Gas Guzzler

Yesterday I was sitting in my van in a carpark, writing my shopping list – boy, aren’t I organised? Anyway, there I was, minding my own business for a short while, looking about me for inspiration for the shopping, when I noticed that a SUV parked in front of me had a 6 litre engine! Wow, I thought, 6 litres, who needs that?

This is Ireland, we don’t have huge mountain ranges to cross or dangerous deserts, the vehicle didn’t even have a tow hitch so pulling large horse boxes wasn’t a good reason to have a 6litre engine.

It’s not as though I drive an electric car (yet) or even a hybrid myself, I am no transport angel with my 2.5litre diesel work van. I think that I was just a bit amazed and I admit to still being a bit amazed and confused by an engine of that capacity.

Perhaps I noticed the vehicle because I had recently read a blog post somewhere about transport and oil (sorry, can’t remember which one it was, read too many that day, if you recognise it let me know) and on reading the post an SUV driver had been offended.

He commented that drivers such as himself were an easy target and perhaps he is right but I think that if you drive to the shops in a 6litre gas guzzler that really you are not doing yourself , or the planet, any favours.

His excuse for continuing to use the big tank (suv) was that if he didn’t use it the suv would end up in a landfill (perhaps he hasn’t heard about metal recycling) or that some other person would be driving around in it. He also stated that if someone were to give him a hybrid car he would drive that – nice of him!

I reckon he could always do what we used to do with old cars in Ireland before we discovered the environment (!) – leave the car in the field and use it as a hen house…


Isolation and remoteness – I thought that they were fairly straightforward concepts until we moved to the hill.

There was the occasion when we gave very clear directions to our place and my friend rang and said – “I thought I was following the directions correctly but I came to a track that nobody would live on, it was very isolated and so I turned around – can you come and collect me in town?” It turned out that our friend had been at the end of our road when they turned back.

Others have questioned why we would chose to live in a place that is so far from anyone else when in fact we have two good neighbours, in two different directions, who live not more than a mile away. In a geographically small area such as Ireland distance and isolation are different concepts than they would be in a larger continent such as Australia or India. It’s all relative…

Some people feel isolated in a room full of people or a city full of life, others don’t feel isolated being by themselves for some time in the middle of nowhere. It has more to do with attitude, emotional states, than it has to do with longitude & latitude or distance.

It can be an attitude or the state of our own mind, however, isolation can also be used in an attempt by someone to make another person feel uncomfortable or unwanted, to manipulate a person in a group situation, however this can be counteracted by others in the group simply including the person instead.

I certainly don’t feel isolated where we live. It is very peaceful. There is very little traffic and we can see and hear the traffic approach from some distance away.

It is peaceful but of course it is not silent. Just as our view is ever changing so too are the sounds that we hear – the birds, frogs and crickets singing, the wind in the trees, rain on the roof, the stream which is almost silent in dry weather or a thunderous roar in otherwise quiet nights after days of rain.

Sometimes it can be positively noisy with spring time cuckoos and on some quiet Sundays with the breeze blowing from the right direction we can make out the sounds of excitement from a distant football pitch or at night the funfair about five miles away.


I am new to blogging and when I searched for blogs pertaining to renewable energy and sustainable living I found about one quarter of a million! So why add to this list? I really don’t have any particularly good reason. I guess it’s one way for me to communicate that doesn’t involve travel, perhaps I should say that hopefully it will become a way to communicate as the blog develops – and perhaps someone will read it and leave a nice comment.

I did find it difficult to wade through even some of the 250 thousand blogs that came up however I also found some that are really enjoyable to read, I will do my best to add them to the blogroll as I find them.

I noticed that some blogs are so covered with ads that I quickly lose interest and don’t even bother to bookmark them – so you might guess that I am not a big fan of the advertising world, I don’t enjoy things that are over-commercialized.

I can handle a blog with a few ads, fair play to anyone who can add to their income by blogging (multiple income streams are great) but please don’t go for overkill, I am sure that there are others who like me will just switch off.

I am more into sharing than buying, I am trying to not be a good little consumer.

We Are The Ones

The excerpt below is taken from the website of the relocalization organisation, I have neither added nor changed it…

It is beautiful and so very clear…

Community Works
A Hopi Elder Speaks

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”

“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

“Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

– attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder

Hopi Nation
Oraibi, Arizona

The Relocalization Network is an Initiative of Post Carbon Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in the United States with groups all around the world sharing wisdom hopes, fears, futures…