Month Six Disconnected From the Electric Grid in Manhattan

October 22, 2022 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature

Today begins my sixth month disconnected from the electric grid. I didn’t think I would make it more then a couple days when I started. Instead, I’ve found the experience liberating and joyful. Not hurting other people eases the conscience. In fact, connecting with them through taking more personal responsibility for how I affect them, including you, mitigated through the environment.

It’s a sustainability leadership exercise first and foremost. More than half the world lives in cities and I’d wager the majority believe, as I did before trying, that what I’m doing is impossible and not joyous. You can’t lead someone else to live by values you live the opposite of, partly why there are effectively no leaders in sustainability and why no one knows what they’re talking about in motivating others in sustainability. They’re just spreading facts and numbers, like someone trying to teach piano only having read books on music theory but not having played even a scale. More like having broken a few pianos with a sledgehammer.

solar roof empire state building

It brings me more in touch with the seasons. Days are shorter and the sun lower on the horizon, giving me less time to charge and less power. It’s colder so a couple mornings already my fingers were almost too cold to type when I brought my computer to work on the roof when charging. I’ve identified due south in positioning and angling the panels for maximum power.

Because of the cold and decreased charging ability, I don’t know if I’ll finish month six or reconnect to the grid this month. A few people are encouraging me to make half a year, including a friend who is an executive at a major oil company with whom I’m working on changing that company’s culture, so it’s already helping me lead others. I’ve anticipated stopping before and kept going, so I can’t tell if I’ll make this whole month. The next few days the forecast is for rain and clouds, which makes charging hard. I may have to rely a lot more on salads like in July and August, when the panels and battery broke. I made it through that month, so maybe this month too.

At least I can tell that I can go the six months from spring equinox to fall equinox every year without trouble. Today is a month past the fall equinox, so I should say the eight months from a month before the spring equinox to the month after the fall equinox. I expect, anyway. I’m experimenting to find out.

I charged the panels on the roof today, which meant climbing eleven extra flights to the roof twice. Today also happened to be a lifting day, meaning three sets of deadlifts, squats, benches, military presses, upright rows, and curls, as well as the usual morning and evening calisthenics, which included fifty-five burpees and a bunch more lifts and stretches. Plus I went to the coop, meaning walking about two miles. I accidentally arrived after closing so have to repeat that walk tomorrow. Does this amount of moving around sound like an active lifestyle? It feels both active and normal to me, so not sure how it does to others, but it also sounds about on par with the level of activity most of our ancestors had.

The experiment remains one of my life’s more educational and rewarding experiences and I still haven’t gotten the greatest value of it, in helping the world pollute less. Again, this experiment was about sustainability leadership.

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