While I was away camping out at the Red Sea,
and contemplating the uses of the spices sold in East Jerusalem,
back home in NYC Superstorm Sandy was uprooting trees, severing power lines, and flooding the subways.
My neighborhood, Park Slope, was mostly spared Sandy’s rampage. The power never went out here. But I have friends in other areas whose homes are damaged, and a few who are still without heat or electric power a week after the storm.
Even Park Slope is feeling the impact.В There is one gas station open two blocks away from me. Round the clock, there are people standing in line with red gasoline containers hoping the station gets another delivery so that they can power generators back up or drive to work tomorrow.
Last year was Hurricane Irene, the year before a tornado that trashed the north end of Prospect Park and felled a massive Ailanthus tree that crashed the fences of three adjacent back yards next to me. And now Sandy.
I don’t think it’s too much to say that these represent a new weather situation where I live. Call it climate change, global warming, whatever label floats your boat. I expect that “superstorms” are now to be expected at this time of year in this part of the world.
In some ways, I guess I’m more prepared than most. I know how to forage for wild edible plants and mushrooms. My one-bedroom apartment is stuffed with the bounty of locally grown food that I preserve. So I’ve got a kind of food security going.
But I couldn’t post this blog, Skype my long-distance boyfriend, write my foraging column, publish my food preservation recipes, or call my mom and dad without juice. Electrical juice, the kind that Sandy so easily wiped out for millions of people.
I’m staring at my solar phone charger right now. So okay, cool, I can charge my phone even if the wall outlets aren’t giving me zip. But if my phone company doesn’t have power, then what good does that do me?
Saw this on my local hardware store window today:
Sandy has highlighted how utterly cheap-oil-economy, electrical power and info-tech grid dependent I am.
Well, if the grid seriously crashes, at least food won’t be an immediate concern for me.
Meanwhile, in the can’t-hurt-might-help category, get out there and vote tomorrow if you haven’t already, okay? Choose the candidate you think might give a damn about climate change and renewable energy sources.