Farewell, My Subaru is subtitled, "An Epic Adventure in Local Living." and certainly earns that moniker. Although
"local living" can imply lackadaisical browsing at the farmer's market, Doug Fine throws his commitment to sustainability into drive and never hits the brakes. Once a war correspondent. Fine writes about his attempts to maintain his modern lifestyle— including ice cream and stereo subwoofers—in the face of his desire to reduce his dependency on fossil fuels. To achieve his green dream, he tackles four major projects at his New Mexico ranch: raising livestock, installing solar panels, converting his vehicle to run on restaurant grease, and growing a Iarge garden. Despite the apparent simplicity of these goals. Fine manages to turn his pursuit into hilarious misadventures. His very first task is adopting a pair of nanny goats to ensure a steady supply of homemade ice cream. But shortly after picking them up from his local breeder, the desert sky cast down thunder, lightning and lots of rain. The resulting deluge--the worst August flood in history—forced him to ford two different rivers separating his new ranch from the city. While he struggled to keep wayward
fish out of his car, his infant goats butted the windshield with their tiny horns. Although most people will never battle predatory coyotes or scald themselves with solar-heated water, even the least green of us can learn a lesson or two from Fine. He is honest and funny when
describing his experiments, sharing both his failures and accomplishments. He includes some political commentary, bur his candor should be refreshing to even the most apolitical reader. Overall, Fine's experience shows us that even when it isn't easy to change your lifestyle, it can be incredibly rewarding. To assist us in our own endeavors, he recommends five major steps people can take towards sustainability. Even though they aren't as painful as most of his escapades, these suggestions— from eating locally to supporting smart growth—can provide a new perspective. For anyone who is interested in living "off the grid" or just likes to laugh. Farewell, My Subaru illustrates how the road to sustainability can lead to hilarity and wisdom in equal degree. Brescher Shea, S. (2009). Review. New York State Conservationist, 64(3), 31.
Rolling Into the Future, Jonathan Sales
[A Revolution to Save the World], Holly Sorrells