How Would You Spend Your Daily 100 watts? (May 20, 2010)
Correspondent Joe H. presents a model for investing in our own electrical generation.
Instead of sending money every month to the local utility, what if you spent that sum on solar panels? How much power would you be generating for your household? How would you "spend" that electricity?
Readers often request more focus on solutions, as opposed to more doom-and-gloom dissection of our current mire of corrupt crony capitalism dependent on cheap oil and an exponential increase in debt.
Correspondent Joe H. offers us a question which leads directly to pondering solutions which are in our own hands.
The vast majority of us send money to the local utility for electricity every month. What if we invested that same sum in our own power generation? It's called "owning the means of production" in a quasi-Marxist perspective, "self-sufficiency" in another context, and "Yankee ingenuity"--a concept which has almost been lost in our self-indulgent, entitlement culture which looks to sell-your-soul-to-the-Devil "financial innovations" as the "solution" to our problems.
Here is Joe's commentary:
Starting point: Re-read The Art of Survival, Taoism and the Warring States (June 27, 2008):
Thank you, Joe, for a thought-provoking question.
Just as a larger context for the question, here is a chart depicting the intersection of four great macro-trends:
In responding to Joe's question, I would immediately grant that as he mentions, northern states might not receive enough bright sun annually to justify a solar array on strictly financial terms.
But as I argue in Survival+, there is value in control of assets and production which is not easily quantified. Even if a solar array only generates power during the summer months, it is within your control. That's valuable.
Or the investment in "tools" Joe describes could be made in other technologies more suitable for cold climes, such as geoexchange heating. The Earth is about 50-55 degrees F. some feet down; drill a deep narrow shaft, run a pipe down and use the Earth's latent heat to warm water to 50 F. The water then need be heated only 10-15 F to warm the house to a comfortable ambient temperature.
Reverse the process in hot summers. Water at 50 F will cool a house quite well.
Yes, you need a small pump to circulate the water. Hmm, how about 100 watts?
Add in some (comparatively cheap) insulation and glazing films and the 50% of the nation's energy consumed heating and cooling buildings drops considerably--at least in your house.
Solutions abound, both at the macro and household level. Are they easy or cheap? No.
But that's not the same as saying they don't exist.
is now open for aggregating our collective intelligence.
Of Two Minds is now available via Kindle: Of Two Minds blog-Kindle
"This guy is THE leading visionary on reality.
He routinely discusses things which no one else has talked about, yet,
turn out to be quite relevant months later."
NOTE: contributions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.
Or send him coins, stamps or quatloos via mail--please request P.O. Box address.
Your readership is greatly appreciated with or without a donation.
For more on this subject and a wide array of other topics, please visit
All content, HTML coding, format design, design elements and images copyright © 2010 Charles Hugh Smith, All rights reserved in all media, unless otherwise credited or noted.
I would be honored if you linked this wEssay to your site, or printed a copy for your own use.
|Survival+||blog fiction/novels articles my hidden history books/films what's for dinner||home email me|