A blizzard that has not been seen in many years has brought the US infrastructure back to its original shape, and is affecting the global supply chain, indirectly increasing our cost of living.
Although the weather in Texas, the center of the disaster, has warmed since February 20, blizzards or icy rain are spreading across several states, following a 2,300-kilometer trajectory toward the northeastern states of the United States. Half of the United States has fallen into the ice cave, from which we can see all aspects of ills.
“Arctic vortex” missed the end of
the usual at this time, in the United States southwest Texas, the daytime temperatures around 15 degrees, but the last 10 days the cold wave struck, the largest city in northern Texas Dallas highest temperature will 10 degrees below zero , The lowest temperature in Texas even reached minus 18 degrees.
Why does the temperature drop by 20 or 30 degrees bizarrely?
Experts in mainstream media say that global warming has not stimulated extreme weather changes.
This tune is too much to listen to. It’s better to talk about a strange one: there is a theory called “Polar Vortex”, it is said that the pressure difference will lead the cold air on the polar surface to the upper stratosphere, so as not to harm the outside of the polar circle. Human habitual residence is equivalent to the cold demon being sealed in the polar regions.
But as soon as the little fairy “global warming” came, he couldn’t move the Antarctic continent with deep concentration, so he went to the North Pole where the ice floes drifted, seduce the Arctic cold demon schizophrenia, and didn’t want to ascend to heaven, but thought Traveling outside the circle would endanger the world.
In technical terms, the Arctic cold air mass is “squeezed” out of multiple centers by the southern warm current, and moves south under unstable conditions, putting huge pressure on local transportation, power supply, and agriculture.
The big cold wave in northern China at the beginning of this year, the biggest snowfall in 50 years recently encountered in Moscow, and the average temperature of the Great Lakes region of the United States plummeted to minus 30 or 40 degrees early the previous year are said to belong to this situation.
This seems to be corroborated by the news that the highest temperature in the Arctic region reached 38°C last summer. In extreme weather, isn’t it just hotter and colder?
I believe that science is always right, but the cold wave disaster film “The Day After Day”, which is extremely exaggerated, quotes another theory “hot salt circulation.”
One of the application scenarios of that theory is that the melting of glaciers near the Arctic will turn into fresh water that cannot sink to the bottom of the sea in time due to its low density; therefore, the southern warm current is blocked from going northward (there is also a westerly wind that promotes the warm current and changes due to “global warming” Weak factors), leading to a colder climate in Europe and eastern North America.
There are many disciples and grandchildren of the “global warming” school, and there is always a theory that can be applied to climate catastrophes, whether it is “the Arctic vortex leaks to the bottom” or “the hot salt circulation stops”, if this ice storm is not the first to hit hard In the “sunshine belt” of Texas, but trapped in New York State on the northeast coast, more people will think of “The Day After Tomorrow” and then give their knees to the leader of environmental protection.
In the past, when there was an abnormal climate, there was also a universal plaster called “El Nino”. But it does not apply every year, so when East Asia flooded last year, no experts attributed it to it (some people say that 2020 is the “La Nina year”).
Similar to the incomplete “big bang” theory, the “global warming” school has not been able to unify the scientific arena. In the corner of the opposite edge, there are still many voices challenging it.
One question is that the “global warming” school is suspected of manipulating data. For example, in the early emails published by hackers, British climatology authority Phil Jones said that he would use “Mike’s trick” to “hide (temperature) drop” data.
The previous doctoral dissertation of Mike Mann from Penn University used intuitive “hockey stick lines” to depict the changes in the earth’s temperature in the past 1,000 years, deliberately smoothing out the warm period of the Middle Ages (the rise of the Mongolian Empire is related to this) and the Ming and Qing The Little Ice Age has long been reduced to the inside story.
Yes, you can say “the earth has heated up by 1.1 degrees in the past 170 years”, but if the time frame is set to the past 210 years, you will come to the opposite conclusion. If you narrow it down to the past 20 years, your worries about the rate of warming will also be greatly reduced.
Another question is that some fans of “global warming” have inaccurate predictions. For example, the current US climate envoy and former Secretary of State Kerry once believed that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013.
The reality is that even in the summer of 2020, the smallest sea ice area in the Arctic is close to 1.5 million square miles. Moreover, observational data show that the growth of Antarctic sea ice is balancing the decline of Arctic sea ice.
Since science never ends, the “Arctic Vortex” theory, as a mainstream explanation, is not the only explanation for the cause of this super cold wave in the United States. Human climate science exploration cannot stop at discovering the greenhouse effect and researching carbon capture technology.
