Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Climate 'disaster' in Texas only economics, really

 Yes, it's cold in Texas right now.  

Lots of folks are awfully chilly and uncomfortable.  Many have even died.  The weather is like that, and has been like that since man crawled out of the ooze.  And mankind has always prepped for this sort of thing depending on where they chose to live.

If you chose to live in the northern climates, you took precautions to ensure that you had firewood, sturdy structures and plenty of stored food for the stiff winter weather that was sure to come every year, year in and year out.  Additionally, if you were concerned about municipal power outages, you purchased a back up generator to help nudge you through those limited duration outages.  

In southern climates, people would choose to ensure their livability there by having homes with air conditioning, and buying cars equipped with A/C.  Since it rarely dipped below freezing in much of the south, not much thought was given to back up generators or huge capacity furnaces, that would just be throwing away money preparing for a winter that never came.  Public utilities also made these same decisions and did not invest in equipment that would withstand extreme cold temperatures since those extremes were hardly ever seen, that and a customer base that would not stand for such foolish 'just in case' spending of their hard earned money.

It's simply a matter of economics.  Northerners do not invest in huge swimming pools (for the most part), and southerners do not invest in huge furnaces and back up generators.  No need to spend all of that dough on a steaming hot summer or killer freezing winter that never comes.  Just a waste of money.

Now that this polar vortex has reached the Mexican border and frozen much of the subtropical south and southwest, those people who have been affected may think differently going forward.  Not much anybody can do about it now, but I will bet that more than a few southerners will probably pop for a back up generator and then let it sit idle for the next 50 years in preparation for that next cold snap (that will likely not arrive in their lifetime again).  

Another good bet is that the southern public utility companies will not make the investment in infrastructure improvements to overcome such extreme cold temperatures - the southern public will not tolerate power rate increases that will result by these preparations for another winter polar vortex such as this one to come again - it won't.  

At least not anytime soon.

So, in the meantime if you are in the Houston area, just head over to Mattress Mac's - he'll put you up for a night or two.  Do not, however, try and crash in Joel Osteen's mega church - it's locked up tighter than a drum.  


Gorges Smythe said...

Love that last line!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Don't count on finding your favorite fruits and some vegetables in the grocery store in the near future.

Fredd said...

Gorges: you love it 'cuz it's true.

Fredd said...

Fool: my grocery stores are packed to the rafters with fresh fruits and veggies. Then again, I live in the hardy midwest, where folks prepare for crap like this.

Unlike other regions of the country who depend on the 'good weather fairy' to tend to their needs.

LSP said...

Fredd, one of the many things I like about your commentary is that it's coming form the Ministry Of Tell It Like It Is.

That in mind, it seems the Biden admin wouldn't let ERCOT (cough, spit) throttle up their output because "Green."

Busted, useless, broken windmills aside, I sense RICO. What's your take?

Fredd said...

I think RICO is a bit too much conspiracy here, Padre.

What just happened in Texas was that the controls over the power grid were all in the hands of government workers. When the poo hit the fan, just too many poor decisions were made by poorly trained government types who had never seen this before, and they blew it.

No conspiracies, just bad workers. And by definition, with the exception of the military, all government workers are what the rest of us in the private sector would call bad workers.