I started my experiment about two weeks off my electric billing cycle, so about two weeks into my sixth month, I think this bill marks my fifth in a row with zero kilowatt-hours:
Every month from the first until this one, I’ve thought I couldn’t go on much longer and expected to give up. But I keep thinking of people displaced from their land for fuel and minerals I don’t need. What right do I have to pay companies that, for example in the case that podcast guest Katie Redford brought up in Doe versus Unocal, enslave, rape, and murder innocent people?
I’m losing touch with that part of mainstream American culture that abdicates, capitulates, and resigns to fund such cruelty, telling themselves what they do doesn’t matter, including my close family and friends. Of course it matters. Exxon doesn’t buy its products. We do. Voting counts for nothing compared to spending tens of thousands of dollars to polluting places like Amazon.com, Starbucks, Google, Apple, Facebook, McDonald’s, Whole Foods, Delta, American Airlines, Uber, and so on.
Like the America I grew up learning about but unlike America for the past several decades, I prefer taking responsibility to resignation, abdication, and capitulation.
Still, I have to balance priorities. I’m confident I’ll finish month six, but the sun is lower on the horizon so its light has to pass through more atmosphere so doesn’t charge as much. In the summer I could start charging around 6am. Now I have to wait until about 10am, so I have less time and flexibility of when I can charge. It started getting colder, but it’s warm again and is forecast to hit 75 F (24.5C) next week. Soon it may get too cold to stay on the roof too long.
For all these reasons, I expect to reconnect my apartment in month 7, December. I also expect to disconnect again closer to the spring equinox than the fall equinox, even after the sun reaches the same altitude since it will still be colder.
I wonder how much more power I’ll use when I need only flick a switch and plug something in.
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