Texas was put on ice after
the Texas economy more cattle? More than the whole of Canada.
Although in the past 10 days, 5.1 million households in at least 14 states in the United States have suffered continuous power outages, and the closure of automakers, retailers and transportation companies has also occurred across the country, but the world’s eyes are mostly focused on Texas. The reasons are nothing more than the most severe injuries and the most complicated consequences.
The temperature drop in Texas was unexpected, and secondary disasters followed one after another. Snow may overwhelm power towers, while freezing at extremely low temperatures will burst water and gas pipes and freeze wind power blades.
Even in Houston, the “energy capital”, this time there were nearly two-thirds of the power grid.
Originally, Texas was the energy heart of the United States. Coal power, gas power, nuclear power, wind power, and photovoltaic power were not lacking; in order to make way for new energy wind power, a lot of thermal power capacity was eliminated and idled.
The Texas Power Grid is even more proud for a long time: 90% of the counties are not connected to outside the state (mainly the Western Power Grid and the Eastern Power Grid), but are self-produced and sold, and maintain ultra-low electricity prices under the “competition” of various power sources. Attract high-energy-consuming enterprises from outside the state to settle in.
For example, Austin, the capital of central Texas, has three 8-nanometer chip factories of Samsung, Apple’s computer factory and the design center of TSMC (the world’s largest chip foundry). Tesla, which sued California’s Alameda County for a work resumption ban last year, is also building a new super factory near Austin.
But the “unseen in a century” blizzard made the disaster-stricken area of Texas a transient third world.
The first is lack of electricity. In the past 10 years, wind power has gradually become the second largest source of electricity in Texas, but the extreme ice and snow has frozen about half of the wind turbines in Texas, and the proportion of wind power in Texas’s electricity supply has dropped from 42% to 8%. Can other sources of power make up for the huge gap in wind power?
Obviously, photovoltaic power generation will not work. Even if the weather is clear, the solar panels are covered by snow and basically do not work.
Nuclear power and thermal power involve water. Nuclear power generation requires a large amount of water to circulate and cool down; thermal power generation also requires steam turbines to convert into electrical energy.
When water pipes are freezing and bursting, and even the ceilings of residents’ homes are leaking and icicles are hanging down, how can you expect normal water supply to nuclear power plants, coal power plants, and gas power plants? Once the water is frozen, nuclear power and thermal power cannot be moved.
Conversely, without electricity, oil and gas wells and refining facilities cannot operate normally, and Texas oil and gas production has plummeted. Liquid energy (gasoline, diesel, liquefied gas, etc.) is therefore in short supply. Many businesses bring their own generators, while residents line up to buy liquefied gas tanks; although the price of oil and gas is not as outrageous as the price of electricity has skyrocketed by a hundredfold, it is not anyone who wants to buy it.
Insufficient power supply, but electricity consumption is not scarce. In the ice and snow, there are many traffic accidents and many residents are trapped at home. Most of the houses that are powered on have heating equipment, and the power consumption has increased for a while. In addition, Texas has concentrated industrial and mining, refining and chemical enterprises, and chip factories. “New industrial clusters, the phenomenon of power grabs is prominent.
It is reasonable to say that it is a good decision to protect residential electricity and limit industrial electricity, but the power supply entities in Texas are extremely diverse, and the contracts are very different, and it is impossible to make a one-size-fits-all. The compromise is to cut off and supply electricity to different customers in turn; then Governor Abbott ordered the suspension of natural gas used for power generation and heating outside the state. In this way, areas with electricity will also suffer from the fish.
A widely criticized problem is that due to power outages and other reasons, the largest water treatment plant in Austin cannot filter the tap water normally, causing some citizens to boil the water themselves before daring to drink it safely. People in the blackout area often have to burn firewood and propane. Fuel can do what you want.
Residents who suffer from power outages, water cuts, and express delivery stoppages, many people have no meals and can’t even use the flush toilet. They can only borrow to live in relatives and friends’ homes or stay in hotels and shopping malls.
If there is a fire in the water stop zone, wait for it to fend for itself, because the fire truck will run out of water.
Some people may ask, why are there not so many moths in so many states in the north of the United States where the temperature is lower?
That’s because the energy and water pipe lines in the cold regions of the North, Midwest, and Northeast of the United States have been treated with cold-proof technology and will not easily fall off the chain.
In Texas, there are few similar cold protection measures, coupled with the aging infrastructure and the semi-closed power grid, it was caught off guard for a while.
The Texas cold, the global oil market and the semiconductor industry are all following medicine.
