Electricity emancipates women and girls from the pump, the stove, and the washtub.
Control access to power (in all its forms)
The poor workhouses never went away
Free power generation
Will go a long ways to levelling the playing field
review the nature of water
Water is not H2O
Water is an element. This is why it can cycle and be distilled from
Water is inert. Water is always the container or carrier. Water is a good insulator.
Water doesn’t take part in reactions.
Water is the great decomposer.
We live in the realm of water.
We breathe air the gaseous state of water. Air is measured by its moisture or humidity.
Air has the form of bubbles. Bubbles carry stuff. Sand in sand storms. Dirt in dust storms. Soot from fires - smoke. The air is self cleaning, when it rains, pollutants return to the ground.
Water is the liquid state of water. Water has the form of full bubbles or drops. If water is given energy it releases air bubbles. Watch water as it is poured into a glass, see the bubbles rise. The ocean waves release bubbles. The oceans creates the air we breathe.
Oxygen and nitrogen and the other atmospheric gases are manmade gases and they exist only while contained. Products of air NOT constituents of air.
Snippets from my article titled
We breathe air not oxygen
1. "Why should people who pay the most in the US for a commodity have to tolerate using it only at certain times?"
First, I'm not suggesting that electricity consumers be obligated to use electricity in off peak hours. Second, Californian residential electricity consumers do not pay the most for electricity. Various New England states, New York State and Hawaii pay more.
2. "If the answer is to avoid blackouts then the problem is with the provider not the user."
Using off peak electricity for drying clothes, something that for many people would make almost no difference to their quality of life, is not to avoid blackouts. It is to reduce California's CO2 footprint. At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, a larger portion of peak power generation (between approximately 4pm and 10pm) in California is met with combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs). CCGTs generate CO2. For willing electricity consumers, the advantage of drying clothes in off peak is that it would reduce the amount of CO2 emitted.
Peak demand cannot be met with wind and solar for several reasons. One is that some of the peak demand occurs during and after sunset. Another is that, unlike CCGTs, wind and solar cannot be quickly brough online in phase with the electric grid in a matter of tens of minutes. So building out wind and solar will not, for the immediate future, answer the demand of generating power in California between 4pm and 10pm in the evening.
3. "Consumers in California are inundated with information to reduce usage at peak times."
I live in California so am aware of various efforts to communicate with California energy consumers. Most of these efforts implore Californians to use less energy on hot summer days. In Northern California where I live, this occurs for a few weeks a year. Most Californians think this is because of the risk of blackouts. In fact, PG&E has brought some parts of the grid in Northern California offline not because of a lack of generating capacity, but because of the fire risk of wind toppling trees onto power lines.
All of that being said, on most hot summer days, especially in Southern California, the demand for power during peak is met and there are no blackouts. But we are still driving up the amount of CO2 generated when we use power during peak (at least with the existing system of CCGT generation.)
Most California energy consumers are not aware of this. At least for some of us, it would not be a big deal to more evenly distribute energy consumption out of the peak energy window between 4pm and 10pm.
4. " . . . a grid that has been made less reliable by intermittent renewables."
It is what it is. But even without wind and solar, we would still have a peak energy demand in the evening.
There is no free lunch, but when possible, doing my laundry at 7am instead of 6pm is, at least, a free snack.
On a more immediate and practical level for California, several years ago, I sat through several days of an IEEE discussion about power generation in California. Several of the attendees had been senior executives at PG&E and were willing to talk to me directly about the realities of power generation in California. One of the most obvious fixable problems is that peak power demand in California occurs on hot summer days in the late afternoon.
California has been very busy subsidizing rooftop solar and electric vehicles. There are occasional call outs to reduce energy consumption. But three things that increase power demand on hot days have not been widely addressed:
Use of air conditioning
Use of washers and dryers during peak power demand
Use of dishwashers during peak power demand
1 is not so easy to address, but 2 and 3 are very easy. I’ve never seen an advertising campaign to ask people to delay running their washers and dryers and dishwashers until after midnight. Most of these appliances now have a delay timer and could easily be run at night or early morning when there is less demand for power.
More important than even clothes washers, LBJ saw what the lack of electricity to pump water did to his mother and all Texas hill country women, having to haul water to the homestead for daily use. He said she looked 20 years older than her actual age in her 30s'. He campaigned and won on this issue as a young legislator.
Now, if only we can get Nikola Tesla's free energy devices up and running worldwide!
Indeed, and this is one of the many reasons why I am VERY suspicious of the motives of relatively privileged neo-Luddites from the Global North. Also note how the most zealous neo-Luddites, or at least the leading ones, tend to be....wait for it....MEN.
It is so naive, if not evil, to close down low cost nuclear and nat gas power in the name of helping people or globe.
Doublely naive when one realizes that replacements for these, ie coal, lead to higher co2 in atmosphere.
Another impact of closing down clean conventional energy is demand suppression through higher costs electricity, or blackouts. This has even great social damage.
In “wealthy” locals like California and NY, the damage is mostly economic, as budgets for teachers’ salaries, community housing, and gifted students programs and graduate programs at top state universities are impinged, or taxes on employers and innovative corporations increased.
But as Bengali story implies, in rural undeveloped locals, the burden of making cheap electricity unattainable is far more than economic, it impacts society, culture and social justice.
Thanks for this!
My husband's grandmother, Marika, who lived in the Pindos mountains of Greece, spent much of her life washing clothes by hand, washing dishes, hauling water with a donkey from the local spring, rounding up firewood, and raising five children. Her village was gradually electrified in the 1970s and 80s, but by that time, she was already a grandmother. She too was very smart, but given the demand for physical labor, education was out of reach.
Even in my own lifetime here in Western North America, the development of highly reliable dishwashers and integrated washer/dryer machines have further reduced the burden of labor on women.
Still, some things don't change. Childcare is still labor intensive and rewarding. I'm happy I got an advanced degree in electrical engineering, and love working as an electronics design engineer, but I would not have traded away the years I spent as a stay-at-home mom to have had a CV that has the work profile of a man.
After reading your essay and that it is also Mother's Day, I thought back to my own mother, a newly arrived immigrant in the US in the 1920's who was pulled out of school by her father so that the family could make ends meet despite the availability of electricity. She regretted that her entire life but recognized the importance of education in her own family.
Although your essay is factful, it oversimplifies the case about electrification and education by presenting it from a statistical perspective, and in doing so, much is overlooked. Obviously running a transmission line into a village and connecting it to a transformer is not going to change much of anything by itself. There are many attendant factors, cultural, political, etc., that need to be in place to result in a significantly positive educational outcome over time.
I cannot imagine life without reliable energy.