Houston, we have a problem

Houston, we have a problem… actually we have two problems

  1. Texas has massive power outages as an “unprecedented” polar vortex hits, and
  2. we just can’t agree on what to conclude from this event.

The current unfortunate (and I assume uncomfortable) situation in Texas where over 4 million people were without electricity earlier this week, is revealing about how people view the energy debate.

  • On one extreme I have seen multiple “sharings” of a (very) old photo of a helicopter de-icing a wind turbine to “prove” how reliance on renewable energy has caused the problems.
  • On the other extreme, it is claimed that the polar vortex is yet more proof that climate change is here and now and we should demand more renewables and shut O&G (and nuclear).

Both of these are confirmation bias in action.

Unfortunately, reality is likely to be far more complex. Texas looks like a plane-crash in the sense that a lot of things have had to line up (badly) for the outages to happen.

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