Go solar, but also consider lifestyle

Mill Bay – This is not to denigrate solar pv, as we just put a wonderful 250 W panel on our sailboat. WeGoSolar in Chemainus sold the system to us and we are happy with them and our system.

This is to balance the hype in your heads and possibly keep any of you from running into the buzz saw of those who would deny any benefit to solar pv.

I am a strong believer in passive solar home design, as I’ve seen and been around its magic in the Skagit Valley in Washington State in the ’90s when the weather was invariably, cold, dark, and rainy.

It works beautifully for house and water heating and with far less energy intensity and the

“externalities” of solar electricity production.

And those “externalities”? The poisonous pollution, energy consumed in the manufacturing process, and the transportation energy to send the product to its final destination, which is Europe and North America.

Our desire to have the luxurious life that we live here in North America is the biggest problem we face.

The belief that we “deserve” to use up most of the world’s resources, (and we really do), just to live this consumerist culture of ours, is what is making the planet slowly but surely uninhabitable for us humans. Not to mention a few other species of plants and animals. So yes, go solar, but weigh the world wide costs of how we

live and what we think is really important in our lives. Is that new car, boat, toy, TV, furniture, house, gadget, something that will bring us happiness and a sense of fulfillment, or is it family, friends, clean water, fresh air, good health, and an investment in such a future for our antecedents? By the way, our boat is a 1981 model, lovely, but well used, and so its manufacturing “externalities” have been incorporated into today’s system 34 years ago.

Pre-owned, reuse, recycle, and try to slow the carbon footprint.

To all car dealers, and other manufacturers, there is a huge future in the upkeep, reclamation, conservation, and repair industries – just saying.

Dirk Ouellette Mill Bay

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