Instant gratification is a privilege known to an elite of
the global population. In many places of the world where
their Carbon Footprint is too low to measure, the concept
of an 'on' switch is quite alien. They would love to have
something to switch 'on'! But this isn't about them. If the
rest of us had THEIR problems, well, you wouldn't be reading
this web site. The concept of 'Powerdown' is one for the
affluent Nations of the Planet.
The word "Powerdown" is borrowed from Richard Heinberg's
book of the same name (also shown on this page). Whether it
is by Government intervention, or the end of oil, we will
all be forced to switch off sometime. However, a lot of this
'off' is easy. It is probably more easy than most people
realise. It is not until you do without that you realise how
little of the stuff, you leave on, is really adding anything
to your life. Just try it.
The people who have often tried this are the people who have
actually started doing something else. Post-Carbon Living lists
this as one of the first things to do but, oddly, it is
often one of the last in reality. What happens, when you
make a dramatic change to your pattern of energy
consumption, is that you become conscious of what you use.
When you become conscious you are aware that you can get rid
of the unnecessary usage. It becomes a habit.
Will have to live in a tent with no power at all? No. Well,
we hope not. What we try and explain to people is that the
earlier we are ready for a low-energy and low-carbon-life
the easier it will be to transition to a scenario where we
only use, say, 20% of the power we do now. The cost of doing
nothing and continuing with "Business as Normal" is that we
will ignore the problem until it could be too late to do
anything about it. Then you will be living with 0%.
So this is all
about reduction. What else will help you reduce your energy
usage? Reduction in waste. Learn to insulate. It is
estimated that the UK Government could pay several Billion
GBP to have every home in the country fitted with Cavity
Wall Insulation. This would make a major dent over-night in
the UK Carbon Footprint.
works. To learn more about efficiency visit our section on
"Substitute" for guidance on the things that everyone can do
in our own homes.