The bad consequences from California’s imposed blackouts

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

Link here. The blackout was imposed to avoid electric lines from causing wildfires. However, the reason there is a risk of wildfires is not because of electricity but because the Democratically-controlled government in California would rather inconvenience its citizens than simply clear the brush from the forests and thus to lower the risk of wildfires.

The consequences? Supermarkets might go out of business because of food spoilage. Cancer research was destroyed. And at least one man died because his oxygen supply was cut off when the power shut down.

And in a remarkable example of irony, home owners with solar power discovered that solar power doesn’t work if there is a blackout, as their power is not fed to their homes but into the electric grid. With the grid shut down, the electricity from their panels vanished into the ether. Similarly, the owners of electric cars have suddenly discovered their cars won’t work without a power supply.

But don’t worry Californians! You clearly want Venezuela and the Democrats who run California sincerely and passionately want to give it to you. These blackouts are only the beginning. Socialism and centralized rule by government always leads to bankruptcy, starvation, failure, and the deaths of millions. And it has done it so many times in the past century that it makes me despair for a human race that cannot seem to learn anything from these horrific lessons.


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  • Calvin Dodge: I must admit that I have great doubts about this autopsy report. It might very well be true that “he died of Severe Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis,” but the loss of his oxygen supply at that moment could only have sped that death along. Moreover, I have seen California’s coroners fake their conclusions in the past for political reasons.

  • V-Man

    Socialism keeps being tried because everyone is sure they’re going to be the inner Party, with the private car and the dacha on the lake.

    Whereas history shows that most, if not all, will end in a ditch somewhere.

  • NormD

    The question liberals don’t ever ask is “Why does this happen in California but not in other states?”

    Cannot clear brush, log trees, etc.
    Money meant to trim trees and maintain power lines diverted to green projects
    Crazy “inverse condemnation” ruling that utilities are 100% responsible for costs of an event (fire) even if they are only 1% (or less) responsible.

  • Phill O

    “inconvenience its citizens that simply clear the brush from the forests and thus to lower the risk of wildfires.”

    This should read — than simply

    There are two types of solar power systems. There is the off grid which is totally independent of the grid and it’s outages.

    The grid tied systems get their synchronizing signal from the grid and will not work without that signal: not even if disconnected from the grid.

    I was wondering when the electric car owners would wise up.

    Due to the financial problems resulting from the lawsuit, there seems limited ability for th power corporation of updating equipment without very significant rate increases. You know how the liberals scream when they have to pay more!

    There are advantages for both systems. The off grid sure seems great when there are frequent power outages or brownouts (motors burn out) but require a significant outlay for batteries. The grid tied systems can make money by selling power or simply reducing overall power consumption.

  • Cotour

    This would be the lemonade:

    Newsom sees himself as president, he reminds me of a hyper egomaniacle Romney. Newsom loves him some Gavin Newsom, loves, loves, loves him. A good looking guy, much like Romney who you do not want anywhere near the levers of governance. Newsom is a true “Progressive” (Leftist).

    This shut down and its effects will not be good for governor Newsom, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    PS: Anyone with some electrical know how should be able to modify their solar electrical system with an inverter and some batteries and get to use some of that solar panel power. I suspect that there will be a tremendous new under the radar / pirate solar system modification business to sprout in Calfornia.

  • hondo

    Always amazed at all those who invest in solar power systems don’t read the fine print.

  • Phill O

    Two friends went into solar systems. One was tiered of burning out motors from brownouts so went off grid with half his ranch. The other went grid tied and all the power outages have caused him to rethink that choice. Was not too much of a problem until he really got into mining!

    The one factor many neglect is the possibility for lightening strikes taking out a system. Putting up lightening poles like around launch platforms might be a good idea. If one does the lightening pole, remember basic physics: the sharper the point to greater the discharged rate.

  • Brad

    Just some human sacrifices to the new Green God.

  • wayne

    They’ve already driven PG&E into bankruptcy–the only upside to the blackouts is that PG&E can’t be sued for this mess because they have authorization from the public utility commission. (ironic isn’t it?!)
    On a brighter note—I’m in west Michigan, and after literally decades of my power going out every single time it rained, our utility spent gobs of money on local infrastructure and extensive tree-trimming along right-of-ways. That, along with 5 years of heavy wind storms in my immediate area, and my power is now rock solid, not even a flicker with intense storms.
    (on the downside, I pay nearly 15 cents a KwH, (all in) and they also shuttered our 2 closest coal-fired power plants.)

