Out of the Ashes: Life Beyond Carbon

No that is not the working title of this thing before me. But it is the punch line as  I’m thinking through the story line of this book idea.

It starts in a tiny community called Floyd where a pipeline threatens the local landscape and lifestyle, and pipelines-plural represent a symptom of a misguided energy policy that would miserably succeed in putting 30 more years of carbon into the atmosphere–unless that gold rush comes to an end.

How would the rush to destruction by heat death come to an end? Invoke aliens. Send civilization back to the dark ages? Eliminate the problem-agent that has pushed so hard against the boundaries of livability on Earth?

JOKE: Two planets are talking to each other–how ya doing, that kind of thing. “Oh says the first planet, I’m not doing very good. I can’t breathe, my gut is all full of nasty stuff, my head is fuzzy. I think I have homo sapiens.” Man, don’t worry about that. I know it’s a drag, but it’s not serious. It goes a way in a couple of centuries. ”

So I have my turning point crisis–there are so many potential drop-off cliffs to choose from–and I don’t want this to be apocalyptic  but positive, because I think we DO stand a (slim) chance to turn this around.

So what or who might end the carbon gold rush, correct our atmospheric mistakes and let us start again on a right foot in our relationship with the planet that we have so poorly nurtured over the final years of the Industrial Revolution?


More (or less) soon (or later).

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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