Places | On the Road

How a Lake and Former Coal Mine Can Help Us Think About Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy, and How We Seek to Control Temperature

Collecting and burning wood, I felt close to my family. It was something tangible, something that kept us warm.

I was neck-deep in crisp lake water, on my knees as if suspended in prayer. It was the beginning of a summer abroad with my girlfriend, Liesel, and at this point in our travels we were right by the Polish border in Germany where early June doesn’t see temperatures above the mid-70s Fahrenheit. The water hadn’t fully shaken winter, and I liked that. Liesel, who grew up in the subtropical climate of South Carolina, stayed back on the beach to read a book, protesting that this was definitely not beach weather.

Tagebau Berzdorf,