The “End is Near/Nigh” sign holders on street corners throughout major cities are a well-known American sight. There is often times somebody calling out that the “end” of something is at had, or another situation is imminent in the US. Most of the times, these are rarely the case, but rather a man projecting his fantasy into a situation from which he makes questionable conclusions based often times on his own biases?
But what if this were true, at least in a small way?
According to a story from the Wall Street Journal, California’s major power company, Pacific Electric and Gas, is now saying that residents in California may experience power disruptions, including blackouts, for the next decade as they attempt to “repair” the lines in order to prevent fires.
PG&E chief executive said Friday that it could take as long as 10 years for the company to improve its electric system enough to significantly diminish the need to pull the plug on customers to reduce the risk of sparking fires.
Bill Johnson, who joined the company in May, made the disclosure at a California Public Utilities Commission hearing where the panel’s president, Marybel Batjer, sharply criticized the company’s “inadequate execution” of a shut-off in which it turned off power to large portions of Northern California for more than two days last week.
The commission convened an emergency meeting to examine PG&E’s handling of the massive blackout, which left roughly two million people in the dark and created widespread havoc from the Bay Area to the northern reaches of the state. Several of the company’s top executives were summoned to detail the problems and take questions from regulators.
“I can tell you that you guys failed on so many levels on fairly simple stuff,” Ms. Batjer said.
The agency earlier this week ordered PG&E to address numerous problems with its strategy for such blackouts, known as public safety power shut-offs. It condemned the company’s failure to provide maps and other critical information to residents and local officials ahead of the shut-off. PG&E’s website crashed for two days during the blackout, and its call centers were overwhelmed.
Mr. Johnson on Friday apologized for the hardships caused by the shut-off but defended the company’s decision to implement it, noting that none of its power lines sparked fires, even though strong winds in certain areas caused damage to its system. (source)
Power blackouts are not uncommon, as they are often a sign of either a problem, or that the electric company is doing necessary services to the wires. These are good things.
But something else that is common with blackouts is that they are a way of life in very poor and declining nations because due to a lack of care, social problems, poor organization, and other factors, it becomes harder and harder to “keep the lights on”, and out of cost savings or just apathy, the lights are left to “go out”.
California is in a state of serious decay. The state is broke, overtaxed, and people want to leave. There has been noted decay in the physical makeup of major cities, such as the garbage and drug problems of San Francisco that have reached epidemic levels.
“Power repairs” do not necessarily mean that the state is declining just from that. However, taking into consideration the other circumstances happening right now, one must naturally ask if there is more happening than just “repairs”, but rather a long-term and slow decline in the very structure of the state that potentially is a sign of future trends.
This is not about fixing things in a decade or so. It is about, as with many “third world” nations, having projects that will never be completed, issues that will never be fixed, and there will be no will to do them. The gap between the people in society and the ruling class will widen, until one day the people wake up and realize that they are worse than serfs in their own society, living in a state of suspended animation that profits them nothing and to which there is no other place to flee to.