Mother Nature is one angry, cruel woman. At least that’s the word I’m hearing from the chattering lips and shivering bodies of friends in Iowa and Nebraska. Temperatures have plunged to historic lows, including south Texas, and revealed how goofy and detached from reality are the pseudo-scientists blabbering endlessly about the existential threat of climate change–the wind mills that are supposed to cleanly and cheaply turn out electricity froze solid (see Jim Hoft’s piece here).
Guess who else is suffering from the blue lip, frozen snot artic temperatures? Electric vehicles–say goodby to Tesla as a reliable companion if the mercury is in single digits. Talking with an old friend in Clarion, Iowa, I had a full belly laugh as he described his recent conversation with a friend who owned a car dealership.
Iowa has been particularly savaged by howling winds and temperatures worthy of a deep freezer. People with Teslas and other electric cars (e.g. Volt) have discovered much to their chagrin that electric batteries do not like the cold. Severe, low temps rapidly drain the batteries of their charge, and the next thing you know you are stranded next to a corn field in a lonely stretch of road. You just have to hope that you kept your cell phone charged to call for help. This discovery is leading many formerly happy owners of the electric cars to dump them as fast as they can get themselves into a gas-fueled pick up truck or SUV capable of plowing through a snowdrift.
I say thank God for Mother Nature. She’s not angry or cruel. She’s just reminding the silly academics and climate change scientists that their prescriptions for cheap, renewable energy does not work where the temperature hovers around zero and the sun only shows itself during winter for a few scant hours.
While climate change obsession is absurd, it is not funny. People died because wind-supplied electricity stopped working. Women and children died because the loss of power led them to rely on gas-burning stoves that produced carbon monoxide. That said, I am all in favor of the Democrat-controlled states to go all-in on getting rid of fossil fuel power systems and supplies. Why? Let Darwin do his work and rid us of these delusional souls.
Accelerated warming in the arctic is decreasing the difference in temperature between the arctic and the Northern Temperate Zone. This is causing the polar jet to slow down and become more wavy, i.e. with larger loops. As the jet stream slows down and the waves become more and more weirdly elongated, cold air can leave the arctic and more easily come down deep into the Northern Temperate Zone. Conversely, more warm air can at the same time move north into the Arctic. So you have ‘open doors’ feedback which further decreases the difference in temperature between the Arctic and Northern Temperate Zone–in turn further slowing down the jet stream into even larger, looser loops–I will spare you the biological analogy that has popped up into my depraved mind. Anyway, the meltdown is speeding up up there. I am getting this from Sam Carana, which is incidentally a nom de plume of three or more scientists. The blog is ‘Arctic News.’
I do not care whether you believe in climate change or not, you make up your mind. What I do know is pollution constitutes a rapidly growing problem in many nations, especially in the third word, if you don’t recognize that you must be dumb, deaf and blind. Deregulation and outright fraud and corruption has caused some of the greatest environmental impacts on nature ever:
Three mile Island
(And a nuclear incident in the USSR in the 50’ties)
The sea of plastic in the South Atlantic
We as a human race do have an adverse effect on nature and if we do not limit that impact, things could go wrong in ways we do not yet understand.
Regarding the climate, it is changing that is factual, is it humans, maybe not entirely, but we may be a large contributing factor.
Virtue signal recieved. The real problem is the legacy of Neanderthal industrial output which ended the last Ice Age.
Was it the frozen wind turbines which triggered the cascading chain of falling power grid dominoes in Texas which has resulted in what we see there? I have read that the cause may lie elsewhere.
Here is an article from Ars Technica titled ” Texas Power Grid Crumples Under The Cold”. Here is a little bit from that article . . . ” Since wind in Texas generally tends to produce less during winter, there’s no way that the grid operators would have planned for getting 30GW from wind generation; in fact, a chart at ERCOT indicates that wind is producing significantly more than forecast…. So while having Texas’ full wind-generating capacity online would help, the problems with meeting demand appear to lie elsewhere. An ERCOT director told Bloomberg that problems were widespread across generating sources, including coal, natural gas, and even nuclear plants. In the past, severe cold has caused US supplies of natural gas to be constrained, as use in residential heating competes with its use in generating electricity. But that doesn’t explain the shortfalls in coal and nuclear, and the ERCOT executive wasn’t willing to speculate.”
Here is the link to the entire article.
This will be studied intently and intensely over the weeks and months to come, but if this article is correct, ” frozen wind turbines” were not part of the problem to begin with in this case.