  • Cotour

    Not that I often have power problems, but this is my solution if I do.

    Works beautifully, always starts on the first pull, and it is very quiet. It pays to buy the best.

    PS: This happens to be a great price (I am not associated with this company or Yamaha).

  • F-16 Bill

    Which is worse….

    Politicians who continue to screw their constituents, or the constituents who keeping voting for more of the same?

  • Edward

    I saw this one coming two decades ago, when the state legislature told PG&E to stop trimming the trees around the power lines.

    This is the very same moronic legislature (with apologies to morons everywhere for the insult of comparing them to the California legislature) that mandated a large number of zero emision cars in the California fleet by early 2000s but forgot to ensure enough power plants to supply the electricity.

    These are the same idiots (again, apologies to the actual idiots) that restructured PG&E so that it had to sell off its power production and focus exclusively on distribution — the lines that are now starting fires statewide.

    The same dufus-brains (again, apologies) who restructured California’s power purchasing method so that unethical companies, such as Enron, extorted 9 billion dollars of California’s $10 billion surplus, back about the year 2000.

    This is not the first time we have had power outages, but the locations are different. This time, the city centers are not as badly affected. The last time it was the same bozos (apologies) as above whose leadership resulted in roving blackouts throughout the state. The last time, however, they did not have to spend several days verifying that trees had not downed any lines before turning the power back on.

    What a cluster bleep.

    The similarity between those guys and the guys in charge now? Both groups are Democrats. You would think that they would learn, but these are the same people who have watched the abject failure of every socialist system ever tried throughout all of history, yet still think that somehow they are the ones who can make socialism finally work.

    It would take dingleberries (hey, look! No apology necessary, this time ) like these to think that they are capable of making decisions about a power grid even though they have absolutely no experience with electricity beyond turning on and off light switches.

    The Republican Party may be the stupid party, but the Democrats are the stupidest party (apologies, again, to the stupid).

  • Col Beausabre

    They’re Coming For You Next. Cotour, I think they’re banned in the Golden State because of the amount of pollution they gives out per watt produced. If not the maniacs in the legislature will soon get around to it. Also, I’ve already heard rumblings that PG&E proves the case that utilities should be owned and run by the government Yeah, that will solve everything, put the DMV in charge of electricity….

  • Cotour

    Capitalism / opportunity grows as a result of the California power situation.

    Now someone has to come up with a battery hack / of the solar systems that sits atop some of the houses so power can be stored and between the two systems, generators and solar storage the people of California affected by this bad situation might be able to normalize things to some degree.

    Another solution may be smaller decentralized electrical generation / battery storage systems that service neighborhood group segments of the existing system? This situation may be the germination of an entierly new and “Safe” energy distribution system model in Califorina.

  • wayne

    –for the roof-top solar panels in CA., (and most everywhere else) you agree to sell the power to the utility through their grid. Unless your system is totally isolated from the power grid, your solar doesn’t work during blackouts, and none of that power is utilized by anyone. (And if your system is totally isolated, you don’t get any of the tax breaks.)
    –There’s a good reason we don’t generate electricity (except in emergencies and on small scales) using gasoline.
    –I’m surprised California doesn’t require catalytic converters on generators, if you want to run a wood stove in California, you need a catalytic converter.
    –I truly feel sorry for Californians, but then again “you voted for it all.”
    –as for PG&E— it’s beautiful revenge for being micromanaged from Sacramento all these decades.

    A Giant ‘Battery’ for Wind and Solar Energy:
    Ludington (Mi.) Pumped Storage Power Station
    “It consists of a reservoir 110 feet (34 m) deep, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long, and one mile (1.6 km) wide which holds 27 billion US gallons or 82859 acre-feet of water. At night, during low demand for electricity, the turbines run in reverse to pump water 363 feet (111 m) uphill from Lake Michigan into the reservoir. The plant takes advantage of the natural steep sand dune landform of eastern Lake Michigan. During periods of peak demand water is released to generate power. Electrical generation can begin within two minutes with peak electric output of 1872 MW achieved in under 30 minutes. Maximum water flow is over 33 million US gallons (120,000 m3) per minute. This process was designed to level the load of nearby nuclear power plants on the grid. It also replaces the need to build natural gas peak power plants used only during high demand. The Ludington Pumped Storage plant is connected to six 345-kV Transmission lines.”

