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Cutting the Wire

Posted by: Mark Putney | December 10, 2013 | No Comment |


Late this November, a power outage affected the entire lower Kenai Peninsula.There’s nothing like a power outage to remind us just how dependent modern society is on electricity. As I walked through the dark halls, I asked myself, ”What would our society look like without electricity? Would it exist at all?”

Technology has brought us so far. From lightbulbs, to microprocessors, electricity has become an invaluable tool. Electricity has become inescapably tangled with modern life. How many rooms do we walk through in a day that don’t have wires or outlets. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, the U.S. consumed close to 3,856 billion kilowatthours in 2011. Light, heat, communication, entertainment, food processing, storage of information, electricity is used for all of this and more.

But what happens when we cut the wire?

Perhaps modern society has become overly dependant on electricity. Without electricity, a hospital becomes little better than rooms full of sick people. Rooms become cold and dark. Homes and cities would cease to function.

Apocalyptic dystopia has become a Hollywood cliche; an absurd fear that filmmakers have capitalized on to make big bucks. But is that fear valid? On the one hand, we can say that electricity is a hundred-year-old technology that has improved our lives by leaps and bounds. On the other hand, we can say that we has become so dependent on electricity that without it, modern society would wither and die. Either way, people should look into the issue and decide what should be done about it.

under: News

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