California has avoided rolling blackouts as a scorching heat wave passes through the state, but it’s been a very close call.
As we warned about in a blog posted late last week, the heatwave has put the state’s energy grid under extreme pressure.
According to an article in CNBC, California was very close to mass blackouts this past Tuesday. Thankfully this was averted after a text message warning was sent out to the state’s residents.
“The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s electrical grid, imposed its highest level energy emergency on Tuesday, a step that comes before ordering rolling blackouts and allows the state to access emergency power sources.
The Office of Emergency Services also sent a text alert to residents requesting them to conserve power. The operator downgraded the Stage 3 alert around 8:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday and said that ‘consumer conservation played a big part in protecting electric grid reliability.’”
The CNBC article also mentioned that 8,000 residents in Northern California lost power for a period of time on Wednesday morning. California also broke a state record after using 52,061 megawatts of power this past Tuesday.
While most Californians escaped this round by the skin of our teeth, the heat wave isn’t over yet. According to a report in the Washington Post, temperatures are likely to remain extremely high through Thursday.
A section of the WaPo article expanded upon the role that climate change has played in this heat wave.
“While extreme heat events are not caused by climate change, human influence on our atmosphere is making them more frequent, intense, prolonged and, in some cases, larger. It propels already high-end events into record territory.”
There are many laudable efforts from scientists and conservationists who want to implement policies that will help Californians going through this energy crisis. Conserving energy and crafting more environmentally friendly state policies is a good thing.
However, it’s not enough if you’re unwilling to discuss California’s overpopulation as a major contributing cause of these energy crises. Per the usual, neither of these articles discuss California’s rapid population expansion when it comes to the state’s energy resources being put under strain.
The state’s population is close to 40 million residents, which is over double what it was in 1970. The past fifty years have seen exponential, unsustainable growth that has pushed our resources to the max.
During extreme climate events like this, that reality is laid bare for all to see.