vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Where are you and where are you going?
tonyedgecombe
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by tonyedgecombe » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:18 am

@prognastat There isn't very much wildlife to hunt in the UK, apart from a few remote regions it is very densely populated.

vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:26 am

jacob wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:48 pm
Is there enough trees in the UK to be able to afford burning wood again? Well, maybe there is. What about CCS considerations? Those trees might be required for other services.
Indeed, the complexity and scale of our predicament(s) is daunting. However, if people are freezing in the winter, it will take more than laws and threats of fines to stop tree felling on private property, even if the motivation is carbon capture, I'm pretty sure coppice management will become an essential community project once people accept we can't burn fossil fuels any longer. No doubt anti-felling laws will only result in a black market trade for illicit wood, with all the negative cost externalisation, poor management of woodland will backfire as far as CCS goes! :lol:

@chenda, Ah yes, the humble curtain! DW and I talked about installing one. Sadly the dog would probably rip it down when visitors arrive. I paint him as a terrible beast, but really his only fault is his reaction to the doorbell/postman! I guess I could just train it out of him, but who has time for that ;)

Certainly, wood fuel as a sole source of heat on a macro level is a pipe dream given the UK's population density, if everyone else decides to adopt burning wood fuel in domestic stoves in place of natural gas/electricity we would burn through our remaining woodland in a matter months or years, there has never before been 60+million souls in the UK. In the absence of liquid transportation fuels to move fuel from where it is available to where it is needed, it's will not be economically viable for big cities. This is one of the issues jacob is alluding too. There is also an air quality issue. Our current inner city air pollution problem would pale in comparison if there was a dramatic shift to burning wood in urban environments, greater london would become a smogged hell hole.

Whilst there will in theory always be demand for wood fuel, its impossible to move large quantities of wood large distances without motor transport, except maybe along existing canals and navigable rivers. Wood is also not particularly energy dense compared to coal, gas and petroleum, so shifting it around in trucks would actually increase our CO2 emissions. Unless I relocate my family to an area well endowed with woodland that can be hauled by hand to my stove, wood fuel can only ever be a method of bridging intermittent supplies of electricity and gas. I could maybe store a few cords in my garage, and a bit more in a garden shed, if trucks stop running, I would be then faced with illegally felling trees on someone else's property, or skip diving (or burning the proverbial furniture).

Depletion of wood fuel is the reason we transitioned deep pit mining coal 200 years ago. No one burns dirty coal in their kitchen hearth unless they have no choice. Sadly, we didn't use the ample opportunity between then and now to regrow our great forests with a mind to manage them sustainably going forward. If I were a policy maker, I would start training the next generation in forestry skills, re-prioritising land use outside grains farming for reforrestry. 10 years from now demand for wood will only be increasing as gas prices increase, it takes more than 10 years to grow a forest from degraded soils.

This is exactly why this house of ours cannot be our forever home. One would need to practice coppicing on large scale on a remote homestead to have any sort of chance of relying on wood as a sole source of heat energy. We have been thinking about moving to a rural location more and more lately... but access to good schooling for DD and employment for ERE accumulation seems to trump that dream for the time being. As jacob says, as you become dependant on new systems and infrastructure, you cannot go back easily. We are playing around with damage limitation strategies here, not rebuilding sustainable society solo on a homestead. You can't have complex society at the same time as building truly resilient systems, they are diametrically opposed. At least on a macro scale.

If I do install a wood stove, I will be only firing it up when I can come across free fuel, or in the event the boiler isn't working.

@tonyedgecomb, people will naturally migrate to where the essential resources are available. City folk will have no choice but to disperse into rural areas with adequate supply of water and soil suitable for growing. In any case, there will be a great need for new farm hands in these locations when there are shortages in either liquid fuels for machinery or natural gas for fertilisation, labour intensive small scale horticulture will be necessity if we are to avoid the worst outcomes as far as famine goes. If either supply breaks down, our current model of large scale agriculture and long distance transportation of produce fails. We could theoretically cope with intermittent gas supply from an agricultural perspective by running down the soil fertility, but if the grid goes down due to gas supply failure, all the other dominoes go down with it. I doubt we will see a sophisticated wood fuelled society post collapse, we will be lucky to revert to the bronze age level at the rate we are going.

@cmonkey, thanks for that, I won't bother with the audit then!

FBeyer
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by FBeyer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:33 am

With regards to the smogged hell-hole. Isn't the clean burn a part of the attraction to Rocket Mass Heaters?

vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 am

You're assuming high adoption rates of a technology sniffed at by 99% of the population! Don't fire regs and insurance policies make these impossible to install in homes in most developed economies at the moment? Of course, all this can change, but I doubt we will see near perfect rates of adoption in any case, people will stubbornly continue on with their inefficient stoves, because, well they look nice!

tonyedgecombe
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by tonyedgecombe » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:56 am

@vexed I'm not really sure what situation you are expecting but if you are that worried about dealing with cold winters then a solution is to put a tent up in your living room for the cold spells.

