Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Ace of Spades Part IV, The North American Grid


Again, I must ask you my dear reader, "Why do you suppose, almost everyone associates the power being out with collapse?" Could this be some kind of worldwide, wide held premonition? However, when it comes to discussing this topic of what life might be like without power, it ranks a close second to that of die-off, of being unpopular. It is so unpopular, that almost no one knows much about it, they simply can't imagine what life might be like without it or have some kind of fantasy, totally unrealistic view. Could it be, like the industrial environment (the coupling of electrical generation/mass production of uniform parts) that has produced and maintained the present population and the "de-industrial" environment (the de-coupling of electrical generation/ mass production of uniform parts) will actually produce the die-off? Do you suppose some people are unconsciously associating life without power with die-off? Or do mechanisms that assure survival of the species block these kind of thoughts of some people? I think it could lay somewhere in between.....

Back at the old school house, the instructors likened the electrical grid or grids, to that of the nervous system of the human body. In fact, our nerves run much like electrical current, that it's electrical current sending messages to the brain. An example of this might be, a pin prick to the finger will send an electrical charge through the interconnected nervous system that will stimulate pain in the brain. Any damage of nerve along this route and brain never receives this "message". If the body sustains enough nerve damage it automatically begins to shut down and die.

What is the North American grid? Gleaning from an article entitled, "GridWorks", from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, these are the following facts. The North American grid, consists of three independent networks, Eastern Interconnection, Western Interconnection, and the Texas Interconnection. These networks incorporate international connection with Canada and Mexico. In 1940, 10% of energy consumption in America was used to produced electricity. In 1970, that fraction was 25%. Today it is 40%, showing electricity's growing importance as an energy supply. It has the unique ability to convey both energy and information. It's a world-class system, however it's facing some serious challenges. The majority of the 10,000 power plants, are generally long-lived investments; the majority of the existing capacity is 30 years or older.

Electric power is essential to modern society. Economic prosperity, national security and public health and safety CANNOT be achieved without it. Communities that lack electric power, even for SHORT PERIODS have trouble meeting basic needs of food, shelter, water, law and order.

Isn't this what I've been eluding to all along?

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