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Update for July 16, 2014 - Newsletter (The U.S. Power Grid -2)

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  • Gerry Agnew
    The operation of a power grid is incredibly complex, yet Wall Street does all in its power to make it even more so. Many of you have (I hope!) read my essays
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 15, 2014
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      The operation of a power grid is incredibly complex, yet Wall Street does all in its power to make it even more so. Many of you have (I hope!) read my essays on the Fertility Rate difficulties in nearly all Western Countries, and have come to the same conclusion that I did: there are too many people who are retiring with desperately needed skills and far too few coming along to replace them. AF makes the telling point that because of the frenzied grabbing for power and money by Wall Street types (again with no thought for the future) the security of a job in the electricity business is simply not there and what engineers remain have to cover many more bases (ie become “experts” in many more fields) which is incredibly stressful. As AF says “They cover more functions and technical areas at less depth, now that so many engineers have been fired”. And why were they fired you ask? I think you know the answer to this. They were fired to save money and make the bottom line of their companies that much more profitable and attractive to would-be investors.
       
       
      Of course there are knock-on effects to this madness. There are now fewer students wanting to go into this field, and why should they if there is a good chance that some pencil pusher in the accounting department decides that their salaries do not fit the profile of what a “streamlined, modern, electric company should look like”. AF makes the telling point that most universities no longer teach power engineering and that “only 12 colleges have this degree now”. Wonderful planning here folks! As is also the case in so many other fields, we are seeing fewer and fewer workers with the institutional knowledge to get the job done (that is to say “keep The Grid up and running”).
       
       
      When these people retire/are fired, this knowledge leaves with them and then where are we? How many executives or accountants know how to get a power system back on line after even a minor breakdown? How many of them would even have any idea of what to do in the case of systemic grid failure, even if it were remediable after “only” a few days? Firing valuable company assets (ie highly skilled workers) may bolster company profits, and hence share prices, for a few quarters and perhaps add 10-20% onto the share valuations. What do these wonderful managers do in the case of a major power disruption when the price of the company falls 50-75% and the workers/engineers are not available to fix it? This is the classic case of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. If this is an example of modern capitalism, then it indeed carries with it the seeds of its own destruction, and unfortunately all of us are carried right along with it! Bring back public ownership; how can it be any worse? Give the key employees in these companies life time employment. It worked superbly in post-war Italy, to the point where that country was the tenth biggest economy in the world before the Euro came in and made a complete hash of things! People with job security tend to better work is the message, not that modern CEOs would understand something so simple.
       
      Gerry
       
      ****************************************************************
    • Denis Frith
      Gerry provides sound arguments on the declining ability to maintain the power grid due to the loss of engineering skills through companies seeking to save
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 15, 2014
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        Gerry provides sound arguments on the declining ability to maintain the power grid due to the loss of engineering skills through companies seeking to save money. That is a serious issue for infrastructure in general arounf the industrialized world. The American Society of Civil Engineers have prepared a list of aging  items, such as roads, bridges, tunnels that are in the same perilous situation as the grid. The companies consider the financial bottom line. Realists consider the fact that all the infrastructure is aging and needs more skilled engineers rather than fewer as the energy and materials available for maintenance declines.
        This tug'o'war between the flow of intangible money and the irreversible flow of tangible material resources has only one possible ending. Ironically, the companies will eventually learn the hard way that money has no technical skills!
         
         
         
        Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 12:37 AM
        From: "'Gerry Agnew' gaea@... [energyresources]" <energyresources@yahoogroups.com>
        To: energyresources@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [energyresources] Update for July 16, 2014 - Newsletter (The U.S. Power Grid -2)
         

         

        The operation of a power grid is incredibly complex, yet Wall Street does all in its power to make it even more so. Many of you have (I hope!) read my essays on the Fertility Rate difficulties in nearly all Western Countries, and have come to the same conclusion that I did: there are too many people who are retiring with desperately needed skills and far too few coming along to replace them. AF makes the telling point that because of the frenzied grabbing for power and money by Wall Street types (again with no thought for the future) the security of a job in the electricity business is simply not there and what engineers remain have to cover many more bases (ie become “experts” in many more fields) which is incredibly stressful. As AF says “They cover more functions and technical areas at less depth, now that so many engineers have been fired”. And why were they fired you ask? I think you know the answer to this. They were fired to save money and make the bottom line of their companies that much more profitable and attractive to would-be investors.
         
         
         
        Of course there are knock-on effects to this madness. There are now fewer students wanting to go into this field, and why should they if there is a good chance that some pencil pusher in the accounting department decides that their salaries do not fit the profile of what a “streamlined, modern, electric company should look like”. AF makes the telling point that most universities no longer teach power engineering and that “only 12 colleges have this degree now”. Wonderful planning here folks! As is also the case in so many other fields, we are seeing fewer and fewer workers with the institutional knowledge to get the job done (that is to say “keep The Grid up and running”).
         
