The two paths: Dark Green vs Net Zero

Central to the vexing question of “How are we going to get out of this jam?” is energy.  From where i sit there are two different flavors of answers.  The first is what we are doing at Living Energy Farm (i wanted to call it Dancing Squirrels) which is ditching fossil fuels.

Whether it is peak oil you believe in or climate change you are worried about, the answer is the same – we need to kick our addiction to fossil fuels and the one great way to do this is to start living without them, while they are still around, so we get some practice at it.  Central to LEF’s mission is demonstrating how a community can not just function but thrive without petroleum.

The second path is more accessible though, it is to get off the grid.  Or more precisely, for you and your community to generate more energy than you consume.  This includes those family visits for thxgvg, which you are going to have to stop flying to, unless you want to install a huge wind farm on your land (yes, this includes me).

So after over a dozen years of thinking it is a good idea and not doing much about it, it is time to drag my commune into the future and pitch getting off the grid for the entire place, in a phased, fiscally responsible fashion.  Watch this space.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

14 responses to “The two paths: Dark Green vs Net Zero”

  1. kelpie says :

    How are we going to get water w/out fossil fuels? Where’s out hand pump? My great-grandma had one in her house, it pumped right into a trough, and worked great. How many hand pumps should we install and where? How does one install a hand pump?

  2. paxus says :

    Dearest Kelpie:

    Water is the easiest part. Randy Holiday has an Earthship 3 miles from Twin Oaks. He has a relatively small flat roof which keeps 2 tanks of 250 gallons each full all year round, regardless of his uses. It was calculated that the rainfall on EC alone exceeds one million gallons a year. And of course if we want to stick with wells there are solar pumps. But i think cisterns is the way to go. And TO likely wont go there.

    Paxus at Twin Oaks
    13 Harvest of Errors 2KXI

  3. Angie says :

    Some of the most effective ways to reduce consumption are things that Twin Oaks has thus far not made much progress in implementing. Improved insulation, replacing all incandescent light bulbs, retrofitting buildings for for effective passive solar heating and cooling, more efficient appliances (especially refrigerators and electric cooking appliances in the main kitchen), as well as better windows, solar-tubes, and skylights would all dramatically decrease our consumption of energy. They aren’t as sexy to propose, or as exciting to implement, but they’re accessible and can be done relatively quickly and inexpensively. Here’s hoping we focus on the Reduce portion of our energy consumption first. (If we do, I’ll help.)

  4. tina marshall says :

    neverland farm ( is completely off the grid and producing power not only for ourselves but our neighbors. we use a simple but highly effective gravity feed system for our water, and ponds for irrigation water storage. once we get the hydroelectric installed we will be able to compensate for almost all of this communities power use, world wide.
    i, tina, have been off grid and responsible personally for all of my world wide power use for more than 10 years now. its not so hard once you get used to it! and let me tell you all- it feels good!!!
    of course this can be debated. i use solar, those panels no doubt took some fossil fuels to make, but they are now 14 years old, so that prob is taken care of. my poor old laptop, apple g4, is 8 years old, and completely powered by solar, as is my internet. i used renewable resources to install it all. there are so many ways to do reduce dependence- the trick is to stop talking such a great game and get out there and DO IT! i walk a lot, no car, only public transportation, which is not so dependable sometimes, but efficient. i fly only rarely now, and my travel plans now always include ways i can compensate for the fuel use (mostly mountain tree planting). an old TO saying, walk the talk…

    its true, making the change is not so sexy, and can even be pricey. but then you begin to reap real psychological benefits, knowing you are really and truly doing your part to save our planet- its some kind of individual high. once you start to know that the earth is not suffering for your own use of her you begin to feel more connected to her, more conscious. and conciencious. hate trying to spell that word!
    wonderful food for thought paxus! i miss you loads. tina

  5. Lotus Allen says :

    is watching and is curious about the coming changes, thanks you for your efforts toward a sustainable tomorrow … sends along a supportive & warm *wink* and a nod of “yes.”

  6. Slowlyistep says :

    Paxus, though I am not part of your community – I stumbled upon your blog and continue to read it out of intrigue and genuine interest for your bold candidness. Angie made simple, insightful suggestions. After living what could surmount to 10,000 lifetimes in a much, much smaller span of time – I made some changes from an artist/writer to one entrenched in this field, heavily dominated by math and science. Bottom line – it was not only a “bottom line ideal” but one that speaks to me on an ethical, business, and new challenge level. Paxus – Good luck on your new “enterprise” and may we all continue in our often idealistic, but admirable and strong endeavors. The best to you all. . . Thanks. C

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