How Far Left?

Alternative medicine-- more left than me.

Alternative medicine– more left than me.

So, they’ve invited me to speak and help present at the workshop about electric vehicles, at Solarfest, since we drive the two Leafs. I’m happy to help—I’m more than comfortable with public speaking, I’m obviously interested in promoting ideas that are good for the planet, I live in an off-grid solar and wind-powered house, and I clearly love the two cars. (I can’t quite express exactly how happy I am with these two cars. Thrilled, ecstatic?) I’d heard of Solarfest, and had a mental picture of some sort of combination of instructional workshops about solar power, and vendor displays. They hold it in Tinmouth, VT, every summer, about sixty miles south of here.

So I pulled up the Solarfest website. Hmmm. Their focus is on solar power and sustainability, AND it’s a music festival. Folk singing and barefoot dancing not being my thing.

But, the vast majority of the workshops are right up my alley. The whole three-day get-together is “zero waste”—everything brought in needs to be compostable or recyclable. Despite the thousands attending, they generated less than a hundred pounds of non-compostable garbage last year. And, the whole festival is powered by solar power, net-metered from the farm’s solar arrays. There are workshops about solar and wind, passive house design, green building techniques and materials, living in smaller dwellings, reducing the influence of money in politics, the divestment movement, and much more.

On the other hand—there are some far-left offerings in the mix, which reminds me yet again of the wide spectrum of ideas out there. Just to mention a few—protest-song singing, peace demonstrations, fashions from found materials, herbal medicines, vehicles powered by used French-fry oil, and “celebration dances”. Hmmmm. These sound quite a bit like an event just advertised in the local paper—“Climate change poetry reading”.

So by the standards of my remaining friends in Texas, and some of my relatives, I’m the sandal-wearing hippie and left-wing liberal. But by the standards of some of these Solarfest attendees, I might seem more akin to G. W. Bush (heaven forbid). Hopefully what this really means is that I’m somewhere in the middle, which is where most of the truth lies, in my opinion. So I’m looking forward to attending, and I promise to give all these more-left events an open-minded evaluation. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find myself caught up in some celebration dance.

Image credit: rido / 123RF Stock Photo