Blogging Abe Lincoln StylePosted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on January 7, 2008
ALDF’s headquarters is located north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, which is also where I live. As many of you probably saw on the news, this area was hammered by storms at the tail end of last week. As a result I have been without power since Thursday night with no estimate of when power will be restored. As I type this on my battery powered laptop, it’s Sunday afternoon and starting to get dark again. One of my dogs and my two cats are curled up with me on the couch and my other dog is asleep on the floor near the woodstove. Soon I’ll light the oil lamps for another night of quiet and calm such as only a retreat from our plugged-in existence can provide. I have about two hours left on my spare laptop battery and then I’ll pick up my book for the rest of the evening as I reheat my soup on the woodstove.
Aside from the beauty found in the stillness and dark outside, I am enjoying the sense of self-sufficiency from providing my own heat and light and the reminder this circumstance provides of how little we really "need." It seems no small coincidence that, as I sit in the gathering dark, the news this weekend is that oil futures had risen to a record $100 a barrel — unimaginable just a couple of years ago when there was widespread consternation about the price hitting $30.
I’m not predicting doom by any means. On the contrary, sitting here with my animals around me, warm and safe and dry, I think we sometimes forget how adaptable we are. It’s easy to get comfortable with how things are and to forget how much and how quickly things have changed. Just two generations ago, there were many places not on the power grid at all (and not by choice!). When I started a business in the early 1980s hi-tech was an "electronic typewriter"which let you see a line of text before it whacked it out on the page. Was that really just 25 years ago?
I wish you all a very happy, rewarding and fulfilling new year. It’s time to shut down and light the oil lamps.