A world where there’s not enough electricity. This story I found in the Philadelphia Inquirer this weekend is a view into where life will lead, eventually, if we keep preventing new powerplants from being built. Can you imagine getting up at 2 a.m. to do laundry, just because your washer might have enough electricity for a full cycle?

It is hard to even comprehend a world where you turn the switch and nothing happens. When I lived on a farm in Punjab, India, it used to amuse me. The whole world would go black and the only light in the village was my trusty laptop, with its blue glare. If any family in the village had an Akand Path going on, the sound of the Guru Grant Sahib would be abrubtly cut off as the speaker lost the power. It was amusing to me because it was novel, and almost incomprehensible.

Indians have the festival of Diwali, it is a light festival. There are lights everywhere, every edge you can place lights on, there are little terracotta bowls with mustard oils and wicks of rolled cotton. The brownouts fascinated me, and I used to speculate what would happen if the electricity went out on Diwali. I was assured this would not happen under any circumstance. It did not.