Let's deregulate even more essential services!

…except that the power failure had nothing to do with insufficent supply. It was the result of an insufficent distribution network.

It’s a bit like arguing more car factories would help stop traffic jams.

Don’t give the guys over at Fox News any ideas…

What a clown show. It’s a fire in New York! We’ve had confirmation! No, wait, it’s lightning! Yeah, it’s lightning! We’re positive that it was lightning and we’ve had confirmation of this. Uh, okay, now we’re hearing that it’s not lightning. But it’s not us! We’re absolutely positively sure that the problem came from the American side!

Crouton, Graham, and the rest of the idiots in the Liberal government are a national embarrassment. And the fact that Crouton hasn’t made a single public appearance – hell, he hasn’t even made a fucking phone call from the bunker at Shawinigan – is absolutely disgusting. Mel Lastman’s come out of this looking better than Crouton or anyone else in the Liberal cabinet. So has Ernie Eves – who had, by the way, better damn well pray that this problem isn’t traced back to Ontario, because if it is, that’ll be the last nail in his government’s coffin with the election almost certainly coming early this fall.

Still tilting at windmills?

The failure had everything to do with both insufficient supply and insufficient distribution. Supply constantly bounces around where it’s needed, from moment to moment, and the limits are always being tested. New York might get a little from Quebec one minute, then be pumping some to Ontario the next. And so on. It’s an incredibly complex and chaotic system, as evidenced by the way that nobody’s been able to track the root of the problem. (Though it’s looking like there is no real root, as it seems likely that there was a rapid backtrack of power demand somewhere in the system, which led to a failure somewhere else, and then the whole damn grid went down. I think it’s more the grid as a whole that failed, not an individual power station, government, or anything else.)

No one power company has enough juice to go on its own, so there’s no way you can say that there’s a sufficient supply. Everyone operates too close to the limit to be sure that there won’t be a blackout. You want to use car analogies, try this one – GM may say that it’s safe to drive your vehicle at 140mph, but that doesn’t mean you can go put it to the floor all the time without risking a crash or a major mechanical failure.

I saw a report that load was only at 75% of capacity when it happened; that doesn’t sound like a supply shortage to me.

I found a reasonably useful speculation roundup here. But it is so much more fun to resurrect neo-marxist theories about capitalist misbehaviour; perhaps it is better to stick to that, since it is more likely to lead to quality BUSHFASCISTGARRRRRHH-level discussions.

Also, for those who napped during “Electricity, Powergrids, and You” portion of the American education system, the 08/15 post here covers a lot of ground, and in fact led me to the previous link.

Den Beste: proving cell phones explain everything.