Originally Posted By: Blast
Hmmm, a quick search confirms that the FERC oversees the California power grid. That doesn't inspire a feeling of confidence. eek

The base issue was money wasn't spent to winterize the TX power grid. Considering how for the last 20+ years we've been warned about the uncontrolled heating of the Earth, any power company executive suggesting making the grid more cold-hardy down to 0F temperatures would have been branded a science denier and driven out of the company.

That's an oversimplification that's a bit wide of the mark. The more accurate way to describe the situation if Anthropomorphic Climate Change. "Global Warming" was easier for the talking heads on cable news to pronounce so we're stuck with that term. But the science clearly predicts not only higher average temps but changing weather patterns, hence the "Change" part of the phrase. Some wet places will get drier but some dry places will get wetter. Global average temps have trended upwards for at least a century but winter will still happen for a while, and disruptions in the normal currents- both air and the Conveyor in the seas- will lead to more "freak weather". Stronger and more frequent storms. Downright hot days in the winter along with freak cold snaps.

Besides, it's not like Texas never gets cold! When it comes to weather and geological events everything that's not impossible is inevitable! We use terms like "hundred year flood" to help us get our minds around the frequency of such events. If you're near a subjection zone or fault line there will be an earthquake. Maybe not this year and maybe not in your lifetime but it will inevitably happen.

Politicians plan things on the basis of while I'm in office or before my term ends. Ideally though civil engineering should have different metrics, goals and time frames. I don't think freezing temps in Texas really qualify as a "Black Swan" event that no one could have foreseen; plenty of people that live there now have described seeing snow and cold temps in the past. There has to be some balance between a huge expenditure to winterize on the one hand and completely burying one's head in the sand on the other.

Not everyone can drop everything and head to Cancun when a big storm hits. grin
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman