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The resistance principle

Clallam Bay, August 2014

My job primarily deals with energy conservation. We work with low-income clients to reduce energy burden. Our non-profit’s catchphrase is “Helping people, changing lives”. I wonder.

This is BPA country. In the early parts of the 20th century, reclamation efforts the length of the mighty Columbia made electricity cheap, so it’s not always a cost-effective proposition to weatherize a home. Especially that woefully out-classed component of the local low-income housing stock- the mobile home. It’s expensive, meticulous, and …let’s just say character-building work to fix these things up after 40 or so Pacific NW winters.. I started on the crew, insulating and repairing these sad little cans but now find myself managing the program and unsure where to take it. Budgets dwindle, coast soar. It’s such a causal relationship. Whenever I breath in someone else is breathing out. Is it any wonder I spent the weekend running the power grid? The grid is everywhere, even it these remote areas. Wherever I look up, it looks down.


Clallam Bay, August 2014

The future is education. That’s always a safe statement to make. Once upon a time, patients suffering from ailments such as gout or headache were directed to touch electric eels in the hope that the jolt might cure them. Legend says the suicide and cancer rate is higher in proximity to EMFs around power lines and transformers. People never tire of reinforcing their conditioned assumptions. You run into some breathtaking logic. Some well-seasoned and hardened by time and peerage. Or maybe because on one ever actually says them out loud. Even mute,  most habits are easily observed. If you tailgate, you get to work faster and save gas by drafting. If you crank up the thermostat, the house will get warmer much faster. Refrigerators don’t use electricity if there’s nothing in them. Be sure to leave those TVs on so your cats don’t get lonely. Yes, leave every TV in the house on, yet follow me around during my energy audit to make sure I don’t forget to turn off the lights behind me. Because that 13w CFL bulb is the quiet killer, not the t-stat set at 85°, the empty refrigerators, the hot water dripping at every faucet, the five TVs, the six 2500w space heaters. Now, I always wear a headlamp and never turn on any house lights. Yeah, just sign here.


Ediz Hook, August 2014

I’m not suicidal, yet, and not afflicted with cancer, yet- but maybe some other causal relationship is in generation here. I won’t deny I can get pretty animated on the drive back to the shop, and in the process uncover some pretty troubling assumptions of my own. So here’s to the spirit of saying things out loud.


‘Family Solutions’
Discovery Trail, August 2014