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Widespread Blackouts Possible as Climate Change Stresses Nation's Infrastructure

June 30, 2022

With the effects of climate change continuing to spread and worsen throughout the nation, mass power outages are predicted to ravage over half the United States this coming summer.

An article by Andrew Blok of reports that, “The North American Electric Reliability Corporation [NERC] warns that above-average temperatures (which drive up demand for electricity) and an ongoing drought (which decreases supply of hydroelectric power) could cause problems for chunks of the grid from June to September 2022.”

Such a high demand for energy is most likely to put stress on the critical infrastructure from the west coast through the central region of the United States, with states such as Michigan and Louisiana holding the highest potential risk for blackouts. However, Zachary B. Wolf of says that “Everywhere is at risk to some degree.”

The fact of the matter is that the United States power grid has a tendency to crumble in some way or another when faced with extreme temperatures, and everything from electricity to air conditioning to water cleanliness is likely to be affected on a large scale this season.

Blok of goes on to state that the best way to prepare is through traditional backup methods like stocking up on flashlights and batteries along with food and water, as well as purchasing at least one first aid kit, possibly investing in a generator, and writing down your utility’s emergency number. These are all excellent ways to prepare for blackouts, but education on what causes them in the first place can create a generation more adept at preventing large-scale incidents.

Capitol Tech offers both a Master of Science (MS) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Critical Infrastructure, which teach the digital threats facing infrastructure that so many of our nation's systems rely on.

The master’s degree teaches “how to create a robust and sustainable infrastructure that is resilient against multiple threats and hazards as well as build operational systems, and programmatic capabilities for detection, protection, prevention, mitigation and response… The degree provides a firm foundation in Critical Infrastructure policy, risk management, operations, and mission planning.”

The doctorate has a similar goal in its education but a more hands-on approach in its research-based curriculum. “Under the guidance of [an] academic supervisor, you will conduct unique research in your chosen field before submitting a Thesis or being published in three academic journals agreed to by the academic supervisor… [ensuring along the way] that you are engaged in a process of research that will lead to the production of a high-quality Thesis and/or publications.”

Both programs prepare students for the problems our critical infrastructure faces, and encourages them to innovate new solutions for the future of infrastructure in the United States. These completely online, advanced degree programs blend excellent education with the convenience of remote study, making them a popular option for individuals who are balancing both school and work. For more information about the MS in Critical Infrastructure, contact Doctor Ron Martin. For more information about the PhD in Critical Infrastructure, contact Doctor Ian McAndrew.