Electrical Grid Failure and Societal Collapse

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If the existence of a behemoth Federal government did not imply Clown World, its agencies would be working with States to establish State currencies good for payment of State taxes toward establishing greater resilience at the State level and would encourage States to establish county currencies for the same purpose at the county level.

All this “preparedness” rhetoric is ignoring the role monetary systems play in self-organization. The temptation within a uniform monetary regime is to sacrifice resilience on the alter of efficiency, just as it is tempting to put off buying insurance policies. But then, the temptation within a uniform monetary regime is to centralize, centralize, centralize not simply because it is more “efficient”, but because centralized power has a conflict of interest in making decisions that impact the degree of centralization. That’s why my “preparedness” efforts focus on the ground-up Militia Money monetary regime at the most geographically local level capable of sustaining sufficient photosynthesis to support the caloric requirements of the population. The fate of all mankind is in the hands of fools.

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There’s been a natural experiment of this thesis in Ukraine over the past days, but it doesn’t seem like it’s collapsing.

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Makes me want a duel-fuel generator with two or three medium-sized LP tanks.

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Getting good intelligence out of a war zone is difficult. For example, Reuters reports: “Ukraine maintains control of power grid utility head

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How long would society last? One of the data points is the “defensive” NATO alliance’s unprovoked early summer 1999 assault on Serbia, for reasons that most NATO citizens now could not explain. NATO made a serious attempt at spending tax-payers’ money to bomb distant people back to the Stone Age – and it worked! It took slightly more than two months before the Serbs cried uncle.

Of course, there are many variables in each grid failure event – such as the season, degree of urbanization, proximity of assistance. When storms flooded New Orleans, loss of life was minimized because of the rapid availability of external assistance and the ability to transport affected people to places where the power was still on. However, in the kind of city in which most people live or work in multistory buildings, society will break down very quickly once the elevators stop running.

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My friend who was in Belgrade at the time did highlight how NATO’s graphite bomb strikes caused his computer to break. He was angry, and he did suffer some loss, but it does give you a sense of proportion of these attacks. Even with the strikes, Serbia’s economic growth in 2000 was >6%, growth was sustained all the way until 2008, compared to a -9% contraction in 1999.

The strikes successfully brought down Milošević and his Socialist Party of Serbia, after he

  1. Manhanded other states in Yugoslavia, causing the federation to fall apart
  2. Initiated and led the bloody wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Croatia
  3. Drove about half the population (about 1M) of Kosovo out of the country as refugees (although Kosovo has been a hotbed of demographic conflict for hundreds of years, most recent being an Albanian baby boom that led to growth from 67% in '61 to 82% now).

One of the targets in NATO strikes was Serbian television, whose propaganda supported the Milošević & Socialist Party of Serbia regime through the sequence of failures.

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One thing which is often overlooked in grid-down scenarios (but not in Grady Hillhouse’s video in the main post, nor in James Wesley, Rawles’s TEOTWAKI novels or William Forstchen’s One Second After) is what I call the “cholera countdown”—the interval between the lights going out and the failure of urban and suburban sewage systems and the inevitable sequelæ.

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It is nice to know that at least one person still remembers the tenuous excuses used by “defensive” NATO for its (our) attack on a nation that was not threatening us. For extra credit, how about the excuses for “defensive” NATO’s unprovoked 2011 attack on LIbya – creating an ongoing mess in which ordinary LIbyans are suffering & dying even up to today?

We were all brought up with the belief that our side was the Good Guys. Sadly, it is increasingly clear that the buffoons in the Political Class and the evil pond scum running the government bureaucracies are anything but “Good Guys”. And that reflects on us as individuals, since we tolerate their evil deeds.

It is time for the US to shut down NATO, shut down the military bases outside the US, take an axe to the big military contractors, and focus on protecting the US – starting with the non-existent southern border, No more stirring up trouble on the other side of the world! Yet that kind of important (existential?) issue did not even figure in the recent election.

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This. Urban centers are toast.

Local grids around coal-fired and oil-fired generating stations (almost all rural or near-rural) will turn back on, isolated from neighboring grids, relatively quickly. Within a week for most. Virtually all generating stations can run in frequency control mode instead of load control. Coal-fired stations are first because they have month-long stocks of fuel and are relatively easy to start from black. (True also for oil-fired, but not many of those in country.) Next day for most of these, after ensuring the local grid really is isolated.

Nukes next. They also have black-start capabilities, but are more difficult to use in frequency control mode. Some of these might only ramp up when linked to a coal-fired or oil-fired station.

Natural-gas fired stations will be last. They have effectively zero on-site fuel storage and are entirely dependent on working long-distance pipelines. Which are dependent on grid power for all of their pumping stations.

Cities won’t get power back until there is excess capacity running. For the largest and most energy-poor metros, that won’t be until grids can tie together again. The immense political pressure to restore power in cities might be briefly indulged prematurely, with that grid likely going back down soon after.

Note that “green” energy cannot run in frequency control mode. Windmills and solar will be utterly useless.

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One wonders just how many people in the entire population of the G7 “developed” countries are aware of this, and how large the intersection between that set and the “energy policy makers” charged with keeping the lights on in their countries is.

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But it’s wars that reunite a society and distract the folks at home from domestic discontent. Sadly, it seems to work every time.

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Until it doesn’t.

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Indeed. I did say ‘seems’.

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That was a thrilling video. I have always thought the answer to the “how long” question was: minutes. Like, if the power without warning (and maybe that’s one difference: in Ukraine they have to have thought this would happen) went off in our country, and then word got out the old fashioned way that it wasn’t just a finite blackout, no, our power grid was indefinitely disabled, like with an EMP, our social order would break down immediately. Lord of the Flies city!

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Yes. I was in Beograd in…maybe 2016. There are still bombed out buildings. We are used to thinking people mean WW II when they say “the war”, but not in Beograd. They meant the nato bombings of the 90s.I still can’t really comprehend it.

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To digress, Libya did provoke by bombing commercial airliners.

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Yes, Libyans were tried for bringing down a Pan Am plane. But did that justify the US wrecking the country and causing serious harm to millions of Libyans who had nothing to do with any plane bombing?

Looking at it another way, would it be reasonable for Germany to bomb the entire US to our knees and leave all of us messed up for decades because certain Americans blew up their NordStream gas pipelines?

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Perfect is the enemy of good they say.

Being a passive citizen smothered in propaganda carries its consequences when competing forces take a problematic regime out. It may be Hitler’s Germany, Gaddafi’s Libya, Milošević’s Serbia, or Hussein’s Iraq.

I’d even argue that these countries had not paid a high enough cost to the West for having them fixed up, and the West is getting exhausted of fixing up without getting paid, as a result there’s countries like Syria that ended up getting “fixed up” by Russia on much worse terms.

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