Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
My e-mail is all lit up. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing. People are contacting me right and left wanting to know my opinion about the latest energy “magic bullet”. You know, the device that will supply unlimited amounts of electricity at no cost, except for the $99.99 fee charged for the unit. Or the device that is not being sold, but plans to build one with parts from any hardware store are available for a small fee, and this fee can only be determined if you access the website via the “covert” or “secret” link.
A short time ago, questions were about the “bloom box”, which uses a fuel source such as propane or natural gas to generate electricity, yielding only water as a by-product. With large companies such as Siemens and Google testing the “box”, credence was lent to the approach. I have no doubt that the device works. But, one is still dependent on, and subject to other’s pricing whims for, a fuel supply to operate it. This technique may be a little better than the norm, but it still has the big problem of not absolutely controlling future costs.
The latest craze seems to be a perpetual motion motor that supplies the energy to get itself running, then generates copious amounts of electricity at no cost. All you have to do is access the website using a “secret” link, purchase the plans, rush to the nearest hardware store to procure the needed parts, build the device, then enjoy the free energy.
Both of these ideas ARE the magic bullets, for their creators. If they sell 100,000 of the devices or plans for $99.99, they have just nearly made themselves a millionaire! In the process, you are $99.99 poorer and no better off than when you started. And, in the case of the “bloom box”, if you also own a piece of the fuel source industry used to supply it, you are really set!
I am amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people will look seriously at such ideas, but will discount the most practical solution that is right in front of them. I am talking about a technology that has been used very successfully for over 50 years, requires no costly fuel source, has no moving parts, is highly reliable, is reasonably priced, and has no continuing costs. Sounds like the true “magic bullet”, doesn’t it?
Most people want to discuss any other option but this one. Everyone wants something for nothing, or at least very little. Usually, the perfect solution does not exist. Most times, a very good solution is obvious, but this route does not give the satisfaction of getting everything for nothing.
Marketing these days is highly misleading, if not outright false. Rebates are everywhere, but don’t you think the original price of the product has been raised to accommodate the rebate? Interest free sales are widespread, but the interest is simply added to the purchase price. Sales boasting 50% or more off do not reveal the previous 100% markup. Marketing professionals know that these tactics are highly successful, they give the impression of getting something for nothing. So what is the problem with paying your future energy costs up front?
The only “problem” I have found with this approach is that it is as close to a perfect solution as there is at this time. The solution is the true “magic bullet” mentioned earlier, solar power. Using the sun, one can generate lots of electricity or heat water and air, at little or no ongoing cost. Plus, my nine year experience is that this approach involves very little maintenance or repair. At present, no one has devised a way to charge for, or tax, sunshine. Isn’t that wonderful?
Everyone that drives a car has already proven the technology. How many times have you entered your vehicle when the sun is shining, even in freezing temperatures, and the interior is hot enough to fry eggs?
Why does getting something for nothing cause most people to lose all capacity for reason? Because it is exciting! Everyone would agree. To me, what is even more exciting is not having to pay an electricity bill, not having rates go up, and not having my power “go out” for nine long years.
At some point, I expect a new “magic bullet” will come along. I will not hesitate to report this event when it happens. Until then, I will fully investigate any and all claims, searching for validity. As a footnote, I do not sell sunshine or any manner of hardware. I simply offer advice towards taking advantage of what Mother Nature gives everyone free of charge. My best advice is to recycle any and everything, when possible!