It may be possible to apply Elizabeth Fitterer’s message in her Beachcomber opinion piece, “This year, more ‘leaning against ‘black,’” toward a solution to the subject of Aaron Kunkler’s article: “Why do Washington voters struggle with climate change policies?” (both, Jan. 3).
Fitterer writes, “It can be a hard thing, not knowing what to do. … It’s like dark matter, the stuff we just can’t predict.”
It does not give concrete answers, yet between the dark universe of monied politics and the real universe of shooting stars, perhaps the realm of the in-between can indirectly address, as cited in Kunkler’s article, “the two most pressing issues of our time—climate change and economic inequality.”
Nine years ago, inventor Saul Griffith “estimated the human race … consumes energy at an average rate of approximately 16 trillion watts or 16 terawatts — the equivalent of 160 billion 100-watt light bulbs burning all the time.” (Owen, D., New Yorker Magazine, 17 May 2010). To keep up with this demand using renewable and non-carbon based technologies to cap greenhouse gas at a level not to exceed a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius, quickly enough, would require, according to Griffith, building the equivalent of “100 square meters of new solar cells, 50 square meters of new solar-thermal reflectors and one Olympic swimming pool’s volume of genetically engineered algae (for biofuels) every second for the next 25 years; one 300-hundred-foot-diameter wind turbine every five minutes; one 100-megawatt geothermal-powered steam turbine every eight hours; and one three-gigawatt nuclear power plant every week.”
Griffith believes “wrestling with human nature” is essential. Fitterer does not wrestle; she remains poised —“between being active and being still, between dark and light … with open eyes.”
I consider everything that could grow from such a field of love — even solutions to climate change.
— Suzanne Hubbard