Thursday, July 8, 2010

Third world infrastructure

In Washington, DC. This is essentially how I would characterize the recent power outages due to "high" temperatures. From WAPO:

Outages continue: Thousands in D.C. area without power as firms work on repairs
The oppressive heat -- and now humidity -- that descended on the Washington region has spurred near-record demands for electricity. Power companies are working to repair outages caused by the spike in demand as area residents reach for thermostats.

Blah, blah, blah.

Having lived in Malaysia and visited Bangkok - countries sometimes characterized by Americans as Third World and never having experienced any power outages due to "high" temperatures I would characterize this recent "outbreak" and its response as pathetic.

Lack of capacity is not a convincing argument for the outages. Our neighborhood experienced its first this summer on July 4th for about 3 hours and then on July 7th at about 6 pm for about 13 hours. The outage affected maybe one square block - this does not sound like lack of capacity but perhaps a lack of investment in equipment to balance load.

Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic.

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