If you think pollution, pushing people off their land, and putting homo sapiens at risk of global collapse is some abstract future risk, I invite you to take your head out of the sand. People are dying by the millions annually from pollution today. Fossil fuel companies pay militias to enslave, rape, and kill people for oil.
I prefer not to look away, nor to limit my imagination to thinking I can’t influence beyond my personal actions, nor that humanity can’t change, nor our cultural lies that living sustainably means deprivation or sacrifice. I choose to lead, which means first living by my values.
That’s right, I’m updating on acting in the cold.
If I waited until my building approved permanent installing solar panels or I had to research a long-term solution, I still wouldn’t have started. But as Theodore Roosevelt advised:
Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.
In my case, that meant portable panels and battery. They aren’t a long-term solution, but neither was the Wright brothers’ biplane at Kitty Hawk.
I’ve had a mindset shift, now I’m on a process of continual improvement. Tomorrow finishes my sixth month with my apartment disconnected from the electric grid. This weekend, the temperature dropped below freezing, but my battery was dead. Do you think I’m going to let a little cold stop me from reaching six months?!?
Humans have lived on Manhattan about ten thousand years. How have we let technology that was supposed to help us make us less resilient and more dependent? Here I am bundling up to take the panels up to the roof, battery in hand and the foldable panels at my feet:
Here are the panels on the roof, facing north, though the picture doesn’t capture the wind, which blew the panels around like sails, so I had to stay and hold them.
My only regret: I should have cleaned my mirror before taking the picture.
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