Yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of the largest blackout to ever hit North America — aka, the day some untrimmed trees in Ohio took out most of the Northeast. Last night, I went on The Rachel Maddow Show to talk about why a few woody plants were able to bring us to our knees, what we've done to shore up the North American electric grid in the years since the blackout, and what we still have left to fix.
If you're interested in learning more about how the electric grid works behind-the-scenes and how it affects our ability to deal with problems like climate change, check out my book Before the Lights Go Out.
Bonus: Watch the background of the video clip for a map of the US electric grid, where you can see how this vital infrastructure is divided into three districts — Everything East of the Rocky Mountains, Everything West of the Rocky Mountains ... and Texas. Because of course.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.