Power chaos in South Africa

– Over the last week or two, I’ve seen a number of stories coming out of South Africa about power shortages there.

South Africa– Our societies and their infrastructures are like a house of cards in many ways. We build them higher and wider all the time and the number of interrelationships and dependencies within them grows as well. To keep it all going requires constant reevaluation to ensure that everything required is coordinated and working well.

– Apparently, the government in South Africa has dropped the ball with regard to ensuring the country has sufficient electrical power – a process that takes long-term planning and constant reevaluation.

– I think we can expect more of this because (1) it is getting more difficult to keep all our systems up and running as they get more complicated, (2) as the world becomes a tougher place, the ideologies of those moving up into power are becoming more demagogic and such such simplicity is not compatible with the requirements of running complex societies, and (3) the inputs to the systems we are trying to maintain in our societies are becoming less reliable. We have less food, less water, worse weather, more population and the list goes on and on.

– I think we need to expect increasing breakdowns.

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Links to stories on the South African situation:

SA facing ‘critical’ power shortage

Supply of generators dries up

South African mines look for power shortages to end

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