Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

21 July 2011

Air Conditioning: aka: the Great Grid Fear.



video
(film: Makropoulos' Air Conditoner)


Well,
the heat in my part of the world today was so intense
that it was unbearable.

However, it was not actually all that unbearable to me
because
for the first time in my multi-centennial existence,
I live in a place with central air.

So I sat here, in my cool cool house --
I and all those other select few --
I sat here in my air conditioning
while the rest of the world
smoldered.

I sat here soooo long, 
my guilt became unbearable ---
For so many years, for centuries in fact,
I have sweat it out with the best of you,
and during that time,  I felt like I was participating somehow
in the agony of the planet,
And I felt ethical, and compassionate, and good.
But this time,
I sipped ice tea 
in the a.c.

And it made me feel so two-faced -- I, who advocate love
and peace and togetherness,
sat excluded and comfortable.
So I decided that,
if nothing else,
I should take a walk and participate
in the pain,


and what you see above is the sun
as it shined
somewhere in America
where I happen to live
at around 7:45 p.m.
That's one hot sun.

~ ~ ~

As I walked, the source
of my guilt and self-loathing solidified:
me, and a couple cats, and a friend or two,
sat in my apartment
all of this smoggy, miserable hot afternoon
and zapped that overtaxed power grid
of however many kilowats of energy
that I devoured today.

And in the meantime,
people are hot and starving
in Somalia.

Heck,
they're hot and starving somewhere
in America, too,
I'm sure,
even as I type.

video
(sprinkling the sidewalk)


You see, I have an intense concern for the Health of the Grid.
The Grid,
by its very design,
could go on infinitely,
or at least it could embrace the entire planet,
if we were disposed to let it do so.

Instead,
largely because of commercial interests,
it's localized;
my Grid, probably
isn't your Grid,
if you don't live
in America,
and even if you live in another part of America
my Grid may not be your Grid.
 ( celsias )
One outcome of 
this Localization of Gridded service is
The Great Grid Fear.


The Great Grid Fear, of course,
is that if we load too much energy on our regional power grid,
we'll blow the fuse,
so to speak,
which is why I was so darned upset
about my airconditioner.

I was so upset that when I came home from my walk, I turned it off.

Now part of the 
Great Grid Fear is that
one too many airconditioners
could "blow the fuse"
so to speak,
and thereby,
destroy the power source
in a large sector of the civilized world,
and if that happens,
well, hell,
we'd have to live like the people of Somalia.

And if we had to live like the people of Somalia,
well,
hot damn,
we'd probably all start dying,
in very large numbers.

And that wouldn't be good,
would it?


So we preserve the health of our
individual Grids
by keeping them local
and somewhat flawed.

In fact,
right now,
I'm quite concerned that if I turn my a.c. back on
tomorrow,
when it's predicted to be even hotter,
I may be that unlucky one
to pop the circuit on my Grid,
and if I am,
well,
I just hope no one can track it
and find out.
(But they probably can,
whoever THEY are.)

~ ~ ~
Anyway,

so after feeling Great Guilt
for the Grid,
not to mention for the emotional and physical health
of all the people in my general part of the planet, I began to think,
as I am prone to do,
that perhaps the Electrical Grid could be made more coherent
and therefore stronger
if we just found the technology to extend it 
so it embraces the entire planet --
same, too, 
with all the other grids.
After all,
that is how we perceive of our planet isn't it?
In terms of a Grid?  So why can't we use the basic model,
and extend our Power Grid
infinitely?



And if that were the case,
perhaps
we could supply electricity,
and ultimately air conditioning
to the Samalis,
not to mention the homeless under a bridge in Manhattan,
or in Mississippi,
or Honduras,
or Ipswich
or Delhi
or Rotterdam,
or San Francisco,
or where ever.

And then I wouldn't have to participate
in the Great Grid Fear,
and neither would you --
(though on some level,
we'd all participate in it equally).

Now, I'm certain
that someone with more knowledge than I
in these areas could and would
tell me why my idea is absolutely
unfeasible,
and I welcome them to do so.
But anyone who reads this blog should know
that I'm not prone to go by what is scientifically viable.
So let's just entertain the notion for a moment:

what if it were indeed possible to build a Global Power Grid?

What if we took all the money,
from all the wars
and the crime
and the useless laws
and the committees produced to perpetuate Fear,
and what if we put it towards
building global resource grids.
And what if those global grids
would make it possible to provide
food and water to all people equally?
So when the planet enters weather patterns
like we're in right now,
everyone would have equal access
to airconditioning,
and water.

And let's add food.

~ ~
Yes, I'll agree to one argument against this:
it's true that if we get hit by a meteorite,
or a massive sun flare,
it would take out the whole planet,
grid wise,
but it would probably
take out the entire planet,
too, 
so what the heck:
why not spread the wealth?



Well, perhaps,
if you've gotten this far in this goofy entry,
you're thinking: this chick is nuts,
and I'm going to unsubscribe from this blog,
or just not read it again,
ever,
or at least for a long time.


Well,
let me submit this as a final contemplation:
last night, I saw a story on the BBC
that informed me that Somalia
is officially suffering a famine.

Today, I heard that the militant, rebel Al Shahab in Somalia
who are making it impossible for foreign aid to reach some areas,
have claimed that the international declaration of "famine"
in their nation is nothing but a political move.

and I thought:
how many Americans really know about this?
I mean, seriously folks:
we're all sitting around in our air-conditioned homes
watching the news where the headline story is
how hot we are --

and people are dying 
in large large numbers
on the other side of the globe,
and the terrorist system has become so sophisticated
that it calls International Declarations of Disastor
"political propaganda."

They sound like American politicians.


So,
a.) turn off your a.c. for a little while, and send the money you save to Somalia,
or
b.) let's build a Global Grid.

Those are my best ideas --
they're probably both pretty far-fetched,
but at least now I feel like I've contributed positively to the world,
as I sit here
sweating.


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