Snow on power lines

It was a doozy of a news story, what happened last month when a blast of extreme cold caused the energy system of Texas to collapse.

Gripping elements pack the tale: dramatic and destructive weather, warnings willfully ignored, administrative incompetence, unregulated market capitalism, hands-off governing, inadequate preparations, polarized politics, human suffering, a series of disturbances rippling out from a very big stone dropped in a pond that turned out to be too shallow. We’re almost certain to hear variations on these themes, as climate change adds stress upon stress to the infrastructure undergirding our lives.

Here are some especially illuminating parts of this complicated story.

On what happened – and why the story is about more than Texas:

On the human face of this disaster – and the inequities the crisis revealed:

On what the crisis did to agriculture, a reminder for city folks that food really does depend on weather and energy:

On the beginnings of analysis and response:


This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.

Topics: Weather Extremes