So, thanks to my underpowered machine, I annoyedd y'all and got to hear +Maggie Koerth-Baker
sampled like her answer to my question was being played on a turntable by a hiphop MC. So I'm going back to the Youtube to hear it. :-)+Maggie Koerth-Baker
, if you want to look at Europe for a followup book, look also at the transportation infrastructure, not just the power grid. One of the places I got to visit there was Tyrol. What's noteworthy about that area is that they have severe flash flood danger. And to cope with it, they keep their roads narrow. As in two way, one lane. When you meet oncoming traffic on local roads, you have to slow down to under 10MPH, shift halfway off the road to the right, make sure the oncoming driver is doing the same, and then drive on. Only the highways are two lanes, and the region's autobahn is only two lanes each way.
As a result, Tyroleans live like hippies even though they are quite conservative. They walk everywhere, including in the rural parts. You'll also note that in the region, the narrow roads and walking paths are what the houses face, and what leads to the local amenities. The highways, however, are a back alley that nothing faces. I have no idea how to introduce infrastructure work to the US that would have similar effects.