The power outages in Texas were do to a system not designed for extreme cold. The vast majority of disabled power stations are natural gas. While wind turbines were also disabled they, like NG can be designed to withstand freezing temps as people in colder climates have done. ERCOT chose not to do so even though outages ten years ago identified the vulnerability.
When Harvey flooded Houston it had nothing to do with wind turbines but policies that encouraged development in flood plains. Policies favoring short term reward prevent preparation for worst case scenarios. It’s something conservatives should know how to do on a policy level.
The electric grid in Texas is working exactly as designed. The generating systems are too. They happened to changed the design for base load generating capacity to include far too much tax incentivized wind and solar for it to be stable with high usage during severe weather, which is rare but not that rare.
Just wait until the state has a few more shrewd California financial geniuses move there and recreate what they did just before Grey Davis was driven from office. That’s coming sooner than Texans think because there is a lot of money in manipulating energy markets (see how much BNSF is going to keep making due to Joe’s EO ending pipeline construction).
Get used to it
I keep an eye on this site https://www.spaceweather.com/
Very few sunspots over the last decade or so. Contary to what Greta and Suzuki tell us, it’s the sun that provides everything
If we are heading into a Maunder Minimum 2.0, this will give us some blessed relief from the man made global warming currently under way, and buy us some time to rebalance our impact on the Carbon Cycle, Water Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle, etc.
It will also provide an interesting science research opportunity. We know that “some” weather records existed even back during the Great Maunder Minimum itself. If we have enough weather records to show how fast the measured parts of the Terran Surfacesphere cooled off, and we take measurements of how fast the Terran Surfacesphere cools off this time, we will be able to see whether we cool off as fast under THIS Maunder Minimum as we did under the LAST one.
My little hypothesis is this: that the greater skyload of heat-trapper gasses under which we live will make the earth surface cool off slower and less this time than it cooled off during the last time. The nice thing about a hypothesis like that is that if we DO have a Maunder Minimum 2.0, I will be proven either right or wrong. I hope I live long enough to see how it plays out either way.
Ah, Larry, the climate warriors changed the base tenets of their religion. “Global warming” is so 1990s, it’s now “climate change.”
Any time the climate changes, that is proof that humans are causing this existential disaster. Extra-cold winter? Climate change. Winter a bit warmer than usual? Climate change. Normal seasonal temperatures all year? Climate change…in relation to years when the temperatures flux more than usual. No matter what the weather is like, it can be interpreted and claimed as climate change. Sea level rising? Climate change! Sea level falling? Climate change! Sea level staying constant? It was supposed to rise! So…climate change. The ultimate self-licking ice cream cone. No matter what happens, it is proof that climate change is real, and getting more pressing by the day.
Unfortunately, while “life-boat ethics” are properly seen as unscientific these days, the red states are sitting in the same boats as the blue states.
So far, winter started here all of a sudden in almost first days of October ( when we had to switch on the heaters..) in Northern Spain, while now, in February, we are enjoying 20ºC ( day max. ) for some two weeks or so…
October is usually warm and even summerly through the first half of the month, including throught to El Pilar festivity; some two years ago I had a bath in the beach on those days…
November marks the starting point of the winter, usually when we switch on the heaters and take out the winter quilts.
Then we usually would be full winter at this time of February ( including peak of flu season…)
Anyway, dad says this happened previously some 25 years or so ago, when people got summer clothes and shoes during almost all second half of February…
December is also one of the coldest months here, usually, but there have also been Christmas we have passed in shirt sleeves…
See? Climate change! It’s real and it’s pressing! We must act now!
I am not a scientist. I am just an amateur science buff. I do the best thinking I can from the best understanding I can achieve of what I read.
Climatologists did not invent the phrase “climate change”. Frank Luntz did that in the 1980s to take the “sting” off the word ” global warming”. He tested it in his focus groups along with other neo-words like ” death tax” to replace “estate tax” in order to confuse thinking to the benefit of his Republican clients.
” Climate change” is strictly and only a Luntzian revision of the language. Perhaps here, as elsewhere, we need a Confucian ” rectification of terms and language”.
I myself , according to my best purely amateur understanding, have continued calling it ” man made global warming” right along. I never did adopt the new luntz-word ” climate change”.
“Climate change” is of course shorthand for “anthropogenic climate change” – though I think “anthropocentric” is the best word to describe our current relationship with the climate.
