Humble Farmer 18 December 2013

Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2013 in Opinion

Humble Farmer 18 December 2013

by Robert Skoglund aka The humble Farmer

The days of the ubiquitous conservative old Maine men who liked to save whenever they could is long past. This is because most men who are old in Maine today are the product of our corporate owned media.

When I put up my solar panels many friends who watch the news told me that solar panels would never pay for themselves. This is understandable, because the folks who own the oil companies and the media do not want Maine people to become self-reliant. 

And now we read that "The average cost of propane in Maine has risen another seven cents a gallon" It might as well have read "The average cost of propane in Maine has risen another seven cents a gallon --- again. This will not be the last of a number of substantial increases in the cost of your fuel."

We have friends who use propane because they thought it was a feasible economic option. 
There might have been a time when it was, but would you take a chance on propane when you have the inexpensive option of solar today?

Some of my friends put up solar panels 25 years ago. I was even in the first Maine solar power commercials Sandy made that were aired in Maine in 1988. But, at the time, it was my belief that only the rich could afford to install solar panels. 

When George W. Bush started the war that has brought this country to its knees, I knew that we were going to see a rapid and substantial increase in the cost of fuel. At the WERU fair in Blue Hill I met a man with a white beard who said he'd teach me how to build some solar panels. I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and borrow some money. I did. And, in my ignorance, I stumbled more than a few times getting started. But since then I've learned a lot about sustainable energy and I haven't looked back since.

With the help of more than a few friends, I put up panels that somehow generate electricity from the sun's rays. I do not understand how they work, but I like what they have done to my power bill. I even went down to the dump, salvaged huge sheets of glass, and built myself 8 solar water heaters. I do understand how they work because I built them with my bare hands and I like they way they have slashed not only my power bill but my oil bill. They now heat not only our domestic hot water, but the floor in my cellar where I've moved the office of Maine Private Radio. 

Because all this energy is free, I hope to build more because I'm a conservative, greedy old Maine man. 

Every time the cost of oil or propane or electricity goes up, the relative cost of my panels goes down. I shake my head and wonder why more of my neighbors don't have these things. I drove from St. George to Waterville a month ago and the only solar apparatus I saw the entire trip was a water heater on a cow barn. You might know where it is. 

Although they don't admit it in public, I've learned that a couple of my friends are catching on. 

--- Probably because it must be somewhat annoying to realize that your neighbor might be saving more than you are.
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