  • Cotour


    Yes, I understand the solar system / grid design limitations. What I am anticipating is someone who developes a system that clandestinly bypasses the grid system and diverts that power to a battery storage system in each home to gain some level of power. The solar panels are still putting out why waste the potential? Technically illegal? Probably.

    A couple of these being charged by tapping the solar panels on your own roof and you may be able to have some level of reliable power while the grid power is off.

    A portable not installed battery storage system and some level of gasoline / dual fuel / propane driven generator would be what I would be working on in the same situation. And possibly a larger more local neighborhood version of that system where practical. These people are not going to just sit around bumping into the walls at night and allow this situation to persist, someone will solve the problem one way or the other. And be paid handsomely for it.

  • Cotour

    On a similar subject: Chuck Schumer, a Senator that has been around a little too long, proposes a cars for clunkers typee legislation to remove ALL fossil fuel burning vehicles from the roads by 2040. That you the American tax payer will be required to pay for of course.

    1. Today I would never buy a solely electric vehicle. It would have to have a hybrid type technology where I would not have to be dependent on THE GRID for power. For obvious reasons. A friend of mine who drives a lot around NYC has a Toyota Prius and has put many thousands of miles on it and he is bying his second one this week. He loves the milage and he gets to ride in the HOV lanes. Its a hybrid, about 55 miles per gallon or about 600 miles per tank. Someone else I know has a new Tesla and it gets about 200 miles on a charge, and God help you if you are someplace and there is no charging station, which any way you look at it takes a chunk of time to charge.

    2. The automobile engine has got to be one of the most highly developed and refined technologies on the planet. They are efficient, extremely reliable and for the most part now pretty clean, and is a major employer to boot.

    3. To do what Schumer proposes would be to destroy this well developed industry to replace it with a technology that is not at all fully developed. I like electric weed wackers and for various reasons, both mechanical and battery related, over the past 10 years I have had to replace at least 6 of them. I like their convenience and relatively low noise characteristics but there are trade offs just like everything else.

    4. The solar / elecrtic solution proposes that the work that must be done to accomplish what it is you want accomplished, in this case the moving of people, is cleaner. And that may well be true on a local level, but the work must be done all the same and most of these proposals are just removing the work from being done locally to being done remotely. And probably done using either oil or natural gas and some solar componet for the most part until some level of technology is developed that better solves this problem.

    5. I suspect that some compromise between fossil fuel and electric will continue to emerge but for the time being the fossile fuel solution to the problem will dominate.

    6. I am not opposed to electric anything, but I am opposed to career government Liberal/ soon the be Leftist nerds selling the idea that they have the solution to ANY problem. Solutions that they will be all too willing to mandate and insist upon, or else.

  • wayne

    I’d be interested in how much you pay for electric in CA.
    I pay about 15 cents a KwH, all in. (Total Bill divided by electric used.) [there’s literally a dozen different surcharges & credits embedded into my bill, I suspect it’s similar in CA?]

    You don’t have to clandestinely bypass the utility grid, but you won’t be selling any electric back to the utility if you do and that’s where your costs get largely defrayed. (that and tax breaks/credits, etc.)
    —tangentially– in most States, the Utility is mandated to buy your solar output, they get to count it as ‘solar power’ for purposes of meeting their (mandated) goals of not using gas/coal for electric.

    Caveat– I don’t have solar panels, but I know we have some readers who do, and I’ll defer to their actual on-the-ground experience.

    Large scale battery storage of electric power is currently a lose-lose situation and looks to stay that way until major breakthroughs are discovered.
    I’m not however familiar with the efficiency of modern batteries, but it’s pretty low in the grand scheme. (and unless the electric to charge batteries is coming from nuclear, all we succeed in doing is magnifying inefficiencies.)

    Ref- the pumped storage hydro-electric reservoir in my video link; round-trip efficiency approaches 70%, so they lose 30% right off the bat, but despite that it’s economical because it allows them to run their coal/gas/nuclear plants at peak efficiency even during low load demands at night.

    Interesting topic.
    (I don’t necessarily disagree with your points, just that its a bit more complex.)

  • Cotour

    Then there is this, the ECAT, from Andrea Rossi, something that I found and posted here years ago now. And not much has been posted here related to it, the Zman remains skeptical, with good reason. But more and more testing appears to be validating something, although it does not appear that the reaction is fully understood.

    From what I can detect it does exist and it does appear to be doing what it claims as far as I can see. The out put is claimed to be 57 times that of the in put. If this is proven to be so then this unusual technology will be something that is in all of our futures.

    Comments? NASA high IQ nerds? Anyone?

