A Tale of Two Freezes, One Year On

A quick note on the current state of affairs within the current Texas freeze, and the years worth of political nonsense that is the Texas Legislature.

The fine folks over at Space City Weather, do a great job of keeping the Houston metro area informed of weather conditions, but their two leads, Eric and Matt also look at the broad perspective and encompass weather related knock ons, such as the electric grid, or our beloved ERCOT. The Texas Tribune has been heavily investigating and reporting throughout the year on the original February ’21 storm Uri, and the political and commercial outcomes that have come from that deadly storm, or lack thereof.

So, now we are nearing the anniversary of one of the worst weather events and public utility disasters in Texas history, currently enjoying a major freeze and ice storm.

Much like in the original post, panic buying ensued as the majority of the population stocked up and a few prepared for the worst, creating a tale of two cities event, yet again.

Residents of the cities have rushed to buy water, food, toiletries fill their gas tanks and wrap exposed pipes, praying for the best as we enter a cold snap mere weeks from the last that reported a 25% decline in natural gas generation. This time is worse, and the lack of political will to force the commercial generators and suppliers to really winterize has left the general public distrusting of those institutions.

Out here about an hour outside of any major city, life is about how it was yesterday. We’ve had wood chopped, fuel tanks filled and freeze prep done for months. The only remarkable thing was the greenhouse falling in during the light part of the overnight ice storm, which we planned ahead and emptied into the living room, as we have now three times. We expect the power to go out, heat to be supplemented, water to stop flowing. It happens so often that it’s just another day of “out here”.

I guess the point is, one year on nothing has changed after hundreds of lives lost, increased utility costs by an already overburdened populace, and a general lack of political will to focus on what the public needs, or wants. We prepare and/or panic because we expect the worst, and as weather patterns become more erratic, that fear is justified, the process just looks different depending upon locale.