July 10, 2020

Lost In New York . . . By Bishop, Sometimes Travel Reporter


None but a fool worries about things he cannot influence   — Samuel Johnson

Hats off to marvelous Harry’s in Cornville where one of life’s mysteries is penned to the patio wall. To wit: nobody gets to see the wizard, not nobody, not know how. If we ever needed him before, that’s nothing at all compared to how much we need him now.

Scanning the world from Manhattan to West Sedona, life appears to be lurching daily from ecstasy to despair, rather like one of those endless Russian novels. There are those in West Sedona that complain about bad schools yet at the same time brag they’ll vote against the override.
Meanwhile, Posse Grounds neighbors yearn for an interesting new park yet draw up plans to kill the new baby—if one is created—in its cradle.

Then there’s the aluminum threat. And the lead threat and the GMO cat.
No thanks to the virtual disappearance of investigative reporters, now that top press types have become gurus, major stories are being overlooked, a situation which causes me to think of opting out of reading news altogether. This priceless, intuitive sheet of course would be the exception.

No, the real story hit me hard while walking the streets of New York during one of this newspaper’s conferences, this one having to do with legislators who vote against voters’ wishes while searching for the good old days in the 13th century when ladies and people of color slept in barns.

And the real story? How with increasing speed, more and more citizens are alone together. Walking up and down 5th avenue one day under a rare blue sky in Manhattan I noticed that people were staring at their hands, ignoring others, even ignoring red lights, never looking anyone else in the eye. Here, I was later to learn is a world Adlai Stevenson warned the world about, “be careful of technology for it will tie a tiny fine wire around your soul.”

Indeed, observes Sedona’s leading cerebral scholar and intellectually gifted Englishman, A. G. Collier. To him, the problem in today’s world is that there is neither the inclination, nor the opportunity, “to spend much Time with oneself. The computer is always at hand. And it’s far less demanding to spend time e-mailing, tweeting, ‘face-booking’, cell-phoning…there’s great need to sit and wait and let the mind take over. Or go for a walk. Better still…go for a walk with a dog. Even better still, own a dog and begin to dream on things to come in Shakespeare’s sonnet.

Commented Bill Moyers, “no one looks others in the eye anymore.”

Okay, cheer up, for there is some good news! Despite  millions of dollars by the Fossil Fuel lobby  attacking conservation, energy efficiency has contributed more to meeting US energy demand than all other resources combined over the past 40 years – more than coal, oil or nuclear, concludes a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

In fact, the US has found so many innovative ways to save energy that it has more than doubled economic productivity from oil, natural gas and electricity over that time.  According to “America’s (Amazingly) Good Energy News,” the US used less energy last year than in 1999 and that’s with an economy that grew more than 25% (adjusted for inflation). 

Factories and businesses are producing substantially more products and value with less energy, the amount of gasoline per mile driven is down, and the cost of all energy services  – from lighting to refrigeration – has decreased.

“Our home appliances and electronics have been meeting increasingly tough federal efficiency standards. Remarkable, when you consider not only how many more people are using electricity, but how many more gadgets we have at home now than we did at the turn of the century, how many more chargers are plugged into every wall socket,” a special Excentric Task Force was told by Peter Lehner of NRDC. “Because increasing efficiency is far less costly than adding other energy resources like fossil fuels, this is saving the nation hundreds of billions of dollars a year, while helping the US compete worldwide.”

That’s the good news.  Want some more? The federal deficit is actually falling, not climbing; and so is federal spending.

So there, Visigoths!

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