Saturday, April 4, 2009

Suzanne's epiphany and mid-course correction

New visitors to the chronicles from the future may first wish to visit the past, by reading the earlier hologramletters. (see the older listings on the right, go to the bottom and click the link to the earlier hologramletters)

NOTE The following is an adaptation from the soon to be released book ‘Letters From 2030’. To register interest on its release, or to order a copy email Bob Williamson via this link.

Time had past so quickly. The letter to Anthony and the help he may be to get Patricia (Katey) to work with him openly for the common good was uppermost in his mind that humid morning. If he were to plea to her personally he knew had to phrase it carefully or risk a defensive rejection. It would need to wait for further and careful thought.

He flicked the switch of the main monitor. The incoming transmission light flickered and it would be to receive as he would see Suzanne’s epiphany and reason for her personal mid-course correction.

Greetings my friend,

After my last transmission I've sat debating if I should fire up this old generator again. I’ve used it quite sparingly, but the exhaust fumes even though I’ve vented them as well as possible still escape into my living quarters. Hesitantly, I started it up to look for new messages and scour for news of anyone at all. I was only able to keep it running long enough to download your latest response and your questions, so many questions that as I sit here now are tugging at my heartstrings. As I was downloading the transmission, the exhaust line ruptured and before I was aware of it, there were fumes coming in through the ventilation ducts. I had to run and shut it down before it was too late for me, and I prayed thinking first of my few precious plants, that I’d caught it soon enough.

The last few days I have been totally drained of energy. I'm sure that it's from the generator's exhaust fumes, but also fearing it may be possible effects from the batteries I managed to retrieve so far. I had been able to bring back a half dozen of the batteries that I found, and after your advice, I did a close inspection on them. I found some with the feathering you referred to. I haven't any burns or cuts from their transport, though some of the leakage may have gotten through my gloves. Thank goodness I keep protective gear with me at all times and trust nothing to be safe until closely scrutinized. Though I haven't encountered anyone in the months since I have come here, I have taken care and many precautions to contain the damaged batteries to an isolated area. I feel they are safely contained and more than adequately marked with warnings if someone comes across the storage room that’s now holding them.

I will soon be on my way back to the found treasure room to explore its contents further. I had little time after sharing my find with you to see all that was available. I'm hoping for instructions, tools and any other items that will be needed to get the solar panels installed as soon as possible. I'm feeling a bit stronger again and the clearing skies are once more giving me fresh hope. I find myself all too restless and looking forward to indulging in daytime explorations again.

Getting to your questions; for me it was back in the mid to late 1990s when I was burning out from "corporate" America. There were so many different experiences that started my reach for more information and knowledge, and changing my way of life. I was in Michigan then, working in Detroit at a very well paying job, when it dawned on me that I wasn't the simple girl enjoying life's simple pleasures anymore. I found myself becoming somewhat materialistic. I was far from being as consumed by it all as many were then, but I had a nice car, lived in an upper middleclass suburban area, shopped at the posh pricier specialty markets, and indulged in many modern conveniences.

One occasion in particular, I was out for a weekend sailing with a friend. We were lavishing in the serenity of the sunshine and water with nothing but the wind taking us on our journey from Lake Eerie up through the Detroit River and into Lake St. Clair, a sailor's paradise, on inland lakes. As we entered into the southern part of the Detroit River we had no choice but to traverse the commercial shipping channel and became virtually overrun by freighters. (I came to learn only later of the pollution they caused with each tonne of shipping fuel pumping out 850 kilograms (.85t) of carbon and that when it was burnt mixed with oxygen produced 3.1 tonnes of CO2!)

Anyway I was jarred out of my serenity and thrust into the "all hands on deck" to guide and navigate our way through the shipping lanes. It was an experience I don't think I'll ever forget. Terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time, it made me start to wonder if there was anywhere left in the world that was not affected by these monstrous beasts transporting the oil, coal and other ores our modern world needed to continue with its business and living as usual. The sounds and fumes from the passing ships began to fill me at first with sorrow, then quickly with anger, that such atrocities invaded the peace and energy I had been feeling being one with the water and the earth.

As the weeks and months progressed from that weekend, I would notice more of my surroundings ~ not in the progression of society, but in the ravages of the resources of the earth. I soon found I could no longer work in the city that I had loved for so many years, simply because I didn't want to be even one more contributing to the smog and dismal chaos. I found a different firm in the suburbs close to where I lived, but that satiated me only for a short time and I was soon on my way to leaving the corporate rat race.

