[This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 15 Auguest 2014.]
Imagine the next time the lights go out and your house settles into that unnatural but familiar silence when there is a power outage. You know what to do. If you have a landline phone in your house, you call PG&E to report your outage or get a recorded update that tells you they know about the problem. But your landline phone is dead. You automatically grab your cell phone, but it also is dead. As you go through the house attempting to turn on every battery powered electronic device the result it the same, it is dead.
Going outside you meet your next door neighbor who has just gone through the same experience. As other people start coming out of their houses, you and your neighbor decide to drive into town to see if you can discover the nature and extent of such an outage that no one has experienced. But turning the ignition key in your car yields the same result. Nobody on your street can start their cars. And then you notice it, an eerie silence from all directions that is not broken by any distant sirens or road noises. The world has shut down.