After all, the climate was here first and will still be here long after we are gone. It exists in a dynamic equilibrium with Life – all life, but predominantly the microbes and algae what really rule our planet. If these ‘decide’ that another ice age better suits their requirements we’d better be ready to write off real estate at high latitudes for a few millennia.
I think the old anthropomorphic climate model had some distinct advantages. Not least among them was giving us someone to curse at when we wanted to complain that our welfare was not first among Gaia’s priorities.
Reminds me of my geology prof who would always start with the following: Civilization exists only with the permission of geologic forces.
Yes, indeed humans allegedly are little more than mobile bug carriers – invented for their needs; not ours. Another prof who wanted to frame our way of thinking.
The other day, at the thread on Covid-Hysteria, I posted a video filmed in Kazakhstan where animals had got frozen while in the move, ending like if they were dissected….
There was a black/brown lamb, two kazakh dogs ( one of which was wearing what seemed like a sled shooting tackle ) and a kinda musk ox…All animals used to the frozen winters of certain parts of Central Asia
You could not watch it because in the time it passed from when I saw it and posted it here, Twitter had wiped out the video…Go to wonder why…
The problem with windmills is real, affecting greatly in Germany, where in a year or so a total denuclearization will take place.
I have read reports on that electricity not only will be astronomically exprensive ( and thus will create widespread energetic poverty ) but to be expected often blackouts will be the “new normal” then..
IMHO, this is all planed as it seems has been the pandemic in some way.
The purpose? Terminating the weak and old, sick people, oldest people, and for what it seems also children…No wonder they are planning to frabricate new ones with enhnaced capabilities through “trans-ition” between human and machine, and, but this is far from an intention of betterment of lives, but unstead making people more obedientes than the natural ones…This is the meaning of “build back better”, as I see it. Deconstruct the world in the middle of the mother of all crisis, so that to find nuch of business, while at the same time managing assured exponentially growing discontect and social unrest thorugh making people worry about survival so that thye can ot find opportinity nor time to protest..
If it were for real climate change, all travel woyld have been stopped, not only those of the plebe, millionaires would have been stranded at home too for a year already, and, above all, any army, especialy the US one, would had stopped in their continous movement throughout thousands kilometers through Earth, unnecesary wars would have been avoided, and so on…
Earth breaths and regulates itself as we do humans…Earth quite better since she is way more adpated than any of us could be.,,,as it is older…and probably wiser…
It was frozen natural gas in pipelines and rigs that brought down the Texas power grid, NOT windmills. Even Governor Abbott has now admitted that.
Michio Kaku theoretical physicist calls it
Global climate rotation. I believe this makes
Tidewater’s explanation involving the jet stream and polar vortex is consistent with what I’ve read on the cause of this burst of arctic cold reaching the Mexican border. It’s happened before, most notably in 2011. This isn’t record cold. Texas has had blizzards like this in the 1960s and earlier. Overall our Winters are milder than they were earlier in the 20th century.
Even Abbott has admitted it’s not the wind turbines that caused the Texas grid to near collapse. Gas well heads and pipelines have frozen. Pumping equipment froze causing power plants, refineries and even a nuclear power plant to shut down. They saw this coming after the 2011 failure. But they went full speed into deregulation and cheaping out in the pursuit of private sector profit. That also why the wind turbines froze. They work in northern states and in the Arctic as long as they are winterized. The same is true with all the fossil fuel power sources when properly winterized. I do agree, Darwin is at work here.
We earthlings do well when the weather is warmer. We’re headed into a Grand Solar Minimum as our betters prepare us for warmer weather, what a disastrous joke this is going to be.
Does anyone have in mind that the lock downs may never end? There’s speculation that the global warming thought wasn’t going so well and that an event like Covid19 might do the trick. Well, it’s working splendidly – commuter and air travel are down significantly and cruise ship travel is at about zero. Now, with Hunter’s dad in charge, we’re starting to see higher gas prices with decreased demand, does that make sense?
My electric bill is higher now, is yours?
I’m starting to think of all our newcomers to Florida as political refugees, they aren’t economic refugees as they have the wherewith all to move here and are generally paying cash for their new homes. They are fleeing from repressive regimes, they want to be free.
Down the road we’ll be getting the climate refugees as Northern living will be getting harsher and harsher. Floridians will have to move south, I guess Columbia and Jamaica cause they will let us in with no fuss about covid tests, they need the money.
The days when one renews their love for California ….regardless of its wretched political failings. As a travel wag best stated, these are the California staycation days in Puerto Backyardo.
