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Notes on the Big Blackout

By Alan Caruba
web posted August 15, 2003

There was a very fundamental reason for the latest blackout on the East Coast. The United States of America needs more power facilities. I'm not talking about ten thousand windmills on the coast of Massachusetts or seventy square miles of solar collectors in Vermont. I'm talking about burning coal and using natural gas. I'm talking about hydroelectric plants and, yes, nuclear-based plants. All of them gloriously producing electricity.

Traffic winds it way up slowly in a blacked out New York the night of August 14
Traffic winds it way up slowly in a blacked out New York the night of August 14

Reality pulled the plug from Ottawa to Detroit, from Toledo to Hartford, from Cleveland to New York City. Millions of New Yorkers had to walk across the bridges to the other Boroughs to get home. Major cities just flat out shut down. No electricity. No elevator service. No cell phones. No traffic lights. NO NOTHING!

We live in a technological society that is totally dependent on electricity and it isn't produced by putting forty hamsters on a treadmill. You have to burn coal. You have to use natural gas. You have to tap rolling water for hydroelectricity. You need to build clean, non-polluting nuclear plants.

Americans, in general, are so dumb they just can't imagine not having enough electricity for everything they need to do. The reason California experienced so many energy problems was that the stupid Californians would not allow power plants to be built and thought they could just keep buying electricity from Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and even Canada. No! You can't have a massive immigration surge and not expect to use more damned electricity. It's a commodity and, when it gets scarce, the price goes UP.

There's a reason why California doesn't have enough power plants, nor any other state in this great republic of ours. It's called environmentalism. It goes something like this; the Environmental Protection Agency is so busy levying huge fines on existing and older power plants that there is no incentive to build new ones. It goes like this; the stupid attorney generals of Eastern States sue Western ones, blaming them for the air quality and crying, ‘We can't get in compliance with the EPA because you people want to heat your homes and stuff."

If that doesn't stop a power plant, there's the old reliable Endangered Species Act or there's wetlands regulations. Or the Greens will run around and say that building a power plant anywhere is unfair to the poor people who may live anywhere near it.

Listen up, you dumb Americans! There are over 280 million of us and all of us, except for those who live in cardboard boxes under a bridge, want to have our air conditioning work in the summer and our furnace work in the winter. We expect the food in our refrigerator to stay frozen. We expect to turn on our computers, our lights, and God help us, our television sets.

The latest blackout was a warning that, so long as this nation continues to go along with idiotic and malevolent environmentalists and their lies about darned near everything, we are going to have more and worse blackouts.

Who needs terrorists? Our national security is entirely dependent on safe, reliable and abundant energy. Maybe 8-14-03 needs to be added to 9-11-01 as a reminder of that? Environmentalists have been attacking the economic and energy base of this nation for decades.

Call it the Californication of America.

Alan Caruba is the author of "Warning Signs", published by Merril Press. His weekly column is posted on www.anxietycenter.com, the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba 2003

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