Medium Short: Power Less On

Sharing the power to have (no) power

B. Lorraine Smith
4 min readApr 7


Night two of the power outage, reading by candlelight. This reading and lighting underscore thoughts about power. (Photo by me with the dregs of remaining power in my phone last night).

Welcome to the latest Medium Short, a weekly accountability practice highlighting what I am reading, writing, and doing along the unmarked trail towards #IndustrialHealing. This is a personal update — my (debatably) more professional writing is freely available through this link.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program due to the power outage triggered by Wednesday’s ice storm. This interruption deepens my awareness of what privilege means, including an addiction to power in numerous forms. Among other restless wants, there is a want of constant comfort, for things like…

Lighting at night. Internet at home. Making my own coffee. A hot shower after a run. Running for fun.

Outage map provided by Hydro Quebec (the provincial electricity provider) 48 hours after the ice storm caused trees and wires to come down. The numbers represent pieces of electrical infrastructure that await repair.

I am currently using the internet and electrical power at local café. It’s the usual café hubbub with a heightened sense of interest in proximity to electrical outlets.

Okay back to the program.

Reading: candlelight and beyond

That banner image is not a decorative gesture, it is my actual bedtime lighting set up at present. I snapped the photo last night as I rounded the midpoint of Boudica: Dreaming the Bull by Manda Scott. It’s surreal reading that story during a power outage. Power, indeed.

When I’m out mooching wifi and power, I’m reading into mining and the “energy transition” for Glencore Matereality. This 1000-page report, “Assessment of the Extra Capacity Required of Alternative Energy Electrical Power Systems to Completely Replace Fossil Fuels, referenced in the Accidental Gods podcast I mentioned last week with Simon Michaux, is proving deeply insightful.

Report by Simon Michaux that offers details on materials required for the energy transition as well as *real* potential next steps (versus fantasy ones where the math simply doesn’t add up).

I am doing my best to parse it and other reading into something easily digestible, while abandoning any attachment to free-flowing cheap energy.

Writing: or ranting, as needed



B. Lorraine Smith

Recovering ESG "expert"; yarn spinner; distance runner; magical realist. Sensing a path to an economy serving life. also at