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Let me interrupt the fear to digress into amurka's greatest weakness.  For those of you who were at the Paris meetup, this comment is old news.

This is not some internet secret, gained by going to T - erroristiness sites.  For decades drunken amurkans have been shooting out transformers, where it only takes a small while before the oil leaks out, the transformer shorts, and big sparks make quite a show.  A side effect is that whatever the transformer was transforming stops flowing.  When it happens at substation, the cascade effect takes out most of the buses and capacitors.

A Volkswagon vanagon with a sunroof and vietnam era mortars would do even more.  Coordinate on the most important substations across the land, say between six and sixty, and amurka has no electricity for months.  You don't just go to Home Depot to pick up a utility transformer.

Of course, that would also mean mar-tial law and susdension of the constidution, so they win again.  Roar.  (Typos intentional)

Wish i hadn't said this.  But if hundreds of energy activists have been talking about this for decades, could we be the only ones knowing this?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:51:38 PM EST
You think that counts as interrupting the fear?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:52:50 PM EST
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Righto, Coleman.  In my defense, i'm living right now in fear, because i have to fly to amurka sunday, and i really, truly, want to be able to return to the relative sanity of Europe, and i'm just scared.  But i also want to be able to see what's really happening there, instead of emails.  i'll comment from the heart of the beast if i can.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:33:26 PM EST
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btw, the whole point of exposing the weakness was to underscore the need for an entire rethink about the grid.  What we wanted was a decentralized, renewable-based, load-following smart grid, and the only language to sell it was to talk about national security.  i've had this discussion in the white house itself, with the then-chief energy advisor.  They did not see the threat.

Cut:  late 90's.  the guys next to me in the posh San Fran bar seemed like government types.  We talked, they offered me a fine cigar.  (Smoking was against the law in SF then, but not in this connected bar.)  Turned out they were Clinton staffers.  I detailed the above scenario, their reaction was "the government would never allow that to hapen."

Three days later, i'm driving a truck w/ girlfriend's belongings down from Portland to SF.  When it's time to refuel, the first couple stations said they couldn't pump, so i finally turned on the radio, to find out the power was out from border to border, and wide into the west.  Winds got some lines swinging in NorCal, causing a short which blew safety buses and fried a transformer, setting up the cascade.

The fragility of the grid is worse now.  Only rebuilding it from the perspective of renewables can change it, until then the vulnerability remains.  But there's no money available, because it's all going into bunker-busters and their delivery systems.

Does anyone think the general strike on 6 November has a chance of stopping this steamroller.  i sure hope so.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:31:06 AM EST
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