The ice storm locked at least one-fifth of the U.S. refining capacity, and the price of international crude oil futures once exceeded $63 per barrel. The shortage of automotive chips aggravated by the closure of the Texas chip factory is expected to wipe out billions of dollars in the profits of global automakers.
What makes people happy is that some car factory executives predict that car repair business will surge after bad weather, because people’s cars are crashed or frozen.
Who is responsible for the storm?
Today, dozens of people in the United States have been killed by this winter storm. Nursing homes, hospitals and dialysis centers are vulnerable to water shortages and lack of oxygen. With the closure of snowy and slippery highways, some states were forced to postpone vaccination work.
The worst-hit area may be Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, and its coastal satellite city, Galveston. But Austin, the capital of Texas, has received the most public opinion.
In addition to the drinking water problem, there is another reason that downtown Austin is still brightly lit at night, while the traditional black and Hispanic areas in the east of the city are dark, and the dividing line between the two is obvious.
Steve Adler, the Democratic Mayor of Austin, urged residents to save electricity as much as possible, hoping to avoid further blackouts. He called for flashlights and candles to be used if possible.
During the peak of the second wave of the epidemic last year, the mayor took a private jet to San Lucas, the southernmost tip of Mexico’s lower California peninsula, for a vacation, and recorded a video during the vacation, admonishing the citizens of Austin to prevent the epidemic at home. “, and was criticized by Texas Senator Ted Cruz as “a total hypocrite.” Now, Lord Mayor’s chance to fight back is here.
While hundreds of thousands of people in Texas were still out of power and about 250,000 people were short of water, Senator Cruz took his family to Cancun, Mexico, on the Caribbean Sea for a vacation. At this time, it was on the hot search list in the United States, which caused the whole people to complain. Texas Democrats called on him to resign, saying that Cruz represents the image of a Texas Republican who is “weak, corrupt, incompetent, selfish, and disregarding the life and death of the people.”
The experienced Cruz returned to Texas within 12 hours and apologized to voters, and attributed his “sending his daughter abroad for vacation” to “want to be a good dad.” The Mayor of Austin Adler refused to attack Cruz on the matter, saying that “I will continue to focus on providing water and food to the residents of the community.”
Cruz competed with Trump for the Republican presidential nominee in 2016. Later, he turned to support Trump. He narrowly won the competition with Democratic opponent Beto Olock in 2018 and was re-elected as a senator. This time he was involved in a public controversy, Trump’s eldest son Donald Jr. defended him, saying that “the governor and the senator have differences in job description and ability to respond to local disasters.”
In addition to partisan politics, more people in the know are targeting the Texas Power Grid Operating Organization-Texas Electric Reliability Commission (ERCOT). For example, Musk, who moved his family from California to Texas in December last year, said on Twitter that ERCOT is not worthy of the “R”, which stands for “responsible” (reliability).
In fact, the lack of cold protection measures for the Texas power grid is an old problem.
In the severe winter weather 10 years ago, Texas experienced continuous power outages, and 152 of the 500 power generation installations ceased operation. Energy experts said that part of the reason for this year’s accident was Texas’s decision not to require equipment upgrades.
Ironically, the chairman of the Texas Electric Reliability Commission lives in Michigan, and the vice chairman lives in California. Texas state legislators called for a hearing to investigate the Electricity Reliability Commission.
In addition to Texas, according to U.S. Electric Power Company data, more than 100,000 users in Louisiana were out of power, and nearly 200,000 users in Mississippi were also affected. Jennifer Granholm, the candidate for Secretary of Energy nominated by Biden and former governor of Michigan, said that the United States must upgrade its grid infrastructure as soon as possible. New York State Congressman AOC took the opportunity to promote her “Green New Deal.”
But Jason Isaac of the Texas Public Policy Foundation said that the main problem with the Texas grid is not the failure of renewable energy or fossil fuels, but the state and federal subsidies that distort the energy market and hinder reliability. The establishment of power generation makes the grid itself unstable.
In a state that produces nearly one-third of the fossil fuel energy in the United States, billions of dollars in tax credits (according to the Energy Policy Act signed by Bush in 1992 and subsequent extensions authorized by Congress) are used to cultivate wind energy and The solar energy industry, which has been supported by the Democratic and Republican parties in the past 30 years, has also given birth to a number of corrupt, inefficient and parasitic companies.
In the coming months, there will be a long and fierce debate about who is responsible for this fiasco.
The outcome of the debate is related to whether the United States will achieve “net zero greenhouse gas emissions” by 2035 or whether it will be more securely postponed to 2050.