Despite using zero watts over more than a year, I’ve been paying over $20 per month for an electric bill. Part of it was to a power company that uses more wind and solar that charged me a monthly fee of another $6 or so. The other part was $17 a month to Con Ed, the power company, simply for being connected to the grid, not even using power.
I considered it insurance in case something failed, but I figured two things. First, I haven’t used power in my apartment in over a year. Second, they said I could restore power with a call. So I cancelled my Con Ed account. This is freedom.
Here’s what I stopped funding:
Smart aleck, know-it-alls will point out I’m still benefiting from the grid. My building is still connected. I use the washing machine in the basement and lights in the hallway. I can reconnect if I want to.
No shit, Sherlock. I’m not solving all the world’s problems myself overnight. I’m stopping my Con Ed subscription. And if everyone did what I’m doing it would make the world safer, more secure, more resilient, healthier, and frankly better in every way I can think of. It would make the people healthier, safer, more resilient, and better in every way too, including you.
From one perspective, I still live within a big safe net since I can call up and reconnect. From another, what from one perspective is a safety net is killing people and making us dependent, anxious, obese, and sick in many other ways. Once enough people drop their grid use by ninety percent or so, we can shrink it, use less fuel, mine less minerals, and kill fewer people and less wildlife as we live happier, healthier lives.
For 300,000 years until a century ago, not one human used a power grid, including all your ancestors except to or three generations.
Stop polluting so much. Stop rationalizing and justifying a worse life that hurts people. Stop funding the companies and culture making food deserts and poverty. Take some personal responsibility. Live by the Golden Rule, common decency, and stewardship.
Yes you can.
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