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Electricity blackouts increase 124% and infrastructure crumbles

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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.

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About magix

When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.

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