Bicyles and mowers in a Flat world


If I had to re-train, if my career completely fell apart, I would be tempted to become a bicycle mechanic.

I’ve been reading “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” which, while it does present some potential strategies to deal with changes our world is going through, is also depressing. We seem to be in the midst of an environmental crisis, and we can’t get our act together enough to even acknowledge, let alone start to solve, our problem. If I were Barack Obama, I would not only pursue solar and wind—I’d license 100 new nuclear power plants and tell Neveda to suck it up—we’re going to pick one of their seismic resistant mountains and start burying crap in it. Say what you will about nuclear power, the real environmental problem is carbon, not radiation.

Anyway …

The book talks about the need for “cradle to cradle” technology. The idea is that you can’t keep throwing stuff away, and companies should be forced to recycle.

I am attempting to fix my mower. My stupid dog chewed through the pull cord. A small part, but on my poorly designed Yardman mower, there’s not easy way to solve a simple problem. It requires knowledge and tools I don’t have.

My Trek can’t be ridden right now because the back wheel is not “true.” If I had the tools and some training, I think I might be able to fix it.

In this culture when your pull cord breaks or your wheel isn’t true, it’s sometimes easier to buy a new “thing” than fix the old one.

We need more bicycle mechanics. If I could listen to “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” while using my hands, life would not be bad …

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Bicyles and mowers in a Flat world

  1. Toni

    Brilliant writing! I’m not much of a blog reader, but I’m bookmarking this.

  2. vmaloy

    I didn’t know you listened to “Wait Wait” too!

  3. Pat, your sister!

    I’ve got your blog bookmarked, and I’ll be checking it.

    I’ve been reading a bunch of global warming books, too. Very scary stuff. One of my favorite blogs on the subject is Climate Progress, at http://climateprogress.org/ Joe Romm outlines a bunch of the wedge solutions we have to start on now.

    Meanwhile, I am following the Waxman-Markey proposed bill with great interest. (First legislative cut at the problem in this session. It’s got a lot of good stuff in it. Some of the questions/comments from the representatives at the hearings are mind-numbingly ignorant – See Joe Barton of Texas, for instance.) The US EPA is proposing some initial greenhouse gas regulations, too. Sometimes I look at these things and feel more hopeful, sometimes I look at the CO2/methane results lately, and crumbling glaciers, and feel less hopeful.

  4. Sounds like an interesting read, I’ll add it to my list!

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