Green, serene, apple and almond blossoms, Nuccio’s Gem camellias blooming in symmetrical perfection, two orchid blossom stalks ready to burst, harvesting snow peas and sugar snaps and the air perfumed with lavender and sweet olive.
A modest proposal – as California liberals flee to infect previously red states, all you conservatives please come to California and let’s turn blue at least purple.
Yes, staying, being rightly accused by Fred the other day of thinking like a Californian. Although, I don’t think we need more red or blue. I saw a bumper sticker day before yesterday, red and blue, that said “Make Orwell Fiction Again.” We need to carefully climb back down from our fantasies and decide to live thoughtfully and well into the future. How, I don’t know, prayer, ritual, open and thoughtful discussion. Every day is a chance to come back to reality, but that is not what the mesmerists require.
Be reality-based oneself as one understands that to be, and Live one’s witness withOUT PREACHing it.
For Greens in particular, for example, this would personal conservation-living and conservation-lifestyling consistent with majority-understanding of a decently comfortable life. And hiding one’s little green light under a green bushel. Why a “green” bushel? So if people ASK about one’s little green light, one can show it to them. But if no one asks ( and asking people to ask is cheating), then the little green bushel keeps the little green light hidden.
You’re yelling at me different clue. Was I preaching…. anything? You’ve assumed I virtue signal green – I don’t. Being a veteran, I also don’t let anyone waive a flag in my face. I support the use of small modular reactors. I also support the use of fossil fuels as we transition to a more conservative use strategy. Energy Return On Energy Invested is a very real problem for all of the alternatives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t develop more effective ways of employing our resources.
The come to Jesus moment is, are we going to have a long lived thriving society or not. If the answer is ‘yes’ then we start from there, and you can go suck on your little green light.
Yelling at you? No. That is your incorrect perception. I capitalize parts of words to enhance the cadence of the visible word flow. I’ve done it before now and then down the years and no one has said they felt yelled at before.
Suck on my little green light? Suck on your predilection to find things to affect feeling insulted about and to disunderstand what people say and how they say it.
(If replying in the exact same vein and tone in which I was replied to gets me banned here, then so be it, as unhappy as that would make me).
Victor Davis Hansen had a great insight about “liberal preaching”: caused by guilt feelings, because they know they are never going to sacrifice anything themselves.
I know this ls late, I’m kind of surprised Colonel Lang still tolerates me at all. My wife is a Cambodian war refugee. We live with two very old, paid off cars, Civic and Corolla. I work for a nonprofit university when I’m not teaching. We grow some incredible vegetables from seeds my wife brought home from Cambodia. I manage to stay alive here in CA where I was born and raised. I sleep on a two inch foam pad on the floor – I used to just sleep on a mat. I don’t owe anybody anything, and my efforts at significant environmental quality improvements have been ongoing since the days of clean air and water. I’ve worked with nonprofits supporting those with the hardest burdens – and not just enriching the management. I can go on, who cares -right? I’m happy to live with technologies developed a century ago, while I wholeheartedly support the developments of modern science. I live my convictions, do you?
It’s not complicated. Ten years ago ERCOT got a lesson. Some decided to winterize, ERCOT didn’t. Using this disaster as a talking point to trash the science of AGW is right up there with Rush Limbaugh “entertainment”.
After the 2011 winter freeze, El Paso Electric, on the Western Interconnect grid, spent heavily to “winterize our equipment and facilities so they could stand minus-10 degree weather for a sustained period of time,” Eddie Gutierrez, an El Paso Electric spokesman,
On the other side of Texas, near the Louisiana border, the city of Beaumont also appears to have weather the storm without massive outages. Entergy, which powers Beaumont on the Eastern Interconnect grid, told KHOU it also winterized its infrastructure after the 2011 storm. Weatherizing power generation and extraction equipment is voluntary in Texas, though the state legislature will probably revisit that strategy when it dissects ERCOT this year.
Here is a topic and thread I stumbled upon, called . . . How exactly do you “winterize” a power grid? I read into it a little way and it seems to my no-special-background self like it is no-snark/no-sarcasm/no bullpoo discussion of what is involved.
If it is determined to have no major value then I have no problem with it not getting published. I only offer it in case it is worthwhile. Here is the link.
And in other news, apparently one of Texas’ Senators chose to avoid the cold the elitist, Harvard graduate way. Ted Cruz took his family and flew right to Cancun.
