Hikes and Rides

Being homebound during the week got me out for the weekend. Yesterday was for a big loop ride. Rode all day, and even stopped for a break for a short hike to catch-up with a friend south of home. But just after Redmond, I had to stop for a shot of these senior members of the Cascades SW of the town:

Then today a hike in an area closer to the hometown. For some reason the rivulet patterns in the ditch caught my eye. Mini dams made of pine needle, twig, and silt. Can’t discern them well in the picture, but I consider them the sculptures of winter rain runoff:

Sounds in the woods again captivated me. The wind, creaking, and birdsong:

And this bird beautifully flew over me when I was experimenting with the zoom on my camera. (You really need to select the high definition setting at playback):

Being stuck at home all week is really making me and allowing me to explore on the weekends. It’s mainly solo, but still very nice. Seems to occur at the right pace when solo.

Oil’s Gotta Go, Be Phased Out

A year and a half ago the Saudi Arabian govt. threatened the world with a cut in oil supply if the world didn’t stop criticizing them for killing a journalist. Currently/recently they’ve pumped and dumped oil on markets, intentionally upsetting the industry (employers and employees) in competing countries, even while knowing how severe the effect would be given there’s so little use of/demand for oil compared to just a few months ago. Tankers are now idling at sea with nowhere to offload their oil; land facilities don’t have storage capacity for it with this combination of Saudi pump-and-dump and the current extreme world reduction in oil use. This scenario just couldn’t be duplicated by the solar, wind and hydroelectric energy sectors. And this has lead to the USA govt. bailing out American oil companies; the government has offered to buy their oil and told them they don’t have to actually pump it and make it available (i.e., they don’t have to actually part with it — or even produce it — after they sell it). Again, this situation just couldn’t be duplicated by the solar, wind and hydroelectric energy sectors. Oil’s an expensive problem in terms of production, infrastructure, contamination cleanup, and related health problems. And a proven source of contamination of land, water and air.

There are already electric vehicles in use and they are not expensive. There is already infrastructure in place to keep them charged. There are already electricity production and distribution systems in place; for examples hydroelectric, solar and wind energy being delivered to homes and other buildings through wire.

Trains are already either electric (light rail) or electric-diesel hybrid (freight rail and long-haul passenger). We can engineer the diesel out of the mix.

Airplanes are used for vacations and business travel. Vacations are optional, and if curtailed for environmental reasons it would drive aviation technology away from fossil fuel. The reason for business travel is companies become too big, are not local, and are even harming local small businesses. A more local economy would reduce the need for airline travel.

Cruise lines could already shift away from fossil fuel: aircraft carriers already have, but electric, solar, or hybrid electric-solar seem a better alternative than nuclear.