Letter From the Year 2025—If We Survive
The twenty-teens turned out to be a pivot point for governmental, corporate and citizen attitudes and relationships on a variety of fronts but especially in regard to energy sources and most profoundly in the U.S. Events worldwide overtook the entrenched power bases and their ability to maintain a belief in the realities that sustained them.
Icebergs began to float about dangerously and melt rapidly. Rising sea levels drowned low-lying cities and lands and displaced many millions of people. Record weather systems became the norm. Climate change deniers became an endangered species.
Wars, actual and threatened, over petroleum reserves produced as much suffering and death as oil and gas. Wild price swings, mostly to the upside, were constant. Spills and their environmental and cleanup costs were pandemic. Corporate power, in collusion with political corruption, was shown to be at the core of all that was going wrong. It became just too much for all but the most earnest right-wing “drill, baby, drill” corporatists, propagandists, anti-whatevers and the willfully ignorant.
Technological advances in renewable energy production and storage capacity occurred simultaneously with the forced adjustment in public attitude and governmental policy, enabling the changeover to happen quickly and completely.
In the year 2025, the internal combustion engine is a relic and only a collector’s item. Electric cars and trucks are the norm. Coal-fueled power plants are shut down worldwide. Natural gas is tightly restricted. Nuclear has been phased out. Roofs are now constructed of materials with built-in solar electric capability or retrofitted with panels. Solar arrays and wind mills coexist with farms, ranches, the countryside, deserts and coastlines. Geothermal et al. are common.
Weather patterns are beginning to stabilize. The world has gone to the brink and glimpsed the abyss. Nothing will ever be the same.
Littering and the Law
Before reporting this incident, let me just say I have the utmost respect for law enforcement officers and the job they do. I consider them underpaid, and the “dirty work” they do (often, perhaps) may go unnoticed by our community and general culture. BUT ...
I was driving I-25 south en route to my office today, about five car lengths behind a city garbage truck that was littering badly. Large sheets of unsecured plastic “floated” out of the rear of the truck and were quickly snagged by frustrated motorists' bumpers, front grilles and so on, following the truck. I did not have access to my phone to dial 311 and I remarked out loud that I wished a police officer were in the vicinity to attend to the matter. Fast-forward about three hours later. I'm headed west on Paseo del Norte with window down and bag of sunflower seeds next to me. My routine is to eat one at a time and drop the empty shell out of the window. A Bernalillo County sheriff unit was behind me and generally I thought nothing of this—until he pulled me over. Thinking my license tag was too obscured by my Cowboys plate border, I prepared to submit the usual documents and assure the officer I would remove the border ASAP. As he approached my driver's side, however, I noted he was not in uniform, and I found myself growing perplexed. The sheriff stated that he had observed me "throwing something out of my window" and that "that was littering, possibly a $300 fine per incident" and that he "had counted four or so incidents" of my offense. He said he was going to "cut (me) a break since (he) wasn't in uniform" but for me to cease and desist the window object dropping. My default position with any officer is to agree completely; I did so and was on my way. The kicker for me? He never even asked what it was I was dropping out of the window!
I realize on paper I look clearly in the wrong, but THESE WERE SUNFLOWER SEEDS. And not in vast quantities, like an entire 32 oz. cup full of empty shells dumped in a parking lot or on the floor of a movie theater; these were one at a time out of a moving car near the Bosque! In principle, I can appreciate the sheriff's zeal, but honestly? I came away feeling like it surely is a full moon. I'd be interested in other readers' reactions.
Long Live Legacies
[Editorial, “Creators and Destroyers: On the Paolo Soleri,” July 1-7] Bart Prince has been one of my local heroes for years. Ever since I saw his residence, the mosque structure at Yale and Cesar Chavez, and other designs, I was intrigued by his sense of style, composition and flair. It was then with great anticipation that I read his editorial. Kudos to Mr. Prince for stating so eloquently and urgently the many reasons to save the priceless Paolo Soleri amphitheater. As a longtime resident I remember the destruction of the Franciscan Hotel and the Alvarado. I also remember how the community rallied to save the KiMo Theatre which was to be the next major victim in the carnage of historic buildings.
I can only hope that the powers that be (who are entrusted with this magnificent and majestical structure) can digest and weigh his well-presented words. The amphitheater was my favorite designed forum not only for the acoustics, but for the beauty of its design, pleasantly nestled in the Santa Fe environs.
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