My personal experience with renewables is they are not saving me money. They have made me more resilient and sustainable. They are part of my REAL Green effort. I gather solar energy with PV’s and also solar water heating with evacuated tubes. I also access the grid as needed. In my home I have a switch box I can switch circuits to grid or solar. I also have a diesel generator. I have a wood boiler for wintertime space heating and water heating. I am not interested in being off the grid completely. I am interested in maximizing gathering of solar energy. Being on and off the grid allows significant flexibility over a totally on or off the grid application. It is my hope my local grid improves its renewable content. It is currently low but rising because Missouri is embracing wind energy from the Great Plains. I also harvest biomass in the form of wood energy and grass for animal feed. I raise animals and have a garden, orchard, and grapes making food calories. I am not self-sufficient but I am much more sustainable and reliant than most people.
My REAL Green point is as a people we should be doing more harvesting and gathering of lower density energy at the individual level. We should also being doing large scale renewable energy collection. It is my feeling fossil fuels are not going away if we intend to stay modern but we can reduce their usage as civilization degrades from depletion and planetary degradation. Society has no intention of retrogressing and will only be forced into it by planetary realities. My years of study on the subject have shown me the physics and the economics do not add up for a full fossil fuel clean transition. Yet, I have also been pleasantly surprised at the new renewable technologies created in the last few years. I am much more optimistic with renewables and hydrogen then previous years as a bridge sources. This still means eventually we will not have what it takes to maintain the high consumption civilization we have currently nor the population levels. If behavior changed in this regards then we would seek less techno advancement with more sustainability efforts. The degree of behavioral change at this point will dictate how much time we buy. We have the tech what we do not have is the behavior.
We need to retrogress to a life that is a hybrid of the old ways complimented by the best of the current technology and knowledge. We should try to save the best knowledge and produce more of the best tech to aid this retrogression. This means embracing the best energy gathering and harvesting of lower grade sources that can be economically managed. A garden, animals, and PV’s are not going to save you money. They will represent a cost that can only be managed through a lower standard of living. This hybrid way of life would seek to eliminate the bad consumptive behavior found in consumerism to offset this sacrifice. It would seek to integrate lifestyles into the planetary cycles. These cycles include the hydrologic, carbon, nitrogen, and ecological web of life. Like renewables this activity would be in addition to industrial efforts the modern society cannot dispense with without failing. It comes with the understanding all this modernism will fail eventually in regards its extreme techno nature and also the high population levels. This is very important because it represent acknowledgement first that industrial efforts are needed to be REAL Green and Modern man is at a cross roads of failure. No amount of REAL Green or anything else will save us. Modern man is on death row. Yet, this effort will provide a new growth opportunity that will buy time and offset some of the nasty human foot print on the planetary system and web of life.
This means permaculture and this means less affluence. This will not be without pain but those who begin the retrogression into a life closer to the planetary cycles by gathering and harvesting lower density energy will be ahead of the curve. What REAL Green is calling for is not a phony transition fake greens advocate as they drive to their getaways, shop the brick or digital malls and eat their cheeseburgers in EV’s and PV houses. Fake green is deceptive and delusional. REAL Green is not saying don’t fake green necessarily. REAL Green is saying acknowledge this state of affairs and begin your work to change. REAL Green is saying be less dirty and combine efforts with offsetting lower density energy. Much of the offsetting efforts are accomplished with efficiency, conservation, and demand management. This requires education and a larger degree of control that reflect the need for a transformative human narrative.
The failure today is we are talking fantasy green as we accelerate destructive efforts. We are embracing the science that there is a problem with flawed science that says there is an easy solution to something that is a predicament. There are no solutions for the predicament of techno modern man. There are no solutions for bad behavior and lifestyles. Fake greens act like they can have their cake and eat it. REAL Green says acknowledge fake green flaw by living with it while you work on ways to leave it. Stop worrying about fixing something that is broken and utilize the power the status quo offers to leave it. This means you will utilize dirty energy that is not green to be REAL Green but the net result is greener. Dirty energy is there being wasted on a way of life with no future. Bad behavior is everywhere take some of this and make it REAL Green creating a life with more of a future. This is only for some because many are too poor to do it or not smart enough. This may or may not be any fault to them it is just reality. A very small percentage can go REAL Green but those who can will make an oversized difference.