If it gets as bad as you seem to think then I suspect all bets are off. People with good keyboard skills and skinny arms are likely to loose out no matter how well they prepared.

daylen
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by daylen » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:22 am

@tony Small communities will emerge where possible. Surviving the initial shock is the first step.

daylen
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by daylen » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:25 am

vexed87 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 am
Don't fire regs and insurance policies make these impossible to install in homes in most developed economies at the moment?
Here in Kansas there are counties where the laws are quite minimal (and the state is too broke to enforce). I have visited a couple small farms that use them. Location, location, location..
Last edited by daylen on Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

cmonkey
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cmonkey » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:29 am

So the solution to the regs issue is to put the rocket heater in an out building of some sort (its a garage heater!) and just sleep there when the weather gets cold. Similar to how people get around zoning rules for tiny homes by putting them on wheels.

+1 to daylen as well. Being FI gives the flexibility to go where the regs aren't.

vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:13 am

@tonyedgecombe, all the more reason not to skip arm day at the gym! I've written extensively on what I'm expecting on these boards, essentially a failure of the market economy, aka the climacteric, or Korowicz crunch. No matter how many hours I spend in the gym, that's bad news for city folk like me. Despite my renaissance man aspirations, I still source my food from a market economy. I'm less worried about war lords and break down of law and order, there are simple solutions to both. Rather I concern myself with the necessities of life such as practical impacts of long term shortages in starchy foods at the supermarket. My garden is north facing, which makes it terrible for growing high calorie food. If I stay put, I'm stuffed, unless the large community field behind our house gets turned into a victory garden.

You're right, there are many things we can't plan for, but the realities of resource depletion mean there are some obvious extrapolations one can make. There is one certainty we cannot escape, and within our lifetimes we cannot rely on an uninterrupted supplies of gas, oil and quite likely grid electricity unless we collectively reduce demand considerably, but that also collapses the economy, we can't have our cake and eat it, which ever which way we turn, collapse awaits. I'm not sure society is ready to pitch up tents in their living rooms so that's off the table for now! Yet it still makes sense to think about back-up systems, or maybe how society will adjust to the changes on the other end, if only for light entertainment. That's where my head is at most days. The reality of office life is less interesting.

vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:22 am

daylen wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:25 am
Here in Kansas there are counties where the laws are quite minimal (and the state is too broke to enforce). I have visited a couple small farms that use them. Location, location, location..
True, my main point was, it ain't gonna happen in greater London! :lol:

George the original one
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by George the original one » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:45 am

In the event of utility disruption through the winter, you'll manage to stay warm by bundling up. After all, there are people who regularly camp with snow on the ground.

More concerning would be where your water comes from. Second concern is how quickly disease will spread in the colder living conditions with a dense population, lack of sanitary water, and insufficient food.

In your urban/suburban situation, I would be considering rainwater collection and a PV array with battery suitable for running a few lights and a microwave oven with a Jacob-style food store.

vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:53 am

@GTOO Looks like we can check most of that off, I just need the solar array. But actually, I prefer low tech solutions, whilst maybe not as convenient, they are more sustainable and useful going forward in the event of long term disruption. We have maybe a couple winter's supply of long burning paraffin candles, and even more bees wax to make my own (left over from another project). I've also researched how to make rushlights and candles from scratch from rendered fat. I'm just waiting for the new season to harvest some rush plant stems for the first time to try them out.

vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:46 am

DD was Baptised this weekend. It was a nice occasion, shared with family and friends. There was cake, music and food. For me it was an excuse for a bit of fun, but DW comes from a Roman Catholic family, technically as do I, but I have never practiced. I'm agnostic. For us, it was a tactical decision rather than an issue of faith. DD will be able to attend a better school now she's baptised into the RC church, the downside is DW needs to attend Sunday Mass regularly in order for DD to be accepted by the school board. The local state school's are not great, when I married DW, I was asked to honour the church and allow our progeny to be baptised/raised RC, if DDs anything like me, she will be resistant to any brainwashing and will question authority and tradition, but at least she'll get a reasonable school education! :twisted:

DD is growing up so fast. I'm taking shared parental leave imminently, DW will return to work after 11 months of maternity leave. I have been looking forward to it immensely. I'll be stay at home dad for 4 weeks, then dropping to a 4 days work week (still to be formally agreed) quite likely until DD goes to school, so we can be around for her at least some of the time. It will delay retirement, but I get to spend all that time with DD, it's worth it. I'm hoping the extra time at home will give me more energy for home economic projects and open doors to more savings, but let's see how exhausting child care is first before I make promises. I'm hoping to ramp up efforts in the garden this year and aim to supply a reasonable portion of our own greens.

