2. Power

After the breakfast, Michael walked by the car, which was tucked away in the garage. It was done recharging, of course, being plugged in all night long when electricity was very cheap. Not the least due to the fact that nothing else was using the electricity at night. That electricity came from a long distance away. Local grids were still not the norm. Electricity still came from a long distance away. But not from coal fired plants, mind you. A large portion came from the scorching Arizona desert solar installations, and another portion from the several orbiting solar collectors. All in all, the charged car has absorbed five dollars' worth of electricity. For a range of 150 miles, that was cheap.

Not that the car would be able to run out of the charge. Michael was very proud to be an owner of a home methanol producing appliance the size of a clothes dryer. That was also busy all night long, having produced gallons of fuel from random bits of food and garden waste thrown inside. Last century's waste was this century's treasure.

Michael thought for a second about hydrogen cars. That was the big joke, of course. Every office worker, every sports fan, every soccer mom. It was universally known to all what a hype a hydrogen car was. It was still being "researched", by the way. Researchers loved topics which would guarantee a steady flow of research money for decades into the future. Hydrogen was the one thing noone really turned out to need. A rechargeable battery which never managed to be any better than the low-tech battery.

The house thermal solar array was also enjoying the morning, having rotated itself to the morning sun, and soaking up all the early heat it could get. And yet another low-tech and old-tech solution, steam, was so plentiful, being generated by the huge thermal array, that it basically eliminated many things once held golden. That only the ridiculously expensive silicon photo-voltaic solar arrays could produce electricity in people's homes. That oil would have to be trucked in before winter to supply the heat. That a basement water heater would operate summer and winter always heating up water. The ridiculously cheap and insanely powerful solar thermal array eliminated the gas and oil connection of the house to the city grid. Only the electrical and clean water connections remained. Many houses also no longer had the sewer connection. The do-it-yourself movement of recycling, house contraptions converting yesterday's waste into today's resources, were so powerful that discussing what your house could and could not do was a more popular office discussion topic than the sports team wins and losses.

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