Potent words of Truth:
"For those who aren't aware, California is experiencing an almost existential crisis. I don't mean for this to sound dramatic nor do I intend for the situation in CA to be compared to situations in war-torn Syria or impoverished Mozambique. The situation in CA is important to pay attention to as a real-world example of how the developed world is going to cope with climate destabilization in the coming years. Climate destabilization is social destabilization. At present, here in the world's 5th largest economy, on a perfectly sunny day (no extreme weather event, earthquake, or conflict), the power is out, the internet is down, cell service is spotty and sometimes nonexistent, gas stations are closed, banks are closed, grocery stores are closed or empty, hospitals are on generators and minimally operational, houses are without heat (and it's freezing at night in some parts of the state) and some without water, businesses are closed and losing money by the thousands every day... The result? The economy is struggling and society is stressed...it's only a matter of time before the established norm is fundamentally disrupted forever. The socio-economic problem is not necessarily being without power for brief periods of time (yes, it's inconvenient and can pose serious health risks for some). The problem is this:
Our society has been built on a foundation of reliable and consistent power and communications. Now that foundation is changing...rapidly...and everyone knows that a house with a shaky, unreliable foundation is at serious risk of falling.
There are already long-term impacts surfacing from this disruption such as insurance rates/ availability, real estate opportunities/ values, and (Silicon Valley) businesses discussing relocation. An inconsistent and unreliable power grid can be minimally invasive and disruptive in places like Uganda which has national power outages on an almost daily basis. But in California, where the established economic and social structure is a result of stable and reliable power and communications, this sort of relatively minor disruption is having major impacts as evidenced by the government-imposed state of emergency.
The important aspect to take note of here is that this development is in reality the inevitable fallout of a false way of life.
PG&E is shutting down power because:
They engaged in illegal and inappropriate management of their company and neglected maintenance of their infrastructure, made possible by...
A legal system that prioritizes corporate liberties over public safety. As such, one singular company is allowed to manipulate society at large because...
They do not wish to assume financial risk associated with fire, a risk made much more severe by...
Fire activity and risk that is increasing every year as a result of...
Climate destabilization that is causing hotter, drier conditions in the region.
The lesson not to be ignored here is that a society is fundamentally at risk of failure when it is dependent upon:
Food coming only from grocery stores as opposed to CSA, community gardens, or self-owned gardens;
Power and communications coming only from large, private corporations as opposed to distributed generation, community solar, HAM radio systems, and self-owned "off-grid" systems;
Water being provided by corporate industry as opposed to privately-owned wells;
Housing and real estate economics that take a lifetime to pay off in an economy where the living wage is grossly disproportionate to the earned wage; and
A society where the rights of private industry are prioritized over the public good.
This current development in CA must catalyze a fundamental shift in our way of life toward a more community-based society in order to minimize chaos and dysfunction and secure greater resiliency and stability."
H/t Eric Stikes