Late night VR, Frozen pointed fingers

I totally forgot to mention that on Saturday night after watching the movie I was actually up until almost 1AM, playing VR with Katie.  Cindy was too tired to jump in so Katie and I did some virtual bowling where she continued her winning streak.  My aching back makes the bowling movement a bit awkward for me, resulting in bad form that results in inaccuracy for me.  I take the losses in stride. I also introduced Katie to the bizarre world of VR Chat, a free app that allows you to wander around immersive worlds as one of infinite avatars.   Once inside you are engulfed by random interactions with strangers that are mostly hilarious.  Katie and I spent over an hour just going into different “hubs” in there.  I finally stopped when Cindy came out of the bedroom bleary eyed asking what the hell I was still doing up.

My sister and her family unfortunately live in Texas, which she has been less than thrilled with for several reasons however this recent extreme cold snap has given her a very cold reason to be unhappy.  She is in the part of the state where they have been subjecting residents to rolling blackouts since their grid is unable to handle the demand.  I saw a few conservative reports that this was the result of Texas’s stupid reliance on green energy like wind turbines and solar.  Of course, if you bother to dig a little deeper you get the real story.

While it is true that many of the wind turbines were frozen and inoperable, this was because when they were installed equipment available to keep them running in extreme cold temperatures was not used.  This cold snap is pretty unprecedented so I guess the planners did not provision the turbines with the stuff to operate in low temps.  But instead the message media sends out is “wind turbines don’t work in cold weather” which is blatantly false.  Canada has one of the bigger wind generation systems in the world, despite routine frigid temperatures, because they have the de-icing equipment on their turbines. Texas just doesn’t have them.

Second, turbines this time of year are normally providing somewhere around 15% of the grid output, not the lion share which still relies on fossil fuels.  What also isn’t reported was the cold temps knocked out a bunch of the fossil fuel equipment as well which was not equipped for such temperatures either.  Texas basically got caught with their pants down, not planning for a worse case cold weather scenario. Finally Texas chose to not be managed as part of the national grid, preferring to keep most of their grid management in the state which some are pointing to as another reason the problem has spiraled out of control.

I read a story about some local Texas government official was ranting on social media, basically telling people they were on their own and should figure out how to get by.  I believe he invoked God’s name more than once as well.  This person has subsequently resigned, imagine that.

The bottom line is bitching about the series of missteps that resulted in this mess while warranted, is not going to fill the immediate need for people that are literally freezing in their homes.  Now is not the time to be working political agenda action items in conservative media.  People need help.

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