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Cedar Moss: No electricity? Get used to it

Other Voices
Cedar Moss

I was looking forward to going up to Mt. Shasta today. But I was unaware of the coming power outage and did not think to fill my gas tank before I went to bed. Thus, it looks like we won’t go to Mt Shasta.

It could have been more important. It could have been more of an emergency, not just disappointing.

Still, there is something about all this that feels very right.

I read online someone complaining. “We aren’t a Third World country. This shouldn’t be happening here.”

What? Really? What kind of high privileged horse did you ride in on?

Wake up. I am glad this is happening. It is important that we get at least a tiny glimpse of what so much of the world deals with everyday. Visiting friends in the Congo, the whole day is often built around when electricity and water are likely to be turned on. I remember they heard the water was on in another part of town late at night. We gathered up all the containers and flashlights to rushed off to stand in a long line at one spigot to fill them.

What is it that makes us think it is so wrong for us to have to experience some inconvenience, much of the world deals with everyday, around what we think are essentials in our lives?

It is time we got over that one.

Business as usual is no longer an option.

We have abused these privileges for too long already. These are tiny compared to the realities in the present many are facing and in the future we are facing. Fires and hurricanes, floods and droughts are the new normal and we better get used to it.

Let’s start finding ways to come together to support each other, to make functioning in our local communities still work when the outer infrastructure fails.

It is easy to say PG&E is to blame. Of course they did wrong by customers in many ways, but if we really want to blame someone I think we each need to look in the mirror. It is our current lifestyle that is creating such dependence and such overreaching exploitation of our resources. The changing climate challenges are a direct result.

No electricity? Get used to it folks.

Time to climb off our high-privileged horses and join the rest of the human race. It’s time we develop ways to prepare, to cope and be less dependent. Enjoy the silence with the TV and music off. Think about it before you put in toilets that take electricity to flush. Put in solar panels and wood stoves. Get hand grinders for coffee. Grow food. Get to know your neighbors so you can help each other out.

We might find we like it.

Cedar Moss lives in Nevada City.


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