The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why We'll Never Run Out of Energy

Here's an excellent discussion with the science/history author Charles Mann. After viewing the video I went out and bought his book 1491, and am really enjoying reading about the Americas prior to the coming of the European. Understanding what the Americas were really like, not the romanticized vision of it that we have all been brought up to think, gives one a different perspective on natural history and stewardship of our natural resources. I highly recommend 1491 and his most recent book, 1493.

The video is a long view (slightly less than an hour), so find a good time and comfortable spot, and prepare to be presented a slightly different view of the world than you get from CNN. Description of the video from the YouTube site.
"Tierney and Mann discussed why the industrial revolution wouldn't have happened without imported rubber (1:40); why the locavore movement (of which Mann counts himself a member) is a fraud (3:58); how China screwed up its agriculture (8:30); Mann's debate with best-selling writer and agricultural determinist Jared Diamond(16:20); why humans won't exhaust all resources necessary for their survival (as a zebra mussel might) (21:20); how new methods for extracting methane hydrates, which are natural gas molecules trapped under the seafloor, could double existing energy reserves (23:00); and whether he's concerned about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracking (54:33)."

1 comment:

jayo said...

I liked "1493" somewhat better than the excellent "1491". In 1995 Mann wrote "Noah's Choice: The Future of Endangered Species" -- by far the best book I've read on that topic. Ever since I read anything I see with his name on it.