Thursday, October 12, 2006

Global Warming Heroes, NPR, Coffee, and a Train Ride

I just posted an article titled Heroes of the Future at I included AL Gore for his work on global warming, but I have one more that fits global warming particularly. That's Kim Stanley Robinson, who write a trilogy of books about global warming. Those include Forty Signs of Rain and Fifty Degrees Below, and the upcoming Sixty Days and Counting. Kim Stanley Robinson does detailed research and a lot of that research finds it's way into his books. They are a good read, if a little slower than some books because of the information feed, but I love his work. It's a great way to understand at least one plausible take on the facts that has some scientific backing. I'd love to hear your ideas about other global warming heroes - I know they're out there.

NPR had a show today that highlighted one very likely outcome of climate change: No snow in the Pacific Northwest ski areas. Of course, that also means less snow pack for regional water and a tougher life for the already threatened salmon species that use snow melt streams to spawn in.

I had coffee with Glen Hiemstra today in Redmond, and we kicked around ideas for his next book which included thoughts about integrating global warming among other ideas. He mentioned that an amazing amount of the audiences he talks to still discount global warming. That's pretty discouraging since there are so many signs of it all around us.

Last, in the same spirit as the laundry yesterday, my mom and I are going to Portland, OR, to celebrate her birthday. I decided to take the train instead of driving, assuming it would cost about the same and be easier on the environment since whether or not we were on it, the train would go, and this way we'd be off the road. Well, my experience is that the train came in more expensive in actual dollars (although I found a half-price coupon in the Chinook Book AFTER I bought the tickets - figures). Anyway, in direct cost, the driving trip would be about sixty dollars in gas in my CRV. If I use the IRS rate, which accounts for wear and tear on the car and all that, it would be 153.97. The train, in coach, would be $112, but with seats we can actually use (with power etc.) it's over $166.70. So for a little over $10, plus whatever transportation charges we incur on the other side, I get over 7 hours of NOT driving, when I can read, or write global warming blog entries or write fiction. Not a bad deal. I'll report on the actual experience when we get back. I haven't been on a train in a long time!

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