Sustainable camping

Solar panels at Cache Creek campground

When we made plans to go camping this weekend, the only solar power we expected to find was the direct rays of the sun. As it turned out, we stayed at California’s first solar-powered campground, at Cache Creek in Yolo County. An easy drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, this region feels more remote than it is. The climate is certainly different from what we’re used to, with summer temperatures as high as 115F (it was only in the 90s this weekend, downright cool!). And the demographic is different, too; while some urban residents make it to this area, most of the clientele seems to be from the more immediate vicinity. You can expect to hear heavy metal blaring into the evening, accompanied by more yelping than I’ve heard in a long time. Glass containers are forbidden on the beach by the creek, but you’ll run across some abandoned beer bottles. And you won’t fit in with the majority of the crowd if you don’t smoke or have at least a few tattoos. So it’s not what you’d picture as a hotbed of sustainability—which just goes to show that our preconceived notions can easily be misguided. Continue reading “Sustainable camping”

Hiking as a strategic initiative

“This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places.” — Edward Abbey

George Lakoff is one of my heroes. Among his many great ideas is the one of strategic initiatives. According to Lakoff, a major problem for progressives is that they want to fix everything, so they spread themselves too thin and lose effectiveness. He suggests that instead they focus on strategic initiatives, those that deliver multiple results in one blow. Continue reading “Hiking as a strategic initiative”