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Shonaleigh Cumbers: Grief is Love with Nowhere to Go; and One Green Thing: Clean Aviation Fuel

Posted on the 14 May 2020 by Angela Young @AngelaYoung4

Shonaleigh Cumbers is a Drut’syla. To quote from here:

She’s a living tradition holder. It’s a tradition you probably won’t have heard of. It’s a tradition that flourished in Jewish families, but that was wiped out during the holocaust. Almost wiped out. As far as we know, Shonaleigh is the last Drut’syla.

Drut’syla is the Yiddish word for storyteller, and what a storyteller Shonaleigh is. But despite the words above, she is working to expand and share the Drut’syla tradition. Her repertoire is huge but that’s hardly the point. The point is Shonaleigh knows stories inside out. She knows them in her body and she tells them, she doesn’t write them down. For these strange coronavirus times her Hope from the Jewish Tradition is a marvelous thing. It’ll take you twenty minutes to listen to but it’ll be worth it, I promise. The recording was made more than a year ago, but it’s just as relevant now as it was when it was recorded in New Zealand just after the Christchurch community suffered those mosque attacks in 2019. She begins:

‘Somebody once told me that grief is love with nowhere to go.’

Shonaleigh Cumbers: Grief is Love with Nowhere to Go; and One Green Thing: clean aviation fuel

And my One Green Thing this month is about alternatives to toxic aviation fuel. From a (slightly gloomy) Flight Free article – the organisation that urges us to stop flying – I discovered that batteries are still too heavy; alternative fuels can’t make up more than 50% of fuel used on a flight and carbon capture still leaves nitrogen oxide, another greenhouse gas, and vapour contrails in the atmosphere. But I did hear Professor Myles Allen, Coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5 degrees, saying, to Jim Al-Khalili on Radio 4’s Life Scientific in February, that alternative clean aviation fuel could be made:

This is a deeply solvable problem. I was speaking recently to a room full of young engineers from one of the big five oil companies … I was talking about the 1.5 degrees report … and somebody asked me, ‘Do you think there’s actually any hope we’ll limit global warming to 1.5 degrees?’

[So I asked them] ‘If you had to make the product you sell [oil] carbon neutral by 2050 would you be able to do it?’ … Senior management looked at their shoes but the young engineers said, ‘Would the same rules apply to everybody?’ [the big five oil-producing companies] I nodded. ‘Then of course we would.’

This is what frustrates me in the discussion of climate change solutions: the one institution in the world that has the capital, the cash flow, the engineering capability to solve the climate change problem is the global fossil fuel industry. It’s 10% of the world economy.  … We [should] require them to clean up their waste rather than hoping somebody else will do it for them.

Green food for thought, don’t you think?


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