Seriously, folks, I do not know why Nuttyfornians haven't done a run on pitchforks and ropes, because I've never seen a state so lost in lunacy as that one. While San Francisco drowns in human poop and drug needles, the people in the state capital, the administrative center of the asylum, Scarymental , are worried about plastic straws and forcing people to get vaccinated.
But wait, there's more insanity, and you knew it was coming: according to this article shared by C.V., deliberate brownouts and blackouts are coming from PG&E (Pacific Graft and Emoluments... er... I mean, Pacific Gas and Electric) during period of high fire risk:
In case you missed it, read this one again:
Of the Bay Area’s nine counties, all but San Francisco was to be hit by the mass outage intended to stop trees from crashing into Pacific Gas and Electric Co. lines when fast, dry winds blow in after several months without sustained rainfall. Across the state, 34 counties will be affected, some starting in the early morning and others not until noon or later on Wednesday. (Emphasis added)
Now, I don't know about you, but the last time I checked, there was no necessary nor causal connection between shutting off people's power and trees not falling on the power lines. Something tells me those trees will continue to fall onto the power lines; they may not start fires with the lines dead, but there's always the lightning for that (and we'll get back to that in a moment). But it's ok, they're doing their little bit to fight forest fires preemptively and (to use the hated word) "pro-actively". Uh huh.
You might be thinking, "well, rather than turning off people's power, why not clear vegetation from around the power lines?" Well, if you're thinking like that, you're obviously deeply deplorable, and living in the state of Reality, not Nuttyfornia:
Dana Dickey, a Shasta County resident, had her power shut off for three days recently after a wildfire. She was bracing for another shut-off on Wednesday, but wasn’t convinced it was necessary. Dickey also said that PG&E’s clearing of vegetation near power lines had been inadequate, and that she had trouble getting information from the company’s website during the previous shut-off. (Emphasis added)
And while you're thinking Nuttyfornia couldn't possibly become any nuttier, there's this little cache of cashews:
Some water districts asked customers to store supplies. The East Bay Municipal Utilities District, which delivers water to 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and other water providers, including the Marin Municipal Water District, were asking customers in affected areas to store a minimum of two gallons of water per person per day — enough to last three to seven days — and to store extra for pets. Although the districts have back-up generators for water pumping and distribution, services could be affected.
Yes, during a fire danger, turn off the power so that water pumping stations won't work so that when the fire engines finally show up after filling out the requisite state forms on the environmental impact of firefighting (yes, that was sarcasm, for those in Scarymental), they won't have any water pressure in the fire hydrants.
Now, if you're like me, you're thinking there's probably something else going on here. That brings us to today's high octane speculation (and suspicion). First, a bit of context:
Utility officials said the dramatic outages were fueled by a weather forecast that was shaping up to deliver Northern California’s most dangerous windstorm since the October 2017 wildfires that ravaged the North Bay’s Wine Country. Many of those fires were started by PG&E power lines, according to state investigators. The two-year anniversary of the disaster was Tuesday. Last year, PG&E equipment ignited the Camp Fire in Butte County, the worst fire in state history.
The problem here is, this is the "narrative," because many Californians recorded so many anomalies from the previous fires that the trees-falling-on-power-lines isn't the only nor total explanation. In fact, many of those anomalies point to some potentially downright sinister technologies and motivations. And as for the falling trees on power lines explanation, personally, I'd go so far as to say it's the spin. Many of those fires had all the hallmarks of being a man-made problem, a bit of TADISC (Technologically Assisted DISaster Capitalism) which is being pressed into the service of another narrative, that of global warming:
For PG&E, the shut-offs will mark a high-stakes test of a program the now-bankrupt company developed after being implicated in two years of catastrophic infernos that killed dozens of people and burned thousands of homes to the ground. The crisis has raised fundamental questions about whether PG&E can deliver power safely to its customers amid a warming climate.
As I recall, there were more than just "dozens" of people killed, and some are still missing and hence not on the lists of "the dead". In any case, the implication of all this is: well, obviously, Pacific Graft and Emoluments can't deliver power safely, and hence deliberate power cutoffs are necessary to "protect the environment/climate/children/elderly" (fill in your favorite crisis). And wait for it: eventually PG&E will come up with a way to monetize the power cut offs: a "cut off fee" to force customers to pay for the lost revenue, plus the costs of planning and implementing the power outages, so that the local power company can get paid for not delivering power. (Of course, there's always lightning to do that: forest fires will always be started, even in Nuttyfornia where it seldom rains, especially if you're spraying the air with lots of chemicals and metals to increase atmospheric conductivity and little regional dipoles, but I digress.) With reasoning like this, one might expect the nasty folks in Scarymental, Nuttyfornia to start limiting people's water supply because of prolonged draught. (Oh... wait, they already did that....) It's that little bit about all of this being a question of "whether PG&E can deliver power safely to its customers amid a warming climate" that's the give-a-way. For one thing, the warming climate part is undefined: warming where? the Bay area? the whole state? The country? the continent? the globe? And if the larger categories, those data and that conclusion are in dispute. But not to worry, they're still a good enough excuse to turn off the power to the suburban deplorables during "danger periods."
So in my opinion, it's a beta test folks, and with modifications, it can come to a power company near you: we're turning off your power for the next three days due to chances of high winds/tornadoes/&c blowing down power lines and starting fires.
But here's a thought: why not eventually challenge the whole policy if (and when) fires start during blackout periods precisely in areas affected by the blackouts?
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