Trust me on that. But just after I emailed last night – first one set of lights blinked out. Less than a minute later, all the other circuits went dead. And it was quiet, a very quiet 2230. Good writeup in the Berkeleyside which is an on-line only Berkeley newspaper.
At least it was quiet in my the house. Most of the time, none of us notice all the background noise produced by various machines, electronics, and appliances. I wasn’t able to say the same for the renters up the hill from us. Quiet? No – they had been partying hard since 2000, complete with barbecue from the smells of things. Suddenly they were literally (as apposed to aware of their affect on others) in the dark. More noise, complete with laughs, shrieks and giggles.
Rather than starting WWIII in the neighborhood, I just shut my window. Plus, I finally realized that it was Saturday night. If you are young, I guess Saturday night is for partying.
Which takes us to this morning when I started smelling smoke in the house – nothing burning near us – just the wind had changed. It was now blowing from Sonoma to us. We still have no power and I am expecting the situation to remain unchanged through tomorrow. The dividing line turns out to be Spruce Street runs parallel to Euclid only four blocks further down the hill. Peet’s was packed this morning with hordes coming down for coffee, wifi and a chance to charge their phones.
I am sure that there are still those who don’t believe PG&E should have shut off power. But then, perhaps they are not paying attention to the brush fires this afternoon along HWY 24 near Walnut Creek. Or the continuing spread of fire in Sonoma. Or all the trees down along the route we took from Berkeley to Richmond (California) due to the high winds.
Practically speaking, all of us are going to have to make changes. It isn’t just the US. Or some areas of Canada. There were massive wild fires last year in Sweden destroying millions of acres. There have been fires across huge swaths of Russia. My intrepid friends in Australia note that fire season now starts two months earlier. There are fires burning in New South Wales and Queensland.
We can also hold our politicians accountable. Yes, I moved back to a country with a leader who epitomizes the “everyone for themselves,” attitude. Who has cut safety funding, who has cut both education and senior citizen services and benefits. And doesn’t believe that it is anyone’s responsibility to leave the world in a decent shape.
Me? I am reading regulations, I will vote, I will play my part. But I believe in leaving the world a better place than what I found it. I won’t pat myself on the back for reducing my carbon footprint this past year – my decreased travel was not voluntary. But it has made me stop and think about waste, cost, and where I spend my precious dollars as well as who I want representing me.