By Alec Finlay
no energy knows
where to begin
wave energy is in
the highs and lows
of coming and going
waves are written
by weather systems
in winds which distress
the ocean’s surface
but think :
air is thin
water is thick
air is similar
the world over
not so water
a wave in water
is so much more
than a wave in air
a device must float
but leave off
being a boat
the power of nature
as currents surge
through the coiled gyre
of a sunken chamber
it’s not the median tide
but the storm –
that will finally decide
these devices pump
in the dark
the sea is one giant adapter
Around the fire
by Andreas Bock Michelsen
A piece of wood, a scrap of flint,
a glowing spark in flight
They meet to blaze, illuminate
and heat the darkest night
Around, we dance and build and talk,
but we are far and few
A thought occurs, a wondering:
what if the fire grew?
With fuel we stoke and fan the flame
we dream the future’s dream
We put the fire in our ships
to steer against the stream
The fire leads us from the dark,
its pledge: enough for all!
Eyes full of hope, we barely see
that this is where we fall
The fire has become too great,
no longer can we stoke
The flames have singed our brethren’s skin
and we are breathing smoke
With hope extinguished, vision clears,
we thank and leave the flame.
What does it mean? Must we return
to darkness whence we came?
Or rather, fight against the stream
with hope that has no end
by seeking out another force
of nature to befriend
by Amy McTurk
It started with the sun
The crush of the water.
I was the wooden mill
Pumping. Cyclical heat.
I was the thigh muscle,
Stretching across, pushing vast.
I, the unseen hand on the sail
I, the ghost in the bamboo
Piped, splitting sea from salt
They called me a Revolution.
The capture of a thunderbolt.
I was the shovelled coal
Cranking. Metallic heat.
I was the turning wheel,
Stretching further, pushing vaster.
I, whose birthplace became a blazing fortress
I, whose invisible presence now fills homes
Piping, splitting — past from present
Rich from poor
For my Revolution, chiefs manipulated
Persuaded and lands cleared.
I am the hidden driver of invasion
I power war and I am the power of war,
Pushing globally, stretching ocean.
I now guide.
I now supply,
Hotter still, ninety per
lattice structure And tubular
Vat-held, am the axel, am tarmacked friction, am burning flares am the push of a button am the flick of a light am production lines am mechanical arms am arms with hair am a thirsting more am a crescendo am red am speed am heat am speed am demand am
the battery icon threatening to die.
Aloe vera on sunburnt skin. Red
Runs green, cooling
blue All sounds ring
“re” Renew, recycle,
Starting again with the
sun, The crush of the
I am waiting, coiled tight, for the promise of a cyclical release.
2015 PARIS AGREEMENT
– after Gabrielle Bates & Tiana Clark
climate refugee is not poetic writing about climate refugee is not poetic.
this sole word weighs heavy as my father’s name. & sleepless worry folds
a village of herders, the way fire ravages the wildflowers. my little sister,
writes a note she hides beside her bed in the shack. it begins, dear El Nino.
another word for climate refugee is worry. another word for worry is food ration.
another word for malnutrition is cholera. & sometimes my sister is both.my blood
barreled through my body until there is a border on her back— child labour.
which is to say sometimes a girl’s body is a dove’s neck
it’s April & my brother has spent a year drinking from test tubes. if the past is just
a parable for the future, then staying alive should be easier— a delicacy each day
going rare— the symbolism which isn’t lost on a refugee like me: there is no
balance here. cattle as a species are already dying.
this heatwave, mother of our circling, the name we gave to the far side of the horizon—
sealed with bruises. i am running back & forth between the house of silence & the house
of greed shouting over & over with ink-stained fingers: isn’t it only sensible to pull
the emergency break? shouldn’t we abandon this dirty energy for now?
climate refugee is not poetic is the small brightness of my mother’s shed. her arms filled
with goat milk, each dark step of the way home. & my father is singing to his six-year old
daughter, thick with longing. the forecast on the radio claimed it will rain, it didn’t.
for so long i wanted to give the world my eyes—
OUTSIDE THE TREES FLAME
– after the bushfire in Australia
the air keeps its dense shape.
surely drought & bushfire have the same face.
i can barely remember the scent of her hands:
my sister, her infant voice humming my name
from my father’s burning porch. it’s taken
awhile for me to admit, humanity ended
a long time ago but no one noticed.
i looked out the window & saw her
from behind— the koala, the way she
flung her forelimbs like she was desperate,
& being eaten by a visible predator.
