The practical and moral failings in this matter are so numerous it is hard to know where to start.

How about this: Systemic blackouts are commonly associated with nations such as Haiti or Pakistan, not the United States. Yet here is California, America’s biggest and probably most innovative economy, treating a blackout as some kind of unavoidable natural event. Why is this development not seen as an unacceptable outrage?

The No. 1 responsibility of a power company is to supply its users with power. So when the first-order response to a pending major problem is to cut the power for days, that is clear-cut evidence that the systems are badly designed.

High on the list of America’s failings would be its wanton disregard of climate change. True, it is difficult to pinpoint particular events as caused by climate change. It is entirely plausible, however, that climate change has made the fires more likely or more intense, due to the greater heat, dryness and wind.