Contemplation at the Beach
The wind is steady out of the north-northwest as I look south to the waves breaking, turning to fluffy white-water and then sliding up to stroke the shore and retreat. A two-liter coke bottle is tumbling and hopping toward the licking water as the stiff and steady semi-offshore wind hurries it along. The ocean rejects it on contact, carrying the offending littler back up the beach toward where it came from. It sits, seemingly in momentary contemplation of its plight as the wet sand briefly holding it dries and allows it to bolt away down the beach angling toward the water. Again it is refused. Again it contemplates. Again it bolts, making no progress in entering the sea, but certainly moving along down the coast.
I watch this interplay between land, wind, the ocean and mans offing. The plastic bottle that the ocean, the land and wind are refusing is a by-product of our love of fossil fuels. We toil and war for coal and oil to power our things. Yet there is so much energy to be harnessed without having to rely on those harmful fossil fuels. Without the greedy political elements, the electric cars of the late 1800’s might have led to some amazing things by now had man followed the technology instead of abandoning it for the ready, profitable and easy oil. Alas, here we are with our PCBs, acid rain, stinking cities and fouled waters.
I sit and watch the bottle, trapped in its destiny by all that free energy; more convertible watts of energy in the few miles in front and around me than all the fossil fuel-based energy man could produce in a year. The coke bottle has moved a couple hundred yards down the beach and getting good mileage on that energy it is using. Our mileage isn’t all that good on petroleum and coal. At our over one hundred year use of oil for gasoline, and current total use of over a million years worth of dead dinosaurs and plants per year, the tank is getting low and cost is rising.
Reckon I’ll go grab the bottle and toss it in the bin.