Not a significant source of protein*

I watched some of Live Earth today while taking breaks in between the cleaning and cooking. I left the computer on while I was working and listened to some of it as I kept busy doing the things that need to be done around here. The laptop doesn’t have the best sound system in the world, but it was the only way for me to watch and listen so it was good enough.

The live stream MSN put up was nice in that I could choose which country to watch/listen to. Figuring that M the Elder will want to watch the network version on television tonight, and also figuring that since it’s an American network (NBC) they’re likely to play a lot of Al Gore’s speeches and the performers that played in the U.S. and the U.K., I decided to listen and/or watch places such as China, Japan, Brazil, and South Africa. I particularly wanted to watch South Africa to see/hear Angelique Kidjo and Joss Stone. I don’t know where I first heard Angelique Kidjo. But I liked her so much that I bought one of her CD’s even though I couldn’t understand the language she was singing in. I’m not sure language matters so much when it comes to music. At least not to me. That’s why I own such a wide variety of stuff I don’t understand, such as the Orishas (a Cuban rap group).

Joss Stone performed with Angelique Kidjo for one song (“Gimme Shelter”), a bonus in my eyes. I’m a big fan of both women.

That said, I got supremely annoyed with all the talk about “saving the Earth” or “saving the planet” or “saving our continent.” No matter how badly we fuck up, unless we somehow manage to blow the place to pieces, the planet will still be here. We can heat things up until the polar ice caps melt completely and the Earth will be changed, but she’ll still be here.

What I think they really mean to say, and should be saying, is that we’re trying to save ourselves. Seems to me we’re also trying to save our way of life. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing, but will admit that I like modern conveniences and have never had a desire to go back to the past. Running water, water that is drinkable, and showers are all amazing things. I enjoy having heat and air conditioning, and I’d hate to give up my flushable toilets. While I’m sure I could live without it, I like being in touch with the rest of the world via the computer. I’ve made some great friends through this medium.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m almost as green as Kermit the Frog, and I’ve been that way long before it became fashionable (I’ve been called a “tree-hugging hippy” more than once, that’s for sure). I’ve spent a lot of years wondering why American businesses and corporations resisted the idea of coming up with green ideas and solutions. Just think of all the money to be made. Well, now that it’s fashionable and all, I guess they’ll be seeing how much money there is to be made.

I’m not all that fond of the ethanol idea that’s being promoted. Of course I think decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels is a grand thing. However, with all the farmers jumping on the ethanol bandwagon by growing corn and soybeans for that purpose (because that’s where the money is right now), who’s going to grow the food we eat? On the other hand, it might be a good thing if it brings back the small, local farm. Watch for rising prices in food and drink until this all evens out somehow. I read an article recently about how barley prices are going up because farmers are selling their barley crops to make ethanol. That means the price of beer will rise. So will the price of meat and dairy products since barley is often used to feed the livestock.

We lived near an ethanol plant in southern Ohio. It closed down while we were living there because ethanol wasn’t the “in” thing. Funny how times change. Ethanol plants stink, you know. It’s a little like smelling wort when it’s cooking. Wort, for those that don’t know, is the cooking brew that eventually becomes beer (boiling water, barley, malt and hops). Smelling it for a little while isn’t so bad, but when it’s constant it can become nauseating. I have no idea what the pollution from ethanol plants does in terms of the environment and air quality other than the smell.

Anyhow, I didn’t mean to start ranting or pontificating. Life will be simplifying for M and I in many ways when we move back to the Bogs after this sabbatical adventure. We were already working towards eating locally grown foods, cutting back on meat (we’re mostly vegetarians when we’re home), and doing what we could to cut back on our energy usage (such as hanging the laundry out to dry rather than use the dryer when I can, keeping the heat and air conditioning on a timer so we’re not heating or cooling the place when we’re not home, etc.). We recyle, reuse, and have reduced as much as possible.  As I watch all these “green” ideas flash by on the Live Earth broadcasts I can sit here with a slightly smug smile, knowing that we were already ahead of the game. The smugness and smile are only slight, though, due to the fact that I know there’s more we could be doing.

The suggestions that Live Earth are flashing are not new ideas.  They’ve been around for a while.  But now they’re fashionable.  Perhaps making them fashionable will finally make a difference.  Who knows?

More change is coming for us in the Bogs. Food waste will be going out to the compost pile. I’ll be canning and freezing the locally grown harvest. I also plan to start baking our own bread and going back to homebrewing. I’m a little out of practice with the homebrewing (other than the mead I made last spring), but it’s so much like cooking that I’m sure I’ll have no problem getting back into the swing of it. Barley is probably going to be more expensive, though.

I still haven’t decided about the chickens. One thing at a time. The garden first, and then the chickens. Maybe.

*An inside joke around here that really has nothing to do with the contents of this post. M and I recently bought a quiche to have for dinner and the packaging made it clear that it was “not a significant source of protein.” I thought that kind of odd, given that it was made with eggs and cheese. Go figure.