This month’s original “This is Not Cool” video aggregates segments of breaking news from a variety of Texas-based and national news outlets to provide a one-stop overview of the prolonged mid-February Texas power outage amidst freezing temperatures and heavy snow.
Experts commenting in the video agree that the outages, in the words of one of them, stemmed from thermal power plants, “a traditional power plant problem, not a clean energy problem.”
One important point emphasized by several of those experts is that severe Texas winter storms are likely to worsen in a warming world. Regardless of Texans’ personal views on the science of human-caused climate change, energy consultant Alisa Silvestein advises, those storms are “demonstrably getting worse.” She says Texas is “in the gun sights for a whole lot of extreme weather” and the state has to do more to winterize its diverse energy resources.
“We designed the entire grid for ‘Ozzie and Harriet,'” she says, referring to the American television sitcom that aired on ABC from October 1952 to April 1966. “We are already getting ‘Mad Max,'” she said, invoking a 1980 feature film in a near-future but dystopian Australia with life hard amid rampant deprivation, oppression, and/or terrorism.
Close observers of the Texas blackout, in particular those viewing it from afar via cable or network TV or radio, likely will recall having seen some of these same experts interviewed on the subject. Many Texans, on the other hand, were on the midst of the blackouts, lacking power and access to expert analyses via conventional media. This video has the virtue of putting a wide cross-section of those experts in effect in one place, a six-minute film well suited for group presentations or classroom or distant learning.