Happy new year

The Shed - - Editorial - Greg Vin­cent Pub­lish­ing Ed­i­tor ed­i­[email protected]­mag.co.nz

New Year’s Eve is great don’t you think? The past is the past and how good is the next year gonna be? So much bet­ter, right? Part of all the op­ti­mism many of us feel on 31 De­cem­ber is due to plan­ning to make some changes and set­ting some goals. I rarely make New Year’s res­o­lu­tions but last New Year’s Eve I did for the first time in ages. My res­o­lu­tion re­volved around what I could do to­wards the cause of com­bat­ing cli­mate change. How did I do? Read on.

Cli­mate change af­fects us all and as shed­dies are very com­pe­tent at solv­ing is­sues and sort­ing prob­lems, we of­ten run ar­ti­cles in the mag­a­zine giv­ing some in­sight into how we can look after our­selves bet­ter. This edi­tion of The Shed has three ar­ti­cles on al­ter­na­tive en­ergy, as it is some­thing that is on our minds a lot here. There seems to be (and there will be even more in the fu­ture) a lot more power cuts than there used to be.

More fre­quent storms and stronger winds bring down trees and power lines, and los­ing power more of­ten is some­thing that we will need to get used to. If you live ru­rally this could mean you are with­out power for longer, as more re­pairs may be re­quired for your dis­trict over a large area. Who wants to be with­out power for long stretches at a time?

So first up we have some good ad­vice for those who don’t cur­rently have a gen­er­a­tor and maybe should. We dis­cuss what you’ll need for different amounts of power us­age and give some ba­sic tips.

An­other as­pect of cli­mate change is the need to use less of our pre­cious oil for sev­eral rea­sons and to drive more elec­tric cars. This in­crease in elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EVs) means an in­creased drain on our elec­tric­ity sup­plies, so re­ally we should be de­creas­ing what we draw down from the na­tional grid, where we can.

Mur­ray Grim­wood has writ­ten two ar­ti­cles on this ob­jec­tive for this is­sue, one about har­ness­ing your own elec­tric­ity, and an­other about be­ing clever with in­no­va­tive de­sign to heat your own home and, con­se­quently, draw less elec­tric­ity from the na­tional grid.

Much of what is writ­ten about here will re­quire an au­tho­rized tech­ni­cian to in­stall but there are not many of us who wouldn’t want to get stuck in and lend a hand where we can. We have a lot of the re­quired skills and it’ll also save money.

Back to my New Year’s res­o­lu­tion. How have I done so far? Ter­ri­bly. I have done noth­ing to help the cause. I’m not driv­ing less, us­ing less elec­tric­ity, or con­sum­ing less. Fail. And I reckon that is prob­a­bly the case for just about all of us. What are you do­ing to help?

I kept think­ing that it was the job of a gov­ern­ment to put laws and good prac­tice in place but that’s not all of it. Gov­ern­ments hate do­ing any­thing that makes them un­pop­u­lar and as a re­sult pos­si­bly lose elec­tions. They are slow and of­ten avoidant. It’s down to us as in­di­vid­u­als to do some­thing and we need to start do­ing it quickly. When I was grow­ing up a pop­u­lar ques­tion was, “What did you do in the war, Grandad?” For our grand­chil­dren it will be, “What did you do about cli­mate change, Grandad?”

I hope I have an an­swer for them.

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