Blackouts Are Dress Rehearsals For The Future

blackouts-in-the-future

Electricity fuels our existence. We got along just fine without it through the vast majority of our human existence; however today — most people would literally die without it.

The risks of blackout continue to rise as we strain the systems to their limit…


 
Having just read a JAN-2014 research paper “Blackouts: a sociology of electrical power failure” written by Steve Mathewman and Hugh Byrd of the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and the University of Lincoln (United Kingdom), I discover that once again my general opinion is reaffirmed — our dependency on electricity is a major systemic risk.

“It powers water purification, waste, food, transportation and communications systems. Modern social life is impossible to imagine without it.”

“Power generation systems are more fragile than is commonly supposed, and they are getting frailer.”

According to the study, power cuts will become more regular around the globe as electrical supply becomes increasingly vulnerable and demand for technology continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.

Electricity. Modern social life is impossible to imagine without it, and whereas cities of the past relied on man-power, today we are almost completely reliant on a series of interlocking technical systems.

The Western world relies on ageing systems, with almost three quarters of American transmission lines more than 25 years old. Mathewman said “Infrastructural investment across Europe and the USA has been poor, and our power generation systems are more fragile than most people think.”

Fuel sources continue to become more difficult and expensive to resource as the ‘easy pickings’ are gone while demand continues to rise in a growing population of increasing users of all things electronic.

The report also indicates that in the last few decades, air conditioning has been the greatest factor in increased electrical consumption and is one of the greatest sources of systematic strain. The electricity used to fuel America’s air conditioning is currently a similar volume to its entire energy consumption in the 1950s, and countries such as China and India are following a similar pattern.

While societies are becoming more dependent upon electrical power, supply will struggle to meet demand. And that assumption is in a functioning civilized world…

What happens if some or part of our civilization breaks down?

Among few other reasons, nations have fought wars over resources. It’s happening right now. And it will only get worse as more and more resources are depleted while our demands seek to increase. Something will have to give…

Several generations of human existence have evolved with reliance upon electricity as the lifeblood to our systems of existence. It is invisible, and is completely taken for granted by most everyone. We think that it will always be there – like the air that we breathe. The thing is… you might want to think again.

When I go about my preparedness, I sometimes consider what it would be like in a life without electricity. I certainly do not wish it, but I have the sense to realize that like anything else – there is a probability and a risk.

Do yourself a favor and at least give it some thought. Cross reference your daily activities without electricity – especially those which are life sustaining. Try to come up with alternative solutions and then go about making a plan to do what you need to do…

Personally, I believe a better (more responsible and self-sufficient) way to live – and one which may become more necessary in our future – is to augment or replace one’s energy needs with alternative sources or changes in lifestyle which circumvent some of those needs.

For example, alternative energy such as solar could easily sustain a household without requiring any external power company to provide your electricity. While costs of solar photovoltaic panels and systems have come down significantly over the years, they are still relatively high. However it is a form of insurance, self-reliance, and will eliminate a major systemic risk in your life.

There are many other methods to reduce one’s overall dependence upon the power grid. As we continue into the future, we will almost certainly find ourselves changing our behaviors and lifestyles as our existing grid continues to strain. Stay ahead of the curve. Don’t let the next blackout put your life at risk. Be prepared.

Source: Blackouts: a sociology of electrical power failure

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14 Comments

  1. “We got along just fine without it through the vast majority of our human existence; however today — most people would literally die without it.”

    Couldn’t Have Said It Better! I kind of wish it stayed that way personally. I always felt like I grew up in the wrong era.

    1. Can you imagine how much energy and money would be saved if every business in every major city would turn off the lights at 10:00 pm or earlier. Business that are open 24 hrs should cut back to 16 hrs. Traffic lights and security lights would need to stay on but look at the world from a space photo, it’s almost day. If every country would do this the savings would be incredible.

  2. Back in the late 1990’s, Richard Duncan, someone inside the electric power industry, wrote a paper predicting something similar. His timing was a little early as often happens in predicting the future, but I think his basic concept is sound, and very similar to the ideas presented in this warning.

    Above all else, I think sufficient energy to fuel the industrial age, upon which we all depend, will be the fundamental underpinning for financial, economic, governmental, and societal collapse, and this is not something in the distant future; it is developing slowly, but the evidence is all around us. In an energy constrained future, economic expansion will turn to economic contraction, and the huge levels of debt depending on economic growth will bring financial collapse. This collapse will accelerate economic collapse, and the already fragile power grid likely will fail as part of this economic collapse. Of course government upheaval will be widespread and centralized government will be too costly to continue. Everything will become more local and centralized population locations, i.e., cities will fail to be viable. After all, concentration in cities was driven by industrialization. Without industrial society the current population levels will be impossible.

    I tell my grandchildren that the best thing to learn is 17th or 18th century agricultural techniques.

  3. Energy is a topic of utmost importance to Survivalists. What about light? Cooking? Electrical power? Heating?

    What to do if a EMP is set off, what type of power units work and can be easily repaired, will your Hybrid car run after EMP? highly doubt it! As they are nothing more than a huge computer that will fry in a EMP Storm.
    how too charge battery’s? we have never has such an event happen, only in theory.

    If the power grid goes down, how will you and your family be able to handle the event for days, weeks, months, years without electrical power, all of the things we use in life microwave oven, Iphone,TV, RADIO ETC. All need a power source.

  4. Since we are on this subject I recently found solar yard spotlights that have 70 lumens at Walmart for about 30.00. I charged one and it lit up a room pretty well at night. I thought this was a pretty good deal as I can light up my whole living room for very little money after the 30.00 purchase.

  5. If you have a power outage, then you would have to use a generator, which means you would have to have a repair kit and spare parts to keep it running and enough fuel to last during the blackout, As there would not be any fuel being pumped ay local gas stations in an event of power outages in your area.

    A woodstove would be great or a fireplace as you would have a way too keep warm in winter and cook, but summer conditions would be very hot for cooking and many people would not like to be around a fire in 90 – 100 + weather.

    Would you have running water too cook or bath with? Your personal hygiene would be a must in order to fight off illness.

    I grew up in the country and here in the mountains I have all I need. I have been stock piling sense the 1980’s. Growing up during Vietnam war and seeing the riots here in the states and seeing how society went crazy rioting and destroying it’s community’s they lived in mid 70’s. You have to be prepared for what life brings you.

    Look at it this way, a power outage in this country is like a Christmas tree, we are plugged into every electronic gadget out there, after a while something has to give and the lights will go out! prepare yourself

    1. On the fireplace/stove: we already burn coal or gas to create electricity, why not do it on a small scale? Sure there are problems to be solved (safety, wear and tear etc.) but we have lots of knowledge about steam power and combustion – why in the world couldn’t we harness a fire to run a refrigerator?

      I’d put the big unit outside – against a heavily insulated wall, and in cold pipe the heat inside, in hot, use it to run a simple (but large) refrigerator – isn’t that what A/C is? If you live in a sunny wet state (seasons and days) then solar steam is great. (as long as you have water flowing, you don’t need a dangerous closed system and pressure.) No panels. Dry /waterless? Use solar tower – no panels needed. Got a stream? Or neighbor has one? Make a hydrodynamic generator and share the power generated.

  6. Maybe some will remember the large power outages that happened up North a few years ago , there was one that folks in NYC had to walk out of the city to their homes , as for future power outages , a lot of them will be brought about by over regulation by the Feds , and also by cutting back on what can be used as fuel to provide power , like right now how Boobama is getting rid of the use of coal , a reasonably less expensive fuel , plus his plans to cut back on nuclear power . As for vehicles running after a supposed EMP incident there are actually not many that were manufactured after the late 1980’s that would run , a lot of the vehicles built before 1972 will run though due to the fact that they use the “points ” type system to run , no computers or major electronics in these babies . No matter how we look at it we are headed in a downward spiral in a lot of areas , a lot of ya’ll know where I am coming from . Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  7. We have a propane shortage now. Propane dealers have automated messages saying they are out of propane. Current customers have to order at least 200 gallons of propane before they will deliver.

    This is a big problem, as most people live out in the country and rely on propane as their heating source. In town people are all electric or use natural gas, but out in the country it’s propane.

    It has been very cold lately here. We are not accustomed to this kind of weather. The number of car wrecks from ice is astounding. They had to put up warming centers in some town so people would have a warm place to get to, IF they could get there.

    There have been rolling blackouts as well. So people with all electric have been experiencing it too.

    1. they are going to shut it all off soon one day and you will have to bow and scrape for a hand out

      and when you put your hand out they will put 666 on it

  8. Hey! Wake up! The answer isn’t conservation. The answer is MORE POWER! WE DO NOT HAVE AN ENERGY PROBLEM. WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT PROBLEM. The government is shutting down power plants as fast as they can, all in the name of CO2! An utterly FALSE FLAG issue. Here is what conservation will get you: Higher and ever higher prices for less and less energy. Lower and lower living standards. Procrastination in power plant construction of all kinds. A shrinking economy. Dark nights. Hot summers and Cold winters, INDOORS.

    ANY decrease in energy is the direct result to deliberate governmental action and policy.

    1. Agenda 21. There’s a plan. Agenda 21. (otherwise known as the Robin Hood agenda)
      Read up on it. It’s an insidious U.N. plan.

  9. Better to drop all the subsidies, all the tax breaks and actually make people pay for what they use. If they can’t afford it, groups of citizen’s can help people get set with their own generation.

    The biggest problems is that we:
    1) Don’t see our impact. If we could show how much power was used (and where) over time, we can help others to see their habits.

    2) We don’t have any idea how vast and thin the power grid really is. A giant coal fire in Appalachia, oil tankers unable to deliver from Saudi, meltdowns, snow storms – we only see our little bit – and “we don’t reallllly waste fuel … well not as much as the neighbors.”

    3) Convince them that it’s not electricity – it’s actual fuel or sunlight or geothermal or … what we do is burn fuel to generate electricity. Sure when we gather all the fuel and power generation in one place we have big savings in efficiency – but we don’t see that it takes (random number) 50 gallons of oil, or 500ft natural gas or 2 tons of coal to create that electricity. Maybe we could require people to physically deliver their own coal, gas, oil – how much attention would they pay? Again, power company.

    4) Cut people off. Anything more than say X kilowatts a month and you get that cut off. Something like this has to come from the power company. Say a family of four in an apartment has no medical life saving devices, then they would BE ABLE to buy from the power company Z kilowatts. A family of four outside the city (or suburbs?) gets to buy up to Y power. If there are medical devices involved, they up the power offered. Savings could be bought later (say a huge party – use only lights for 2 weeks and use that ‘spare’ energy later. you could even pool your savings with others or sell it to them (to a degree – the ultrarich couldn’t buy 5 Million kilowatts just because they have the money.).

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