Happy Earth Day everyone. A beautifully sounding April shower is beating down on the outside deck. We have left the door open to feel the cool freshness of rain as it rinses the pollen out of the air.
A few random musings not all related to our Mother Earth.
Another musical genius has left and much too soon at age 57. To me, Prince was frozen in age as he was so youthful in his manner, appearance and style. Like David Bowie, he melded other musical influences into new styles of music. And, like Bowie and Glenn Frey, his body of work influences others still. He also was very clever with lyrics. One that has always struck me as unique in its simplicity is in Raspberry Beret, where he says “she walked in through the out door” to describe her joie de vivre. He will be missed.
I watched a most interesting documentary on “Vice” about the “Future of Energy.” It showed some exciting things occurring in renewables, but also depicted two other areas that will be key parts of our future. The first is improved grid storage where unused electricity can be saved for later usage when the sun goes down or wind does not blow. Elon Musk of Tesla and rocket ship fame, owns a solar energy company and battery storage company that continues to improve on personal and industrial grid storage, which may make utilities less needed.
The second is the terrific progress in nuclear fusion, not the fission which is used now. Fusion is safe, but the challenge has been creating a way to harness the extreme heat at fusion. It is being done on a small-scale in the UK and US, but France has a major plant being built which is ten years away, they think, from the fusion process giving out more energy than it takes in. So, the future is renewables, grid storage and nuclear fusion. Note, fossil fuels was not included in this mix as the supply wanes and environmental costs are more measured and pronounced.
As for Mother Nature, the two earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador remind us we are mere passengers on planet Earth. Terrorism and corruption are things we must deal with, but the larger concerns are treating our Earth better than we do and to better protect ourselves from calamities and the impact of our poor stewardship. We can do little to prevent major earthquakes, but we can do some things.
We can make sure buildings are subject to higher standards to withstand earthquakes, especially in earthquake prone areas. Also, while neither of these two quakes were impacted by this, we need to stop disposing of toxic fracking water beneath the earth, as this tactic has been proven to be causal of small earthquakes. Just check out the earthquake data in Oklahoma and other states where this process is used.
Ending on a positive note, the US Treasury has announced that an American hero named Harriet Tubman will be on the new $20 bill, replacing Andrew Jackson on the front. The courage and conviction she portrayed to help slaves escape and start the women’s movement are exemplary. Jackson will be moved to the reverse side of the bill.
Plus, other female leaders in our history Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and Lucretia Mott as well as Martin Luther King will appear on the reverse side of the $5 and $10 bills. I recognize some have voiced criticism over these changes, but I for one welcome American heroes being recognized.
Let’s make today’s Earth Day one to remember, especially as the Paris Climate Accord is signed today by so many countries.
Predictably, the Trumpet objects to Jackson’s replacement! Thanks for the musings. Keep ’em coming.
A Fox pundit also was forceful with her criticisms of the decisions with Tubman. I liked it, as it is a worthy acknowledgment. I actually thought they may go with Eleanor Roosevelt given her role as a very active First Lady, but more so in her key role in setting up the United Nations. That also would have been worthy.
There are numerous important women they might still choose.
My cracker friends and relations are also bemoaning Harriet being placed on the $20 and displacing a good ol’ white president. What Jackson did to Native Americans brings him up in their estimation when you explain what sort of a man he really was. But I think it is about time a woman hero got some official recognition, particularly one with as much integrity as she has. And it serves the old Indian fighter right to have to move to the back of the bill for a black woman. Rosa Parks is getting a good laugh about the irony of it, up there with the angels looking down… down, down, down.
Rosa deserves a good laugh. One of my sons did a middle school project on Harriet Tubman. I remember him standing in front of our fire place practicing his speech. So, her nod brings back memories.
Note to Readers: Here is an update on the Paris Climate Change accord:
You covered a lot. It has rained here yet but it’s coming I can smell it in the air. Prince’s death hit me hard. I never felt this emotional over anyother entertainers. I’ve been crying off and on since I heard.
Man keeps disrespecting the earth, she fights back yet man still ignores.
I’m sure you heard Trump suggest that Harriet Tubman be put on the two dollar bill or create a new domination. I guess we’ll be asking, do you have change of a fifteen?
Have a good weekend Keith.
Kim, we both love Prince’s music and performance, while my wife has a greater infatuation.
On the other issues, we need to leverage the Paris Climate Change accord as the landmark decision it is and hasten the momentum.
Thanks, for your thoughts, Keith
I think I have the same infatuation as your wife. 😉
Excellent post Kieth.
Naturally the neo-Confederate wing of American Politics decries the use of a portrait of Tubman as ‘politically incorrect’ which translated means ‘politically incorrect’ by the slimy standards of Fox News. The abolition of Slavery was only one of the most significant advances for human rights in history. We are way overdue on honoring the people of the abolitionist movement.
Robert, I agree. It is long overdue and took 100 more years to earn rights on paper that were denied in practice. The backlash is not unexpected. I have been watching Ken Burn’s excellent series called “Jazz.” And, the racism and Jim Crow that followed African-Americans is part of thd story. Last night, they showed Billie Holliday singing “Strange Fruit,” which is perhaps the most powerful song ever written against Jim Crow. I think Harriet Tubman knew her work was very unfinished when she passed. Thanks for your comment, Keith
Keith, thank you for your blog and your insights.
As near as I can tell, when Fox News uses the words “politically correct” they mean “polite.” For some reason they have a problem with polite, civil discourse. That may be because it doesn’t “sell.”
Hugh, I think your right. I have said before about Trump and others, being politically incorrect does not give them the right to lie or be a jerk. Saying Senator John McCain is not a war hero because he was captured is not being politically incorrect, it is being a jerk. Imitating a disabled reporter who said something he did not like is being a jerk. Encouraging violence at his events is not being politically incorrect. I don’t know why his fans do not see this distinction. What do the parents say to their kids when their candidate does these things? Thanks for your comment. Keith
I think it has more to do with the fact that they represent the interests of wealthy barbarians.
To me, in the face of an angry base who has been voting against its economic interests, Cruz has the audacity to decrease taxes on the wealthy and increase them on those in the lower economic class and in poverty. But, aren’t you listening to these folks?
A great variety of musings here. We have had a woman on most of our money for years – Queen Elizabeth II. If fact there was criticism way back when they wanted to take her off some bills and put men on them. LOL!
I think replacing the Queen might be fraught with peril.