  • Andi

    The Wikipedia article about it is very skeptical. For example:

    “On 28 October 2011 the unit was “customer tested” and was said to release 2,635 kWh during five and a half hours of self-sustained mode, an average power of 479 kilowatts – just under half the promised power of one megawatt. Independent observers were not allowed to watch the measurements or make their own, and the plant remained connected to a power supply during the test allegedly to supply power to the fans and the water pumps”

  • commodude

    ECAT appears to be at best snake oil. The “inventor” refuses to allow independent testing or duplication of the device.

    Without duplication and independent testing, it remains vaporware.

    If it actually worked as stated the inventor would be the immediate recipient of the next Nobel prize in physics and could essentially print money.

  • Cotour

    And that was the point of the video, the ECAT appears to be a “Black Swan Event”.

    “The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. The term is based on an ancient saying that presumed black swans did not exist – a saying that became reinterpreted to teach a different lesson after black swans were discovered in the wild.”

    There appears to be too many scientific reputations at this point at stake for this to not be something of consequence. Take the court case for example, Rossi was initially paid $11 million and was given the choice of the balance which I think would have been about $78 million or walk on the contract. Rossi walked.

    If its a scam how much do you think his price is? And what magic is he using to facilitate this fraud? Is he in league with Satin himself and is holding out for $billions? $11 million is a lot of cabbage, not to mention $78 million. We will wait a see.

  • commodude

    You continually state your reliance on scientific theory.

    Scientific proof requires that the process or device can be replicated. There is no independent testing allowed, or other independent evidence of the device actually working, never mind having a second device constructed independently of the first.

    As to the lawsuit, from Wikipedia:

    In January 2014 a newly formed company, Industrial Heat LLC, announced that it had acquired rights to Rossi’s E-Cat technology.[60][61][62] In April 2016, Rossi filed a lawsuit in the USA against Industrial Heat, alleging that he was not paid an $89 million licensing fee due after a one-year test period of an E-Cat unit. Industrial Heat’s comment on the lawsuit was that after three years of effort they were unable to reproduce Rossi’s E-Cat test results.[63][64][65][66] On July 5, 2017 the parties settled; the terms of the settlement were not released.[67][68]

    Somewhat differs from what you stated, and while wikipedia isn’t the most reliable source, given the editing and scrutiny articles like this get, if there was a different outcome I’d think it would have been included in the article.

  • Cotour

    I was just going by what the person in the video generally stated.

    Be skeptical, I don’t blame you, Im skeptical. But how long is Rossi committed to this sharade? And where is he getting all of that extra energy from in his demonstrations with all of those scientits syanding around witnessing it?

    And apparently there are commerical units available for a monthly fee and they are reported to be in operation.

    This IMO is not something easily faked for such a long time. The truth will come out in time, and if it is so then this will be probably what will be powering systems both here on earth, on the moon, on Mars and beyond.


  • Andi

    “where is he getting all of that extra energy from in his demonstrations with all of those scientists standing around witnessing it? ”

    In one of the experiments mentioned in the Wikipedia article, there was a “ground wire” connected to the device, but the scientists were not allowed to measure it to see if power was being supplied through it.

    In another experiment, “the plant remained connected to a power supply during the test allegedly to supply power to the fans and the water pumps”

    The very fact that this device is not in widespread commercial operation is ample evidence that it is not genuine.

  • Cotour

    Either what you said, or it truly is a black swan event.

    And if its not this has got to be one of the most elaborate, detailed and long running hoaxes ever in the history of man. Piltdown man has got nothing on Ardrea Rossi.

    Which ever is true it will certainly come out, another waiting game.

  • On the subject of long-running hoaxes, I think Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic has Rossi beat hands down.

  • Cotour

    Most all paradigm shifting progress at some point has some very proficient BS man involved pushing it. And Branson is one of the best you will have to admit, same goes for Trump.

    But in the end some form of progress is made, planes fly and buildings are built. Branson deos have the vehicle and he has built quite an impressive facility, probably all with someone elses money. (Thats how you know they are one of the best).

    Rossi? This will only be able to go on just so long and then the government will confiscate it or he will be revealed to be a fraud. And as time goes by it appears to be the former rather than the later from where I sit.

  • commodude

    Ok, I’ll bite, which government will confiscate it?

    This is just the latest version of the 100 MPG carburetor.

    I will agree with Robert, Branson has a longer running more expensive hoax going. We need more Charlie Parsons and fewer Charles Ponzis.

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