Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

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Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Steve James on Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:12 am

150M people under winter advisories as 'unprecedented' storm stretches across 25 states; Texas sees power outages
Doyle Rice, USA TODAY 24 mins ago

150M people under winter advisories as 'unprecedented' storm stretches across 25 states; Texas sees power outages

An "unprecedented" winter storm continued its assault on the nation Monday, leaving millions without power in Texas and wreaking travel havoc across a wide swath of the central and southern U.S. due to the heavy snow and ice.

As of Monday morning, more than 150 million people were under a winter storm warning or winter weather advisory in 25 states, stretching over 2,000 miles from southern Texas to northern Maine, the National Weather Service said.

Bitter, record-smashing cold accompanied the storm across the central U.S. Hundreds of daily record low temperatures have been or will be broken during this prolonged "polar plunge," the weather service said, "with some February and even all-time low temperature records in jeopardy." More than 50 million people could see temperatures dip below zero during the next several days, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

Power outages were widespread Monday. In Texas alone, more than 2.5 million customers were in the dark as of 8 a.m. local time, according to poweroutage.us, a utility tracking site.

Rotating power outages were initiated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, Monday morning, meaning thousands went without electricity for short periods as temperatures fell into the teens near Dallas and Houston.

"We urge Texans to put safety first," the council tweeted as it urged residents to reduce electricity use. ERCOT manages the flow of electric power in the state.

Houston, where temperatures hit the 70s last Tuesday, saw readings in the teens Monday morning, prompting officials to advise residents to prepare for hazardous roads that could be similar to those experienced after a Category 5 hurricane.

In Texas, the storm could truly be a "once in a generation" type event when factoring in the brutally cold conditions, AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

Thundersnow was reported early Monday as far south as the Gulf Coast in Galveston, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, Weather.com reported.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson each activated National Guard units to assist state agencies with tasks including rescuing stranded drivers.

In a statement Sunday night, President Joe Biden also declared an emergency in Texas and ordered federal assistance to aid state and local response efforts. The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance, equipment and resources to those affected by the storm.

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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Steve James on Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:37 pm

Ah, yeah, the movie was "The Day After Tomorrow." I remember it because I rented it at Blockbuster. :)
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:00 pm

It's scary stuff. Over the last few years, more and more friends and colleagues have lost their current or family homes to raging fires (on different continents). It became especially personal this summer when my former house and the community I lived in for the years of my MA burned to the ground along with the lodge I was married at.

I started diving into the scientific and political aspects of the Anthropocene more seriously a few years ago and it became one of my examination fields. The more I learn, the more obvious the severity of the problems are.

Right now we are in an unusually long (record, I think) storm and the snow hasn't melted in weeks. At least one more week to go for us here by the lake. Of course, we are accustomed to the cold, but three-plus weeks of sub-zero and snow and ice gets old when you have to go out walking every day.
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Steve James on Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:43 pm

I was happy to see the federal government declaring an emergency for a state without expecting flatery. Should be unremarkable, but a bit comforting if there's a crisis.
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:27 pm

I can't argue with that, Steve. Although, I've long been critical of what I worried would simply be a return to normal. It's like taking our foot off the gas but idling toward the cliff that ain't all that far away.

I'm waiting and hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but I'm not seeing as much as I would like. Some good things for sure, and even some surprises (Yemen). But, very disappointed with the lack of serious action on the pandemic, moving bombers to the Russian border, watering down of promised stimulus, very slow movement on said stimulus, the appointment of superficially diverse leaders (or, at best, non-ideologically diverse [ie: progressive] members of the management class), etc...

The window could be very brief, and I don't see much being learned from Obama's horrible mistake of moving too slowly and not far enough. I guess we will see.
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Steve James on Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:33 am

Well, the situation really did remind me of that movie :). The other point wasn't that any problem was fixed, but that neither political support nor ego is part of the discussion. The aid is just being sent, and no one is begging for acclaim.

Afa climate issues, the cow has left the barn. I have no faith that the process can be changed in my lifetime, and I'm not sure humans can change it. We're just going to have to adapt. Texans will need to buy down jackets and heaters; Alaskans will have to buy more warm weather clothes. The real question is whether we can adapt as quickly as the changes. Hence, the connection to the movie.

Afa other policies, some good things, some not so good. But, I can't say anything in my life has gotten worse in the last 20+ days.
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Trick on Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:11 am

Steve James wrote: . We're just going to have to adapt. Texans will need to buy down jackets and heaters; Alaskans will have to buy more warm weather clothes.

Swap clothes or places ?......


To the political issue related to this climate thing....Sweden is a small country so have an minimal climate impact but their ideas might work on an big scale.....Sweden is run by the social democrats together with the extremely small Green Party(they just have about 4% of the voters) who basically are in charge of climate and environmental issues the government put forward..The Green Party has for countless of years been fighting to close down the nuclear power plants of Sweden, and of course fossil fuels based energy.....
The nuclear powered energy production in Sweden now is almost zero....so for this winter as I read in the media the government has had to start up the old Oil powered plants and import record high coal powered energy, and the government(green party)
Put forward the suggestion for the population to not use their vacuum cleaners too much this winter so to care for the environment........Save the earth Go Green the Swedish way
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Steve James on Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:25 am

Sweden is importing coal to produce heat and electricity? From where? China? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy oil from Norway? Afa the politics, it was the Greenies that got cities to make laws about dog poop on sidewalks. They ain't all bad.

