The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Texas Snow Job…Making The Case For National Green New Deal Infrastructure
Dear Diary. Over the last 48 hours the situation in Texas has gotten so bad that it rivals another horrific climate change revved up storm, Harvey, that drowned coastal areas of that state in 2017…and counterintuitively yes as we have described in past posts, the cold outbreak responsible for the disaster, dubbed “Yeti,” is at least partially climate change related. Once attribution studies are made I will let you, my readers, know. Once more, just like with George Bush and Katrina from 2005, we have another Republican in high governance trying to foment a cover up with lies about the situation. Governor Greg Abbot has partially blamed renewables on the Texas blackout and has warned his constituents against implementing the Green New Deal. Today for our main subject I’m going to argue that he and others in high office should be advocating for the exact opposite policy.
Texas’ woes are a result of 1) being isolated from the national electric grid and 2) not having or investing in enough battery storage capacity in the face of crisis. Electric lines and other parts of the grid were too flimsy to withstand the elements, also. Evidently all sources of energy were generating enough power to keep the lights and heaters on, but the Texas grid itself could not handle high demand. Instead of relying on large government with plenty of regulations and oversight, Texas has opted for smaller energy providers to regulate themselves. Obviously these companies, just like most, took the cheap route, pocketing profits instead of investing in better infrastructure. Tisk tisk.
What we have here is another case for good national governance that is not so huge that it becomes an overbloated bureaucracy, but not so small that it can’t bring relief to people in crisis and regulation of companies where needed to individual states. I believe that President Biden’s version of Green New Deal infrastructure proposals fits this bill, or at least as a blueprint sends us off in the right direction.
Here is more from the Washington Post about Greg Abbott’s lies and distortion that I hope he will pay for at the ballot box during the next election:
(Click on the Washington Post link to see the video.)
‘Frozen windmills’ aren’t to blame for Texas’s power failure
Conservatives like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) have been falsely blaming renewable energy as the cause of the state’s massive power outages.
Feb. 18, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. PST
“So this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America. Texas is blessed with multiple sources of energy, such as natural gas and oil and nuclear, as well as wind. But you saw … our wind and our solar got shut down and they were collectively more than 10 percent of our power grid and that thrust Texas in a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis.”
— Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Feb. 16, 2021
The video above proves once again that a falsehood can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still tying its shoelaces.
As of Tuesday, 4 million households in Texas had lost electrical power amid a blast of cold weather. Fossil fuel interests and their allies in the Republican Party immediately blamed renewable energy sources and trashed the Democrats’ proposed “Green New Deal,” warning that it could produce similar outages nationwide if implemented.
On Fox News, the hosts and Abbott claimed that frozen wind turbines had brought the Lone Star State to an icy standstill. Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) made similar claims on Twitter. Some turbines did freeze — though Greenland and other northern outposts are able to keep theirs going through the winter.
The real culprit? Texas relies mostly on natural gas, and its power grid was poorly prepared to deal with severe winter conditions after years of deregulation, as energy experts told The Washington Post.
“Wind accounts for just 10 percent of the power in Texas generated during the winter. And the loss of power to the grid caused by shutdowns of thermal power plants, primarily those relying on natural gas, dwarfed the dent caused by frozen wind turbines, by a factor of five or six,” The Post reported. “At a moment when the world is awash in surplus natural gas, much of it from Texas wells, the state’s power-generating operators were unable to turn that gas into electricity to meet that demand.
“In the single-digit temperatures, pipelines froze up because there was some moisture in the gas. Pumps slowed. Diesel engines to power the pumps refused to start. One power plant after another went offline. Even a reactor at one of the state’s two nuclear plants went dark, hobbled by frozen equipment.”
Wind turbines may be “winterized” to operate in very low temperatures, but experts said Texas, which rarely confronts very low temperatures, did not invest in such preparations.
“It’s estimated that of the grid’s total winter capacity, about 80% of it, or 67 gigawatts, could be generated by natural gas, coal and some nuclear power. Only 7% of [the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’s] forecasted winter capacity, or 6 gigawatts, was expected to come from various wind power sources across the state,” the Texas Tribune reported.
When Abbott was challenged on his claim the next day, he tried to recast his remarks. “What I made clear was that the fact that if we relied solely on green energy, that would be a challenge. But in Texas, we do not rely solely on green energy. We have access to all sources of energy,” he said. (This is a false premise, as wind turbines in much colder places can be winterized, notwithstanding Texas’s inaction with theirs.)
The Pinocchio Test
That Fox News hosts and Republicans such as Abbott immediately began to falsely blame “frozen wind turbines” for a massive power outage in Texas shows yet again how quickly misinformation spreads on right-wing media. They all earn Four Pinocchios.
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From the New York Times. Please click on this link to read about one solution to Texas’ woes:
Meanwhile on the other side of the planet it is quite hot. Here are some “ET’s” reported from Thursday:
Here are more related items from today’s main topic:
Here is more climate and weather news from Thursday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”