Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hope or Triage or Both?

For whatever reason I've been battling a sense of impending doom lately. Put a different way, I haven't been feeling much hope lately, I'm using this space to talk through it.

Maybe it's because I just watched the trailer for the new movie The Road, which has pushed my visions of "worst case scenario" a little further down the awful scale. :( I'm sure I'll get over it by tomorrow, but it makes me wonder about the triage of solutions to the pending ecological problems. It makes me want to build a Living Machine in my garage and take a course from the Roots School about wilderness survival, or go to Doe Camp this summer and learn how to handle a gun or a bow & arrow.

I've been wanting to know how to do these things for a long time anyway. It makes me uncomfortable to think that I couldn't survive in the woods on my own.

It also makes me want to go test the water in the stream by my parents' place for contaminants. There's always some funky soapy foam build up in it, and not only do I not know where it comes from, but I don't know what it is, and I wonder if it would be fixed with a simple water filter (the kind that employes layers of sand, and charcoal). I mean, probably not, but if not, why not? And how do you fix it? I know UVM will test your soil for something like $15 and give you a full report on all the heavy metals and composition they find in it. I wonder if there's something similarly available for water. There must be. Sometimes I wish I had more of a biological or chemical background to know how to even begin to know who would do this work.

So my solution to this frustration is to plan action and to learn.

But I'm reminded too of the advice from Jesus (from Matthew 6:25) "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" But how are we supposed to do that? I guess the reality is that all this planning for some imaginary worst case scenario does feel a little weird.

But that's not the point, abandoning well-advised plans for the sake of "not worrying" doesn't really help us. But instead, maybe it's like what my parents told me when I was nervous for finals: Do your best, and then leave the rest up to God. You can't do a thing about it past trying your best, so there's no point in worrying. It only steals joy from the present.

But then, are my plans well-advised?

Is this the cycle I could so easily get caught in. Is this the best I can do? Is there something more or different I should be doing? This is the part where I have to let go. This is the part where faith helps me live better; where trust in God would help me keep my head and my wits about me (which will ultimately help in any bad situations anyway). As I already know, people (like myself) who are panicked or afraid make poor decisions.

So I guess this post also comes with a prayer for deeper trust in God, for rest and deep breathing after all the planning has been done. The more connected I am to the Source, the better for everyone. :P :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bible verses on Ecology

So I had a somewhat discouraging conversation with a friend about Christian ecology (in that I responded in a way that could have used a much larger helping of love than I showed), but on the plus side a few folks chimed in the facebook post with some helpful references, which I thought would be worth sharing here. So here's hoping that this is useful! :)

2 Chronicles 7:13-14
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 36:20-21
He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.

Genesis 6:19
You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.

Genesis 2:15
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Leviticus 18:26-28
But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

Leviticus 25:2
'Speak to the Israelites and say to them: "When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD."

Numbers 35:33-34
'Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.'

Isaiah 5:8-10
Woe to you who add house to house
and join field to field
til no space is left
and you live alone on the land.

The LORD Almighty has declared in my hearing:
"Surely the great houses will become desolate,
the fine mansions left without occupants.

A ten-acre vineyard will produce only a bath of wine,
a homer of seed only an ephah of grain."

Jeremiah 3:2-3
Look up to the barren heights and see.
Is there any place where you have not been ravished?
By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers,
sat like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land
with your prostitution and wickedness.

Therefore the showers have been withheld,
and no spring rains have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute;
you refuse to blush with shame.

Hope this is helpful!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vshi installations in Montpelier!

So we had our first two pellet stove installations last week through the vt sustainable heating initiative- super exciting! It's great to see thos work come to fruition and hear the feedback from the recipients. Simply put, they're thrilled and eager to help give back to their community and vshi. Sweet.

And now for lessons learned:
Don't work with vt stove & flag works, they're not nice.
When doing a site visit make sure to check for grounded outlets and floor pitch - leveling takes a little while.
$2000 / installation is probably too low.