The Lights Are Out in California, And That Was the Plan All Along

Before planned blackouts are through in two or three days, as many as 3 million Californians may go without power.

By Chuck DeVore, October 9, 2019, The Federalist

The power is out in Northern California. More than 1 million Californians are now without electricity, one of modern life’s essentials that is frequently taken for granted. The blackout was done on purpose—to prevent sparks from powerlines that could ignite deadly wildfires.

Before planned blackouts are through in two or three days, as many as 3 million Californians may go without power. On the surface, the blackout and its causes are simple to understand. But the deeper causes are complicated, span decades of public policy, and dozens of overlapping unintended—and intended—consequences of decisions, both related and unrelated.

The wind in Northern California is blowing in from dry Nevada, as it often does this time of year. It’s called the “Diablo wind.” In Southern California, the comparable current blowing in from the Mojave Desert is known as the “Santa Ana winds.”

In both cases, as the wind rises above California’s mountain spine, then descends, it compresses and heats up. Forests, chaparral and brush, dry this time of year in California’s Mediterranean climate, are primed for wildfires.

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