Apocalypse watch (first, probably, of a series)

Jim Kunstler, today:

The Daily Grunt
~ If I have anything to say
February 26, 2008:

Breaking News at Bloomberg.com
DOW Up 32 points at 11:10am Wednesday

* Producer Prices in U.S. Rise at More Than Double Pace Economists Estimated

* Consumer Confidence in U.S. Declines to a Five-Year Low as Economy Cools

* Bernanke Fails to Lower Rates for Most Americans in Push for Easier Credit

* U.S. States May Seek Congress's Aid as Debt Costs Rise on Subprime Fallout

* Goldman, Lehman May Discover They Haven't Dodged Subprime Losses Just Yet

* Home Foreclosures in U.S. Surged 90% in January After Mortgage Rates Reset

Isn't that all rosy news?
(oh yeah... and oil moved above $100-a-barrel this morning)

And then there's our robust and dependable energy grid:

MIAMI - A problem with Florida's electrical grid caused a nuclear plant to automatically shut down Tuesday and intermittently cut power to up to 3 million people from Daytona Beach through the Florida Keys.

Authorities said there were no safety concerns at the nuclear plant. While many areas were hit hard, the outages were short lived and only about 20,000 people lacked electricity during the evening commute home. Most of the evening outages were due to bad weather, not the grid problem, officials said.

Traffic was even more miserable than usual in the Miami area as many stop lights briefly were without power. The outages occurred on a day when temperatures soared into the mid-80s and Floridians needed their air conditioning.

An equipment malfunction in a substation near Miami disabled two power distribution lines between Miami and Daytona Beach, and in response, Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point nuclear plant south of Miami stopped operating around 1 p.m., Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Kenneth Clark said.

The utility said it was trying to determine what caused equipment failure and a fire at the substation that led to the outage. The company said such equipment failure should not have caused the widespread blackouts...

...The outages have no connection to terrorism, Homeland Security Department spokeswoman Laura Keehner said. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez said the outages were technical, not criminal.

"It's a matter of just a cascading effect," he said.

Florida emergency management officials said the outages cut power to about 2-3 million people.

...Bob Wild, a sports marketing consultant who lives in Miami's southern Kendall neighborhood, said he didn't even notice the outage, thanks to his home's generator.

"We're a hurricane family. We've been though Hurricane Andrew and everything before and since," he said. "Our daughter called us from Washington and said she'd seen the blackouts on TV. That's when we found out."

The moral of this story? Buy yourself a good generator and a better gun. That way, you'll be well positioned to defend your precious household electricity, and continue to 'jack gasoline to run it with, well into the coming disaster.


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