Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Intermediate Steps

I am reading this great book right now called Surviving Off Off-Grid: Decolonizing the Industrial Mind. It is about how to live a simple life and changing your thinking in order to live in a powered down society. The author talks a lot about "intermediate steps" and how we have to think beyond those steps in order to truly live off the grid.

Some examples would be solar panels and wind power. These are GREAT alternative energies, but what he is saying is that, at some point, you are going to need replacement batteries, and then what? You have relied on this solar panel to power your lights and your dishwasher etc. etc. but now you have no replacement batteries for those solar panels. He is saying that instead of planning for a short term disruption, you need to plan for a long term disruption.

It made me think quite a bit. I don't know if I am necessarily one of those who would get solar panels and then power everything in my house. I feel like I am trying to reduce it to the absolute minimum that I would like to have for comfort. I have thought about getting solar panels to power a few things that would be helpful, like my computer which I seem to store copious amounts of information on...hmmm...maybe should rethink that. And of course powering the washing machine. But, I have never thought about 10 years from now when the batteries I have may need to be replaced, and where I would get those if there had been a collapse of the industrial consumer society we have now. And I certainly hadn't thought about what Emma and Jack would do for power once they are adults. Don't get me wrong, I'm not jumping out of this world and into another. But, it is interesting to think about what one might be able to accomplish if they have only planned for the "intermediate" and not necessarily the "long term."

Food was another category that I hadn't really put too much time thinking past the intermediate steps. Obviously I can food now, and I love that. And I try and buy my dry goods in bulk (it's cheaper). But, I really haven't thought about how I can store my food if I, say, run out of lids and rings for my jars. Yes, I can buy those in bulk and store them, but what happens when I run out and they aren't producing them anymore? My hope is that someone will figure out how to continue producing them in a powered down economy...but that might be a little questionable. Perhaps I should learn about storing food in a root cellar and lacto fermentation.

I haven't finished the book yet. It has been interesting to read though. I guess the next step would be doing and not thinking though...need to work on that. How about you? Have you ever thought of your preparations as just "intermediate steps?" And have you thought about what you would do when those are no longer viable? Or do you just ignore it all and try to live your life to the fullest? My husband is in the latter category :-)

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