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Is The Smart Grid a Dumb Idea? Nick Rosen, author of "Off The Grid: Inside the Movement for More S

Confession: I am a big fan of Nick Rosen. I've interviewed him a few times and I find his insight into the world energy paradigm truly eye opening. His new video, “Smart Grid. Dumb Idea”, is the second episode from Nick's Off-Grid News.

As Nick explains: "It's about the lobbying campaign by corporations like GE and IBM to persuade the nation to spend $2 TRILLION to boost the existing grid, instead of investing it in locally produced energy. GE was the company that introduced the national grid in the 1920s and 30s. Now it wants to reshape the grid to its own specification."

Nick has written two books about living off the grid. His first, "How To Live Off Grid", was about people in the UK. His second book on the subject was: "Off The Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government and True Independence in Modern America." This one, of course, is about people in the USA. Interestingly, his idea of writing both books grew from him being in NYC during the huge blackout in 2003 when power in many parts of the USA shut down. A few years after experiencing the massive power failure in NYC, Nick drove across the UK and then the USA to document the stories of people who have gone off grid.

The book "Off The Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government and True Independence in Modern America" has an excellent history of the American "back to the land" movement from its inception in the 1960s to the present time. There is also a great chapter in that book which explains how the power grid came into being in the first place. The book is worth buying just to open your eyes to the history of the grid and how and why it came to exist. (Another great book to read that explains a lot about the history of the grid is "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future.")

Nick Rosen also started an excellent web site,, that is creating a global community of people who want to go off grid or already are off grid. I click on it regularly and consider it a must read.

Personally, my goal is to become independent from the grid in the near future. It is totally inspiring to see people across the world all unifying in the common goal of being more independent and more resilient. The "grid" was invented only 125 or so years ago so this avant garde concept of living "off grid", i.e. not relying on centralized energy sources (or food sources or other fragile networks), is, really, going back to the future.

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