Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Climatic and energy phenomena in Texas


As millions of people in the South find themselves without power for the third day due to record winter storms, some wonder why Texas is not looking to other states for help.

To answer this, there are two important points to consider, one concerning the electricity grid and the other climate change.

Let’s start with the electrical network. Texas, unlike the rest of the country, has its own power grid that is NOT connected to other states. 90% of the state’s power supply is connected to a grid entirely located within state borders. Texas has an independent grid because of its response to the Federal Electricity Act of 1935, which gave the federal government the power to regulate electric companies that trade interstate. Texas power companies agreed not to sell electricity outside of Texas, which allowed them to avoid federal regulation. Today, almost 100 years later, nothing has changed. Libertarians and right-wing politicians have maintained this absurd situation. Millions of people have been left in the dark and cold for days because of federal law. It is truly ironic that the state most identified with energy (oil production) is now without any electrical energy. Can we imagine, in 2021, being without electricity for 3 days? No electricity for your phone, TV, computer, fridge, boiler, heater, cable modem, wifi, tablet, stove, coffee machine, toaster, microwave, lights, washing machine, clock, dryer , speakers… and the list goes on and on.

As Texas and other parts of the country shelter and prepare for a second wave of winter storms, some are questioning the role climate change has played in these extreme weather conditions across the country.

Chris Gloninger, an NBC10 Boston meteorologist, explained there was a definite connection.

“There are waves in the jet stream and, due to climate change and warmer arctic air and the largely ice-free arctic sea, these waves can go far south. Mr. Gloninger said. “So places like Alaska or Iceland are hotter today than places like Texas, Louisiana or Oklahoma. This is why we observe these extremes ”.

Today, Texas is faced with two old conceptions of society that are absolutely obsolete. The first is that of the individualistic society which does not need any link or coordination with the federal or international level, apart from the “normal” commercial transactions which apply to the oil market. This egocentric individualism of white men is dead and has no future. The second question is to understand that climate change is real and must be taken into account. The state must adapt and modify its infrastructure in order to be as well prepared and ready for climate change (sea level, temperature, clean water, etc.). It will also have to push oil companies to become green energy companies. To do this, it will have to fundamentally transform its political landscape. Political change must be as strong as climate change itself. It’s time to fire those political demagogues who created this unimaginable situation, left a helpless state with millions of people in the dark (obscurantism) and cold (heartless).

I can’t imagine what Texans are facing right now, but I can certainly imagine what they can do tomorrow to transform their lives and create a different future.

Translated from English by Claudie Lemoine-Baudoin





#Climatic #energy #phenomena #Texas

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