A rocket stove I built out of sixteen bricks and three concrete patio slabs, which is an extraordinarily fuel-efficient, and emergency, stove that burns branches, sticks and twigs and other woody debris at very hot temperatures by funneling air through the fire at the base and up a short chimney to the cooking wares. It’s much like the propulsion beneath a rocket, but it comes out the top, instead. One can cook anything on this source of heat very quickly with minimal time and resource input. This kind of stove can be improvised when there is no other heat source, and in instances of natural/human-made disasters, where gas and electricity are cut off or become unavailable. Everyone who cooks should make one of these stoves or at least have the supplies on hand. Bricks are only $0.50 each and there are a lot of YouTube videos about assembly and creative configurations for both cooking and interior heating. Wood (trees) is a renewable resource. It’s the direct harvest of accumulated solar energy via photosynthesis that Nature reconfigures into a raw material that can be used for many purposes. This can be regeneratively harvested for energy, or at least it can be when forestry practices come into line with that vision. The growth process of all things green sequesters carbon and other pollutants from the atmosphere, thus mitigating the runaway climate change that threatens every species, including human animals, on Earth within our lifetime. We are going to be forced to reconcile with this if we do not volunteer. I discover climate science and ecology useful for understanding the world we live in so that we can find creative solutions and become better prepared for the future. It calls us to be active observers and participants in our world. Our culture has become the pinnacle example of how to ignore this information and completely throw away the future for short-term gain and just one more series on television, and is thus going to be terribly unprepared for the consequences.
Anyway, this “free” and unlimited energy, if managed according to the local ecology, is already available to us without magical thinking about new technology coming in to save us from ourselves. Solar panels and wind-turbines, “alternative” energies, require fossil-fuels in the mining process for the rare earth metals that go into their production. The mining process, itself, results in leached, toxic heavy metals that find their way into soils and water-sources. Propane is fancy, but it requires fracking for natural gas, which destroys land and the water-table. People can’t live if they’re drinking poisoned water. Here, in the PNW, electricity requires dammed, dead, slack-water rivers and the ongoing death spiral of wild salmon. The main sources of electricity outside of the PNW require coal and other fossil fuels that are destructive to land, water, and atmosphere. Industrial bio-fuels are made from petro(oil)-chemically based industrial agriculture, not to mention toxic GMO-grains that are polluting our organic crops and seed, and hardly have any energy-returned-on-energy-invested (EROEI). Most apocalyptic, as seen with Fukushima, nuclear power is being jettisoned as the “clean” energy of the future by incompetent governments, which inevitably turns into a slow-motion calamity and produces permanent waste that our society can’t figure out what to do with. That radioactive waste has half-lives of thousands upon thousands of years. We have our own leak of accumulating ionizing-radiation to deal with at Hanford in Eastern WA. We’ve created monsters that we cannot control. Every time we turn on light and pay for conventional energy, we continue to support this corrupt and destructive system. Also, taxpayer money goes to subsidizing this complete mess and really ends up lining the pockets of the executives and lobbyists going around and around through the revolving doors between the energy corporations and public office. It’s all fraudulent and deceptive. There is no third, clean industrial revolution awaiting us nor any change coming from above. We just have to learn our place on this planet.
Opt out. Build and grow it from the bottom.
Let’s do it ourselves.