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Black Out - lessons to learn??

rurban

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
Well most of Ontario, and several US states have been in a black out since around 4 this afternoon - the real question is, will anyone take note of this!! Many issues arise of course, the fragility of the power grid, the push for fosil fuels and the reluctance to face and deal with energy issues straight on, and acknowledge all of the other issues that impact energy consumption and use.

Just wondering how long I will be sitting in the dark?????????????? and who I have to thank for it.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,989
Points
49
I think that for a moment, people will realize on how truly dependent we are on electricity. It has come a long way since a key and a kite string in a storm. Today, we use it in everything that we do, and so much more that we do not realize.

I also think that it shows the true courage of people. I spoke with a friend from NYC this morning, and he said that it was the coolest thing, because everyone was out on the streets, no one was freaking out. He and a few other people stopped at a local bar, and where sitting out on the side walk, talking with others, hanging out, and meeting tons of new people.

The Amish are laughing there ass off right now.

Finally, it shows how important a pedestrian friendly city was.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I think this shows how our society is headed towards ultimate doom. In the aftermath of the coming armaggedon, only those who have planned ahead and have the resources will survive. It is time to cash in the pension and secure some land deep in the mountains where you can build a bunker and stock the supplies you will need to live. Do it now!

On the other hand, this could just be a freak accident that caused some minor disruptions for a day, and demonstrates our resiliancy that we were able to handle it with little confusion or over-reaction.
 

RoadRunner

Member
Messages
39
Points
2
michaelskis said:
He and a few other people stopped at a local bar, and where sitting out on the side walk, talking with others, hanging out, and meeting tons of new people.
[/B]
it does make you wonder what happened to all of the beer that must have been sitting on the island of manhattan...it would be the worst mass-skunking of beer since, well, since a really long time ago before there was refrigeration...

ugh, and something tells me that the milk and cottage cheese probably aren't quite so good anymore...
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
My hope is that this will shut up all of the people who throw a fit whenever a power plant is proposed in their community.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
RoadRunner said:
it does make you wonder what happened to all of the beer that must have been sitting on the island of manhattan...it would be the worst mass-skunking of beer since, well, since a really long time ago before there was refrigeration...
I hate to burst your bubble, but beer does NOT go bad because of a days heat. Beer will only get skunky if it is in glass container that is NOT brown and exposing the abused product to sunlight.

Otherwise it will just be very warm :(
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Screw the power plants! This is a prime example of why we need something like small solar panel set ups at stratecig locations to be used for emergencies like this. Hmmmm, it's super hot(and sunny), and the power grid goes out....what do we do? Oh wait! we've got solar emergency back up! Flip of a switch and wer're golden. Granted, something like this would NEVER power an entire city, but it would keep enough running that life could go on with only minor inconveniences.

yes this wouldn't work if it was cloudy for weeks prior to this, but my point is still there.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
With all of the lights out, I wonder if the people in the cities got a good chance to see the stars. We are still in the Perseid meteor shower this week (peaked Wednesday).
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
my hope is that people will realize what energy hogs we are. Not only do we import most of our oil but we rely on Canadians for a lot of electricity too.

I was thinking, well, now people in NYC have something in common with folks in Baghdad. A hot summer day with no lights and no A/C.

Of course, New York was calm but i'm sure a week or so with no electricity might change things. how long would the blackout have to go on before people in the city started rioting? Maybe Poindexter could start a futures market for civil unrest.

seriously, the first thing that would concern me in some long term power disruption would be a food shortage.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
IMO
Its the first big outage in memory--Since NY in 77? Or 65?. The grid will be fully back up in a couple of days. Why are we hysterical about this?

Let's not make this an opportunity to wring our hands about American excesses or solar power or why everybody should live in a ped friendly city.

We had one big power outage. Big deal.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
jresta said:
my hope is that people will realize what energy hogs we are. Not only do we import most of our oil but we rely on Canadians for a lot of electricity too.

I was thinking, well, now people in NYC have something in common with folks in Baghdad. A hot summer day with no lights and no A/C.

