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Year of Energy Part 1

The Sustainability Literacy Task Force (SLTF), has chosen Seamus McGraw’s The End of Country, for the Year of Energy/Green Read for 2013 -2014. The lucky winners of the copies provided by the Faculty Professional Development group (Rosemary Rader, Max Gibson, Sally Adler, Breege Concannon, Amy Loskowski, Lawrence David, David Wooten, Bonnie Arnett, Hanan Wahab, and Theresa Dubiel) have likely received the copy sent to their office.  Victor Liu has graciously provided 27 copies (! I know! So Generous!) of The End of Country on reserve in WCC’s Bailey Library.  Lastly, the WCC Bookstore plans to have copies of the book (along with other titles connected to our Energy theme for the year) in the store, at a discount, by the end of next week.  You can easily find a copy to read for yourself, as well as a few friends and/or students.

When picking The End of Country, by Seamus McGraw, I thought I was picking a fairly easy read, with a strong story about real people in a real place being affected by real needs for money and incidentally, a clean and safe place to live.  A fellow SLTF member, who has asked to remain nameless for now, tells me that she doesn’t think this book is a particularly easy read.  She finds the work well written and thinks it is presented quite well, but finds the author is,  I think the phrase she used was something like, a burned out stoner with a large vocabulary.  Hmmm.  I’ll have to leave it to you to let me know at our first Book Read Discussion, October 17 (This will be a Thursday afternoon at 3:30, in the Writing Center, LA 355).

Our thought in having a fall and winter discussion this year with the same book is that in the fall meeting we can focus on the ways that fracking affects the characters in the book (including the author’s mom) and how a tension develops between their ideals and their desire to have affluence (or at least, move beyond a paycheck to paycheck economy).  In the winter book discussion (March 20 Vernal Equinox!) our focus will be on the science conveyed in the book.  We end up learning a great deal about the Marcellus Shale from McGraw’s work, as well as how and why speculators decide which areas could yield a substantial natural gas profit.

Coincidentally, there is another SLTF event that we hope you’ll attend the next day, October 18.  There will be another (following our very successful events last year) Sustainable Dinner and a Movie with Chef Derek Anders and Chef Alice Gannon-Boss.  The dinner will be at Garrett’s in the WCC Student Center Building, Friday, October 18 at 5:30pm, and dinner reservations are required.  For more information, contact garretts@wccnet.edu or visit the restaurant Tuesday -Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. The movie, Split Estate, http://www.splitestate.com/ , is free and will be shown in Towsley auditorium in the WCC Morris Lawrence Building at 7:00 p.m.

To put both the Green Read/Book Discussion of Seamus McGraw’s The End of Country, and the Sustainable dinner and movie in context locally, I can tell you that one of the SLTF members was talking with a WCC faculty member last week who reported that a company had come by to let her know that they would be doing some dynamiting in her area, “not fracking’ they assured her, just exploratory work. This may be coming to our area sooner than you might think ?  In the meantime, I will leave you with this thought from Seamus McGraw: “The two most dangerous chemicals that are used far too liberally in the fracking process are testosterone and adrenaline.”  More to come.