I’m not a fan of any politicians…however, not quite sure why getting out of town when bad weather is inbound is somehow a bad act. Last I checked, anyone can buy a ticket to Cancun, even graduates from state schools.
I personally go wherever I like to go. I think everyone else should do the same.
Yes because when the grid goes down, the person I immediately think of for help is a US Senator.
Overall, though, I will wait for an engineering analysis of when happened, as the urge for arm-chair opinion from all sides with axes to grind is too great. On the windmills, I haven’t seen if the problem is icing of the blades (my suspicion), or gearbox issues, or other?
Well we thought California was the wake up call but Texas is a huge wake up call. Some stats that are good and triple verified.
Texas winter electricity output max capacity – 83,000MW
During the period 2/8 thru 2/16
Wind generated electricity output down 93% (frozen wind turbines/blades (expected))
Nuclear down 26% (frozen pipes)
Coal up 47%
Natural Gas up 450% excess capacity hindered due to lack of winterization
Oil Fired – None as all plants were closed in the past
Most outages were due to lack of electricity output to meet demand due to lack of proper investment in winterizing equipment and alternative capacity. If you intend to have renewables as energy source (everybody does) you need to build fossil fuel capacity to cover yourself during high demand days. Until the battery storage of renewable energy is solved there is a future for fossil fuel plants to remain open to meet demand capacity. Just as renewable energy receives government subsidies so should fossil fuel plants receive them till the Climate Change genius’s figure out how to store a weeks worth of renewable energy to get us over the hump on the high demand days.
There is value in individuals with Common Sense.
Would Common Sense call for up-insulation and up-weatherization of the millions of winter-vulnerable buildings in Texas? If it would, then would the same Common Sense suggest using some of that subsidy-money to upinsulate and upwinterise those millions of buildings in Texas?
It seems to me that it would, but I live in Michigan so what would I know?
It also seems to me that the more energy one can “save” by using less of it to get the same result as before, the less energy one would need to store up in reserve for energy interruptions. The less you have to need, the less you need to have, in my amateur layman’s opinion.
Why does any criticism of “climate change” instantly devolve into a conversation about pollution? No one likes pollution – that is a stand alone topic. Don’t you like clean air and water is often the knee jerk response when one hesitates to embrace the “scientific consensus” on climate change. I find that curious.
Also curious was learning today watching the Mars Perseverance landing was the speculation Mars lost its magnetic poles, which in turn led to loss of its potentially life-sustaining atmosphere turning it into the barren, hostile planet today.
So what do increasing green house gases on earth have to do with earth’s potential loss of magnetic poles, that would create this same “climate change” on planet earth? Why do magnetic poles shift and reverse? Do they burn out under the earth’s mantle on their own, regardless of what we mere humans do above the crust.
From what I have read, Earth’s magnetic field and poles sometimes reverse position all on their own.
The devolvement to pollution has interested me too, lately. Perhaps we are using imprecise language. I used to speak of carbon skydumping, as if carbon were some kind of pollution being dumped where it never belonged. ( I am referring to carbon dioxide here . . . ).
But lately I have worded it as carbon skyflooding, because carbon dioxide is a part-of-nature gas, after all. And water is a part-of-nature mineral compound. Water is a good and necessary thing. If we get too much water at one time in one place, we call it a “flood”. And if we get too much carbon dioxide all at once in the atmosphere with inconvenient or even harmful effects to our own lives here, we could call that a “sky flood”. A skyflood of carbon dioxide.
Nitrogen oxides are a pollutant. That volatile chemical used to clean computer chips in the production process and which is supposed to very effectively prevent the re-radiation of earth-generated infra red light back out into space . . is a pollutant.
But carbon dioxide? Not strictly speaking. Perhaps current skylevels of carbon dioxide could be re-understood as too much of a good thing, just as Harvey dropped too much of the good thing water on Houston all at the same time.
Treating CO2 as a pollutant was just an expediency to force the USG to manage it under the clean air act, instead of passing an actual law that directly addresses the issue.
At the end of the day, a certain amount of energy is incident on the earth every day, and it has to go somewhere. But accounting for all the sources and sinks is probably not doable, at least now. But even without a good accounting a certain amount of energy is converted into / from heat energy and to some extent that can be measured. I tend to be a skeptic at the level of certainty expressed by the “consensus”. But certainly things like the “greenhouse effect” are not disputable, at least not without throwing out a lot of science.
What else happens besides “global warming” when one is coming out of an Ice Age? Or “climate change”, when one is retreating back into one.