Irritatingly, I have developed some on and off neck pain lately. I saw a physiotherapist for it. Turns out it stems from a weakened shoulder, the PT suspects it's related to my (shit) posture. So I'm off the road bicycle for a while to speed recovery. I have been taking the bus to work. The bus is pricey (£5 return). My journey requires a transfer and two different bus operators, the cheapest viable option is paying for a region wide ticket in batches of 10 which can be used at any time. I can only save more by buying monthly or annual tickets. That would be false economy as I won't use buses when cycling. It's a shock to the system to have to pay £5 a day to get a return ticket for the bus. I did the math, it costs me about 45p/mile driven in DWs car vs 50p/mile on the bus over 10 miles. It's no wonder we have such road congestion problems. Walking is not an option, its 10 miles, that's 3 hours each way. I could run it, but I'm not fit enough yet, I don't think it would help my shoulder either. Though I have taken up running again, I'm running 5-10km, 4 days a week now the weather is improving. The route is along unpleasant roads, so I would have to take a long detour to avoid the worst of it.

I hope I won't be off the bike for long, but on the positive side I now have 2 extra hours of reading time on the bus. I'm considering buying a folding bike, so I can catch the bus home if I am feeling tired, or need take the train if I have to attend meetings elsewhere. Maybe I'll sell one of my other bikes to make room. 3 bikes seems like too many, or is it? :twisted:

I'm looking at Bromptons. They seem to hold their value well. I can buy it with a cycle to work benefit scheme, I'll save roughly £250 on income taxes on a £1000 bike (if I stay with my employer another 4 years). I may be able to sell it on later without capital loss, particularly if Brexit sparks higher inflation. Can you tell I'm trying to justify N+1? Bikes really are my weakness. :lol:

jennypenny
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:12 am

Congratulations on the christening. :)

I understand people's objections to the Church, and the Catholic Church has behaved indefensibly on some matters. That said, a good parish can make for a great community (which is particularly helpful to introverts who find maintaining social bonds difficult). The strong traditions of the church have been a needed salve during difficult times in my life. I've also found that at my age (52), it's a great place to pay it forward with built-in charities and socially-conscious activities.

/salespitch ;)

tonyedgecombe
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by tonyedgecombe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:36 am

vexed87 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:46 am
Bikes really are my weakness. :lol:
I prefer to think of them as a strength :D

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:50 am

My Jewish friend refused to step on the glass his mother presented at his wedding. His wife is not Jewish, so it was only his mother pushing him to do so. Even with an atheist conviction, I cannot see how it would have hurt to just step on the glass.

I felt bad for his mother.

cimorene12
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cimorene12 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:47 am

I'm not sure how they're going to know whether or not your wife goes to weekly Mass or not. Is it a small congregation?

Overall, I highly agree with JennyPenny's take.

Shifting gears and looking at the numbers:
Doubling the rate of religious attendance raises household income by 9.1 percent
https://www.nber.org/digest/oct05/w11377.html
Full paper here: https://www.nber.org/papers/w11377.pdf
The researcher knows that it is correlation, not necessarily causation. He proposes some possible reasons in the conclusion section. My personal take on it is mostly that the increased income has to do with participation in the community and a better social network, tying back into what JennyPenny said.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by tonyedgecombe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:06 pm

I'm not sure you could extrapolate that to the UK. Church attendance here is very low and the churches are quite different to the US.

cmonkey
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cmonkey » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:32 pm

Getting bmonkey baptized has been a source of angst for me and I'm glad to see the Lutheran version is not as bad as the Catholic version! Being agnostic myself I find the whole thing irritating to say the least, but part of moving back to DW's hometown is church attendance. She is compromising with Saturday service so I will see how that goes.

We need some pics if she is growing up so quickly!

vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:56 am

@JP, thanks! A dash of maturity, Harari's Sapiens and David Fleming's words on the 5 types of truth and their relationship to religion has changed my long standing resistance, skepticism and cynicism of orthodoxy and religion to something more akin to curiosity of possibility. I'm more open to participating (loosely) than I have been in the past. I dare say I'll never be a pious parishioner though! The link comes highly recommended to open-minded skeptics and those that haven't yet read Lean Logic.

@tonyedgecomb, that's one way to look at it! Every now and then I have meetings at other hospitals and venues around yorkshire, those days I generally drive DWs car as a one off. A folding bike would enable me to go completely car free for work related travel, which can only be a good thing. Full sized bicycles prohibits me using trains or buses for part journeys, or else I have to risk leaving my prized possession behind and being stolen (not to mention hauling heavy D locks to and from transport hubs).

@MI, One of my brothers is very much like that. He couldn't be god father to DD because he refuses to do things like renounce Satan in the ceremony on the principle that doing so would make him complicit in falsehoods of religion. Whereas whilst I do not believe in a literal heaven, hell or fallen angel, I have no such qualms, for me the whole thing is purely symbolic. Of course, I'll always do my best to keep DD on the straight and narrow, and make sure she stays away from evildoers! :lol:

@cimorene, I think DW is a guardian type, she is very much conscientious, she wouldn't dare cheat the system. Also, she attends with her mother and grandmother, so I think there is an element of catching up with her loved ones afterward!

@cmonkey, I'm not sure why anyone would be put off by the Catholic baptism ceremony, it seemed pretty harmless to me, it certainly didn't offend me, and the priest was very accommodating of me, knowing full well I wasn't baptised etc, but it wouldn't surprise me if things are different over the pond! I'll attach pictures to my next update, my work network prohibits uploading images to file sharing sites :cry:

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