Feb 152011
 

As of a week ago, this blog has taken on an entirely new look. This is to reflect a major change in my life circumstances–and interests–since I started this blog, just as my second book was being released, a few years ago.

That was a difficult time. The writing of that book was an unpleasant experience, and I am not overly proud of the result. It’s okay, but it’s basically a first draft. The publisher showed no interest in quality. My editor denied my request for just one rewrite, and he and his colleagues wrote the book off before it was released–which happened two days after Christmas, to give an idea of the marketing savvy involved. Anyway …

At the same time, a very important person in my and my children’s life was dying–and soon did. My younger child, a daughter, left for college the following year, so I found myself an empty-nester. And for reasons having to do with the death that had occurred, my girlfriend and I were compelled to move twice in the space of a year. A lot of upheaval.

The second move has taken us from suburban Boston to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The photograph in the banner above is a view of Mt. Washington that I took last winter from a spot near our new home. To me it is a unique perspective on the defining geographical feature of this region, for it is taken from the west. I had always approached the mountain from the south or east on the many rock and ice climbing trips I took to the White Mountains before we moved up here. Mt. Washington seems larger, more peaceful, and more majestic from this side, with the smooth slopes of the Ammonoosuc ravine descending nearly from its summit to its base.

As the sparse entries on this blog may indicate, I have also been pushed back on my heels by the public relations war that climate science and climate policy has become. I may try to explain my thinking on that more fully in a post sometime, but, basically, I am very pessimistic about our prospects for doing anything real about what will almost certainly become an unprecedented global crisis in which tens to hundreds of millions of people stand a good chance of dying, and I don’t see how I can contribute effectively to what has become a childish screaming match.

The old blog banner, which featured a quote by Jim Hansen about climate tipping points, seems restrictive. I’m interested in, and writing about, other things now. (I’m working on three books at the moment, only one of which has anything to do with science.) Since I’d like to feel free to write about anything in this blog, I’ve decided to give it a new look (with the help of John Lehet, a fine photographer and Web designer, to whom kudos and many thanks). I may come up with a new name as well. Let’s see what happens …