There’s a power cut right now. I’m at home, and last year we’d taken a call to not start the gensets between 10am-5pm if the electricity was out. Its in the lower 30s right now – and thats out in the sun. This being Bangalore, the breeze is still pleasant, and its perfectly tolerable indoors, unless you’ve grown up in the Upper Himalayas or the Arctic or at least Canada. But there are mails about the unbearable heat, asking for backup power to be restored immediately. The power cuts are shorter these days, and surely we can afford this! Can we ? Our apartment complex uses 2x180KWh generators to keep the backup power going. At peak loads, utilization has rarely exceeded 40%. During the day its worse – with most people at office. Can we really afford to keep making Bangalore hotter, and crib about the heat, and keep running gensets longer as we strain the power supply with a larger and larger demand for energy to keep our airconditioners running perpetually? Yes, we’ve got so used to keeping airconditioning running all the time at work, in the cars, that the lack of it makes it unbearable? (Honest, its in no way hot as I type this. My daughter’s here too, and not even close to complaining about the heat). What can we do ? There’s been talk of trying to connect both gensets and try and reduce the diesel consumption to a minimum. But the action’s been slow, and I fear will die out once the gensets are back on fulltime. There’s also the aspect of redefining what “need” is and the things we “cannot live without” as a society. We in the middle class blame the government a lot for most stuff. Lack of roads, lack of electricity supply, lack of public transport, and everything else. Often rightly so. But my observation in the recent past also leads me to believe that we’re quite insensitive and focused on our short term needs, even at a huge cost to our long term benefits. The craz.y salary spiral, the real estate bubble, the growing use of cars even for basic grocery shopping, the string of excuses for not using public transport, etc – these are all symptoms of a common malaise -“let me solve that little bit of an issue and who the hell cares if the cost is huge – I didn’t create the problem after all”. We keep giving in too easily, to too many “necessities”, at too large a cost. I really have nothing against convenience, but we could start showing some level of sensitivity towards ensuring the footprint these cause is reduced as much as possible. Monetarily, we can surely afford that. Fair enough. Sure, I’m probably over-reacting and hyper-ventilating, but then I’m also despairing. Edit : just noticed the Google Ads on the side for this page – both hilarious and depressing. Commerce, ah.