My Blog Week: January 31 to February 6

Posted by ractrose on 7 Feb 2021 in The Latest

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

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A Word on the Week


Photo of plastic recycling






Plastic is a problem. Manufacturers gather in huge amounts of raw materials, that suppliers create for them into packaging. And manufacturers spend a lot on packaging. Then, as those of us who get most of our storage tubs this way, know (if you have cats, the big Temptations jar with the screw-on lid is all you need for canisters), a lot of what we buy leaves us with a fully functional container, more or less gratis. But the recycling of old plastic to make new plastic is less common by far, than the accumulation, every minute of every day, of heaps of plastic containers thrown away. 

Recycling hasn’t been New-Dealed into a strong initiative. Companies left to design their own programs aren’t making much of an inroad. And if you think about tons upon tons of materials useable in manufacturing, entirely free for the taking, it’s hard to see why America, or any nation, doesn’t make the collecting and reprocessing of so much free stuff a national endeavor, augmented with government funds, growing to employ thousands.

Next, there’s the question of science work. We keep seeing the attitude that rural people are somehow “in their place”, if taking the lowest-paid jobs that many, smug on this point, would not themselves take. Good livings are scarce in much of Appalachia and the South. And yet we’re in a climate crisis. Rural forest and watersheds are exactly where science jobs are needed. What type of jobs? To save the planet, we need reams of data about the state of the planet. What species are to be found, in what numbers? How do those numbers vary over a year of seasons; over five years? What progress is quantifiable in reclamation areas? How does isolation of a species affect its genetic diversity? Which species are altering their habits to incorporate a new diet, (as with birds of prey, vis-à-vis the present decline of the rabbit population)? 

This inventorying is pleasant, rewarding work, that a high school dropout, or ex-felon can be trained for (though just as rewarding for a nature-loving PhD)—identifying things, recording differences between things, recording (in the other sense) video and audio, using basic software. And being outdoors, walking along riverbanks, strolling through woodlands, feeling invested in the health of your local natural world and its plants, insects, animals. This human knowledge is well worth fifteen dollars an hour, and a New Deal’s infusion of funding to spread the wealth into the most neglected counties.

Although, you might suspect some types would feel terribly bitter at the poor being happily, rather than punishingly, employed.





On Monday, a new Totem-Maker, with the character learning the dangers of mountain travel. On Tuesday, The Sword Decides!, Andreas counselled by his future sister-in-law. Wednesday, a poem from Rattus, “Distract Us”. Thursday, part twenty-nine of Shine! by Mathilde Alanic, Annie in the awkward position of auditing a married couple’s spat. Friday, a poem from Beast, “The Tunnel”.  Saturday, part twenty of “Celebrated”, Petra trusting Tom with her bad romance, and professional disappointment.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.





My Blog Week: January 31 to February 6


The Totem-Maker: Lore and Lessons (part one)
February 1


Marjorie Bowen: The Sword Decides! (part nine)
February 2


Distract Us (poem)
February 3


Mathilde Alanic: Shine! (part twenty-nine)
February 4


The Tunnel (poem)
February 5


Celebrated (part twenty)
February 6