Last week some collegues and I got to discussing the idea that solar flares could potentially knock out the power grid. This particular idea has been all over the news here over the past few days and has certainly got people talking. Despite the fact that the solar storm knocking out power is extremely unlikely, it’s one of many way that our dependance on the power grid could all come to a crashing halt.
The most uttered point from my colleagues was about how much we rely on technology and electricity, and how the majority of us would,essentially, be helpless without it. In the group that I was talking about, no one had a garden, no one had a means of heating their house other than an electric-furnace, and no one had a means of cooking food that didn’t rely on electricity. The general sentiment was that there would be chaos, but no one seemed all that concerned about it.
That’s when I realized what being self-sufficient is to me: not being helpless.
A long time ago I came across this great TED talk (if you haven’t seen the TED talks you should check them out when you have a spare couple… days… there is a ton of great ideas from some of the most brilliant minds in the world).
Obviously a toaster isn’t the most important thing in the world if the electricity goes out, but this serves as an excellent example of how helpless many would be when left to their own devices. We rely so much on other people and companies to help us live our day to day lives, and we rely on technology to link us together.
What would happen if the power went out? It’s hard to say. I’d like to think that people would band together and find a way to survive, but I’m sure that there would be panic, looting, chaos (just like there is in so many disasters throughout history and the world). I’m not advocating paranoia by any means, but I do think this is a great argument for being prepared and being capable of doing simple tasks like cooking, keeping yourself clean, and cultivating food without the help of electricity.