Darkness, imprisoning me…

Yah, like 49,999,999 other people yesterday, I lost power due to the massive outage, but unlike approximately 49,000,000 of those people, I wasn't complaining. While I was listening to the radio last night in the darkness with my family, I must have heard at least 20 different reporters say (not in these terms, but with this meaning) “OMG HOW CAN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN THIS IS A TRAVESTY WHO IS TO BLAME?!?!?” I've got a few things to say to these people.

1. STFU. You were asking questions about a MAJOR outage not more than a couple hours after it happened. Rooting out the cause with certainty will probably take weeks. Calm down.

2. Be patient. Instead of bitching and asking stupid questions that nobody can answer at this time, let the people in charge of the power grid do their jobs and get stuff back up and running. Then let them figure out what went wrong, so they can correct the problem and keep this from happening again. Then read their reports, so you don't have to ask stupid questions.

3. Consider yourself lucky that this doesn't happen more often. Consider the logistics of keeping power flowing for over 250 million people. It's quite astounding. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of miles of cables and wires, the electricity on those lines has to be in perfect phase (yes, those lovely sine waves) or something like what we had yesterday happens. That's a lot of precision over a huge area. Mistakes are bound to happen.

4. Chances are good that its your fault. A vast majority of the people in our society are huge power consumers – I'm stepping off the pedestal for this one, I'm as much to blame as anyone, but alas I'm not complaining about the outage. Everyone nowadays needs a TV in every room, constant Air Conditioning, Computers, audio/video equipment, and 1.5 kilowatt hairdryers, but nobody wants to see more power plants. People hate coal plants because they pollute the air. Nobody wants nuclear plants because they make toxic waste. Hydroelectric power is nice and non-polluting, but it screws up ecosystems. Geothermal power works well in places like Iceland, but since tectonic/volcanic activity here is rather tame compared to there, it's not an option. So unless you don't want power, suck it up. Something has to give, and currently, those are the only viable alternatives. Some will say wind and solar power, but they cost too much right now and don't yield enough juice. Sorry. People want things cheap, and they want it on, and they want it to be shiny and happy with no damage to anything. Unfortunately these three principles don't mesh together perfectly. Something has to give.

I am done.

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