On the roof today charging my solar kit, I saw my first flurries of the season. I’m in month 18 disconnected from the electric grid, as I reported in TIME and Ars Technica. Wow, I just noticed the TIME piece appeared over a year ago.
The temperature dropped to the mid-30s F (3 C) and it was windy. I’d prefer to keep indoors, but the battery was low and this close to the solstice, I can’t take sunlight for granted. I haven’t been able to charge the battery to full for a couple weeks.
The sun is only high enough to charge from about 10am to 2pm. Even at noon it only powers the panels to about 75 percent of their capacity, so even if I charge the whole day, I can’t fully charge the battery from empty.
Also, when the wind blows like today, I don’t want to risk leaving them unwatched. They can easily catch the wind like a sail. Actually, I can leave them flat, but then they only deliver about 50%.
What’s the alternative, to pollute unnecessarily?
The alternative is to plug the apartment back in? People who haven’t felt the liberation of alleviating suffering of innocent people don’t understand the freedom that comes from living by one’s values, stopping trying to convince myself I’m helpless, that my pollution won’t hurt anyone, or that without polluting and depleting we’ll return to the Stone Age.
Any parent has worked harder and endured more to raise their children than I have. A dog owner has. And I get at least as much joy.
It’s all about leadership: systemic change begins with personal change
I hope no one is confused into thinking I’m doing this experiment for my personal impact. I’m practicing the basics of sustainability leadership. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. I’m practicing, developing the skills to lead on sustainability.
Check out my sustainability leadership workshops if interested in learning to lead on sustainability.
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees