Not me. So I say today. Still clear of mind and dedicated of purpose. Spin that roulette wheel life! I’m betting on black and 5………..
Then someone passes me an iPhone and says look it up……
Bill Whittle directs our attention in this video to one of the most assumed and taken for advantage luxuries we in the West have – the electrical network, or “grid”. Watch the video at the link:
“Hardening” the grid in North America should have been part of the infrastructure plan directly following the Second World War for security and survival reasons. There is no bragging right for Canada in this regard. If anything, the security of our electrical infrastructure is poor to non existent. Take a drive by your local sub station (if you are even aware of it’s location) and imagine what you could do with locally available material to disable or destroy it. Then imagine what could be done at a main station – they are shockingly (I made a pun!) similar and equally accessible. Much of the information you’d need is available on-line. Here’s a graphic of trans-border transmission lines. Note Canada is 90% within 100 miles of the 49th parallel but our hydro electric generating sites venture into the greater whiter norther –
During my 40+ years in the Okanagan Valley I can remember only one power outage that lasted more than 12 hours. A major transformer at the sub station in Winfield melted down. There was only one equivalent transformer within a day’s travel – only a few in ALL OF NORTH AMERICA. There have been many other outages of a planned or short term nature. The former was a major annoyance, and the others were inconvenient but easily endured. What would you do if the grid went down indefinitely? Especially in winter?
The ever constant advancement of technology is active in every sphere of human endeavor but most noticeable in the electrical / electronic field. Without electricity life in the West would soon revert to a chaotic anarchy especially in the urban centers and large cities.
What threatens the grid? The three conflicts of man – that is, man vs man, man vs nature, man vs himself.
What is the most dangerous? Man vs Nature – a “Mass Coronal Ejection” such as “The Carrington Event ” of 1859″ mentioned by Mr. Whittle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859 This type of event occurs EVERY TIME THERE IS A SOLAR FLARE. The only difference is the magnitude. This reality has been with humanity since Carrington but even the fabled Pentagon is not totally hardened. An event of Carrington or larger dimension would destroy the existing electrical network, all electronic devices, all computers / networks attached to the grid, and all modern vehicle control systems during the event.
I’m usually reluctant to use National Geographic as a support for my argument(s) due to their “Chicken Little” history / left (very left) leaning philosophy(ies), but this time they are conservative in their analysis:
What can be done? Because the source of disturbance is well beyond human influence or control, the best defense is preparedness. Short term, the estimate of 20 hours maximum advance warning can help mitigate the impact. More early warning technology is required, and public education needed. Mid-term, all new electrical / electronic infrastructure and devices must be designed and built with “hardening” in mind. Long term, all infrastructure must be “hardened”, not only electrical / electronic.
How about “Man vs Man”? The nature of nature (evolution / natural selection / genetic mutation), and the nature of “man” will assure there will always be dingbats, fruitcakes, wack-jobs, and lunatics. The crazy Mf**rs in the Middle East (I refuse to consider “their perspective”) are similar to a MCE, a human “mass cerebral palsy ejection”. Local wingnuts from our marvelous diverse multicultural diaspora are popping like the best Orville Redenbacher “buttery” in a high energy microwave. What to do?
What can you do until the “big one” comes (as it will)? This is the “Man vs Himself” argument. If you don’t make basic risk management part of your life strategy, you will be at a tactical disadvantage when nature or man tosses your world. A few steps I have taken to ease my way should I still be living at the next MCE, or a local “jihadist” (or equivalent) –
- Be aware of your neighbors / neighborhood, know who you are living amongst
- Keep a low profile – for some this is a no-brainer, for others this is de jeur, still others… impossible
- Ensure the “natural order” of survival is supported by your strategy and tactical plan i.e. self, family, friends, community et cetera
- Have a short, mid, and long term tactical plan that is flexible enough to respond to ANY disruption
- Seek out like minded individuals who are prepared – they will be your support when the fecal excrement meets the rotary air displacement mechanism
- Review your strategy, tactical support, and logistics on a regular basis or when there is a significant disruption in your environment
What does all the above B..S. mean? Point by point, some examples…..
Point 1 – My neighbors probably think I’m as eccentric as I think they are loony. That is a given. A few years back, some druggies moved into a rental down the street and around the corner. Because of our neighborhood network, this information was shared and acted upon. Without breaking the law, we (mostly the most concerned neighbors i.e. closer to the rental unit) were able to have this “crack house” (whatever) shut down by pressuring the owner of the rental, by neighbor interaction, and with the assistance of the local Raw Carrots Mashed Potatoes contingent (RCMP – well meaning but mostly ineffective in real time neighborhood flare-ups). I know all but a few of my immediate neighbors well enough to gauge their personality and lifestyle. Good information.
Point 2 – I’m a border-line “impossible” in that I always try to speak my mind no matter the consequence. By low profile I mean measuring your public persona against your ability to provide. In a desperate world those known to be prepared are among the first to be approached, accosted, and abused because the desperate know who you are. This is survival of the fittest, baby.
Point 3 – I don’t know what everyone’s “natural order” might be. Mine is self, family members, friends, community in that order. If my tactical plan says “head for the hills” BEFORE I ascertain the well being of my family members I haven’t a plan at all, The plan must be flexible to encompass the vagary of individual reactions that aren’t as advanced as your own, or visa versa.
Point 4 – Despite the consensus of “global warming”, the winter here is becoming more harsh. My short term plan doesn’t have much of a political statement in relation to Ayn Rand’s quote that I favor most: “You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequence(s) of ignoring reality”. This winter I have fuel stored, a diesel generator set, and provisions to last for MONTHS (albeit we’ll have to cut back on “luxury”, but staying alive is a form of luxury at my age). The only shortage that might disrupt “normal” is a natural gas break-down. I recently sold the only wood heater I owned and have no back-up for winter heating. I’m working on it…… Mid term plan and long term plan include a “negotiation” module. As I age, I become less physically able. Although I think to be at the top of my intellectual / knowledge / experience game, these, too, will decline.
Point 5 – I’m not too good at and struggle with this concept daily. My personal (egocentric) mantra is to be a “Renaisance Man” and do it all by my self. The world and it’s contents are way too complex for this approach, especially at a granular level (i.e. how does that work and how do you fix it?). However, my network of people I can depend on, can negotiate with, cannot trust is growing and well defined.
Point 6 – Be aware of the environment and plan for contingency. Can you reduce risk to zero? Probably not. Can you reduce risk? Almost certainly. The earth is a hostile environment. People in general may mean well, but are NOT your friends. Reduce your dependence on others while strengthening your capabilities. An example is mobility. In my environment it is necessary to be mobile. Walking and pushing a shopping cart is possible, but not desirable. I own older diesel trucks. They do NOT have computers – they are all mechanical. These machines will function in a hostile electrical environment. All they need is a battery to start. Another example – three people are presently living in my house, and in a future scenario it may be five. Does my planning allow this type of increase? Working on it……….
Good News Department
This rant often focuses on my perceived threats / injustices / idiocies / peccadillos in the world near and far. There are also lots of “good news” bits of information I pass along. A book named “The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley is one of those bright lights in the information tsunami which engulfs us all day every day. He (and Joe and I) agree that life has never been better. He goes farther by quoting statistics and data supporting the reality that life has never been better for more of humanity than ever. A review of his book by Aaron Tao at The Beacon:
I recommend reading the article because the data is very convincing if not conclusive, especially to a data wienie like me. A quote from the article –
“A careful review of facts shows that public perception is often out of sync with reality, particularly when long-term trends are taken into account. Matt Ridley’s excellent book The Rational Optimist tells the uplifting side of the story. In his remarkable synthesis of history, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and economics, Ridley presents a very strong case that life is getting better, at an accelerating rate, for all peoples across the world. More than any other factor, Ridley credits the emergence of trade and specialization as the main drivers of cultural advance and material progress. As a result of exchange and the division of labor, innovation was facilitated and encouraged. The best ideas were able to come together to “meet and mate.”
Around 100,000 years ago, when humans began sharing a “collective brain,” “culture suddenly became cumulative, and the great headlong experiment of human economic ‘progress’ began.” In Ridley’s view, “the cumulative accretion of knowledge by specialists that allows each of us to consume more and more different things by each producing fewer and fewer is …the central story of humanity.” Looking back at the grand enterprise of human history, disease retreated, poverty declined, violence fell, freedom expanded, and individual happiness increased. Fast forward to modern day, even when accounting for the hundreds of millions who still haven’t experienced all the benefits, what people enjoy today weren’t available to the most powerful and wealthy from the past:
[T]his generation of human beings has access to more calories, watts, lumen hours, square feet, gigabytes, megahertz, light-years, nanometers, bushels per acre, miles per gallon, food miles, air miles and, of course, dollars than any that went before. They have more Velcro, vaccines, vitamins, shoes, singers, soap operas, mango slicers, sexual partners, tennis rackets, guided missiles and anything else they could even imagine needing.”
Added to my “Must Read” list (getting quite long). Gotta slow down any day now and smell the literary roses……
What is it with the wackjobs? No news outlet other than SUN TV News has tried to identify the “participants” individually. There are people (gasp!) who make a living as professional agitators. Timely cartoon insertion here-
Q. Is there an energy solution that will leave the “environment” entirely alone while providing the “protesters” transportation to and from their homes to the protest sites while the blood thirsty journalists record every moment hoping to catch the police doing wrong?
A. Not in this stretch of the mortal coil, Bunky. I’d like to know where the protesters think their clothing, their transportation, their food, their guitars for Christ’s sake, and their oh so precious tailor made cigarettes and marijuana come from if not energy intensive industry. For every industry there is an energy budget, be it large or small. The existing pipeline on Burnaby mountain was placed in another time in a different culture when people remembered just how recent electricity to your home, and running water and toilets indoors were a luxury for many. Not much I can do but make some fun of the entire escapade.
Here are some favorite signs that people make to intermingle with the “real” protesters. I understand it pisses the “real” ones off immensely –
And a sign that says it all –
U0NITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Ferguson MO tragedy keeps giving and giving. Bleeding heart Liberals miss the point. A few graphic presentations of my cynical view of the situation –
The presence of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the comments of Louis Farrakhan lend the odor of Pepe le Pew to the undertaking –
I won’t give them any credence nor will I post any link to their insane reprehensible babble. This is who they are –
You might ask how it can happen? How could intelligent people get so turned around? How could they promulgate the “racist” meme?
Maybe “intelligence” is not the best descriptor…………..
This idiot can’t stop commenting on the situation, alongside his hand puppet Eric Holder. Why? The reason below –
Speaking of failed administrations, here’s a graphic of the U.S. National Debt some time on Tuesday, December 2nd –
Up 70% since Obungle took office. Over $18 Trillion USD. Go ahead, blame George Bush!
And the Canadian dollar wallows at 88 cents……..
POLITICS, POLITICIANS, WACKJOBBERY, HUMOROUS, STUPID
The caption for this picture was “There IS a dumb ass holding up jobs…
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, SUPER STUFF
PHILOSOPHY, PHILOSOPHERS, SMART THINKING
GUNS, GUNNERS, GUNNERY
THE RELIGION OF PEACE (ON US ALL)
The individual incidents of misogyny in the Muslim lands of the “Religion of Peace®” are too heartbreaking to detail and too numerous to recount. A summary to date from the website that tracks the fun loving followers of Muhammed lists 24,558 deadly terrorist attacks since 9/11. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself. Check right away; the number changes often:
Commandeering the pulpit today is Daniel Dennett with a sermon named “Breaking the Spell”:
WEATHER (OR NOT)
A week of double digit below zero Celsius with a foot of snow. Yesterday, Saturday, it was raining. Today it is not sure – right around zero. Typical Okanagan winter sky; dull gray low clouds touching the hilltops. Bleck! I want to go back to summer –
Joe (Snowdrift) Mekanic
p.s. Ramirez is never frosty –