Smart Grid as an Element of Political Power

With Tennessee and Arizona passing or making progress towards passing resolutions opposing United Nations Agenda 21, it shows that we are making progress in drawing attention to the agenda.  The difficulty we still face is connecting the policies and initiatives that are related to Agenda 21 but not specifically labeled as such - and obviously, almost nothing is labeled as Agenda 21.  The most important of these policies and initiatives is of course, energy policy.  It was labeled with the number 21 but not "Agenda" 21.  



First Summit of the Americas - 1995

The Regional Cooperation in the Energy Sector mandate was intricately linked with the "Partnership for Sustainable Energy Use", one of the initiatives of the leaders launched through the Miami Plan of Action. However, this Partnership, along with the "Partnership for Biodiversity" and "Partnership for Pollution Prevention" (all parts of the Miami Plan of Action), were merged into the broader area of Sustainable Development.  The leaders in Miami noted that sustainable economic development requires hemispheric cooperation in the field of energy.

Energy Ministers from around the hemisphere launched the Hemispheric Energy Initiative during their first post-Miami meeting in Washington D.C., in October 1995, in order to conjunctively coordinate Initiative 12 ("Energy Cooperation") and Initiative 21 ("Partnership for Sustainable Energy Use") of the Miami Plan.  The Initiative resulted in a number of positive steps forward, including the creation of a Hemispheric Energy Steering Committee aimed at guiding the implementation of the Action plans. The Steering Committee, which met for the first time in Santiago, Chile in February 1996, established 8 working groups.   They had the following objectives and coordinators....  MORE



And they did follow through with it as you can read in the Hemispheric Energy Initiative that was published in 2001 for the fifth summit meeting of Energy Ministers.

Hemispheric Energy Initiative

To fully appreciate the significance of that, I found a report that explains the political power of large technical system as it pertains to regionalization.  It's really better to read it from the paper itself - at least through page 10:    



Electrifying Europe

The Power of Europe in the Construction of Networks

Complex Interaction

...This power outage leads to several observations. A first and more general observation is the obviousness of electricity, or as David Nye puts it, "electricity is an enabling technology that is not always noticed".5 Everyday-practices are depending on an unproblematic and continuing supply of electricity. Without electric current everyday life comes to halt - besides knitting and reading by candlelight of course. Electricity is used unconsciously: it is not only a necessity but also normality. Even the opposite could be argued; those without electricity are looked upon as abnormal and backward – at least in the eyes of Westerners. Electrical appliances are plugged in without noticing difference whether there is Nordic, Eastern European, or Swiss electricity coming out of the wall. Just like numerous other forms of technology, electricity is often treated like a black box not to be opened: only if it ceases to run smoothly the content of the "box" is of interest. Or in other words, unless a power failure occurs electricity is conceived obvious.

But such an approach fails to see that, to use David Nye’s words, 'in no society was electrification a "natural" or a "neutral" process; everywhere it was shaped by complex social, political, technical, and ideological interaction'.6 In that sense technology embodies more than just ‘hard’ physical technological artefacts; they are value ridden. Therefore, Gabrielle Hecht introduced the notion of technopolitics in her book on French post-war identity in connection to nuclear technology, meaning ‘the strategic practice of designing or using technology to constitute, embody or enact political goals’.7

"Opening the black boxes of culture and technology simultaneously can [...] give us insight into how technologies constitute a terrain for transforming, enacting or protesting power relations within the social fabric."16



The Smart Grid is not only the implementation of technology - it's the implementation of a political power network - and the Smart Meter is their foot in your door for the direct exercise of that political power. 


Vicky Davis
April 7, 2012