Friday, August 24, 2018

Microstory 915: Indoor Plumbing/Energy Grid

I think this is something that we can all get behind. It’s pretty easy, living in the developed world, to take for granted the basic utilities to which we have access. As I know you know, there are parts of the world without these things. They walk great distances for clean water, or just water that isn’t so clean. Not everyone has electricity, or heat, or air conditioning. A lot of these people are doing fine, so I don’t want you thinking I’m saying everyone else’s lives are terrible. I remember reading about an uncontacted tribe—I believe somewhere in the Amazon, and they may not be totally uncontacted—that does as little as possible. They wake up late, hang out most of the day, and only do as much work as they need to survive. They don’t have plumbing or energy, and it doesn’t seem to bother them. I’m not here to say that it’s unreasonable to want to return to a time before these things. In the future of my stories, you’ll see a sliding scale of technology in the world. Some will embrace amazing advances, even going so far as to upgrade their bodies to nonorganic substrates. There will be those, however, who would prefer to live without these amenities. There will be people who fall somewhere in between these two extremes. And for the most part, that will be okay. The only time the governing system should step in is if these people begin to needlessly damage the ecosystem with their way of life. We’ll let them live like nomads or pioneers, but we’re not gonna let them tear down forests for farms. And we’ll let nonorganics build superstructures, but they better be taller than they are wide. I’ve recently signed up for a special renewable energy program. Even though renewable energy sources do not exist in my area, I do pay for it. For every bit of energy I use, my bill goes towards offsetting my carbon footprint by providing wind power in regions where the infrastructure has already begun. There are still some major developments we need to make in that infrastructure, and in efficiency, but I wanted to take a moment to appreciate how nice it is to flip the lightswitch on in my home, and be fairly certain that the lights will turn on. Please note that KC Power & Light has, in recent years, been experiencing frustrating power outages. It all comes down to how much the growing population is taxing the system. What we need are microgrids, and personal renewable equipment, but that’s a story for another day.


  1. The term 'plumbing' originates from the Latin word 'plumbum' which stands for "Lead"; pipes were once made from lead and lead is denoted by the abbreviation 'Pb'. Plombier Granby

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