Thursday, July 26, 2012

Inferior Structure - 2

I-35W Bridge Collapse
Our nation is falling apart in several significant ways.

For example, the obvious political division, religious division, the 1% - 99% division,  but now we know that it also is physically falling apart.

In yesterday's post we focused on the "fossil fuel infrastructure" (a.k.a. the dirty, crude oil industry).

We have looked at that murderous international industry before, but yesterday we began to look at another aspect of that nemesis which has been causing global warming induced climate change for decades, noting that it is now beginning to have an affect on the entire national infrastructure:
“We’ve got the ‘storm of the century’ every year now,” said Bill Gausman, a senior vice president and a 38-year veteran at the Potomac Electric Power Company, which took eight days to recover from the June 29 “derecho” storm that raced from the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard and knocked out power for 4.3 million people in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

In general, nobody in charge of anything made of steel and concrete can plan based on past trends, said Vicki Arroyo, who heads the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, a clearinghouse on climate-change adaptation strategies.

Highways, Mr. Scullion noted, are designed for the local climate, taking into account things like temperature and rainfall. “When you get outside of those things, man, all bets are off.” As weather patterns shift, he said, “we could have some very dramatic failures of highway systems.”
(NY Times, emphasis added). As Dredd Blog pointed out recently, they hog even the drinking water and pollute that too:
WE’RE now in the midst of the nation’s most widespread drought in 60 years, stretching across 29 states and threatening farmers, their crops and livestock. But there is another risk as water becomes more scarce. Power plants may be forced to shut down, and oil and gas production may be threatened.

Our energy system depends on water. About half of the nation’s water withdrawals every day are just for cooling power plants. In addition, the oil and gas industries use tens of millions of gallons a day, injecting water into aging oil fields to improve production, and to free natural gas in shale formations through hydraulic fracturing. Those numbers are not large from a national perspective, but they can be significant locally.

All told, we withdraw more water for the energy sector than for agriculture. Unfortunately, this relationship means that water problems become energy problems that are serious enough to warrant high-level attention.

During the 2008 drought in the Southeast, power plants were within days or weeks of shutting down because of limited water supplies.
(The Damage Has Been Done). We are living in a time that should be producing a plethora of jobs whereby we change our entire infrastructure, beginning with "fossil fuel infrastructure", by changing it to green, vehicular transportation, and let's not forget that the national power grid desperately needs a major upgrade too.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog, since at least 2009, has been asking what nation our infrastructure tax money has been spent on:
"The enormous bill [the largest in U.S. history BTW] -- 1,752 pages long" costing "$286.4 BILLION" known as "the highway bill" was the republican congress and republican president's bill passed in late 2005.

But it did not stop the Minnesota bridge [see photo at top of this post] from collapsing and killing American citizens, nor did it stop the great recession that is still ongoing.

So how is the next most expensive public works legislation in US history going to be any different?

The answer is that nothing is going to work until we stop destroying wealth with the stupid wars, the stupid military spending gone pork barrel wild, and the stupid military propaganda deciding our fate.
(Inferior Structure). The 1% plutocrats who brought this on us, through greed and lack of foresight, control the money necessary to bring us back to infrastructure reality:
... the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy – an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption. “I don’t think it’s healthy for the economy to be so dependent on the top 2% of the income distribution,” Mr. Zandi said. He added that, “In the near term it highlights the fragility of the recovery.”
(The Graphs of Wrath, quoting WSJ, emphasis added). But the 1% say they won't spend it, won't be "job creators", because of "uncertainty", which means that they have made themselves "uncertain", but want to blame others for their own criminal failings.

The previous post in this series is here.

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