Category: Star Trek

We’re over the Hot Hump – NOT

We’re over the Hot Hump – NOT

It sounds worse in Fahrenheit

HOT

110 F is just too hot. I’m not complaining, much, when I think of Houston and it’s climate change woes, but I was wrong to say the weird heat was over when I wrote this last month. It’s one of the worst years for heat records ever. I hope that those who deny climate change will take a look at Houston. As if New Orleans wasn’t bad enough a decade ago, century-class droughts, record heat, glaciers melting… truly, this is a sign that we need to change our old ways at the same time we embrace new technologies. August has been full of contradictions.

I don’t think it’s going to be enough to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, although that is a critical factor. Humans will need to look at social issues and personal living habits. North America uses more resources per person than any other nation or continent. We use more gasoline, run more air conditioners, throw away more garbage, and waste water and food at a criminal level.

Carrying Capacity – it’s not hot in Alaksa

Or is it? It’s hot enough in Greenland to melt glaciers. The United States is home to about 5% of the Earth’s population but uses 20+% of the world’s resources. Try to imagine if all other nations, people, were to consume and waste at American levels. In a very short time, regardless of the source of our electricity generation, we would still experience shortages of critical resources – water, food, a reasonable standard of living.

And neither can human behavior be legislated, although sometimes it helps – seat belts in cars, paying for plastic bags, financial incentives for reducing energy use. It’s still not enough. Most of us live in the cities and suburban communities where we can’t have so much as a chicken in our back yard to give us a few eggs and some fertilizer for our tomatoes grown in patio pots. It’s these small efforts than can lead to big change. And they can be simple, easy, and require very little change in everyday life.

Container Gardening

A Challenge

Reduce your water waste by one gallon a day – 30 seconds less showering or shutting off the water when you brush your teeth.

Plant a food plant – an herb on your kitchen counter, a cherry tomato, or a fruit tree

Turn off the light when you leave the room – better yet, keep them off and open the window blind for natural light.

And below is what I wrote last month, apparently more with a hopeful heart than a critical mind. Be wise, be safe, be happy.

 

Oh, yes, the worst of the heat has passed in Las Vegas. That means the Star Trek Convention next week will be pleasant. Those of us who have actual wool twill uniforms, field jackets as part of our costumes, or show up in prostheses such as Borg, Tellaxian, Vulcan, Andorian (my personal favorite), Orion (wait – they won’t overheat in their costumes), Ferrengi – you get the idea, will not swelter making our way from the parking lot of the Rio to the Convention Hall.

Desert Mummy
Don’t worry, it’s a dry heat, they said.

Dressed as Janeway two years ago, I thought I was going to pass out several times from the heat. How did the actors stand it under the hot set lights hour after hour? 24th Century Trek uniforms gave me a new appreciation for the rigors needed to make our favorite shows! Cosplay takes on an entirely new meaning when it’s 105 F outside. I know you’d all love to see me in my Janeway persona here, but my image files were misplaced when I adopted a new laptop this year. I’ll find it eventually.

Science Fiction –

one of my favorite subjects. Living in Las Vegas we are subject to temperature extremes. From the coolest night to the hottest day, it would not be unheard of to range more than 100 F (17 on a January night, 117 on a July day) but fortunately that hasn’t actually happened in the same 12 month period. I believe 90 F difference, however, is expected. To that point, it is easy to imagine environments that wouldn’t necessarily be hospitable to human life. This explains why virtually all aliens that come to Earth end up in Nevada, including those from the World of Roddenberry.

Shatner, Bakula, Stewart, Mulgrew, Brooks
Left to Right, Shatner, Bakula, Stewart, Mulgrew, and Brooks as Kirk, Archer, Picard, Janeway, and Sisko.

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I hope I may run into you at the Con this year – I’ll be around the last day, so if you’ll be there, send me a note and we’ll meet up for a cuppa Earl Grey or Coffee as you like!

See You Out There!                                                                             H S Rivney