Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shout out for fossil fuels

Happy Thanksgiving! Any holiday that centers around food and giving thanks is tops with me. I am, of course, very thankful for all the usual hackneyed stuff that we all are, and that if I think about for any amount of time gets me watery-eyed. There is that. Thank you.

Then there is the stuff I don't traditionally ponder on Turkey Day, because I'm not usually on the verge of moving off-the-grid. It paradoxical, but logical, that as my carbon footprint is about to shrink, I am ever more grateful for fossil fuels. Despite myself. It is so much more comfortable to decry the profligate use of oil and coal here in the United States. The oil spill this summer and the decapitation of mountains, to name two obvious examples, are so upsetting to me, I avoid relevant news stories. But, man oh man, life is good with all that extra help.

Today, I am grateful for the coal that is burning so I can have electricity to power the baby monitor that allows me to write without freezing at each stray noise, the sound machine that allows my toddler to frolic without waking his younger brother, and the dishwasher that makes cleaning while under the influence of tryptophan ever so much quicker and easier. And I am grateful for the oil that is burning to keep my parents house comfortably warm, that afforded me a hot shower this morning, and, most especially, that was processed into the gasoline that enabled Aaron to come from Maine to be with us and enabled some dear friends to zip over from the next town for a visit earlier today. It almost feels silly to write about these things, they are so mundane and so easy to take for granted. But what a different Thanksgiving this would be without all this and if we had to make dinner in a wood cook stove, heat with wood, eat without electric lights, and clean up afterward in the semi-dark, heating our water along the way. (And just to be clear, I am not giving up all of these things in our cabin. So, thank you also for propane!)

Does anything stand out for you this particular Thanksgiving?


  1. Does anything stand out for you this particular Thanksgiving?

    people in town who are not usually in town. :)


  2. friendship even if from afar...

  3. my patchwork quilt of a family, and of course, the pecan pie with whipped cream.


  4. Auditing greenhouse gases writes my paycheck. It's the Carboniferous period that keeps on giving!