Arthur Hailey novel (1979): _Overload_ : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

I was browsing in a used bookshop earlier today and bumped into a 1979 novel _Overload_ by Arthur Hailey (his better-known books include _Airport_ and _Hotel_, among others).

I thought it would be of interest to this Board because this novel from 20 years ago concerns California blackouts. I haven’t read it yet, but from the cover blurbs it seems to center on elements familiar from today's headlines: corporate greed, political stupidity, insufficient grid facilities, people unprepared for (and behaving poorly in) blackouts, even terrorism...and of course lots of sex (well, it is a novel!). I imagine the only thing missing is the Y2K/embedded chips issue.

I popped over to to see what they had to say there. A reader/reviewer commented last month: "This book is now 20 years old. For anyone living in California, it seems ironic that this book can touch on so many of the problems facing California now. It almost seems as if it were written yesterday. I find it strange that the author could have gotten this much information at a time when none of us gave a thought to where our power was coming from. Does this mean that the power shortages, gas shortages, etc. were know then but never brought to the attention fo the public? This a work of fiction and is still a good read." [ ]

The first page of the novel offers this quote, no date given: " 'Since...1974, the rate at which new electrical generating capacity has been built in California has fallen to less than half of the 1970-1974 level. As a result, the threat of an economically ruinous power crunch by the 1990s is very real; and there is already apprehension over the danger of brownouts and blackouts in the 1980s...’ –Fortune Magazine"

Nuthin' really new under the sun, I guess.

-- Andre Weltman (, February 16, 2001


"...corporate greed, political stupidity, insufficient grid facilities, people unprepared for (and behaving poorly in) blackouts, even terrorism..."

Simply amazing how clear some folk's crystal balls can be...

Too bad that the political agendas of TPTB in Cali. blindsides them from seeing their IMMEDIATE future - which isn't all that bright!

There was an interesting but sad story today about how EVERY San Fran. city worker will soon be paying $20 additional each year in higher medical insurance costs in order to fund sex change operations. Really!

The political wonk that announced this policy noted that SFO is a 'compassionate' place - Guess their priorities are clear! Too bad they don't include keeping the lights on.

Hey, don't get me wrong - if the good people of SFO want to spend their money in that manner - fine! But don't even BEGIN to suggest that anyone outside of your looney tunes bin be forced to 'contribute' a penny to subsidize your utility bills. Kindly be compassionate enough to keep and enjoy your lunacy all to yourselves.

What a bunch of total wackos!

-- California (, February 16, 2001.

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