Category Archives: Doof

A value in spending time with junkies

on October 4, 2022 in Addiction, Doof, Stories

A couple weeks ago, in a hurry to meet someone, I passed by one of the few addicts I’ve seen regularly in the northwest corner of Washington Square Park, in fact, enough to have had a few conversations with him. He was passed out on Sixth Avenue, looking close to death. I had seen him the evening before a couple blocks north, on the steps of the library, appearing to[…] Keep reading →

How much single-use packaging, times 2.19 quadrillion, works?

on October 3, 2022 in Doof, Nature

I’ve written about how every single item in every cart I saw in a trip to a supermarket was packaged, mostly in plastic. I suspect the cardboard was plastic coated. People drink a lot of bottled water too. Most of that stuff takes five hundred, maybe a thousand years to break down. Consider when the absolute basics of life require polluting. Either we change our culture and stop accepting it[…] Keep reading →

The New Yorker published my letter

on September 26, 2022 in Doof, Fitness, Freedom, Nature

In its August 22 issue, the New Yorker published a piece, Africa‚Äôs Cold Rush and the Promise of Refrigeration: For the developing world, refrigeration is growth. In Rwanda, it could spark an economic transformation. August 22 happened to start my fourth month of my experiment disconnecting my apartment from the electric grid, which is to say 3.93 months longer than I expected to make it. The article was about bringing[…] Keep reading →

Polluting less isn’t extreme. It’s traditional.

on August 22, 2022 in Addiction, Doof

People call me extreme for not flying, taking years to fill a load of trash, and unplugging my fridge, but compared to most how people lived for almost all of human existence, I’m approaching normal. Refrigerators, for example, barely existed one hundred years ago and cost nearly double a Model T. For most of human existence, people didn’t have refrigerators. We ate more fresh food. Today people consume doof, increasingly[…] Keep reading →

American culture today: “Here’s why I can’t” (especially among conservatives, liberals, and libertarians)

on August 7, 2022 in Doof, Nature

I grew up learning that American culture meant can-do. That we took on challenges as a nation and as individuals. When the going got tough, the tough got going. The bigger they come the harder they fall. Now we face a challenge: our lifestyles are lowering Earth’s ability to sustain life, already killing tens of millions a year, projected more. Anyone can tell that we as a nation and every[…] Keep reading →

We won’t run out of fossil fuels, why that’s a problem, and long history

on July 28, 2022 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Doof, Freedom, Nature

People once wondered if we would run out of fossil fuels. People who liked fossil fuels delight in showing how we keep finding more. “Ha!”, they imply, “we’ll never run out. It’s not a problem. Anyone who thinks we’ll run out is a fool.” We could talk about the finite number of molecules of oil, coal, and gas under the Earth’s surface, but when an economist like Julian Simon says[…] Keep reading →

My cereal shame and recovery

on July 18, 2022 in Doof, Nature

I grew up seeing the cereal aisle as normal. Shelf after shelf of boxes, all colorful, with a nutrition label on the side, some game or distraction on the back, a plastic bag inside a cardboard box, and a few companies making them. Inside them were things I didn’t think to ask where they came from or what they were made of. It just seemed normal to me to see[…] Keep reading →

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