Dear Energy Secretary Granholm,

William Keckler
2 min readMar 10, 2023

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America needs to plan for the future. It’s clear that our energy grid faces ongoing threats from domestic terrorists and the prospect of future wars.

It makes sense to decentralize our energy grid and move these structures underground and nuke-proof them. This is obviously a long-term project, but truly a move we need to make in response to existential threats.

The difference in recovery from a first strike attack in these two different scenarios would be literally years.

I think Helsinki is showing incredible foresight. Practically no one is following their lead. I understand that their defensive project has its own quixotic limitations, that in the case of nuclear war only a small amount of time would be bought. But if nuclear deterrence does not gain its lost ground, that Finnish project might actually prove to be the same work that will be undertaken over future centuries by many countries facing the same existential threats.

It certainly sounds like a science-fiction scenario, to imagine the earth living in pocketed underground cities, losing the beautiful sky to replace it with an artificial blue over our heads. But in a world where the threat of nuclear extinction will soon be eclipsed by other threats of priority, such as the threat of extinction posed by synth bio, this might actually be our weird future reality as a species. The medieval world of walled estates and walled cities might find its analogue in the isolated subterranean metropoles of our worst-case scenario future. Human nature is the biggest threat to human existence for the foreseeable future and it doesn’t seem to be subject to significant change over millennia of diverse “advanced” cultures. It is understatement to call this “disheartening.” It is fucking depressing. To get the daily dispatches from Ukraine in the news each day is to get the daily dispatches of our utter failure as a species. Whether this is due to the failure of social and governmental organizational principles, the various grids of governing power, or human nature itself, is a moot argument. The failure is a monumental failure.

But if The Great Migration Downward does occur, living underground would be much further in the future. The simple practicality of decentralizing the American power grid, moving it underground and nuke-proofing it (and adding additional security personnel) should be a priority project undertaken in our immediate future. This is the plight and the case if we are a realistic nation that plans on maintaining our security and surviving.

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William Keckler

Writer, visual artist. Books include Sanskrit of the Body, which won in the U.S. National Poetry Series (Penguin). https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/532348.