But the title of his latest video had me a little flummoxed—can you really start a fire with water?
It turns out that what Paul is talking about is creating a lens using nothing but water and household plastic wrap—and then using that lens to focus the sun's rays on a piece of paper or other flammable material. (Like these DIY firelighters Paul showed us how to make before.)
It turns out that his water trick is not only possible, but relatively simple. The biggest challenges appear to be keeping the light focused, stopping your lens/balloon from dripping on the fledgling fire, and of course if you are a survivalist video blogger, maintaining steady camera work as you do it.
Now exactly what this trick offers in terms of sustainable living will be up for some debate. But as I argued previously, there's a case to be made that survival skills are sustainable even if you never use them. Simply be reconnecting with the power of the elements at our disposal, we remind ourselves of the labor and skill it takes to accomplish the simplest tasks without modern technology. (No, plastic wrap doesn't count as modern technology of course!)
If the worst of the peak oilers doom-and-gloom predictions do come true, we'd best start hoarding plastic wrap and water so we can still cook dinner.