Ohio Roundtable: The Public Square - When the Lights Went Out I
When the Lights Went Out I
12 hours without power times a few millions people gets
Yes, America is vulnerable. Of course we all knew that,
sort of. After September 11th we all came to the realization that we can be hurt deeply
here on our own soil but such lessons are so easy to forget. So when the lights went out
and the water disappeared on the hottest day of the year and the lights did not come back
and the water stayed off people woke up in a slightly different state of mind.
The spokespeople for the energy companies had an
interesting take they told us there's a great economy of scale in building a massive
interconnected power grid. We save money, they make money and bigger are better until a
problem arises then the old adage comes in: "The bigger they come the harder they
We found it pretty funny that a lot of small independent
towns across the region had power. They weren't tied into the monster grid that had
collapsed. Smaller communities had water too and several friends called to help, all of
them outside the grid. Modern technology is mostly wonderful, but sometimes it doesn't
work. Like most people I'm slow to remember the good days and whine when the water
There is a bigger moral to the story. Remember the Tower of
Babel? It's an old tale from a book no one seems to read anymore. The Tower teaches an
important lesson: bigger is not always better. Giant grids may save money and make money
but when they come crashing down a lot of people can get hurt.
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