paul has a new video  

 



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you can make a difference this winter  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22594
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I received an email asking me to help folks with their power bill. Folks with arthritis. Folks that "might have to choose between food, medicine or heat."

And this is not the first request I have received like this this year.

I sent the following response:

-----------------------------

I would like to help your efforts go ten times further.

I have conducted my research and made my reports. People all over the world are duplicating these efforts with great success.

1) How I cut 87% off of my electric heat bill by heating myself instead of the whole house.

http://www.richsoil.com/electric-heat.jsp

Variations of this can be used for families and guests and all sorts of variations. The important part is that people are just as warm, but they experience MASSIVE savings in their power bill.

2) People have been able to eliminate their electric heat bill with rocket mass heater technology. This is something that takes less than a weekend to build, can cost less than $20, and can cleanly heat a home with just a few twigs. One family heated their home one winter with nothing but junk mail.

http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp

3) A wofati is a house design that requires zero heat because it uses massive thermal intertia. Based on the works of John Hait (Passive Annual Heat Storage) and Don Stephens (Annualized Geo-Solar) for the thermal inertia part, and mike oehler for cheap house design.

http://www.richsoil.com/wofati.jsp

With this information, I would like to think that any funds collected with your email below would go ten times further. Or more.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm about to hit "send". I expect that if the email even ends up in front of anybody, it will be instantly deleted. But I think this is one of those things where I have to try a hundred times until it gets through just once.




 
Brad Davies
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Location: Clarkston, MI
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I like it. It reminds me of the old saying, If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a life time. Or my personal favorite from homebrewing websites, If you give a man a beer he'll waste and hour, if you teach a man to brew he will waste a lifetime
 
Fred Walter
Posts: 43
Location: Near Beaver Valley, Ontario, Canada
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Brad Davies wrote:I like it. It reminds me of the old saying, If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a life time.


It isn't sufficient to teach someone how to 'fish', when they'll need to make major lifestyle changes.

I'm somewhat cynical, and expect that most people won't make dramatic lifestyle changes of the type that Paul suggests, unless they've hit rock bottom.

I could be mistaken, but I think that rocket stove technology, while really cool, won't be allowed in any place that has building/fire codes... or in buildings that are insured (unless you want your house insurance cancelled).
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Along the lines of all those folks that do the occupy stuff: I think it would be interesting if hundreds of millions of people heated their homes with a rocket mass heater because it was "best" and "right" whether it was legal or not.

Kinda like how it would be funny for people to buy raw milk "black market" style. Or to buy bacon from a permaculture farmer without USDA approval. Black market bacon!

How would people know if you had a rocket mass heater in your house? Wouldn't they just think you are running your clothes dryer?

I suspect that a full burn for a rocket mass heater puts out one tenth the smoke of a cigarette. And most of that is when the fire is just getting started.

I also wonder: what if a hundred million people were using rocket mass heaters? Would the government come around to recognizing them? Insurance companies?

I've never smoked pot in my life, but why are so many folks keen on smoking pot when it is illegal, but freaked out about a rocket mass heater? And didn't pot get legalized in a lot of places AFTER most of the population consumed it?
 
Jackson Barnett
Posts: 38
Location: Foothills of SW Maine - Zone 5a
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I feel your pain, Paul. I doubt your reply will get very much further than the person who receives it, IF it's the 'right kind' of person. Almost certainly the agency requesting your support won't do much with it... If they actually solved the problem, they'd be out of business.

[heavy sigh]

BUT! Fear not and be of good cheer! The work you do IS extraordinarily valuable, and the folks who will use it will find their way to it, or it to them... I don't expect to see you on Oprah (BTW, have you tried her?) or the evening news, but I (for one) believe that your messages are travelling the channels that are most effective. Will everyone hear them? No. Will a LOT of people hear them? Maybe not. Will the people who need your information and put it into action get it? Absolutely.

When you toss a pebble (or many pebbles) into a still lake, you have no idea how far or where the ripples will reach. If there is a God (I believe there is -- where did all this stuff come from??), there are no mistakes. All is well, all is well, all things are infinitely well.

Keep up the good work, buddy. High five! [slap!]
 
                        
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The thing with a rocket heater is that you have to have an outlet for the smoke, right? What do you do with the little bit of smoke that comes out afterwards? just vent it into the room? That doesn't sound like a good idea...and not everyone can or is willing to punch a hole in the wall for a smoke outlet....


