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Monday, April 13, 2009

China, Russia & Electricity

Did you see it? The Wall Street Journal ran a feature story this past week. "What if you woke up one day and China or Russia had cut off your electricity?" That's the question the article lead with. The writer went on to explain that both countries had infiltrated the American power grid with spies - and alleged that they have the know-how to disable our power grid. The story was picked up on the wires and became fodder for the world's tabloid rags.

Frankly, I don't find the notion so preposterous. Only I don't think it will require spies or espionage. It won't require terrorism. Just this past winter Russia cut off the supply of natural gas that heats much of Europe. They did it blatantly and on purpose - to make a point. Eventually they turned it back on. But Europeans suffered during the "gas-out."

It is quite plausible that Americans will sell their souls to the devil. We do it every day. (See my earlier blogs about doing business with countries that don't share our values.) If we thought we could make a buck - we'd sell our power grid to Russia or China. All China has to do is buy our power companies and offer us cheaper electricity. We Americans, like sheep, would drink the Kool Aid and jump on the band wagon. Once they had us all dependent on them ... they could simply pull the plug whenever they had a point to make with us.

So what if? Let's face it, America. We need to wake up and smell the coffee. I don't think the sky is falling. But I do think the consequences of our choices are likely to be real. I also think we may not care much for those consequences. The question then is whether or not we even consider the consequences when we make choices.

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