generation of carbon dioxide). How much energy does it consume? To find out I used my iPad to google the question, which proves that I am not adverse to using technology (I just like books).  It turns out, it can all be explained using light bulbs. It takes 1 kWh to power an iPhone for a year, that’s the equivalent of powering a 100 watt incandescent light bulb for 10 hours. The iPad consumes about 11 times that or the equivalent of the energy consumed by a 100 watt incandescent light bulb in 110 hours. Of course, not all that iPad time is spent reading a book, so in the end, relatively speaking, it is not a lot of energy; but for the purpose of establishing  greenness , a small amount is still too much. In the end, using an iPad to read indirectly results in a finite amount of carbon dioxide being released to the atmosphere; whereas the act of reading a book results in zero carbon dioxide emissions.

When it comes to recyclability, the moral high ground gets more slippery. Martin LaMonica of CNET’s Green Tech says only about 10% of US electronics get recycled and, according to Greenpeace not always properly, whereas paper is more likely to be recycled. Plus you can loan that book to a friend or donate it to your public library.

There are additional energy implications, all that data has to be stored. According to Greenpeace, data storage centers are the single largest driver of new electricity demand worldwide.

This is all, of course, just to make the point that it’s called the “moral high ground” because it is difficult to attain and to say to all you book lovers out there keep on reading those paper books with a clear conscience.

By the way, by all accounts Jeffrey Toobin is one hell of a writer.

To end, a slimverse:

What Can I Say

to leave no

footprint we

must fly but

never land.

 

Note: The following articles were used in the making of this post – http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/01/is-apples-recyclable-chemical-free-ipad-really-green-/1

http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/09/07/how-much-energy-does-your-iphone-and-other-devices-use-and-what-to-do-about-it/