By Amoryl Lovins, L. Hunter
New merchandise that might send in a bubble mailer with monitoring.
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Extra resources for Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security
By responding not just to pres- 24 Brittle Power ent events but to past ones as well, they show an historical quality. By responding to events at more than one point in space, they show a spatial interlocking property, and through the appearance of lags, thresholds, and limits they present distinctive non-linear structural properties.... [E]cosystems are characterized not only by their parts but also by the interactions among those parts. It is because of the complexity of the interactions that it is so dangerous to take a fragmented view, to look at an isolated piece of the system.
There is still no crude oil pipeline serving the East Coast refineries (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware), so an interruption of Atlantic or Gulf tanker traffic would shut them down. The Colonial Pipeline System, with a capacity of about two million one hundred thousand barrels per day, provides the only substantial capacity for importing refined products to the East Coast, but none for crude. The immense increase in oil demands over the past forty years has made America far more dependent on such major pipelines than we were on coastal shipping in World War II.
If distribution pressure collapses, pilot lights go out in innumerable buildings, including vacant ones. A veritable army of trained people then has to go immediately into each building, turn off the gas to prevent explosions, and later return to restore service and relight all the pilots. This occasionally happens on a local level, but has hardly ever happened on a large scale. 27 Indeed, the gas industry generally considers it an abstract problem—much as the electric power industry considered a regional blackout until it happened in 1965.