An Aussie friend of Elon Musk got a Power Wall (battery) and some solar panels a couple years ago. Had ’em pumping out juice for well over a year. Pleased. Very. Seems he saved $6,000.00 in electricity bills last year and he runs a larger 4 bedroom home complete with all the modcons and copious air conditioners. In the featured article he said, “I expected this to pay for itself in 20 years. At this rate, it will pay for itself in five years!”
That is not news. We know that every panel gives more power, every battery stores the power longer. Put more succinctly: Getting a solar array and storage is an obvious no-brainer, a totally can’t-lose proposition. Especially if you are capable of a grid-tie arrangement with BC Hydro. Grid-tie is even more dollar efficient ’cause the power company acts as your battery. Elon’s friend is now a convert……..but why did he do it in the first place if he had doubts?
What used to be dismissed as hippy tech or ‘unnecessary’ or too expensive is today proving to be a good idea. Think about that. He did.
If any of you decide to think about it and want advice, just ask. Free.
There is a yoga-gal and her husband who you-tube regularly about their OTG life-in-the-making. Nicole and Jake are building and living in a yurt and in an area not far from us (judging by the views and such). They have 172,000 subscribers. Admittedly, the ‘eye-catching’ shots of Nicole’s bare top (but she’s always facing backwards) or some other sultry come-on selfie-pose creates a larger audience than just those interested in yurts and trees but still….172K subscribers is HUGE!
When we wrote our first book and posted it to Amazon, the OTG category did not exist. We went under the general heading of ‘Wilderness Adventures’ or something. Today, on Amazon.ca there are over twenty pages with Off Grid in the title. There are several categories now. The point? Living (and/or prepping for) OTG is a growing phenomena.
Why? Why would 172K subscribe to Jake and Nicole doing very common and basic chores on the smallest of scales? Why would successful rich people who are on the grid start adjusting to being off the grid?
Why, actually, did Dave and Sally go OTG?
What is going on? Are they all feeling what I feel? Are they just ‘playing at it’? And what, exactly, am I feeling? Do they know something I do not? What has happened over the past say, twenty years to make people think this way?
It (the feeling) is much older than just 20 years, of course, 70’s back-to-the-landers were motivated to do the same but…if I might venture a guess….they were responding to the industrial conformity, materialism, pollution and unhealthy processed food that was modern life back then (still is for many, of course). The BIG threat, TEOTWAWKI or the coming Zombie Apocalypse was less of an issue.
Today? I do not know but I suspect that all the media and government fear-mongering is showing up as more idiots buying 30+ guns and ammo and storing dried food in buckets as they show on the Netflix series ‘Doomsday Preppers’. I think fear is the new motivation.
But…fear of what? More to the point: how does building a yurt and carrying buckets of water answer the fear? For that matter, how many guns can one man shoot at a time?
Look at the real threats…..climate change, pandemics, war, economic collapse and yes, maybe even revolution-in-the-streets (somewhere) but how is a yurt an answer to that?
There is an emerging answer to that growing-but-still-amorphous fear and it seems to be ‘community’. People helping each other. And we OTG’ers do that pretty regularly. I see it all the time. And ‘help’ OTG – style does not take the form of money or donations to the Red Cross. ‘Help’ out here is real-time. Real-work. We rescue disabled boaters, freely give required labour, provide materials, feed people and share what we have. Community plays a much larger role out here.
Perhaps, if urban people had a stronger REAL community, fear might play a lesser role in their life. That seems to be true for those ‘groups’ (urban or otherwise) that identify closely with one another like Jews or Amish or Muslims or even First Nations. Birds of a feather flock together and, in numbers there is strength…..that kinda thing. The point again? People are more afraid these days. Fear is somewhat unifying but NOT for everyone – only amongst those who look and act like you. The stranger is being seen as a danger again.
Fear makes for divisiveness more than unity.
Community is an answer to that fear but is it the answer to the actual danger we face? What good is singing Kumbaya together if the actual threat is a Tsunami or pandemic?
The bible warns of the 4 horsemen, chaos, pestilence, famine and war. Coronavirus fits. And get this new threat of pestilence in biblical proportions….: locusts! The horn of Africa and the Middle East are being swarmed by gazillions of locusts again. And then there is the anti-Christ….(In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or anti-Christ is someone recognized as fulfilling the biblical prophecies about one who will oppose Christ and substitute himself in Christ’s place before the Second Coming).
Isn’t Trump trying to do that?
Regardless of the madding thoughts this all generates, I can deduce only two things. There are more people moving OTG and their motivation is more fear than a desire for Walden Pond. Me…? I started out at Walden and I am moving somewhat towards Zombie Apocalypse but I have no REAL perspective on it.
I could be a nut.