Of course, New York was calm but i'm sure a week or so with no electricity might change things. how long would the blackout have to go on before people in the city started rioting? Maybe Poindexter could start a futures market for civil unrest.

seriously, the first thing that would concern me in some long term power disruption would be a food shortage.
1) Yup, were energy hogs, MUCH BETTER than living at the level of your average Etheopian!

2) Wooh WAAAH! I feel so guilty for having plenty (said faciciously on my part)

3) Gives canadians a chance to make money by selling power to us, or should they just be our backyard tourist station?

4) Power is not the issue, without the power to run the water pumps, the city would become a disease ridden cesspool long before the food run out.

5) Unless you are just a fat american with no sence to know you could live for weeks on 1/6 (1/10 for us fat americans)rations of tasteless crap. Really, it has been done before.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,989
Points
49
gkmo62u said:
IMO
Its the first big outage in memory--Since NY in 77? Or 65?. The grid will be fully back up in a couple of days. Why are we hysterical about this?

Let's not make this an opportunity to wring our hands about American excesses or solar power or why everybody should live in a ped friendly city.

We had one big power outage. Big deal.

I do not think that any one is getting hysterical about this. I find that it is the opposite. People are meeting there neighbors, communities are coming together, and although some do not have AC, things for a short time went back to a simpler, happier time, when people would talk to each other, and that interaction united people.

I also think that this is an opportunity to ask ourselves, how we can improve things so something like this will not happen again. If we do not learn from the past, we can not move into the future.

I do agree, that some people might be thinking more of this than needed, but it was the LARGEST black out in US history. Lot of people did not even think that something like this could happen. Right now, someone someplace who does not like the US, (Taliban) is thinking HEY, why didn’t we think of that.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
The Taliban still exists. It is no longer the governing power in Afghanistan. It is still influential in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
gkmo62u said:
IMO
Its the first big outage in memory--Since NY in 77? Or 65?. The grid will be fully back up in a couple of days. Why are we hysterical about this?

Let's not make this an opportunity to wring our hands about American excesses or solar power or why everybody should live in a ped friendly city.

We had one big power outage. Big deal.
wow, your panties are in a bunch. Sleep on the street last night?
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Boxer-Briefs today my friend.

I stand by my point. I am just cautioning that I do not think it reasonable to start blaming our lifestyle on this incident.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I don't think people should get their undies all in a twist. To phrase it most politically correctly - "stuff happens." People are all upset and want answers on how this happened. How about the fact that the system works so well that this sort of thing is such a rarity. It is summer -- temperatures are a tad warm, humidity is high, summer storms pop up unexpectedly, etc. It seems no one is too worse the wear from the experience. Emergency services handled it. People acted civilly to one another. Some well-off commuters got a little taste of what it is like to sleep on the street like the homeless.

Sure, look it to way to prevent it in the future but don't overhaul the whole system. Chalk it up as an anomaly. Holy cow, what a tragedy? People actually had to go out of their houses and offices and interact with other people. We need to put a stop to that sort of thing. If we start doing that it could lead to all sorts of terrible things - like caring for your fellow man, slowing down in life's fast lane, lower cholesterol, and talking to your kids.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
gkmo62u said:
We had one big power outage. Big deal.
I couldn't agree more. However, all of the cause-heads tend to speak out when something like this happens. Mad Cow disease, the idiots at PETA lament the evils of animal consumption. A major traffic accident with multiple fatalities, the anti-car crowd comes out of the woodowrk. Floods, the anti-development people, etc...
 

Nemesis

Member
Messages
51
Points
4
Lessons to learn?

