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In which Hank discusses his day without power and John's week-long commitment.


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A Bunny
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((') (')
Good morning John, it's Tuesday, April 17th. Politician: Using less energy more wisely is good for everybody. It's good for the world, it's good for the economy, and I want to make the whole world proud of this state. Hank: This weekend Katherine and I attended a Step It Up rally, with its occasionally boring bureaucrats, folks waving signs and playing blues music and dancing to drum beats. And then we walked home. It's a small town so we can pretty much walk everywhere. On the way home we saw several methods of alternative transportation, including ourselves walking, this train, training, and this guy, riding his bike. The rest of our electricity-free day was pretty easy, but it did get a little bit difficult around dinnertime. Ah! It's Bright! Can you see me? Can you see me at all without the light on, because that's too bright. There's my teeth! There I am. We've got some electronic equipment on, but only electronic equipment that has batteries. It's kind of hard to eat food, or cook food, anyways, without power. So I'm not sure what we're going to have for dinner. Maybe we should cook it over the candle. Okay, we've figured out some food options. Katherine has in front of her a piece of bread, some cottage cheese, uh, pickles, and olives. I have in front of me a tortilla with mozzarella cheese slices, tofu turkey and honey mustard. And we have also got, on the table, chips and salsa. Many of which need to be refrigerated, but none of which need to be heated, though it sure would be nice to heat this tortilla-thing up. These are our candles. And then Katherine and I read by candlelight until we fell asleep. Which was very early. It's a lot easier to go to sleep early if you don't have light bulbs, because there's nothing else to do. I have to say that doing that for one day was pretty hard. Doing it for more than one day would be much harder. I mean, one day, you don't really have to take a shower, you can go out to eat for lunch, you can have a really lame dinner, and not suffer too much. But doing it for an entire week- I don't know how you're going to do that. And as for light bulbs: it is really hard to not have lighting. Candles are actually much more inefficient than light bulbs: per unit of light, they create much more carbon than a light bulb powered by a coal power plant. The little guys, when they're burning, they put off carbon dioxide just like any other fuel. They also don't put off very much light, as I found out sitting in my bed holding my book up to the candle to try and read at ten o'clock at night. I generally go to bed about 2 AM. It was a very enlightening experience. We spend 100% of every day surrounded by electronic stuff. It completely defines our life. Every bit of electronic equipment has that carbon footprint tied to it. It's an interesting world we live in, John. But I think it is good to try to understand what life would be like without that stuff sometimes. All in all, I don't think it would be better. Which is why I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how we can go forward. There's no way we can get out of this mess without a lot of really good ideas. I think it's great that you haven't decided to just offset your carbon with some strange scheme. You've got to figure out what devices actually make your life better, so you don't have to use all the other ones. At the same time, I know that this week is going to be a huge pain in the ass, and I look forward to seeing you dealing with that tomorrow.