In case any of my Readers didn’t get the memo, we just had one of those cold snaps down here in north Texas, where we get a little Arctic air sent down from our neighbors up north. For three days, daytime high temperatures never went above freezing (32°F Murkin, 0°C for those of the Napoleonic Persuasion), with wind chills (once again, courtesy of the Canuckis) dropping the “felt” temperatures by another ten or so degrees. Night-time temps? You don’t wanna know.
I know, I know: “That’s Minnesota from November through May” etc. etc. I used to live in Chicago, remember, where I knew all about cold weather.
The difference is that up north, they know how to handle such temperatures, whereas we don’t. Builders, for all sorts of economic reasons, seldom install double-glazed windows, even for cooling the searing summer temperatures. (I remember a window guy asking me why I wanted double glazing on the northerly and easterly sides of the house, “cause there ain’t much call for ’em round here”.) Insulation — wall, roof and so on: wouldn’t last the first two weeks in Chicago without somebody dying of cold, but it’s perfectly acceptable down here.
All of which is fine and good, until the deadweight of Gummint gets involved. Everyone knows of the current feelgood fad of Global Cooling Climate Warming Change©, whereby eeeevil power sources such as oil and natgas have to be Done Away With, replaced by the usual unicorn-fueled farts of solar- and wind power generation, and Texas has lamentably not been spared this bollocks. Indeed, the laughably-named ERCOT institution has failed, every single year, to actually fulfill their remit and guarantee that the electricity supply would remain constant throughout the past decade, and has actually had the temerity to beg Texans to be sparing of their electricity use during summer where (in case nobody has noticed) things get fucking hot outside and in winter (when we get annual visits from the Polar Express or Blue Norther) to varying degrees of severity and duration.
And I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that Texas is blessed with huge energy reserves — oil, natural gas and coal (sadly, very dirty-burning coal, but better than nothing).
We didn’t experience an electricity outage this time — more, I suspect, by luck than by planning and calculation — but honestly, it gets on my nerves that every winter I have to make sure that I can survive a cold spell by laying in supplies of whatever’s necessary to prevent dying of cold. And I bet there are a whole bunch of fellow Texans who feel the same, or more strongly.
It’s not like this is some unknown, out-of-left-field occurrence, either, because examples of government idiocy and inadequacy abound, such as with our Neighbors To The North:
Ryan Maue is a US weather and climate guy. From early last week he was forecasting the incoming polar vortex would bring abysmal cold to virtually all of North America. Unlike climate activists, he’s not an alarmist except when as he jokingly put it, the real ‘climate emergency’ that would unfold would be temperature in the minus 40s — which is the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit — and colder!
That’s exactly what happened in Alberta on January 12, 2024. The polar vortex moved in and settled over most of the prairies and Northern BC and temperatures dropped like a stone. Maue checked in on “our Canadian friends” in Edmonton, reporting on Jan. 12th at 10:30 reporting: “Bit of a struggle today with the temperature. Currently -48°F (-44 C) with a wind chill of -67°F (-55C).”
That’s the bleak reality. Here’s how it gets even worse:
January 12, 2024, is the day decarbonization died in Alberta.
People with EVs were caught out as the cars couldn’t hold a charge and could only get half the range, as Global News reported.
As Brian Zinchuk of Pipeline Online reported, wind farms in Alberta quietly all went to sleep as temperatures hit minus 30C the night before. Why? Because in extremely cold weather, infrastructure like wind turbines with exposed blades and internal mechanics way up high face the risk of embrittlement and… shattering. Even though there was some wind, the risk was too great to continue operations, meaning that almost all of Alberta 4481 MW of wind power became useless. About that same time, the sun went down. Meaning that all of Alberta’s 1650 MW of solar power vanished for the night.
Meanwhile, the remaining coal-fired power plants, which have 820 MW maximum capability, have been running flat-out, presently at 817 MW as I write this at 12:14 on Saturday January 13, 2024 — another frosty day in polar vortex deep freeze, with temperatures across the province ranging from minus 40 to minus 50 degrees Celsius.
Last night, a grid alert was posted by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), meaning the system was at capacity.
And the reason for the crisis?
The magical thinking of climate activists has been to replace fossil-fueled electrical power generation along with fossil-fueled cars and trucks with renewables and batteries instead, including EV vehicles. Furthermore the climate activists also want to decarbonize home heating, by switching from natural gas to electrical heating or heat pumps.
I should point out that, without exception, these so-called “climate activists” don’t have to live with the consequences of their fairytale nostrums. They live in areas where such catastrophes are unlikely, and in economic conditions which insulate them [sic] from any unpleasant outcomes.
The whole house of cards that is climate alarmism is falling — not fast enough, mind you, but falling nevertheless — and the only question remaining is how best we can prod Gummint into shit-canning the whole experiment. (I’d suggest random hangings, but no doubt someone will have a problem with this.)
When even the Germans are starting to wake up…
In the meantime, I’m bracing for the next cold snap. You know, the way Third World countries’ populations have to do when faced with weather extremes.
It’s just unfortunate that I happen to live in a (once-) First World nation.
Incidentally, I’m not the only Texan who feels this way: