“It was no use trying the lift (elevator). Even at the best of times, it was seldom working, and at present, the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week.”—1984, George Orwell.
No, the lights aren’t likely to go out all across the United States and Canada all at once, although that scenario is possible and growing more possible every day. They are, however, going to go out in many places for varying periods of time and they are going to get much dimmer almost everywhere. This process is likely to start in the very near future and by, say 2015, it’s going to become increasingly uncomfortable for many Americans.
A very likely scenario is that described by English writer Eric Blair [1903-1950] in his classic anti-socialist novel 1984 written under his pseudonym George Orwell, as quoted above. The people of the United States, England and Canada currently are being set up for a situation such as that described by Orwell on the first page of his novel, where the power is cut off “during daylight hours.”
This story and title above actually were for book I intended to write after having worked in the U.S. utility industry for more than 20 years. I started the book two or three years ago, however, I never got around to completing it and at my age probably won’t. Therefore, and having seen warnings both from England and the U.S. over the last two weeks, I thought I’d share the gist of with you here. Most Americans aren’t familiar with how our electric system works. I am, and I, and many others, see its doom on the horizon. The new warnings are available from The Telegraph in England here, and from the EnergyBiz in U.S., here.
Unless some things change dramatically in the next five to 10 years, say by about 2015, you will be sitting in your living room some afternoon and the lights will dim by 50%. Some of your appliances and electronic equipment, such as home computers, televisions, dishwashers, washing machines, etc. may not work very well, if at all, during that period. Or, as in Orwell’s book, after you leave for work in the morning, the power will go out in your house for varying periods of time in which process you may or may not cooperate or be forewarned. You will have to plan ahead what to do about your pets, refrigerated and frozen food (in summer), frozen water pipes (in winter) and a host of other things you don’t have to worry about now when you just expect the power to stay on all day.
At first, indeed, you may cooperate in these efforts under the mantra of “conservation.” Later as we get further into the impending crisis, you will have less input and fewer choices, the power company—required to do so by governmental agencies—will just impose the blackouts or brownouts. Like Orwell’s Winston, you won’t have any choice in the matter, you will just have to deal with it.
Some people, especially those living in California, already have begun to experience these situations. And, of course, we’re all familiar with the large Northeastern blackout of 2003 which affected both the United States and Canada.
Those blackouts are easily explained and temporary. Their causes and effects—a squirrel in the Northwest and some un-trimmed trees in the Northeast for the big ones—are easily explained and understood. They are inconvenient and uncomfortable, but we’re accustomed to dealing with temporary outages such as these and those caused by occasional thunderstorms, tropical storms, etc. People in California already have grown accustomed to “brownouts” and “rotating blackouts” as a result of political decisions made in that state over the last 10 years.
However, what is going to start very soon, and be widespread by about 2015, is something much more massive and no longer short-term, temporary inconveniences. It is going to represent a major change in our accustomed lifestyles. The cost of electricity is going to go “out the roof” and it will become in increasingly short supply. In some parts of the country, it may become very difficult to buy it at any price, especially during certain periods of the day or year.
The problem is not scientific- or even engineering-related. It isn’t economic in the sense that we don’t have enough money to do what needs to be done to prevent this scenario. It isn’t even terrorism-related, though terrorism certainly can be, and likely will be, a contributing factor. The real problem is almost entirely political, governmental and social. If the thought of impending massive shortages of electricity don’t worry you, the political/governmental/social background of them probably should.
The sky really is falling. It isn’t falling because of so-called man-made causes for Global Warming, as claimed by Al Gore and many others. It is falling because the environmental/Global Warming political and propaganda machine is deliberately ignoring certain cold, hard facts about electrical engineering and generation in the United States and much of the rest of the world. It is falling because this cabal gradually is shutting down most of of the conventional ways of generating electricity long before reasonable, reliable, economic alternatives are in place.
Coal-fired generating plants are being shut down across the country, by the dozens, and the Obama administration has—through EPA regulation—made it impossible to build any more. As the stories I reference above point out, windmills and solar farms cannot replace that base-load generation. The electric grid—the marvel that made our modern society possible—is fragile. It must be balanced nationwide and by region to prevent cascading blackouts. It must have reliable, base-load generation. The Obamaites are shutting it down. Welcome to Winston’s world. I suggest you read the stories linked above to see that I’m not the only one who knows the industry now sounding warnings.