Things are about to get real interesting in France. The ongoing strikes are really beginning to take their toll. One area that partially sticks out is the successful blockage of all 12 of France's refineries.
In short, France is about to run out of gas. There's a lot of speculation on different forums on what will happen when the world runs low on fuel. France just may show us how a modern first world country copes.
This is serious business, so I would not be surprised to see the French government crack down hard on the protesters. If, however, the blockade holds, France could have some serious fuel shortages.
It's not just a French problem. A couple years ago protests in England almost shut down the fuel supply. In the US, after the 2005 hurricanes, the major pipeline that feeds the Southeast almost ran out of fuel.
In some ways, France is better able to withstand a fuel shortage. Transportation would take a big hit, but the lights should stay on. Most of the country is run on nuclear power -no fossil fuel needed.
The US is not as well off. Sure, we do have a mix of fuel sources, some hydro and nuclear, and a tiny amount of alternative energy. Some power is generated by natural gas. The real work horse for US electricity is coal.
We don't generate much power with oil, so we should be fine, right? Not really. How does all that coal get to the power plants? Mostly with diesel fuel. Diesel powers the machines at the mine. Diesel powered trucks and trains haul the bulk of the coal. Some is hauled by ship -powered by a heavy grade of liquid petroleum fuel. Shut off the US fuel supply and the electricity system, sooner or later, gets pretty sketchy. Some areas will be fine, but other regions could be left in the dark and cold.
Watch France. You'll probably have to seek out foreign news sources to really get a good idea what's going on. US news doesn't even a good job of following US issues, never mind foreign problems.
There will be some lessons to be learned from France . . . if you have the eyes to see.
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