First off before I get into the subject of this post, here is a little something. And article in The New Yorker -The Really Big One.This is not tin hat stuff, this serious shit. According to the article and research it could come any time. That in this area – the Cascadia subduction zone – happens around every 250 years or so and the last one was over 300 years ago ! So it’s conceivable that it could occur during our life time.
Now to the subject of my post. Over the last week or so I have lost power four times or maybe five. No weather related situations. It wasn’t even hot at the time, rather fairly cool. Each lasted around an hour or so. I am more or less used to this, coming from Florida where power loss is expected when ever there is a tropical storm or hurricane. So you prepare accordingly. Canned food, gas tank full, portable gas stove, batteries, etc.
Unless though you loose electric power for an extended period, you are not aware of how much we depend on it. Especially these days. Where damn near everything needs electricity to run. Tooth brushes, cell phones, gas pumps, water pumps, cooking, buying anything anywhere, travel, banking, health care, and on and on.
Most of the important areas like police and hospitals have back up generators but they are generally only good for a couple of weeks or until the fuel runs out, then nothing. Any major catastrophe that brought the power out for any longer would be difficult to deal with.
Just read this on the North East Blackout of 2003. Now imagine this happening to half the country and it could happen, make no mistake. The power grid infrastructure for this country is a hap hazard mess of interconnecting privater power companies and has not been upgraded sice…. well almost forever. On top of that it has little if any protection. Remember these ?
And they still don’t know who did it or why.
This initiative with home solar and home wind is what is necessary. Along with removing power generation and distribution from private hands and putting into community hands. A publicly owned utility approach.
In fact anything that is a necessity needs to become a publicly owned utility, including the internet.