What Would Happen If The Electric Grid Failed Tomorrow?Energy Crisis's.
They do happen. Sometimes they are very small -- like when a major thunderstorm knocks out a couple power lines around town and a few thousand people are without power for a few days. Sometimes they are very long -- like the energy crisis that struck during the 1970's and there were huge gas lines, rationing and shortages. Sometimes they are natural and sometimes they are man-made.
Collapse is a film that makes a very compelling case that we are entering into the very beginning stages of a natural resource crisis. Oil is becoming harder and harder to find and much more difficult to extract.
The problem: our entire economy is dependent on cheap oil. If the price of oil goes up even 20 percent our nation would be looking at a economic collapse in the short term and a energy collapse in the long term.
Our entire way of life -- our suburbs and our car culture -- is all built around one simple idea: that cheap oil is an infinite resource that will never be exhausted and it will also be dirt cheap. Of course, oil is not infinite and it is running out. As oil becomes more expensive to extract, it becomes more expensive to sell. And when the price starts to rise everything else in America -- which is built on the idea of infinite/cheap oil -- starts to fall apart.
If gasoline increases up to $7, $8, $12 a gallon....could you afford to keep commuting 50 miles to work round trip?
How would that huge increase in fuel costs impact your grocery costs? Since no one in suburbia grows their own food, it must be shipped in. If fuel costs shoot up to $10 a gallon, how much will that increase your food costs?
All agriculture is dependent on oil/petroleum for fertilization. So just buying fertilizer to grow the costs will add to the price of food -- now add to the freight costs on top of that and by the time it reaches your grocery store (which costs you $20 in gas to drive to) you're shelling out $12.50 for a loaf of bread and $8 for a carton of eggs.
Question: how long could you survive on your current salary if food prices increased 200-300 percent?
Question: how long could you survive if food costs increase 200 percent every single year as the energy crisis continued to worsen?
Question: if you couldn't afford to put gas in your car, how the hell would you get to work? The bus is cheaper, but not by much at this point in the oil-crisis and it's also overloaded as everyone in suburbia desperately tries to find a way to adapt to a post-automobile lifestyle in a country that has ZERO infrastructure for non-automotive living.
Question: if a worsening energy crisis made buying shipped-in-food impossible, do you have the skill and resources (and land!) to actually grow your own? Enough to survive on?
Let's assume a different scenario -- let's forget peak oil doomsday scenarios for a moment and shift our attention to solar flares. Our electrical grid is extremely vulnerable to solar flares. Basically the problem is that our electrical grid is a little overloaded, a little out-dated and not grounded. A solar flare would overload all of our electrical transformers and -- poof! -- the electrical grid would be destroyed. Oh, granted the entire thing could be repaired once we replaced every single transformer....which would only take about 10 or 12 years. (because it takes a long time to BUILD the damn things and it would be extremely slow trying to replace them all in a nation without electricity. Kind of slows up the process.)
If the electrical grid simply shut down tomorrow because of a solar flare -- could you survive?
What would you do if there was no electricity? No juice to keep the refrigerator running to keep the food. No juice to run the TV set or the radio or the cell phone towers (think your smartphone downloads slowly now? Wait till you get zero bars because there is no juice to power the cell towers) -- so you have absolutely no way of contacting the outside world or for government rescue services to contact you. Wherever you are when the crisis hits is basically where you're stuck.
What would you do?
Would you be able to survive a year or more if there was absolutely no electricity in the United States of America?
What's fascinating to me is that 90 short years ago...few people would even notice if the electrical grid died. Everyone lived on small farms or in cities with little to no electrical gadgets. Everyone walked to work or rode a horse.
In 2010? We would pretty much all die if the juice was turned off.
Could half the people living in the extreme deserts of Tucson Arizona survive without electricity?
Could half the people living in the frozen Northern states survive the winter without electricity?
Could half the people trapped in the suburbs survive for a whole year without electricity?