Author Topic: Ramifications  (Read 2823 times)

Richard Johnson

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Ramifications
« on: October 11, 2019, 11:12:28 AM »
We're currently in Portland, OR (I was teaching theologian at a Society of the Holy Trinity retreat), watching the power outage situation in Northern California. Our power at home has been out since Wednesday very early morning, and they are currently estimating it won't be back on until Sunday night. From one point of view, it seems primarily like an inconvenience, but there are lots of ramifications that one doesn't think about until in the situation. Many merchants, including grocery stores, have been closed, or can take cash or checks only (and ATMs have been down). Gas stations closed. Schools have been closed all week, but of course some parents still have to go to work so they are stuck for childcare. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, probably more, of refrigerated food has been lost. Many lower income folks who can't go to work are losing days worth of wages. It hasn't been terribly cold where we are, but indoor temperatures are dropping each day for those who don't have an alternative heat source. And what about those who depend on power for medical reasons? Also in our area many are on wells (we are not) and depend on power for their water . . . and of course everyone depends on power for their hot water.

We're looking to get home Saturday, though we may decide to stay away an extra day, and wondering what we find. At the very least we'll have to toss a bunch of food; the more serious worry is that we'll find a kitchen full of water from melted ice that may require replacing the floor . . . potentially in much of the house, since it is the same flooring throughout and we already know that it is no longer manufactured so can't be matched.

So yeah, it's an inconvenience for us, and potentially a financial hit; but for others of the millions of us without power, more serious. Not as dramatic as a hurricane or earthquake or wildfire, but still a slow motion disaster for many.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Pilgrim

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2019, 11:42:33 AM »
Will anyone in the governmental arena in California finally take note that the only state with this consistent problem is California? Could it be that the prevailing political ethos is primarily responsible for most of these state specific problems? Just asking. California is beautiful, but (with the possible exception of Illinois) appears to be the most messed up state among the lower forty-eight. My new wife lived in California most of her life and was involved in many of these matters and is beyond giddy about being able to get out and now live elsewhere, where, as she puts it, common sense still has a foothold in how the state is governed.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Richard Johnson

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2019, 11:36:30 PM »
In this case, the biggest problem is the incompetence of the privately owned utility company.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

James J Eivan

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2019, 12:15:29 AM »
In this case, the biggest problem is the incompetence of the privately owned utility company.
Very similar to the incompetence of the publicly owned Flint Water Utility whose improperly treated water removed the protective coating of the privately owned lead water pipes leading to lead contamination water in some areas of Flint.

evangelical catholic

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2019, 02:30:59 AM »
The power companies are dealing with outdated equipment. Some of the electrical structures that sparked the horrible Paradise fire that killed 89 people last year are 100 yrs old. The current fire in northern Los Angeles [San Fernando valley] may be due to another power line malfunction in an area that SoCal Edison did not turn off the electricity last night even though it was very windy.  Governor Newsom expressed anger/ dissatisfaction with the PG&E strategy of cutting power to hundreds of customers rather than investing $ in replacing old electrical lines.


Richard Johnson

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2019, 11:09:31 PM »
We got word this morning that the power at our house had come back on (after four plus full days). We got home from our trip about 5 p.m. and, thankfully, found things in reasonable shape; no water on the kitchen floor, and just a little bit in the garage (where we have an extra freezer). We went through both and tossed probably $100 worth of meat and other foodstuffs, plus perhaps ten dinners worth of soup, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc. Could have been way worse. Went shopping tonight and the store was pretty well stripped of things like dairy and meat--some of which the store had to toss, and others (like mayonnaise) were selling like hotcakes after the power came back on. Some of our food disposal could have been avoided had we been home; we could have eaten some of those meals, for instance, and probably preserved some other stuff in an ice chest. But oh well, we're grateful it wasn't worse. And at least it accomplished defrosting the garage freezer, a task we'd been putting off for months.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2019, 11:50:42 PM »
Governor Newsom expressed anger/ dissatisfaction with the PG&E strategy of cutting power to hundreds of customers rather than investing $ in replacing old electrical lines.

Kind of hard to invest in replacing old lines and maintaining your infrastructure when you deliberately shut off your income stream.
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

James J Eivan

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2019, 12:09:42 AM »
Governor Newsom expressed anger/ dissatisfaction with the PG&E strategy of cutting power to hundreds of customers rather than investing $ in replacing old electrical lines.

Kind of hard to invest in replacing old lines and maintaining your infrastructure when you deliberately shut off your income stream.
Kind of hard to run a operate a business when those with little to no business sense (ie politicians) want to better themselves politically at the expense of the customers the business exists to serve.

evangelical catholic

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2019, 05:24:19 PM »
LA Times article pointed out that the governor did not react to the complaints until 36 hours after the power shutoff. Previously Newsom agreed that PG&E had to take serious measures to avoid fires. It basically worked. The LA fire was likely due to SoCal Edison not turning off power more widely.

James S. Rustad

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2019, 07:11:27 PM »
LA Times article pointed out that the governor did not react to the complaints until 36 hours after the power shutoff. Previously Newsom agreed that PG&E had to take serious measures to avoid fires. It basically worked. The LA fire was likely due to SoCal Edison not turning off power more widely.

California approved PG&E's plan to turn off the power to prevent fires so regulators clearly knew power outages were coming.  It could be that Newsom didn't know, but he should have.  If not, maybe his beef should be with the regulators?

Pilgrim

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2019, 02:10:04 PM »
What is missing in this conversation is the fact that there are many states where such fires (caused by natural phenomenon as well as human error, etc.) are far more rare due to the fact that routinely clearing underbrush, cutting firebreaks, and a variety of other common sense preventatives are not done in California because the tree huggers and environmental wackos are far more interested in plants and animals than people and sadly, with the political climate in place making money off of it all, getting away with it.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

evangelical catholic

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2019, 02:48:02 PM »
What is missing in this conversation is the fact that there are many states where such fires (caused by natural phenomenon as well as human error, etc.) are far more rare due to the fact that routinely clearing underbrush, cutting firebreaks, and a variety of other common sense preventatives are not done in California because the tree huggers and environmental wackos are far more interested in plants and animals than people and sadly, with the political climate in place making money off of it all, getting away with it.

I see you live in the Houston area.  How is Texas handling climate change with "common sense preventatives"? 

Pilgrim

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2019, 05:16:08 PM »
What change? Every scientist worthy of the name will admit that we do not have sufficient data to formulate any trends as regards "climate change". It's just the latest fadish speculations hyperventilated upon by the publicity seeking media/social media/political frenzy, which is fueled by none other than: the profit motive. I was young once, too. I suspect we all got caught up in the "trends of our time" only to discover years later how short sighted we truly were as regarded many many things of our youth. Echoes of Paul's "When I was a child, etc." 
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Richard Johnson

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Re: Ramifications
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2019, 05:17:51 PM »
What is missing in this conversation is the fact that there are many states where such fires (caused by natural phenomenon as well as human error, etc.) are far more rare due to the fact that routinely clearing underbrush, cutting firebreaks, and a variety of other common sense preventatives are not done in California because the tree huggers and environmental wackos are far more interested in plants and animals than people and sadly, with the political climate in place making money off of it all, getting away with it.

Actually, the majority of the forested land in California is owned by the federal government and is their responsibility.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS