Yet another blizzard! They did warn us that this would be a hard winter, and they were right. My ancestors lived in Scandinavia for thousands of years – and thus, like everyone whose ancestors lived in cold climates, my genetic memory is deeply imprinted with the fear of freezing and starving in the dark. Survival depended on adequate shelter and keeping the fire going. Nowadays, people depend on oil, coal, gas, nuclear power, spending thousands of dollars to keep warm, spewing tens of thousands of pounds of co2 into our atmosphere (and don’t be fooled into negating climate change just because of some cold winters).
So, it never ceases to amaze me, that in the course of our ongoing evolution, we have now arrived at a point that we know how to keep warm, lit and fed without any of those fuels, expenses and pollution – or as I prefer to say, “Near-Zero”.
It is of course truly amazing that so few people are using these wonderful new technologies. Perhaps the biggest of all the advantages is the fact that they are so reliable, so dependable – we can now, finally, truly let go of that ancient deep-seated fear of freezing and starving in the dark. Just imagine the implications of this fact.
Here is my home after this latest blizzard, surrounded by deep snow, raging, biting icy wind – and yet my home would never freeze. Instead it maintains temperatures warm enough to grow an abundant garden all through the worst winter without any heating fuel at all. I have a wood stove, but have not used it for the past three winters - I just wanted to see if it was possible. And yes it is – and I save so much money – and no more of the time and mess required by heating with an indoor wood stove – not to mention the fear of a chimney fire and worse.
In the background you can just glimpse my favorite place – you can see just the white corner of the deep old bathtub, where I can soak in hot water, relaxing, and restoring my faith that we, human beings, can have what we need and want without continuing to destroy our planet, health, economy. It’s true – if we choose to make the essential changes.