I left Michigan in 1999 and moved to California, thinking, 'I'll be by the ocean, it will be ideal, back in closer touch with a simpler life.' I couldn't have been more wrong. It took me another five years after that before I could move again, which is how I landed in Arizona, where I was living in the "green" desert and found Greenhouse Neutral... and you. By this time I was living a much more modest life, closer to how I was raised, cherishing simple things and giving of myself all I could to live and share with others a conscientious lifestyle. I quit the design firm I was then working for, and started working full time from home. So I was no longer a slave or contributor to the commuter emissions poisoning the atmosphere. I became "one less" as the saying goes. One less vehicle on the road, daily polluting the air, one less person spending exorbitant sums of money for high priced suits to be dry cleaned with chemicals and toxins... one less and feeling damn good about it - but still wanting to do so much more.

And yes, Bob, I still have my copy of "ZERO Greenhouse Emissions - The Day the Lights Went Out - Our Future World" - a bit tattered and worn, though still coveted as much this day as the day I when it first arrived in the mail; that was shortly after our first conversations on Twitter and when I stood up to let my voice be heard and joined you in your efforts to awaken the world. It was when I read your book for the first time, that the memories of that Detroit River sail flooded back and I knew I had to do what I could to help in the cause. I can't even begin to tell you how angry I became when I learned that there are so many variables in fuel consumption based on size of vessel, cargo, carrying capacity, age of vessel, and they were not regulated because no one wanted to claim them or the emissions they responsible for!

One excerpt in particular fuelled the fire even more, " bulk carrier report placed its consumption of heavy fuel oil at 26.1 tonnes per day and diesel oil at 24.2 tonnes per day at a cruising speed of 14 knots (26 kilometers per hour). So on the proverbial slow boat to China, over 50 tonnes of fossil fuel per day will be burnt, contributing about 150 tonnes of CO2 per day in atmospheric emissions in the process. In Heat George Monbiot presented another excellent comparison. Monbiot cites George Marshall of the Climate Outreach Information Network who had done some “rough initial” calculations for the Queen Elizabeth II. Cruising at between 25 to 28 knots (45 to 50 kilometers per hour) while delivering the 1,790 passengers and 920 crew between Southampton and New York, the ship burns through 433 tonnes of fuel per day. On the six-day cruise they use 2,598 tonnes of fuel—each way. That’s over 8,050 tonnes of luxury greenhouse emissions. Each return passenger carries the weight of responsibility off the ship of over 9 tonnes of environmental impact." When I read this, I had to actually stop for a period because I was so overwhelmed with sadness I wept remembering not only the experience I had sailing, but even more so thinking of the horrors of the shipping traffic I used to see when I was in California at Long Beach/Los Angeles. I had no idea how bad it was then but I knew it was out of control; your book brought me to new light and awareness.

You taught me so much in those years. I hope that I with all I learned back then, that I may have touched at least a few as deeply as you did me with your insight and knowledge. I'm very proud and honored to have your friendship, as much if not more now, as I was then... and happier still to know that you are surviving our new world and continue fighting the good fight ~ I pray we will both be here to continue on for at least a few more years to come...

My power is again running low, I'll close this hologramletter to you with thoughts of much hope and bright smiles that even through the toughest of times, I continue to have ~ because I am here, I have survived, and I will continue to fight the good fight; and when it's time for me to leave this earth, I will be able to do so still smiling because I tried, I made a difference, I didn't become despondent in even the darkest hours.

Ever in friendship,

As he saw the flickers of her fading smile he mussed how different life would be now in 2030 if more had made that mid-course correction. If they had realised we needed not to reinvent the wheel, we had needed a reinvention of self.


  1. News yestereday of the Wilkins ice sheet giving way in Antarctica. New data is in on how this the Arctic is as well, not to mention new numbers on how fast the planet is heating up.

    Could it be, we fight now to prevent Rapid Climate Change, and must accept that dramatic change is a given.

  2. If we know these things are happening now, why isn't something being done to change it? What can we do to get someone to listen?

    I shudder at the thought of my children and grandchildren living in a desecrated world; they deserve to have a long and happy life just as I have had.

  3. My husband and I operate a business that imports novelty toys from China & India. We also have 2 children. Sherri is 10 and BJ Jr. 8. With the state of the economy business has been slowing down. I gave up my job as a secretary to work in the business with Bobby Joe. I guess we didn’t think of what our business was adding to greenhouse gases from the shipping. I guess we didn’t think of what that might mean to BJ Jr. and Sherri either.

    Bobby Joe thinks we should close the business down for money reasons. I’ll agree with him, not for that alone but for Sherri and Bobby Joe Jr.