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Imagine: Wyoming + Vermont + Alaska + North Dakota + South Dakota w/out power for 3-6 months

September 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

Imagine what America discourse might look like if five states faced a climate catastrophe with a projection for weeks — even months — without electricity.

What would their Senators and Representatives be doing?

Would this be top of the news cycle? Would cable news and newspapers filled with stories

  • showing elderly sitting the dark;
  • discussing the difficulty for the high school football team to train;
  • local businessmen talking about how their stores are struggling;

Consider these five states with 10 Senators and 5 Representatives in the House of Representatives.

Wyoming 582,658
Vermont 626,630
North Dakota 723,393
Alaska 735,132
South Dakota 844,877
total 3,512,690

If Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska were as dark at night as North Korea and being told that they might not have electricity to put up Christmas lights, would their Senators accept Mitch McConnell focusing on paths to devastate Americans health care rather than funding to mobilize resources to light up their communities back home?

Consider …

Three and a half million American citizens, post Hurricanes Irma and Maria, are in this circumstance.  Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are without power … and projected to be without power for weeks or months to come.

 

As Brad Johnson has highlighted, these American citizens truly are second-class citizens — these 3.5 American citizens don’t have 10 Senators and 5 Representatives able to cause a storm in Washington on their behalf.

 

Assistance is going to the USVI Virgin Islands National Guardand Puerto Rico: military forces, FEMA, charities are working night-and-day to help our endangered fellow citizens.  We should recognize and value these efforts — this is a great example of how a great nation works to secure the ‘common good’ as the government, acting on behalf of citizens, should help those in time of need.  These efforts, while so many involved merit praise for their efforts, simply are not as central in US government leadership and media discussion nor effort as would be the case if these 3.5 million Americans had representation in Congress.

NOTE:  When it comes to Energy, we need to get disaster’s 3Rs (Relief, Recovery, Reconstruction) right.  Rather than small generators seen being airlifted in, solar installers and equipment from around the nation should be flowing into the islands with a massive effort to put in distributed micro-grids with power storage and energy efficient devices. On public buildings (SCHOOLS!), commercial structures, and homes in good shape — get solar on their roofs and lights in the rooms ASAP with power systems that can be integrated into a reestablished grid. And, by acting in an integrated Energy Smart fashion across disaster’s 3Rs we foster a fourth R: resiliency against future catastrophes. (For discussion, see Energy Smart & Secure Communities: Key to smart Harvey/Irma/Maria relief/recovery/reconstruction).

UPDATE:  Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands also do not have a voice in the Electoral College — while they are part of the primaries, they have no voice in the general election.

 

 

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