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Thread: Self-sufficiency

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Barrow, Alaska
    Posts
    190

    Self-sufficiency

    Hi. I recently did a commentary on Bush's Energy Plan for Alaska Public Radio,and emphasized that the Bush plan should start with we who live in the Alaska "Bush." that is what we call the rural towns and villages of Alaska.

    And he could help us all with long-standing energy problems, including supply and sky-high costs.

    But one thing that we are looking for might also have some value in the "Lower 48 states" as we call them.

    I,m talking about planning for maximum self-sufficiency in energy ----at the home level, and/or perhaps the neighborhood level or town level.

    Once we tie ourselves into a multi=state grid,we lose control of everything and become subject to unstable prices and supply.

    But, if we could somehow rely on local energy sources, including wind and solar, we would be in control. I know it can be expensive and unstable, depending on the climate and our systems.

    But couldn't we aim more at such ideas, rather than globalizing energy into something we no longer understand, and fear? Just asking.

    Earl
    Earl the Farthest North Cub Fan

  2. #2
         
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    28
    Great idea, Earl.

    My Libertarian/Ayn Randian, growing up in the 60's orientation to many things, tells me you're right on the money. How about starting righting at home with a heat exchanger/geo thermal energy system in each house? Supplement that with solar and wind, using electric, gas or oil only as a backup. The instability you speak of, while a real concern could be mitigated by a combination of these energy sources.

    I hate to be cynical but there may be too much money tied up in energy company profits to do much of this until our backs are against the wall. Or our children's backs.

    Interesting tie in here to the optimal community size discusion. Maybe it should be tied in to energy consumption, including gasoline use. Each community having to supply a certain amount of its own energy. Limitations on gasoline use for commuting. Problem is these types of things are often implemented through higher taxes. Another pet peeve of mine. Using the tax code to o implement this or that policy rather than simply to collect revenue. Another conversation for another day.

    Cheers,

    John

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Perry Norton's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    89
    My sense is that there are many systems available at the local level which would affect the heating or cooling of local residences - from Toronto to Tucson. But they are expensive, and the number of people who are willing to take advantage of the "technique" is too small to make a difference. The problem is how to make the "in" group large enough to attract people who would be willing to invest. It probably would take some Federal agency with a fair sized budget to make a change, and that isn't going to happen...unless we get a bunch of Sen. Jeffords.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Barrow, Alaska
    Posts
    190
    Perry, you are the voice of reason, and common sense, as usual. Thanks John as well.

    Small-scale energy may be a dream, especially on a volume which would make them affordable.

    But I am worried about the large national and even international proposals to deal with the energy situation.

    For example, accelerated nuclear plants before anyone has figured out how to deal with the waste materials.

    And consumerism which touts the huge SUV's (we have a Ford Escort wagon which does its best to naviage Arctic streets and storms)

    It is possible in a democracy to prioritize supply of energy, no matter if there are very wasteful life styles.

    And to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of a growing population and economy. But I would hope for something with more balance and long-range thinking and action.

    Cheers (My Cubs are winning---for a while. I'll go to sleep tonight with my Cubs cap nearby and a smile on my face)

    Earl