Welcome To The New Green Dark Age

  • Date: 08/03/11

People in the UK will soon have an exciting new game to play at home.  It’s called  “Powerless” and promises to be fun for the whole family.

As Britain embraces the future of renewable energy, notably wind and solar, the boring old days of flipping a switch and being rewarded with instant, reliable energy are over. The wind doesn’t blow all the time and solar power only works in, well, sunlight.  This means green energy generation is unreliable:

…blackouts could become a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines in order to meet greenhouse gas targets.

That’s a quote from Steve Holliday, CEO of the UK National Grid.  But don’t worry, because the government has a plan:

Under the so-called “smart grid” that the UK is developing, the government-regulated utility will be able to decide when and where power should be delivered, to ensure that it meets the highest social purpose. Governments may, for example, decide that the needs of key industries take precedence over others, or that the needs of industry trump that of residential consumers. Governments would also be able to price power prohibitively if it is used for non-essential purposes.

In the near future, Brits enjoying their favorite TV show in front of the electric fire when the power goes out will be able to take solace in the knowledge that somewhere there is a higher social purpose that needs the precious power more than they do.  They can make a nice cup of tea and wait, unless a kettle is needed.  Oops.

Families can look forward to exciting games like ‘what’s in that sandwich Mom made in the dark?’ and ‘where’s the remote, oh wait it doesn’t matter we’ve got no bloody power again.’  British people did so well during the Blitz years of WWII that there will be no problems adjusting to the new reality of living in the occasional stone age.

The green dark age might test even the stiffest of upper lips, but there is no alternative if Gaia is to be saved.  Oh wait, nuclear power you say?  No emissions and clean, reliable and affordable energy for all, on demand.  What a remarkable idea.  Not quite as remarkable as the notion of a government determining what counts as a non-essential use of electricity, but close.

Britain’s future is green.  Miserable, cold and much like the 19th century without the excuses, but green.

The Daily Bayonett, 8 March 2011


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