Nuclear reactors aren't a climate problem, as they only emit steam. The problem is waste disposal. Not that it can't be done, but that it just ends up in poor countries or in the ocean. The only other issue is that humans always make mistakes.

Like I said, we'll simply have to adapt --to whatever changes occur, whether humans caused them or not. Turn your beach front home into a houseboat.
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Trick on Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:40 am

Steve James wrote:Sweden is importing coal to produce heat and electricity? From where? China? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy oil from Norway? Afa the politics, it was the Greenies that got cities to make laws about dog poop on sidewalks. They ain't all bad.

Nuclear reactors aren't a climate problem, as they only emit steam. The problem is waste disposal. Not that it can't be done, but that it just ends up in poor countries or in the ocean. The only other issue is that humans always make mistakes.

Like I said, we'll simply have to adapt --to whatever changes occur, whether humans caused them or not. Turn your beach front home into a houseboat.

They import the electricity that is coal produced, and as I wrote they started up their old oil driven power plants, where the oil come from I don’t know, maybe Norway, perhaps Russia ?
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Trick on Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:51 am

to clearify on the coal issue. the electricity imported to sweden comes mainly from Germany and Poland, two of europas coal giants when it comes to production and import of coal, the import probably comes from the even bigger giant Russia....Germany working hard to move over to green energy, but it do seem a hard way to go with harsh long winters - https://worldnewsera.com/news/startups/ ... s-startup/
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Steve James on Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:54 am

25% of Texas energy comes from wind and "green" sources. It is theoretically "energy independent," yet the entire state is undergoing rolling power outages --and the temperatures are expected to be in the teens. At least, food can be stored outside when the frigo goes down.
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:20 am

Steve James wrote:Well, the situation really did remind me of that movie :). The other point wasn't that any problem was fixed, but that neither political support nor ego is part of the discussion. The aid is just being sent, and no one is begging for acclaim.

Afa climate issues, the cow has left the barn. I have no faith that the process can be changed in my lifetime, and I'm not sure humans can change it. We're just going to have to adapt. Texans will need to buy down jackets and heaters; Alaskans will have to buy more warm weather clothes. The real question is whether we can adapt as quickly as the changes. Hence, the connection to the movie.

Afa other policies, some good things, some not so good. But, I can't say anything in my life has gotten worse in the last 20+ days.


Hey, I like the film. My wife loves disaster movies and I usually don't, so that's something.

Anyway, yeah, we have to adapt. But, the entire goal of most of the policy recommendations by orgs like the IPCC is that we have to slow things down in order to adapt. If the temp rises 6 degrees and all the phytoplankton dies, we won't be able to adapt. We croak. Also, many people are not in a position to adapt. For example, the peoples whose islands are disappearing under their feet.

I share skepticism that humans are doing a very poor job with climate change (compared to say the ozone, acid rain, etc...), but the notion that "we just have to adapt," and that, "I doubt we can get it together in time," is just too nihilistic for even this critic of politics.

When I help teach human impact on the global environment, I am heartened by the conversion of business and econ majors. Yeah, boomers aren't going to fix anything, but the new generations just might.

BTW, I also liked the Blockbuster reference. The smell of carpets and candy. :)
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Steve James on Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:04 pm

I don't say we have to adapt because we have any choice. And, adaptation always requires making the best of the environment. What is different for our species is that we can decide to improve our environments. There's the rub. It's not about human capability. It's a matter of human psychology, and that's why I don't expect much in terms of a solution.

Besides, there's no harm in preparing for the worst case scenario. It's why I wear a mask. It doesn't mean I don't try to do my bit. Climate change is inevitable --regardless of human activity. The question is not whether we have to adapt, but whether environmental change will outpace our ability to adapt. I prefer to think of our species as being very fragile --and trivial to the climate. It makes me appreciate more, if not worry less. Take a deep breath of the clean air while it's there. :)
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:46 pm

How can humans as a species be "trivial to the climate" if we are the primary driver of climate change?

"Clean air" is a bit of a misnomer since many places that still produce ghgs have much cleaner air than they used to. And, dirty air (aerosols) actually produces a cooling effect.

Saying climate change is inevitable regardless of human activity is a climate denier stance. Sure, it's true on a planetary timescale, but a complete nonsequitur when talking about weather anomalies caused by anthropogenic climate change.
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Re: Texas weather reminiscent of a movie

Postby Giles on Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:24 pm

I don't hear Steve in a climate-denier role here. Surely it's about taking a "both one and the other" approach. (Human-caused) climate change is obviously already underway and is certain to get worse, at least to some extent. Adaptation is crucial - as part of the response. But so is mitigation and even reversal, for instance moving as fast as feasibly possible towards zero carbon emissions and increasing carbon sinks (e.g. reforestation) is crucial too. Otherwise, as Ian says, all the adaptation in the world won't cut it.

I think we're still in with a chance, and Biden's initial actions on the environment are at least moving in the right direction. Another 10 years of inaction (not to mention out-and-out destruction, Bolsonaro-style) and I think "we", along with many ecosystems, will probably be irretrievably screwed. So let's act, or at least vote for those who will.
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