November 6, 2006

EUROPE HAS ITS WORST BLACKOUT IN THREE DECADES: I blame Enron and the American culture of greed.

UPDATE: Reader Daniel Harrison emails:

Are you being sarcastic blaming Enron and the American culture of greed for Europe’s blackout? I hope so: because this has nothing to do with energy derivatives trading or for that matter the financial interests of anyone in the energy business. It actually has to do with inefficient German buraucracy which can’t keep it’s infrastructure in order – quite the opposite thing.

Er yes, I was being sarcastic. I was just recalling some comments after the New York blackout a couple of years ago. German blogger David Kaspar at Medienkritik revisits that history:

Remember when the lights went out in New York? The reaction at “Der Spiegel” was outrageous yet predictable. The outage was described as evidence that America was a faltering superpower with a third rate power grid.

The New York outage was simply further evidence for German media elites that America was in decline and Raubtier capitalism and privatization were all to blame. German media consumers were assured that such a massive failure could never happen in statist Europe.

In fact, the lights did go out just a few weeks later in Italy and Switzerland and Scandinavia, but the reaction in German media was neither sensationalist nor alarmist. There were no scandalous covers deriding the failures of the European economic model or way of life.

Now the lights have gone out again in Europe. This time Germany is in the midst of the outage. . . . But how could that be possible in the wonderful land of social-democratic Oz? How could a nation that has rejected brutal capitalism and amerikanische Verhaeltnisse suffer such an outage? Where are our beautiful windmills when we need them? It just isn’t fair. Oh yeah, by the way: Could Bush be to blame? Maybe this is CIA sabotage…

It’s Karl Rove’s October November Surprise!

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