by Riverdave Owen
Christmas Day 2015
This editorial was published in the News & Observer on December 29, 2015

       It is 2 AM on Christmas morning 2015. I am up with the full moon overhead and the sound of the Eno River which is running high below my property. Feeling restless. It is a freaky 70 degrees outside. The voices of chorus frogs call in the distance. I've just served myself a cup of blended passionflower, skullcap and camomile tea to try to calm down. Deep down inwardly my spirit is asking, "Is it finally here, the long anticipated climatic BIG SHIFT?" Are these most unseasonal temperatures during our community's "Holy Days," a firm and deliberate message from the Holy Beings that we all honor in some form or another, that we get a grip on our reckless use of carbon-based energy and the lifestyles it supports?

       My friends, I challenge us to think of unplugging on Earth Day this coming year - April 22, 2016. As both a symbolic and exploratory act, let's flip the main switch on our home's electrical panel for 24 hours. I think we all know intuitively that such a day will be forced upon us sooner or later. Perhaps if we preempt it even for one day, such an act might help us "shift" our own perspective towards climate change so as to be able to make some real and long term adjustments in our carbon consumption behavior. Spring weather on April 22 should not even require heating or air conditioning. Flipping the switch probably will not be a huge burden. Our hot water heaters will still be lukewarm at the end of the day. Owners of refrigerators may want to keep an eye on their perishables. But I say, let's give it a try ...