How to Survive the Energy Apocalypse!

Community Earth Personal Development Worldview

Let’s talk about the energy crisis. Today we face rising energy costs. But by ignoring the rhythms of life we are paying more than we have to. If we lived by paying attention to the rhythms of the Earth, seasons, and days we would save money by working with our environment rather than working against it.

People everywhere seem to be throwing up their hands and saying “What can we do?” Today it’s popular to say something akin to “Why doesn’t the government fix it?” A lot of people are saying that on their cell phones while working on the computer with their TV on and running central air, lights, and multiple appliances. I know this because I see it every day in my house. Our modern way of life uses more energy than our grandfathers ever dreamed of. It is popular, but ignorant of reality, to think if it is electricity it’s not a problem.

Most of our electricity comes from and must continue to come from, burning fossil fuels because most of our energy comes from coal and natural gas. It is currently impossible to replace such energy needs with anything that we can currently do technologically except by using nuclear energy. Which is still one of the safest and least polluting technologies that we are capable of.

But none of these things are in our power to change. What IS in our power to change? That would be our energy use.

Let me tell you what we do to lower ours.

First, listen to your mother and shut off the lights if your not in the room.

Second, be aware of the rhythms of your environment. Old houses were built to rely on open windows to cool the house and not central air. Their windows are geared for that. There was a trend among people who didn’t care about energy use to seal windows because they used central air and heat anyway. We have entered the fall of the year and anyone paying attention will notice that sometimes their air conditioning is on trying to cool the house when it is cooler outside. Where I am the nights have dropped down into the 60s now (although a few weeks ago it was even in the 80s at night.)

Old houses they were built with high ceilings so hot air would go up above the living area and with counter-facing windows so you could get a breeze running through the house. The good thing is that modern houses with open floor plans now allow that again. I like old houses built around the beginning of the 19th century. Because I read history I also know how to live in them.

At night all windows were opened to cool the house. Often, the cool air would linger in the house even after it started to get hot outside. You can prolong this period of natural cooling by following these simple steps below.

In the morning the sun comes up in the east. In an old house (and newer houses still have windows so the theory applies,) they closed the windows in the South and East and opened them in the North and West. This was because the North and West in the morning were shaded and the shade is cooler than the sun. Right? So you let the air in from the shady side of the house and keep it outside on the hot side, you can also close your curtains on the hot side for further insulation.

Generally, at noon the sun is more or less straight up so in the hottest part of the day, you MIGHT need to close the windows. We leave ours open until the air conditioner goes on at 75 degrees. We then turn it down to 74 because that one degree seems to make all the difference to us for comfort’s sake.

After we move toward late afternoon and evening the Western side of the house gets hot so you open the windows on the Eastern side because that is now the shady side. If you have a yard with good shade trees (something I always looked for in a house) you have to clean out your gutters but you have much lower heating bills in the summer and I like that.

Following this system can dramatically reduce your power consumption and what you pay on bills. Of course, in a heat wave, it doesn’t help as much but there are always cool days intermixed with the hot. Pay attention outside and leave your windows open until you hear your air conditioner kick on. I have gone whole days listening to the central air conditioners pounding away in my neighbor’s houses when I had the window open and it was cool enough I thought I should put on something warmer than my T-shirt because it was a bit chilly from the outside air….yet they were paying to cool their house.

One other thought I learned living in Germany.

Germany, and all of Europe, was really affected by the plague. For that reason they avoid water (which was blamed as a transmission factor.) You don’t get ice cubes usually unless you ask for it and they don’t bring you water unless you ask for it. (Except water was big in Spain and I assume maybe other Mediterranean countries.)

Besides water, they were concerned with the germs that build up in a house. We saw that during the pandemic and I knew this from my Drill Sergeant training. You need to open windows because the air inside becomes germ-laden. During the pandemic, this became obvious in individual family homes even as it had always been apparent in barracks life where you have many people living together. Air quality tests regularly show that INSIDE air is more polluted than the OUTSIDE air (OK, if you live in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, or any other haven of pollution, violence, and disease that won’t be true but for most of America it is.) Inside air builds up filling our lungs with germs, dust, and other household pollutants. The Germans dealt with this by opening the windows for 15 minutes to a half hour in the morning and evening no matter what the outside temperature was! In Ludwigshafen sometimes my apartment got a bit cold but we followed the custom – once we knew of it because it made sense. We still do it. Fresh air is…well…fresh. Especially if you think ahead and plant lilacs or roses outside the windows you most often open. Then you get the added benefit of natural air freshener too.

(But I have allergies! You might say. Well, my sister and I had horrible allergies and we survived. Try it. Although you have my permission to stay buttoned up when the pollen count is unusually high.

As with everything else I write here, living with the world and its natural rhythms is a better way than living against it and fighting nature. Nature is bigger than we are and we, eventually, will lose. Find the natural rhythms of life and nature’s laws that match the biological rhythm we evolved to match and look more closely at those generations and times when they lived WITH the Earth instead of just on it. That’s the Saber’s Edge way of cutting to the truth of the matter.

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