         
         
        When these people retire/are fired, this knowledge leaves with them and then where are we? How many executives or accountants know how to get a power system back on line after even a minor breakdown? How many of them would even have any idea of what to do in the case of systemic grid failure, even if it were remediable after “only” a few days? Firing valuable company assets (ie highly skilled workers) may bolster company profits, and hence share prices, for a few quarters and perhaps add 10-20% onto the share valuations. What do these wonderful managers do in the case of a major power disruption when the price of the company falls 50-75% and the workers/engineers are not available to fix it? This is the classic case of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. If this is an example of modern capitalism, then it indeed carries with it the seeds of its own destruction, and unfortunately all of us are carried right along with it! Bring back public ownership; how can it be any worse? Give the key employees in these companies life time employment. It worked superbly in post-war Italy, to the point where that country was the tenth biggest economy in the world before the Euro came in and made a complete hash of things! People with job security tend to better work is the message, not that modern CEOs would understand something so simple.
         
        Gerry
         
        ****************************************************************

         

      • Gerry Agnew
        Denis writes, most succinctly: .... that money has no technical skills! ******** Yes, indeed! Little bits of paper or computer bytes will not do the job, no
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 16, 2014
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          Denis writes, most succinctly:
           
          .... that money has no technical skills!
          ********
           
          Yes, indeed! Little bits of paper or computer bytes will not do the job, no matter what modern economists say! Throwing money at a problem and hoping some of it sticks is a problem for glue makers and not the physical infrastructure of a modern economy.
           
          Having said which, let’s dig up conspiracy theories here. Maybe there are crazed people in the neo-con upper echelons (and this has been written on by Paul Craig Roberts at length) who want these things to fail. Think of it this way. If bridges, roads, and tunnels all start to fail within a few years of each other, jut think of all of the tales of “co-ordinated terrorist attacks” we are likely to hear and why this means vastly enhanced control of everything which happens in the economy for “security purposes”.
           
          Gerry
           
          ********************************
           
          Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:16 PM
          Subject: Re: [energyresources] Update for July 16, 2014 - Newsletter (The U.S. Power Grid -2)
           
           

          Gerry provides sound arguments on the declining ability to maintain the power grid due to the loss of engineering skills through companies seeking to save money. That is a serious issue for infrastructure in general arounf the industrialized world. The American Society of Civil Engineers have prepared a list of aging  items, such as roads, bridges, tunnels that are in the same perilous situation as the grid. The companies consider the financial bottom line. Realists consider the fact that all the infrastructure is aging and needs more skilled engineers rather than fewer as the energy and materials available for maintenance declines.
          This tug'o'war between the flow of intangible money and the irreversible flow of tangible material resources has only one possible ending. Ironically, the companies will eventually learn the hard way that money has no technical skills!
           
           
           
          Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 12:37 AM
          From: "'Gerry Agnew' gaea@... [energyresources]" <energyresources@yahoogroups.com>
          To: energyresources@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [energyresources] Update for July 16, 2014 - Newsletter (The U.S. Power Grid -2)
           

           

          The operation of a power grid is incredibly complex, yet Wall Street does all in its power to make it even more so. Many of you have (I hope!) read my essays on the Fertility Rate difficulties in nearly all Western Countries, and have come to the same conclusion that I did: there are too many people who are retiring with desperately needed skills and far too few coming along to replace them. AF makes the telling point that because of the frenzied grabbing for power and money by Wall Street types (again with no thought for the future) the security of a job in the electricity business is simply not there and what engineers remain have to cover many more bases (ie become “experts” in many more fields) which is incredibly stressful. As AF says “They cover more functions and technical areas at less depth, now that so many engineers have been fired”. And why were they fired you ask? I think you know the answer to this. They were fired to save money and make the bottom line of their companies that much more profitable and attractive to would-be investors.
           
           
           
          Of course there are knock-on effects to this madness. There are now fewer students wanting to go into this field, and why should they if there is a good chance that some pencil pusher in the accounting department decides that their salaries do not fit the profile of what a “streamlined, modern, electric company should look like”. AF makes the telling point that most universities no longer teach power engineering and that “only 12 colleges have this degree now”. Wonderful planning here folks! As is also the case in so many other fields, we are seeing fewer and fewer workers with the institutional knowledge to get the job done (that is to say “keep The Grid up and running”).
           
           
           
          When these people retire/are fired, this knowledge leaves with them and then where are we? How many executives or accountants know how to get a power system back on line after even a minor breakdown? How many of them would even have any idea of what to do in the case of systemic grid failure, even if it were remediable after “only” a few days? Firing valuable company assets (ie highly skilled workers) may bolster company profits, and hence share prices, for a few quarters and perhaps add 10-20% onto the share valuations. What do these wonderful managers do in the case of a major power disruption when the price of the company falls 50-75% and the workers/engineers are not available to fix it? This is the classic case of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. If this is an example of modern capitalism, then it indeed carries with it the seeds of its own destruction, and unfortunately all of us are carried right along with it! Bring back public ownership; how can it be any worse? Give the key employees in these companies life time employment. It worked superbly in post-war Italy, to the point where that country was the tenth biggest economy in the world before the Euro came in and made a complete hash of things! People with job security tend to better work is the message, not that modern CEOs would understand something so simple.
           
