Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Just thinking ...

I was asleep by 9 pm last night--I was just tired and figured that nothing beats sleep when you’re tired--and as a result I awoke early, at about a quarter to five this morning. I wanted to sleep longer, but for some reason I started thinking about an article I had read about homes sinking in Pennsylvania because of coal mining. (That link isn’t to the actual article I read ... I just can’t remember where I actually read it. Maybe it was in my old-fashioned tree-killing print copy of the Wall Street Journal?)

Anyway, thinking about the sinking houses reminded me of something I read about Centralia, PA, a town that has been evacuated because the coal seams underneath have been burning since 1961, releasing smoke and toxic fumes into the town. (I first heard of Centralia in the intro to Jake Halpern’s Braving Home: Dispatches from the Underwater Town, the Lava-Side Inn, and Other Extreme Locales. He had visited Centralia after learning about it as a fact checker for The New Republic, and it inspired him to seek out the stories of people living in difficult places.)

Then I thought of a story I heard on NPR about mountain-top removal mining in West Virginia and how it’s changing forested mountain landscapes into fields of sparse grass.

So that made me think of a story I read recently in the Wall Street Journal about homeowner associations and neighbors in places like Arizona and Florida trying to get people to hide or remove solar panels from their homes because they are ugly. (Sorry no link--WSJ bastards make you pay for their online content, but here's a similar story.)

And then I thought about all the people up on Cape Cod who are vehemently against locating a wind farm there because it would ruin their view.

Anyway, I don't think I need to belabor the point I'm trying to make ... or maybe I do, but I'm not gonna. But I will point out that thinking about outrageous things doesn't help one get back to sleep when one awakens a little too early. So I got up, did the morning routine, and came to work early.

I would also like to point out that I was early to bed and early to rise and I don't feel any more healthy, wealthy or wise.

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