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Drawing on the wall in cave of Chauvet

Drawing on the wall in cave of Chauvet

Yesterday I saw Werner Herzog’s new film Cave of Forgotten Dreams. In a Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross Herzog described his lifelong obsession with cave paintings dating back to his childhood days, when he passed a bookshop displaying a book on cave painting in the window. He stared at the book in the shop window for a long time, taking in the cover illustration, imagining what was inside the book. He saved up his pocket money for weeks until he was able to buy the book and devour its contents.

This is not a Discovery Channel kind of movie, but rather an artful, deeply felt document of Herzog’s chance-of-a-lifetime to enter the cave at Chauvet, in southern France, with a small film crew. Read more

The National Conversation on Alternative Energy

The national conversation on alternative energy sourcing is started and underway. If this conversation were a car, it would be sputtering along, backfiring occasionally, the engine running…but barely.

Still, it’s started! Al Gore did his country a tremendous service by moving this discussion towards the mainstream of political dialogue. I just heard part of a great discussion this morning on Tom Ashbrook’s NPR radio show, On Point. He interviewed several folks across the political spectrum, from rather more liberal, to conservative, to Tea Party, re what do we do now, since cap and trade is dead and unlikely to be revived anytime soon. Read more

To Do: U.S. Energy Policy

“We Have No Energy Strategy.”

Economist and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman outdid himself yesterday morning in his Times editorial Dumb as We Wanna Be. He criticizes presidential candidates McCain and Clinton for proposing a “vacation” from the federal excise tax (18.4 cents per gallon) on gasoline for the summer.

We have no energy strategy. If you are going to use tax policy to shape energy strategy then you want to raise taxes on the things you want to discourage — gasoline consumption and gas-guzzling cars — and you want to lower taxes on the things you want to encourage — new, renewable energy technologies. We are doing just the opposite.

This is just the latest blundering misstep in our (lack of) national energy policy. Read more

The World Has Grown More Crowded, With a Nod to Wallace Stegner

Outgrowing the EarthI grew up in Longview, Texas – a small northeast Texas town on the Sabine River. It was a sleepy place in the 1950’s – brick streets, a few stoplights, no McDonald’s. People left their homes unlocked and their cars running at the curb while they ran into the store. Gas was 19 cents per gallon.

My parents built their home in 1947, on a lot given them by my grandparents. It was on the “back 40” of what had been my great-grandparents’ farm. Following World War II, the farm was subdivided into large suburban lots for small tract houses.

Since our house was the first in the “neighborhood”, it was an uncrowded place. I spent long hours roaming the fields, exploring the woods, playing in the creek. The street was unpaved. There was no sewer, no “city water.” The mailbox was on the main road, a block away. Read more

Fossil Fuels – End of an Era

Nine years ago oil was at $10/barrel. Now it’s $118+. What gives?

Paul Krugman, economist and New York Times columnist, addressed this in his column on April 21. He went to the edge of fully acknowledging the resource crisis we face, then stepped back: Read more

Welcome to Earth Orbit!

Welcome to Earth Orbit: Reflections on Nature and the Environment!

In this blog I want to share my experience of nature, my deep concerns for the state of the Earth’s environment – and resources for those who wish to learn more.

Earth Orbit is part of a larger site I have developed over the last few months: This site is a compendium of the best books and resources on all things pertaining to nature and the environment – from stunning Earth photography to books on global warming, biodiversity, conservation, water resources, renewable energy, population growth, ecology, the environmental movement, ecopsychology, nature spirituality, and more. Read more

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