The annual Christmas Letter

Last time I promised to try to be Christmasy, so here’s my attempt. Hopefully those of you who don’t know me or care about my personal life will be tolerant.

It’s been an incredibly long year for me. Probably even longer for my wife, Barbara. I’ve now completed my book (if it’s ever truly complete short of finding a traditional publisher) and it’s available in two local book stores, as well as from elsewhere on this website, using Paypal. The title is In The Service of Gaia: The Call and it costs $14.95. It’s currently only self-published, but you’d never know it to look at it: standard 5.5 x 8.5 “perfect bound” paperback with cover photo by my good friend and quickly rising photographer, Jim McKinniss. Neighbors Bookstore in So. Lk. Tahoe has arranged for a signing February 17th.

Mine is a radical new approach to environmentalism which dares ask the question: What if Al Gore is right about everything except the severity of the impending crisis and the notion that there is still time left to avert it? In a Vision in 1986 I saw the environmental crisis as ending life on earth and was told we have to get off the planet. The book, however, is written from my historical position of the rational mathematician I’ve been all my life, and examines whether the Vision’s content is reasonable. Unfortunately my conclusion is that it is, so don’t anticipate a real “feel good” experience, although the message is one with some hope in it, especially if you’ve even imagined the possibility of its first bit..

I retired in December of 2003 and cannot imagine how I ever found time for a job all those years. But the money; that came in handy. Barb went back to work this August, largely driven by the desire to loosen the grip frugality had on us, but also to try to cope with the common problem confronting old couples when suddenly the one that’s gone off to work every day for twenty years is right there in the house all day.

Partly motivated by that latter pressure, but mainly in an effort to get started on the next phase of this Mission to Save Gaia that my book hopes to kick off, I traveled to the east coast this summer, spending virtually the whole season there. Started with a presentation at the ninth annual conference of the Mars Society. Well received, but virtually the only thing specific to the trip which I can say was a big success.

Being on the road had numerous very positive benefits, though. I’ve never been so productive at the things that have long needed doing, but which were not specific to traveling. Alone in the van for weeks on end lends itself to working more than you might suspect. Things like getting the website up (www.to-mars.org), getting the book printed and bound, rewriting the book proposal, starting work on a seasonal calendar (new year = vernal equinox, seasons not broken into months, fests preceding each equinox or solstice), and planning the start of a rejuvenation of an earlier environmental group I headed in the 90’s, now called Common Sense for the Third Millennium (CS3rd).

By the way, we’re taking memberships now. Charter membership is set for $35.00 per annum. We’re 501(c)3, so your membership is deductible. Send a check made out to “Common Sense-3rd ” directly to P.O. Box 7987 S.L.T. CA, 96158. Thanks.

My brother says I’m “driven,” and he is absolutely correct. Another positive from the trip was that Barb and I are still together, which was not a good bet in July. I can’t say I blame her: I have no idea how well I’d hold up if my partner of 20+ years suddenly dove into a “Mission” as completely as I have. Especially one driven by such an extreme event as a “Vision.” So hold good thoughts for us. We’re trying very hard to make “us” work without making me abandon my soul, which is what giving up on the Vision would be for me.

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