High entropy farewell

Quadranting travelled to the coast yesterday to see his aunt turned into about 250kg of CO2.

Well, it would have been bit less than that. Auntie was pretty tiny and they cremated her in a lightweight bamboo coffin. Yet, for all its simplicity, this low-key funeral was still an exercise in high entropy living.

Mourners arrived from far and wide – all but one of them by car. Vans delivered wreaths. Gas from Norway or Russia roared through the burners at the crematorium. Coal and gas-powered internet connections brought everyone together.

Small event. Gargantuan system. That’s the nature of life in a developed country. Even the little things we do float on a roaring sea of pure heat. The fossil sources of that heat become less affordable every day. We don’t notice because the process runs at a glacial pace. Industrialised countries are also adept at displacing the bad effects on to poorer nations.

So yesterday the sun shone, birds sang and, amidst death, we scarcely noticed the real miracle we call modern life.