Altitude Sickness

Solar is here – now, get some

I write this on the heels of Earth Day, 2016. I have been working too much. For the first time in my life, I am really caught up in the rat race. It is difficult to separate myself from it, because my endeavor is literally to save the world one rooftop at a time, but there comes a point where you have to take a day off.

This year I am working the way that I trained last year. I am trying to engage my occupational life in the way that I have always engaged my exercise life, but I find that working like that takes a whole lot more out of me than exercise does… exercise builds your body and your organs, and work builds your checking and retirement accounts while depleting your body and your organs. I have to find a balance.

For those of you who haven’t noticed… balance is a struggle for me. I tend to be either black or white, abstemious or libertine, drunk or sober. People say: “Can’t you just eat some starch in moderation?” or “Can’t you just have a couple drinks and call it a day?”

My answer to that is universally: “Why in the world would I want to stop? Who does that?” I am a firm believer in the Hunter S. Thompson axiom: “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” And I am not going to eat pie unless I can sit down and eat five of them.

And my job is great. How many salesmen are willingly invited into the homes of their customers? I am invited in, I develop relationships with them and I give them free solar panels. An average home rooftop solar system (from any company) will prevent the release of the equivalent of about 200,000 driving miles of CO2, and prevent the pollution of about 6.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water. The environmental impact is massive, about the lifetime work of 91 trees. And just wait until 30 years from now when your rooftop systems and household storage will be enough to light and heat your homes, and fuel your transportation.

Things are changing and they are changing fast. Humans currently use 16TW of power yearly. Fifty years from now they will use more than 30TW (think about it, most of Africa, India, and Central Asia have no reliable power or transportation).

There is literally not enough landmass on Earth to generate 16TW of power with wind. Nuclear would take 6,000 plants the size of Fukushima. Short of cold fusion (and lest we forget, cold fusion violates most of the currently accepted laws of physics), solar is our only path forward.

More than 30TW of power hit the earth as sunlight daily. Think about that. There is enough sunlight in one day to fuel human consumption for a year. Furthermore, solar is made with the magical element silicon—the most plentiful mineral element on Earth.

We have entered the Solar Age, people. This is not a drill. It is not coming, it is here. Get some.

It was great to be down at the Rutland Winter Farmers Market Earth Day event last Wednesday… I met lots of great people, saw some old friends, bought some truly fantastic bacon (Bur-Ger farm… check them out… you all know how I feel about bacon), and probably found my next chiropractor (I am between chiropractors). The energy was great, I got to talk to people about solar (one of my truest nerdiest passions), and most importantly, though I was working a table at an event, I got to chill out and quit working for a bit.

It was really nice, and I hope that all of you got to stop in. It is this type of event, this type of community, that is changing the face of Rutland and making it a great place to exist.

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