Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The San Francisco Chronicle's web site (www.sfgate.com) had three inter-related stories today, though they might not seem connected.
The first (a MUST read) is a column by Mark Morford about how the environment has reached a watershed point (pardon the pun) and that we are on the brink of oil prices and supply getting so out of control that all the these cheap goods we are so addicted to (petroleum based clothes for example) will disappear sooner than you can swear WAL-MART.
It's a column and frantic, but it's enough to make you want to stock up on seeds and hope you can live on zucchini and heat your home with a wood stove.
The second piece is about gasoline prices and how they are escalating so fast that no one seems able to predict when -- of if -- the price will stablize. Commuters are already starting to freak out at the costs. People on the low end of the economic scale are having to choose between gasoline or a burrito. And mass transit companies (and the airlines) are saying they will have to raise fares, and soon, or go out of business.
The third story - about a bizarre as any I've run across in recently weeks - is about a site run by a young Norwegian couple that is all about protecting the environment, but features pornography as the hook to get people to sign up for the 'pay site.'
They are dedicated to saving the planet, and don't mind showing their butts (and a lot more, I suppose) to get people's attention and dollars.
Collectively, the stories are depressing (except for the third one, I suppose), because it all seems so out of control.
And people wonder why I read the comics last when I read a newspaper. I need to see the lighter side of all this, if there is one.