We’ve been without power for 13 days in December . . . so far. Four different times the power has failed.
And here is why the electric power grid has failed so often this winter: The infrastructure is crumbling.
The thing about infrastructure is that you don’t think about it so much. Well, unless you are an industrial recruiter or a doomer/thrivalist . Infrastructure just is. It is what you take for granted and notice only if it isn't there and fuss about if it isn't perfect. I would say that many different sorts of infrastructures are crumbling right now; that the financial infrastructure, for instance, has already collapsed. The electric grid infrastructure is a favorite of many people -- those people who’s ideal is to live “off the grid” for instance -- and the reason people have the idea to live off the grid is because people are so dependent upon the grid. They cannot heat, they cannot cook, they cannot store food, they have no water to drink or flush with without electricity. And because the grid cannot even begin to “stay up” without coal fire generated electricity, and I don’t care where you think your personal electricity comes from, in reality the grid would not be there at all without coal. There is no solar grid or wind grid or hydro grid (and I have my environmental issues with each one of these alternatives -- they are not “clean” in reality) without dirty & dangerous, mercury laced, acid rain producing, mountain top removed coal fired power plants.
We are connected to the grid in some really vital ways. But we know how to live without it -- and we have the means to live without it. So the power failures are inconveniences to us, not tragedies. We can enjoy our freezers and our Wii, and we can do without them.
But these power failures are the canaries in the coal mines . . . the first signs of what is there already but not yet recognized.
The infrastructure is crumbling.
It is a simple thing to maintain power lines, and cheaper than fixing them four times in one month. But that hasn’t happened. Sure right now it is way out here in the boonies and on a power circuit that serves only a handful of customers. It is nothing big, certainly nothing that would affect people in the cities, nothing that will require a priority other than if it feels good, do it.
Except that it will. Just like bad (not poor but downright bad and evil) financial choices are catching up with the world. Just like peak oil will catch up (and did, in a small way, when prices peaked then demand fell).
Go ahead. Think that I'm crazy. The infrastructure is collapsing no matter what you think about it.
Go ahead. Read Kunstler's forecast.
And be brave in the new year.
There is this thing that is a given in my head but that other people don't seem to get is that TEOTWAWKI is an opportunity, a gift. Shiva's dance of destruction is also the dance of transformation. Think, What do you want your world to look like? and then create it. Of course, true creativity requires more than a dram of marrow.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009