Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維 (webcowgirl) wrote,
Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維

Thoughts on the news - gasoline prices, food waste, polygamy, China earthquake

So Paul Krugman, my favorite columnist in the world, has an article about how America ought to be thinking about living in the age of expensive gas. It's not about no cars; it's about tremendously more fuel efficient cars, of the sort we were starting to transition to before the bizarre rise of the SUV "during the cheap-gas 1990s." He said we also need to be building and using public transportation systems, to a much greater extent than at present; and, ultimately, we may need to look at changing where we live. He's right, though, this is the change that's going to be really difficult to make, because it only takes 3-5 years to get over the pain of buying a gas-guzzler, but a house, and entire communities of houses, will take decades to change into more close communities. I've got a long time to see how things evolve; life is going to be interesting. (And my long-distance travels will become a thing of the past; better get those tickets bought for Australia for Christmas 2009!)

There's another article about food waste in the US. I'm curious about what the relative rates of waste were between the US and the UK. I find it difficult to buy items at the grocery store in the quantities I need here; so many things are pre-packaged in twos and fours when I am looking for ones and threes that I feel it's difficult to avoid waste here for meat and vegetables. (US stores are pretty enthusiastic about having all vegetables sold in you-set-it-up bulk other than, say, delicate berries.) I also think people aren't nearly as good about using their leftovers here as they are in the states, but maybe I only have a limited sample to deal with. Also, it seems to me that the US uses more preservatives in food than the UK does, and food really does go off very quickly here - most bread in just three days unless it's refrigerated. I personally would prefer longer shelf life and less stuff going in the garbage.

The polygamist issues continue. I've been following these people since the mid-eighties, when I found out they had been living in the Arizona strip for decades.

China is getting a huge influx of foreign doctors, which I consider great news given the numbers of injured and the, um, occasionally primitive nature of Chinese hospitals (especially in rural areas) - a situation not helped at all by the fact that the, er, hospitals have just been through an earthquake. And it's clearly time for me to donate some money: the NYT has a list of places to donate on their site. Here's where my Sweet Pound Sterling can really make a difference. I think Americares will be my charity of choice - and I know they'll help with Burma, too, if they can find a way.

Tonight: "The Birthday Party" at the Lyric Hammersmith.
Tags: links, politics
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