1. Blame Canada
2. Keep beer available
3. Toronto is not the Capital of Canada
4. John Candy is not a sherrif from Niagara Falls fighting the Canadians.
5. Electrircal Generation and Power is owned by companies that some of us own stock in. Not controlled by the evil governments.
6. Niagara Mohawk is owned by the British. Car guys know British Electrical Components are questionalble at best(Lucas).
7. To may gamblers In Niagara Falls can cause problems.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
I couldn't agree more. However, all of the cause-heads tend to speak out when something like this happens. Mad Cow disease, the idiots at PETA lament the evils of animal consumption. A major traffic accident with multiple fatalities, the anti-car crowd comes out of the woodowrk. Floods, the anti-development people, etc...
In the interests of being positive, the lesson I get from this is one:

None of this would happen if we hired more planners




Just kidding.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
The real conspiracy is that Quebec was not affected. Must be part of their plan to screw the newfies(Churchill Falls) and secede from Canada.icon12.gif


On a serious, and I know naive note, if people can be so civil to one another in an emergency situation, why can't we be that nice to each other all of the time. i saw a news report about a few restaurants and grocery stores feeding the people who were walking home for free and giving people water. I know there were people on the other end (price gouge) but every once in a while it is nice to see people acting like people to one another and not animals.

[edit ]The edit was to correct all of the stupid spelling mistakes, need more sleep and less stress, brain not working.[/edit]
 
Last edited:

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
donk said:
On a serious, and I know naive note, if people can be so civil toone another in an emergency situation, whay can't we be that nice to eachother all of the time. i saw a news report about a few restaurants and grocery stores feeding the people who were walking home for free and giving people water. I know there were people on the other end (price gauging) but every once in a while it is nice to see people acting like people to one another and not animals.
amen to that brutha donk. I do find it funny that it requires an emergency for us to be civil and respectful to one another. Maybe we can live in a constant state of emergency ;).

I'm just kidding , jeeez!
 

rurban

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
To add...............

Yes it was wonderful to see communities come together - citizens took it upon themselves to direct traffic, offer water to those who had to walk home. The stars in the sky last night were also quite spectacular, a rarity in the city, as well as the meteors.

However, it is a lesson to be learned - our dependency, the out dated grid system and transmission lines etc. Broader lessons can include those I already mentioned - sure emergency services handled things, the community bonded, but....what does it all mean anyway??
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,989
Points
49
I am going to go way out on a limb and say that although there were, and still are several bad situations and conditions associated with the back out, I feel that it was also a good thing. *see above for some of the reason* I agree that it is sad that it takes an event like this to bring people together, but, at least there was a good side of this. It showed the true humanity of people. New York is, or was, looked at by some as a cold angry place where people are always in a hurry, (New York Minute), but for a short time, New Yorkers did not stop, but slowed down to a human, and more importantly a personable scale. It is events like this that show the world that we can deal with ANYTHING, it is this reason, that the US is the last super power. It is not because of our military, or our government. It is because of our people.

Oh, and Canada is too not bad them selves.
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
Messages
3,178
Points
25
I agree, don't wish for anyone to be hurt, but do think that lessons like this remind us what we take for grant it everyday. In almost all situations we will not die without electricity. For those people that rely on it for there transportation whether it be to get to and from work or to haul them to the upper floor of their building, that is the choice in lifestyle that they make. I have a hard time feeling bad about them being inconvienced during an outage.
I have been inconvienced with several outages during my life and I do make life choices because of that. I will not have an electric cooking stove. Just in case I get caught in an ice storm I can cook and keep from freezing with gas. I keep plenty of candles and a few oil lamps and a deck of cards.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
As a New Yorker.. working 10 miles from NYC...I think the whole thing showed... that we a really are not as bad as our reputation is... at least amongst ourselves. The everyday citizens directing traffic.. and people listening to them. It was hot...it was a dilemna... but we managed to get through....with no real problems.

BUT,, I think the whole situation just shows that Indian Point, our aging Nuke Plant, should be shut down. After the local govenments, Counties and State refused to approve the evacuation plan for the re-permitting of the plant... the good ole' feds put their stamp of approval to the evacuation plan.. and issued the permit so the plant could continue to operate.

The evacuation plan calls for me to leave my house... and drive towards and past the Nuke plant.......it is just insane. Yesterday just futher showed that an evacuation of our area during a disaster.....is just too frieghtening to comprehend. There was no real danger yesterday....and it was a mess. I am just glad it wasn't a nuclear disaster......

