Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Low-tech browsing

By Tracy

Thinking about those items on my low-tech wishlist, I've been looking for more information on the topic, and have been browsing the website of Low-tech Magazine.

Apart from the odd article that suggests humans revert to (ab)using animals (like the idea of going back to horses instead of tractors -- why is it always this binary?), which obviously presents problems from a vegan/animal-rights perspective, the site is full of good ideas and very useful background material.

It even provides links to an amazing place in Belgium called The Museum for Old Techniques that is a repository of past tools, methods and texts, a kind of education centre too.

But back to the original site, Low-tech Magazine: there are unexpected features such as "The Ugly Side of Solar Panels" which raises (incorporating its own corrected errors with strikeout!) some of the issues we have often worried about, e.g. the energy-use and pollution generated by the production of solar panels themselves. The article reminds us that "solar cells are far from a zero emission technology"... but I'll leave you to read it for yourself if you're interested.


pb said...

Hi Tracy & John,
We just had a solar photovoltaic hot water system installed this very day. The old system was coal-fired electric. The federal and state govts will give rebates on our outlay.
I'm not sure what will happen on the couple of snowy days in winter here in Blackheath with no Amish within cooee...but there is a booster switch which links back to the dreary grid if we really need to use it. Otherwise, we 've got some gas to heat water on the stove - it's not exactly ice storm country.

Mutually Said: Poets Vegan Anarchist Pacifist said...

That's great, Pam. It makes a big difference, doesn't it?

We're planning to have a complete solar system installed, for all power usage.

But still, we want to try to live with as little power usage as possible. In the meantime, every step counts...

Best, Tracy & John