Economist Paul Krugman points out the dangerous after effects of trying to make government smaller
The lights are going out all over America — literally…a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.
And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back.
Another grave sign our infrastructure is in dire need of shoring up is the increase in blackouts in the US. CNN reports a 124% in non disaster related blackouts
During the past two decades, such blackouts have increased 124 percent — up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota.
In the most recently analyzed data available, utilities reported 36 such outages in 2006 alone.
“It’s hard to imagine how anyone could believe that — in the United States — we should learn to cope with blackouts,” said University of Minnesota Professor Massoud Amin, a leading expert on the U.S. electricity grid.
Without reliable energy everything comes to a standstill. Without energy we cannot even repair the existing infrastructure. Energy, human sweat included, is critical to a sustainable economy so relying on a system that is clearly breaking down, whatever the reason, is a flawed strategy.
This should make microgrids more and more attractive as both a way to avert blackouts but also to generate badly needed revenue for local economies.