Our ever-increasing reliance on electricity is frightening to say the least. For quite a while now, I have commented to any one with spare time on their hands that this country is becoming more and more vulnerable to terrorist threats and natural disasters, as each day goes by.
Do any of the geniuses running the joint even care? It certainly doesn’t look like it because, if they did, they would exercise their powers of strategic thinking and rebuild our power infrastructure with security as a top priority. Sadly, strategic thinking has been relegated to the political endangered species list … along with common sense and integrity… values we expect even from our children.
Enduring the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, individuals and agencies are grappling with the repercussions of having no power. A couple of New York hospitals evacuated their patients to other facilities because, even with plenty of warning of the impending event, their backup generator systems didn’t work properly. Gas stations can’t pump gas because they don’t have power. A few ‘what if’ questions along with a little common sense might have preempted such embarrassments.
I was struck by one commentator’s observation that, following natural disasters, we usually rebuild to higher standards than before. In other words we – amazingly – learn from past mistakes and shortcomings … except in the case of electrical power. We replace the old poles with new poles, the old wiring with new wiring, and then we’re done.
Of course, I’m relaying someone else’s observation but it makes sense to me. His point was that we should be burying all this cable under ground to protect it from Mother Nature and from those who would do us harm. At the same time, we should involve the people over at the Department of Homeland Security and make sure that the entire grid is as terrorist and disaster-proof as possible. As their website proclaims:
“Our founding principle and highest priority is to protect the American people from terrorist threats.”
“Department works with industry and state, local, tribal and territorial governments to secure critical infrastructure and information systems. Analyzes and reduces threats and distributes warnings.”
If you look at the progress of the anti-fossil-fuel (pro-electric) lobbying movements in states like California, you will observe a euphoric march to an electrified Eden that conveniently overlooks the negative possibilities such as those discussed above and stubbornly ignores the need for a Plan B.
With politicians demonstrating permanent ED and non-existent strategic thinking, it’s time they paid serious patient visits to the appropriate physicians. In the meantime, as a political perk, let’s give them some free medication for the first problem so we can at least pretend to live with smiles on our faces as we contemplate the future.