This has been a rough summer in Old Europe

Nationwide blackout hits Italy

Italian officials claim the blackout originated in France. France blames Switzerland. Switzerland admits that a tree may have touched a line somewhere. A tree.

Reading the story, I come to a familiar passage:

In Italy, politicians acknowledged the domestic energy system was insufficient. Some Italians have worried that new power plants could damage the environment — a position that has slowed new plant constructions.

It’s not just in the US that demand for electricity has gone up dramatically. It’s across most of the globe. And when demand outstrips supply, prices go up and reliability goes down. It’s clear that something has to be done.

A year from now, Baghdad may have better power than Rome. Or Paris. Or New York City. We’ll see.