 
Jesse Chastain
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Location: Eugene/Roseburg
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Hello,
I am with you Paul. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to get the permaculture message out to "normal" people and it can be frustrating. I have a hard enough time impacting my close friends and family let alone everybody else. You have made a difference in my life. I guess there has to be some grand shift before the masses will be ready to really listen. I feel like our numbers are increasing, so maybe there will be a "hundredth monkey" moment. Thank you for all that you do, Jesse
 
Richard Kastanie
Posts: 101
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Paul,
What I wonder about with your heating set-ups is how much extra EMF radiation people would be exposed to from having the heating elements so close to their bodies. If you're not worried at all about the effects of EMFs then that won't concern you, but as someone who is moderately EMF sensitive it does concern me. Becase EMF radiation follows the inverse square law, being a few feet farther away from an EMF source can make a big difference. When I've used electric heat with a space heater close to my bed, my insomnia was vey bad, and I would wake up unrefreshed. I finally realized what was causing the problems, and started warming up the room before I went to bed, then turning the heater off when I went inside and having extra blankets handy for when it got colder through the night. I slept significantly better. I suspect that many people would sleep better and have more energy during the day if they limited their EMF exposures in their bedroom. I'll definately never get near an electric blanket.
 
Denise Lehtinen
Posts: 102
Location: Tampa, Florida zone 9A
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If I were Paul and wanted to get my message out (more that he already is), I wouldn't think corporate media. Corporate media knows that Paul's stuff is against its interests (money, power, etc), and is always the last place to see any idea.

I would try DemocracyNOW! (www.democracynow.org). Amy's main focus is activists, BUT she does here and there have people on just because they are interesting to listen to. Some folks of that category have included Gabor Mate (a Canadian doctor helping drug addicts), Noam Chomsky (he does an interesting analysis of little covered news), and people with interesting documentary films at the Sundance film Festival.

Another idea is to make a nice video and get LinkTV (www.LinkTV.org) to air it. I don't know if they would, but Paul's stuff wouldn't be out of place in their hodgepodge of programming. Their stuff on environmental issues tends to be more theoretically oriented (I've seen ones with lots of nice notions of treating the environment nice), but as much as I like theory, it isn't worth much if it isn't applied.

There are probably more and better ideas that these ones that have just popped out of my head. These are some of my routine alternative information sources, and that is why I think of them when I read Paul's wish that more people would catch on to his stuff.

Would Paul make it on them? I don't know. I am suggesting that places like this be asked.

(I won't mind if this post gets deleted for mentioning too many radical ideas and people. I try to help...sometimes what I try isn't wanted...such is life.)
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22594
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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The points are valid. Most media is funded by advertising. And the advertisers are not interested in this stuff.

Oprah: I have to admit that I've never watched her show. I saw her in "The Color Purple" and thought she did an excellent job. Until I just now looked her up on wikipedia, I thought her career started with show biz. Apparently, her career started as a journalist. Neat!

rocket mass heater: the smoke is so slight that I know of people with neighbors that want to turn them in for anything that never turned them in for their rocket mass heater - because they never saw smoke.

EMF: I bought an EMF meter about a year ago and I still haven't taken it out of the box. I'll see if I can do that today.

democracynow: I have never listened. I have had a hundred people tell me I should, but it sounds political and I generally avoid politics and focus on my projects. I suppose if somebody knew of my stuff and was familiar with their stuff, they could make a suggestion to the DN folks.

LinkTV: This is the first I've heard of them. I looked around a little. I have no idea how to connect with them.

I've been on a few radio programs. It all starts the same: somebody writes to the radio people and says "you should get this guy on the show" and then they contact me and then I go on. Those shows are usually regional - for a small region.

I've now been on lifehacker and treehugger several times each. Lifehacker usually sends me a couple thousand people and treehugger sends me a hundred or so.

The frustration I am trying to express is rooted in

Folks that "might have to choose between food, medicine or heat."


I have the information for those people. I made the information available. I tried to tell a lot of people. The 87% article has been viewed by 27,000 people. I guess that in order to get it to the food/medicine/heat people, I've missed a step. I guess I have the skills to reach .... the people that I have reached. But this bigger stuff feels like it is outside of my skill set. As I think about trying, I feel ..... out of my element ... and start to think about how I should be focusing more on my current projects and leaving the big media stuff to those that are savvy to that space. So this bizarre mix of powerful sense of need and obligation, and powerful sense to steer clear. Twisted.


 
Fred Walter
Posts: 43
Location: Near Beaver Valley, Ontario, Canada
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paul wheaton wrote:start to think about how I should be focusing more on my current projects and leaving the big media stuff to those that are savvy to that space


There are a bunch of science-type shows, and reality-type shows out there. Is there anyone on this website that could point someone associated with those shows at what Paul is doing?

I have a friend that has appeared on a number of these shows, but he is further out from the mainstream than Paul is (he has a 10,000 sq.ft. underground fallout shelter).
 
Len Ovens
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We are each responsible for changing our own little world. What we do we can control and make the best of that. Part of that might be sharing the wonderful way the world could be and how to get there (they call those street preachers). However, what the people who receive your message do with it is up to them. Being right doesn't change that. You can't change the world, just you. but what you do with your life can influence others... if they let it. There are lots of revivals but not all who walk out are changed. Some become more opposed to change, maybe most do. Do not grow weary of doing good or right... it makes it easier to live with yourself.
 