& did i tell you yet, that my country is a menacing
cocktail of high temperatures & gusty wind.
in the silence of our house, hidden by shutters,
i remember all the beautiful things
suffocated by fumes. i remember thinking
our policymakers were kind but knowing
they were mean. i remember thinking
our PM was sober but knowing he only speaks
of green eternal economic growth. sometimes
i am in a raging battle with my country.
i can’t stop thinking the human significance
of environmental policies & then i remember
they are cherry bombs thrown into the crowd,
before it’s divvied among the ghettoes of time
& air. this way, i mean to tell you, i am tired of
the circumstance of being here, waiting on the
corner for a future mirage.
i live in a blanket of smog
at times my heart turns into bells
when i say, we’ve lost it, i am referring
to the future— home is falling apart,
the blue beautiful world my mother
left behind needs our help. when i say
i am self-flagellating, i mean my mouth,
my teeth, my tongue— the scrubland
is changing. how tricky this makes
the word drought. & our lazy elders
still gather all its argument for polite
emissions. listen— memory dims,
& the past becomes a pentimento—
like a scene, a kind of snapshot,
a photograph in my head, where
my extended family, are all smiling
& they are not even the ones who
survived the flood.
By Rebecca Sharp
Every memory now –to picture these things is to peer
through a lens smeared with crude.
Faces curated airlessly in layers of smoke, muted
mid-joke. Angle-tilted, sepiatic –yet this is no trick
of nostalgia, it’s inextricable.
It’s all those holiday towns, grey-scale with rain.
Shag carpets –custodial pelts of dust and dead pets;
Hogmanay party detritus. Glittered with magazine cut-outs
as our gummy fingers keep adjusting the collage.
Magpies, aye –and I do understand that it all has to burn
in a current that’s faster than archives.
No more stashing it in boxes, sorrow
and joy, neatly ordered by year.
It’s all these little endings,
impossible not to bear.
What drilling does (i)
Drilling does what drilling does –and disappears inside itself. Perpetuates a motion
that revolves around the action of pointing to a dark unknowable core. And
a hole appears as evidence to justify its progress –and never appears,
but a drill-shaped space just big enough to hold itself and separate
the rest. Because that’s what magic does. And core suggests
a finite place –a focal point; at once beginning, middle
and an end –if not in sight,at heart –a flattened
trinity, blackened light. A way to say that’s
far enough, for now –no more. And it’s
true that cores hold the seeds of
that thing’s image of itself –
so when there’s nowhere
left to go, maybe it’s
E N E R G Y
E N E R G
E N E R
E N E
E Q U
E Q U I
E Q U I T
E Q U I T Y
Did we forget we’re tectonic,
living on the scales of a giant fish?
Our inheritance an armour of mirrors
Formerly the vertical world, we’ve bustled
inwards to find more of ourselves nestled
restlessly between briny ribs of soil –
a Malthusian sea creature, filtering itself.
Anciently dead –so dead it’s alive again
with a starring role in new mythologies
of endlessness. Ceaselessly whispering
its black mass.
Slippery things –life
and death. And what about love?
What well of forgiveness can we hope
to find that would ever hold enough?
by Alicia Cohen
Introduction, Oregon August 2020
marred tongue burnt
fire’s ash sails
on redgrey air
lodges in lungs
heavy as a stranded manatee
inside mass extinction
strain to hear fire and flood
to come and lost Holocene
mood furred with doom
you do not weep —
the rains will begin again
and in fall
will fruit hiding in
a rich blackland
The freeway offramp says
Columbia River Gorge
names of the
great river sailed in air
it was not exactly Lewis and Clark who suffocated
the river’s ancient poems
the names of
another world mass
we never stop summoning
microbe tree insect fungi legged
leafy and watery gather together to
horror and waste
eyeing new forms of our
ancient love may
pleasure be our
all species for all time
| 84.6 gigatons reduced CO2 |
The wind industry is marked by a proliferation of turbines, dropping costs, and heightened performance. In most locales, wind is now less expensive than coal-generated electricity with no fuel costs and no air pollution. Ongoing cost reduction will soon make wind energy the least expensive source of electricity, perhaps within a decade. An increase in onshore wind from 3 to 4 % of world electricity use to 21.6 % by 2050 could reduce emissions by 84.6 gigatons.
