When things get overwhelming—as they have been for the last, oh, six months or so—I default to logging phone numbers and quotes and book recommendations and ideas in my to-do list app rather than filing them in their appropriate places. This never goes well for me, since my to-do list then becomes an un-completeable heap of Weird Stuff that elicits instant anxiety every time I look at it until one day (today) I rush through it and delete or file everything that isn’t an actual Task.
One of those items, a mere two months old, was to mention that this graph made me emotional the same way seeing a bunch of drivers pull over for an ambulance in early 2021 made me emotional.
Taking a closer look at the demand history graph; check out the change from 5:50 PM to 5:55 PM (right after the EAS alert was sent out): a drop of, and I kid you not: 1.21 gigawatts (rounded to 2 decimal places). #FlexAlert #heatwave pic.twitter.com/QH1GS6EZ4b— Matt Fern (@MattF_NorCal) September 7, 2022
These days when I see exhortations to conserve power or water or any other communal resource, I’m alarmed by how cynical I’ve become. Maybe it’s living in a drought-blighted valley where the local country club maintains an emerald green golf course, knowing that however many penalties the water district imposes, the wealthy will just pay for more water. Or maybe it’s general pandemic-era weariness. I don’t know.
But we had a massive heatwave in early September, prompting the powers that be to send out a state-wide text encouraging people to reduce their power usage and avoid blackouts—and it worked! People were asked to make a sacrifice for the common good and they did! You can see it!
1.21 gigawatts. How about that.