I am not opposed to nuclear energy... call me a NIMBY...go ahead.. but if there was a major disaster at Indian Point....10 percent of the US Population would be effected... and the whole country as a whole would be in jeopardy...
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
donk said:
The serious looting was 20 broken windows and associated theft...
...which makes that one of the most serious riots in Canadian history.

Aside from how idyllic the world may be when there is no electricity and pedestrians are nice to each other, there are lessons to be learned for us as planners.

In one of the reports there was a mention of a hotel where guests could not get into their rooms because the electronic keys did not work. Think about the potential business implications, or emergency service implications of something as small as an electronic door lock. Why can't a large hotel have a small generator for such needs, or why can't there be a manual bypass on the system?

Subways stopped running and stop signals were out. Self-powered mass transit and roundabouts are beginning to look more attractive, aren't they?

Many cities rely on electrical pumps to obtain water, not just for drinking, but also for fire protection. With the pumps inoperable, supplies can be exhausted very quickly. Here is another case for back-up generation, and a cause to assess whether your community has adequate pressured water storage.

Sewage treatment plants were also out of commission and dumping raw sewage into the environment. Do these cities want to emulate Milwaukee? Chicago and some other large cities have storage capacity for major events, and would be much more capable of holding the sewage for later treatment.

Of course, there is the question of the grid itself and its ability to withstand shocks. We were very lucky to have this happen as an accident. If it were a terrorist attack you could very well expect that they would plan to capitalize on the subsequent crippling of services. Look at how congested New York was with all of those pedestrians in the streets - the perfect time and target for a strike. Cleveland can't pump water? What better time to start fires? I would think there would be an angle for an economic strike, too, when many IT systems go down. (Of course, many are on back-up power.)

This event should be taken very seriously. We do have a lot to learn from it.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
Well most of Ontario, and several US states have been in a black out since around 4 this afternoon - the real question is, will anyone take note of this!!

"They" will, for a while and the issue will fade just like it has in the past. I don't think that society as a whole actually learns anything from events like this on the long term.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Just another observation about the blackout. I come from perhaps a different perspective than most people. I grew up in south Louisiana, where we could pretty much count on a blackout every other year or so, due to hurricanes.

My family always tried to make the best of it. We had carte blanche to eat anything in the freezer -- seafood, ice cream, whatever. Since we had a gas stove, which was not affected by the blackout, we had hot meals. So, we would break out the hurricane lamps, flashlights, candles, and so on. We played cards or Monopoly. Invited neighbors over. Just dealt with it.

Actually, as a kid, I enjoyed the blackouts. Wind bellowing and the rain pelting the side of the house. There we were safe inside, a bellyful of shrimp and ice cream, beating our siblings at Monopoly. Sweet.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
otterpop said:
Just another observation about the blackout. I come from perhaps a different perspective than most people. I grew up in south Louisiana, where we could pretty much count on a blackout every other year or so, due to hurricanes.

It must have been culture shock to move to Montana.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
while watching the news and all of the helicopter angles i kept wondering - If all of the tunnels and bridges are outbound only - how is there still that many cars cruising around manhattan?

Seems like something they need to work out for next time. If for nothing else than the problems it causes for emergency vehicles.

I know NJTransit in particular had a tough time picking up the slack from the trains with their buses because once they got them into the city to pick up more people it took forever to get them out.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Too bad that bad things have to happen in order to have prevention plans done afterwards. I hope that the event doesn't fade away in the collective memory too fast. Now you people know... living in a megalopolis in the middle of a huge blackout isn't nice at all. I also hope that the blackout served to bring people together and realise that other people aren't psychos or inherently bad and wanting to steal or kill them.

Well, at least here in Chile there aren't any electricity pro
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
One lesson I took from it:

The Information Age is pretty boring when the power goes out.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
What I learned

When moving, you should put all your emergency lighting and cooking supplies in the same box, label the box accordingly, and place that box somewhere that you can get at it easily if needed.

Of course, I did none of these things! :D
 
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