Fly and wind
round to dive in delicious
air fests of future chitchat parley
and huddle in songs humming
up on tranquil and storming
wings the crow early calling
on the wind sails and
flies fast power and
currents of air gale zephyr
hear through the
grapevine in the air
wind speed this road winds dangerously: TWIST
AND TURN, twist, bend, loop, zigzag,
weave, snake, furl, entwine, lace, loop,
unwind, calm down, rest
# 78 Microgrids
|An enabling technology—emissions, cost, and savings are
embedded in renewable energy| The macrogrid is a centralized system where
massive plants (historically coal fired) distribute energy across long-
distance power lines to individual users. A microgrid is a localized grouping of
distributed energy sources, like solar, wind, or in-stream hydro, together with energy storage and load management
“It feels good to take that power back. We need to focus on these 2.9 square miles and make it a beautiful city again.”—Nandi Frye
Tree rootworks grid and
go deep into earth’s
ancestral layers feeding
sun stoked green leaves that
bud and wave feasting in
Highland Park is a forested city
tucked inside Detroit ten
thousand people home to Ford’s
first Assembly Line
in the 1980s industry abandoned the city
“I woke up to see a truck removing this huge streetlight. Then the city was dark at night after that.
They just came and took all our lightposts. You take it for granted in a city, you need electricity and light like you need water.”
The public utility serving Highland Park is DTE. In 2011, without public review or consent from elected officials, DTE removed two-thirds of Highland Park’s streetlights, leaving concrete stumps. DTE claimed the municipality had not paid their electricity bill. DTE did not merely turn off electric service, they invested in the removal of most of the city’s streetlights. Highland Park is 93% African American.
some debts dazzle
us shining outside
the wild solar infinities of photons cascading to earth’s surface nonstop
wild solar infinities of photons
bouncing off carbon-form
green leaves their belly-
wing shapes lilting in heat
evolution exuding oxygen flourish
full of our debtlessness
In response to the abdication of basic services, a grassroots organization called Soulardarity formed to relight the streets. Out of a sense of debt to people all over the globe who are also vulnerable to climate change, they chose solar street lamps. Soulardarity’s goal is to replace all of the city’s 1000 removed streetlights with a community scale solar microgrid. The microgrid will provide energy resilience and save the community $16 million annually.
lit care morphed
and manifest neighbors
scientists, parents, poets, workers, activists, caretakers, engineers,
hold each other
up to catch morning sun
tuned to wavelength ranges and split light to rainbow on
photovoltaic plates energies expand outward like choice
is interlinking, a webwinding proliferation
On this earth every flower is small and perfumes its season in the sun —
the bees come
world size waves
gather together gardens microgrid
communities shining stored light
in the starry vast night
#42 Heat Pumps
| 5.2 gigatons reduced CO2 |
The building sector worldwide uses approximately 32% of all energy generated. Maximum efficiency in heating and cooling could cut energy use by 30 to 40%. To increase efficiency, one technology stands out from the rest: heat pumps. Like a refrigerator, a heat pump has a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator, and transfers heat from a cold space to a hot one. In winter, heat pumps pull heat from outside and sending it into a building. In summer, heat is pulled from inside and sent out. Heat pumps are easy to adopt, well understood, and already in use around the world. They can supply indoor heating, cooling, and hot water from one integrated unit. When paired with renewable energy sources and proper building insulation, heat pumps could eliminate almost all emissions from heating and cooling.
Higher energy molecules evaporate first
draw and pump leaving low energy
molecules behind pump pumping pumps
the warmth of the
pass through a pump
skinny mouth flip it
turn the world upside
down compressor and
condenser and fan
oppose one hot
pull my switch down flip it
and reverse it
stepO stepO flow-to hothot go-soO hot so O
slipslip through the hothothothothot
slipslip through the stepO stepO flow-to
hothot go-soO hot so O
it reverse and it flip down switch
my pull it flow froze one hot one
slide fuel fossil
it reverse and it flip
fan and condenser and compressor down upside world the turn
mouth skinny a
through air the
of warmth the
pump first evaporate molecules energy higher