Roscoe Bartlett – a study in self-sufficiency

A man you'd want to be stranded with
A man you’d want to be stranded with

Writer Jason Koebler went to visit the Off-Grid Congressman – 87-year-old Roscoe Bartlett — for Politico magazine, and the result is a charming portrait of a very dedicated pubic servant who is spending his final years practising what he preaches.

According to Bartlett, a terrorist with a “$100,000 Scud launcher and any crude nuclear weapon” could detonate a bomb above the atmosphere and knock out America’s power grid for more than a year. “How many houses did you see on fire” during the four hour drive to his ranch, Barlett asks Koebler. None of course, but they still all have fire insurance, right?

Bartlett, former junior Congressman from Maryland, shows Koebler around his West Virginia estate with it sheds, wells, composting toilets, solar panels and all the off-grid technologies you can imagine.

“He’s more interested in pointing out the different species of trees on his property,” says Koebler, “or showing off his new composting toilet than discussing Obamacare (“just awful”) or the government shutdown (“lots of people realized we could get along just fine without the government”).

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