Shawn Bell
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Paul,

I am one of those "Folks that might have to choose between food, medicine or heat." I began searching for cheap heating on youtube, and ended up here.

Your message will get to the people who are searching for a solution. Those not willing to search, probably would not implement a real solution anyway.

We have made improvements in our heating bill, and for that...Thank You.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Shawn,

I am freaky glad that you found my stuff and it helped. That is huge to me. Can you give me an idea on HOW you found me?

 
Shawn Bell
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Paul,

I was cruising YouTube looking for cheap diy woodstoves...that morphed into rocket stoves...which in turn morphed into rocket mass heaters...that ended with "If you like this kind of stuff, come out to permies.com."

And here I am hooked on permies.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22594
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Jackson Barnett
Posts: 38
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Paul: See? Told'ja.

 
C.J. Murray
Posts: 92
Location: 5,500 ft. desert. 13" annual precip.
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Paul,
I believe you are more effective than you realize. Just as Shawn did, I came across a YouTube video on rocket mass heaters and ended up having you find me. That was your intent wasn't it, for you to find me with your video? I came to this site several months ago and ended up purchasing around $250 or books and have been much obessed with reading, studying and absorbing since. Almost any Google search I do ends up with some reference to you. Your works are a tribute to those who have inspired and "found" you and led you to the point you are now.

I find the...inquisitive...nature of your...search...to be most effective at allowing those who are found by you to then begin to ask challenge personal assumptions, established societal buy-ins and formulate their own questions as their desire to live a different life morphs into being.

I believe that for the money spent keeping this site high quality, providing detailed information here as it emerges and the production of informative, detailed videos with relevant titles and tags to be your most effective way to find others in the short term. Long term incremental success can be found if this site can provide the incubation for completed successful projects which can then be very publicly seen. Keep up the...inquisitiveness.
 
Roger Merry
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I think it would be great to be able to use the media to get the message out to everyone but - through this forum and youtube that's what you're doing isn't it ? Seems like its working pretty well - we're all here reading this

The problem is always going to be persuading "normal" people to take up those ideas. Just like all the cooking shows are watched by people who don't cook, and all the dieting shows are watched by the overweight whilst eating chocolate biscuits so most people hear the ideas, like them, but will never get around to doing them unless they're forced into it by finances.

In the UK last year we had a killer winter (well not by some standards but we had ice in the sea where I live and that's never happened before !) The upside was a real move to insulate properly, use woodburners and really think about how to heat your house - even my wealthier "rat race" friends finally got on board that far

Now OK maybe that isn't far enough or fast enough but it proves the point - even the most "normal" start thinking "green" when they get stung with big bills and or it gets hard to heat the house cos its so damn cold. We are all in for a major change in fuel bills and some hard times over the next few years and more and more people are going to be looking to save cash and are going to be much more open to changing their habits.

Even then not everyone is going to earthberm their house or build a cob bench in their house - even I haven't done that and I'm into the idea , but it would be tricky to intergrate with a Georgian sitting room !! - but good simple ideas like in Pauls video will make it through and if a few go further then great.

The best way to change peoples mindset is to show them a better way (not preach but show) so everyone who takes up just one aspect of "green living" (hate that word - got to be a better one ??) introduces everyone they know or meet to that idea and if it doesn't look too hippyesque quite a few of those people will give it a try and the chain grows. Thanks to Paul and all the other cheerful nutters on here there is a great big chain already with lots of links - maybe we all just need to make much more of a point of joining up and sharing the information locally.

The hard part is - like Paul said - getting to the people who need it most. Part of the poverty trap is not having access to information, no web access etc. and the only way through that is through local community action groups and simple stuff like chatting to a neighbour

So Paul keep plugging away you're doing good so far !! - maybe we should have a "what are you doing to spread the word" section on here to encourage the rest of us to do more

In fact I'll start it - I joined the "transition town" group and have given a few talks, I've spread the word through the Allotment Society and the local regional Allotment group and I link all the youtube videos to facebook so they're seen by all the "suits" I know lol

OK what else could I be doing ??

Roger
 
Brenda Groth
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Backwoods Home Magazine had a lot of articles on preparedness this issue, and it alone might get people searching for ideas on how to not only be more prepared but also to save $ on such things as heating, elec, etc.. that may lead to a search that might bring them to this site.

I do find that I learn something new from every thing I read that you write, and often from the videos (however I have a more difficult time downloading the videos with my smartphone modem internet as we have poor signals here)..you should be on your HIGH HORSE and stay there, you are worth it..you reach thousands.
 
What are you doing? You are supposed to be reading this tiny ad!
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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