          Gerry
           
          ****************************************************************

           

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        • htraite
          Denis, Gerry, et al, Assuming that a propagandist holds some impressions of realities, what do you think his/her efforts to be among the last standing does to
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 17, 2014
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            Denis, Gerry, et al,

             

            Assuming that a propagandist holds some impressions of realities, what do you think his/her efforts to be among the last standing does to infrastructure and to the skills necessary to maintain what may yet be maintained?


            Howard


            - - - - - -

             

            Gerry wrote:

             

            Denis writes, most succinctly:

             

            .... that money has no technical skills!

             

            ********

             

             

             

            Yes, indeed! Little bits of paper or computer bytes will not do the job, no matter what modern economists say! Throwing money at a problem and hoping some of it sticks is a problem for glue makers and not the physical infrastructure of a modern economy.

             

             

             

            Having said which, let’s dig up conspiracy theories here. Maybe there are crazed people in the neo-con upper echelons (and this has been written on by Paul Craig Roberts at length) who want these things to fail. Think of it this way. If bridges, roads, and tunnels all start to fail within a few years of each other, jut think of all of the tales of “co-ordinated terrorist attacks” we are likely to hear and why this means vastly enhanced control of everything which happens in the economy for “security purposes”.

             

             

             

            Gerry

             

             

          • Gerry Agnew
            Wow! I haven’t clue! Never considered this to be frank. Obviously I shall have to do so! Gerry ***************************** From:
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 17, 2014
            • 0 Attachment
              Wow! I haven’t  clue! Never considered this to be frank. Obviously I shall have to do so!
               
              Gerry
               
              *****************************
               
              Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2014 12:48 PM
              Subject: Re: [energyresources] Update, Downdate, Lateraldate...
               
               

              Denis, Gerry, et al,

               

              Assuming that a propagandist holds some impressions of realities, what do you think his/her efforts to be among the last standing does to infrastructure and to the skills necessary to maintain what may yet be maintained?


              Howard


              - - - - - -

               

              Gerry wrote:

               

              Denis writes, most succinctly:

               

              .... that money has no technical skills!

               

              ********

               

               

               

              Yes, indeed! Little bits of paper or computer bytes will not do the job, no matter what modern economists say! Throwing money at a problem and hoping some of it sticks is a problem for glue makers and not the physical infrastructure of a modern economy.

               

               

               

              Having said which, let’s dig up conspiracy theories here. Maybe there are crazed people in the neo-con upper echelons (and this has been written on by Paul Craig Roberts atlength) who want these things to fail. Think of it this way. If bridges, roads, and tunnels all start to fail within a few years of each other, jut think of all of the tales of “co-ordinated terrorist attacks” we are likely to hear and why this means vastly enhanced control of everything which happens in the economy for “security purposes”.

               

               

               

              Gerry

               

               

              No virus found in this message.
              Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
              Version: 2014.0.4716 / Virus Database: 3986/7872 - Release Date: 07/17/14

            • Denis Frith
              Doubtless there will be many smart people who will make good decisions about how to cope with some of the problems that are developing. I have listed a host of
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 17, 2014
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                Doubtless there will be many smart people who will make good decisions about how to cope with some of the problems that are developing. I have listed a host of irrevocable problems in the materialistic operation of civilization. Climate change and the depletion of many natural resources, including fossil fuels and water, are on the list but there are many others, reconized by specialists, that have yet to receive the attention tht is warranted.
                 
                However, politicians, companies and the masses are so entranced by the economic growth paradigm that the moves by the smart minority will have little impact on the inevitable collapse of civilization.
                 
                Denis
                Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 at 4:48 AM
                From: "htraite@... [energyresources]" <energyresources@yahoogroups.com>
                To: energyresources@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [energyresources] Update, Downdate, Lateraldate...
                 

                 

                Denis, Gerry, et al,

                 

                Assuming that a propagandist holds some impressions of realities, what do you think his/her efforts to be among the last standing does to infrastructure and to the skills necessary to maintain what may yet be maintained?

                 

                Howard

                 

                - - - - - -

                 

                Gerry wrote:

                 

                Denis writes, most succinctly:

                 

                .... that money has no technical skills!

                 

                ********

                 

                 

                 

                Yes, indeed! Little bits of paper or computer bytes will not do the job, no matter what modern economists say! Throwing money at a problem and hoping some of it sticks is a problem for glue makers and not the physical infrastructure of a modern economy.

                 

                 

                 

                Having said which, let’s dig up conspiracy theories here. Maybe there are crazed people in the neo-con upper echelons (and this has been written on by Paul Craig Roberts at length) who want these things to fail. Think of it this way. If bridges, roads, and tunnels all start to fail within a few years of each other, jut think of all of the tales of “co-ordinated terrorist attacks” we are likely to hear and why this means vastly enhanced control of everything which happens in the economy for “security purposes”.

                 

                 

                 

                Gerry

                 

                 

                 

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