Monday, August 30, 2010

Why is Combatting Climate Change Such Hard Work?

T is for "Teachín" - pronounced te-ockeen (the tongue just about skips the e) - "Little House" in Irish. More on that below.

Today we have good news - or should that be dreadful news?

The leading sceptic of global warming - Bjorn Lomborg - has now done a complete about face and is actually coming out with a book advocating we immediately start pouring billions of dollars at the problem. You're awfully late to the party, Bjorn, but you're welcome. Read all about it in The Guardian

And to make this matter personal, I am embarking on a project of my own which has been close to my heart since I bought this place over six years ago.

From the beginning, I had dreamed of a cabin up on the hill behind my house. A cabin with a difference. A cabin completely off the grid - by that I mean on a wind turbine with rainwater collected in an enclosed barrel to be used for washing, etc., a compostible toilet and a tiny one log woodstove for cooking and heating. A cabin using recycled material where possible with its own deck and loft bed with a skylight for star-gazing. And a big desk and easy chair.

This is all beginning to unfold. The plans were drawn up and tonight Gordon-the-Gift was here, with glee, he had managed to salvage the flooring from an old church which is now going to be used for the cabin.

However, and it is a huge one: I am getting absolutely no co-operation or information on any of this from municipal, provincial or federal environmental agencies. Along with 99% of the population our governments are positively snoring when it comes to making any changes to our existing utilities infrastructure and the desperate need for change. (Did someone mention powerful oil, coal and hydro lobbies?)

My own research has been in collusion with other private citizens who are anxious to reduce their own environmental footprints and contribute less in some small way to climate change. We are the change we wish to see in our tiny part of this precious planet. For instance, I am in touch with a tiny manufacturing facility in BC who makes these little teensy woodstoves for boats that no one wants to hear about for houses. I could go on.

The cabin will be for rent to artists and writers and anyone who just wants to get away from it all and live on a hill for a while with a magnificent view of the bay.

Below is a picture of the site~~

I am seriously excited about all of this. Scared too. But I knew if I didn't start this year it would never happen.

There will be ongoing progressive cabin photos and blogging along the way. And the name of this project? - An Teachín.


  1. This sounds absolutely delightful!

    Can I put my name on the reservations list?

    The view is wonderful. This would be a great place to sketch and do watercolors, for sure.


  2. That sounds like a wonderful and worthwhile project. I hope you get it off the ground, no matter the bureaucracy.

  3. Oh my - I will watch the progress of the cabin with great interest - I have a similar project in mind (for about 20 years time!) to set myself up with a "Lifestyle Plot" as they are termed here in NZ - take myself completely off the grid and away from being dependant so much on others. I will be picking up loads of hints and tips!

    And also possibly starting to save the money for a "get away from it all" writing holiday :-)

  4. Interesting project. Typical of course that the public bodies are mainly indifferent and unhelpful. But I'm sure there are plenty of unofficial sources to give you the help you need.

  5. I can't wait to watch your dream grow into reality. Big changes come in small steps. However, I'm sure it won't seem small when you are in the midst of it. Add my name to the reservations list.

  6. sounds exiting, something i been thinking about. I can't wait to read how you make out. The location is beautiful !!

  7. Wow! That sounds like an amazing project. I will follow with interest.

  8. Wow that's fantastic! I look forward to reading all about it!

  9. Wonderful plan, WWW! Very brave too. I shall be eagerly looking forward to reading of your progress. :-)

  10. Nice idea. We intend to convert the '100 Acre Wood House' to heat from wood, with a wood stove and wood furnace to heavily supplement the oil heating. We already have well water and a septic. I used a wood stove for twelve years to heat the narrowboat I lived on, and it was wonderful. I could give you a number of manufacturers, but sadly they're all in Britain!

  11. Good luck with the cabin. Pity you are so far away.

    I could se myself happily living and writing in your cabin on the hill. Are dogs allowed?

  12. Good for you! If more and more of us begin to do what you are doing, pretty soon there will be a movement in the right direction. It is no longer just "corporate America," it's "corporate world" we have to push against!

  13. @Vicki:
    yes it is a very inspiring place, An Teachin! Your name is on the list!
    The thing is the bureaucracy are ignoring me!
    You'd be totally welcome!
    I've a feeling you'd love Newfoundland!
    I'm picking everyone's brains!
    You're on the list!
    I think the more of us that do this, the better off the world will be!
    there's life in the old dog yet!
    You were an inspiration with your outdoor privy!
    Wow, I'm pulling together quite a list here!
    Yes the progress will be recorded!
    My well water is to kill for but the cabin is uphill quite a ways from it. Good luck with all your wonderful plans!
    Dogs are totally welcome, they help keep the moose and lynx in line!
    Yes, we all need to take steps in the right direction to help poor Gaia!

  14. Yep, you can definitely add me to the ever-growing list of likely future tenants!

    Like the name. I did something similar with our new dinghy ... named her Baidin. Now if I could just get my Polack husband to stop saying Bojeen.

  15. Ah Tessa!
    what a pleasure it would be, a stor!
    Our Gaeilge is a delicate tongue and I've had the same dismal record with trying to teach it to the near and dear.
    PS and was there ever a lovesong like Baidin Dilish?

  16. You are doing what I wanted to do when I built my home in the woods a year ago. I wanted a wood burning fireplace. Have had that in other homes but in my 70's just did not know about continueing to bring in wood. Would love to build something like you are doing in my woods. Will be following your project.


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