You might be thinking, hey, I’ve got this one covered! I’ve survived lots of power outages. If that is your thought process, you could not be more wrong.
Anyone who considers, even for a moment, how interconnected and interdependent our existence has become … so full of overly-complex, over-engineered, over-automated systems driving every aspect of our increasingly fragile existence that is dependent on just-in-time inventory and shipping virtually everything we need ridiculous distances … arrives at the same inescapable conclusion: that mankind has built a house of cards.
I doubt we could have created a more fragile world if it had been our aim from the beginning. We have painted ourselves into a corner and we are going to make a mess getting out.
Few analogies are as simple and powerful as tripping an electrical breaker to disconnect a building from the grid. One moment the building is alive, bright, vibrant, buzzing. With the flip of a switch, it lays still, cold and dead.
It is truly that simple. One moment we have juice, the next we don’t.
The Chain Reaction
America’s need for power outstrips our investment in our capability to produce it by 400%.
Yet the legislative branch of government points fingers and the executive branch (well, what used to be the executive branch before we turned the zoo over to the chimps, so to speak) sits in its tower considering “jobs for jihadis” and throwing lavish parties to congratulate and reward itself for scamming the rest of us out of our tax dollars.
Meanwhile, our electrical infrastructure continues its rapid decay and the nation’s power grid slips and slides down a spiral water slide of demise. It appears that they could not possibly care less. Perhaps they figure somebody else will be in office to take the blame when the music stops.
But it is not just the US. The US economy affects the world economy and the world economy is feeling the pinch. You do not have to be a risk assessment genius to understand that a depressed world economy translates to more frequent power outages of increased duration and a weaker and more vulnerable power grid.
The grid is limping along on borrowed time. Through a combination of luck and the best efforts of the intelligence and military communities, we have dodged the CME/HEMP (Coronal Mass Ejection/High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse) bullet … so far.
But while clock counts down to the next time the sun lobs an X-class solar flare in the general direction of our planet, the power industry has succeeded in using junk science generated by NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) to pull the wool over the eyes of congress and emergency management bureaucrats alike, forestalling the Shield Act, which is our only hope to harden the grid against the inevitable threat of EMP, be it geomagnetic or manmade.
The 2012 India Blackout affected 620 million people or 9% of the world population. India’s engineers blamed in on a number of factors that were merely symptoms of the same illness that affects the US and most other power grids.
The chronic illness underlying the symptoms was that the industrial and technological revolutions have catalyzed humanity’s explosive growth for far too long.
This has woven fragility into very fabric of world’s power grids. This has become a growth bubble of epic proportions searching for a pin. Our sun and geopolitical climate has that bubble navigating terrain akin to the Sonoran Desert. In reality, it is not so much a desert, but a forest of cactus spines, fangs, thorns and stingers, all poised to plant themselves in passersby.
I am involved in emergency management and I am very blessed to have many good, competent government emergency managers all the way up to the state level. After that, it mostly government shills who fancy themselves emergency managers.
Especially at the Federal level, the US has fallen prey to a culture of academics who pretend to know inordinately more than they actually do. Rooted firmly in the personality ethic, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” is their motto, but they never do. Afraid of their own intellectual shadow, they fear embracing and admitting their own uncertainly, which is the first step to anyone truly learning anything. So they believe what is most convenient as opposed to what is true. In this case, it very convenient to have blind faith that the electrical grid, like everything else in their lives, is maintained by people and organizations more intelligent, wiser, more benevolent and more responsible than they are. “Move along, nothing to see here!”
EMP is the stuff of Hollywood, not what our smartest scientists, the head of the CIA, and our best and brightest minds, and those of our enemies, seem to all agree is presently our single greatest known vulnerability.
Major vulnerabilities mean increased work load for emergency managers, and government shills resist having to actually provide a valuable service in trade for their salary.
Just this type of human debris, “working” for the City of Phoenix, Arizona concluded some years ago that an evacuation of Phoenix-Metro area is simply impossible.
So no such plan even exists. “Can’t win … don’t try.” They look to Homer Simpson for guidance on important issues like emergency plans that affect the lives of millions of people, including themselves and their own families.
I sincerely hope they have since remedied the situation, but I was not going to hold my breath and relocated to someplace with better prospects and better leadership.
The Countdown to Disaster
In order to understand how to prepare for a protracted power outage, you should understand the sequence of events that will unfold after the lights go out.
Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: Lights Off: How The World Could Change In 7 Days