I’m not inclined to leap far into conspiracy-think. However, wind turbine technology appears engineered and manufactured by transnational corporations and firms well aware of freezing weather, so this nonsense about renewable energy failing in Texas (why not on the North Sea? Why not in Germany?) just doesn’t hold ice water.
Super conservative angst, disinformation (received or sent), and viciousness get in the way of the public’s more cool-headed gathering and perception of variables contributing to disasters. That discomforting aspect of our collective national psyche notwithstanding, I would ask news (and weather) editors and readers to simply consider the full suite of possibilities in the unfolding of dramatic stories. In this one, finger pointing at wind-generated energy overlooked frozen instruments (!) in other energy systems. Well Whisky Tango & Foxtrot, where is Homeland Security on the Big Dallas Freeze? And may the investigative journalists be all over the possibility, just that (!), of external meddling involving massive critical — and technologically delicate or vulnerable — systems.
Of course, there are other possibilities, much including the architecture and engineering in a region better known for heat than cold and successive building generations in a political environment resistant “global warming” the potential for coming extremes in the known environment.
Still, has the drama been only about old engineering and new weather?
I may be tilting at windmills.
While some wind turbines did freeze, failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy systems were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as renewables, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), which operates the state’s power grid, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Frozen instruments at gas, coal and even nuclear power stations were among the main problems, Ercot director Dan Woodfin said, according to Bloomberg.Farrer, Martin and agencies. “US conservatives falsely blame renewables for Texas storm outages.” The Guardian, February 17, 2021.
Douglas, Erin and Ross Ramsey. “No, frozen wind turbines aren’t the main culprit for Texas’ power outages.” The Texas Tribune, February 16-17, 2021.
Farrer, Martin and agencies. “US conservatives falsely blame renewables for Texas storm outages.” The Guardian, February 17, 2021.
Patel, Nilay. “Hard Lessons of the Solarwinds Hack.” The Verge, January 26, 2021.
Texas Standard. “How Software From Austin-Based SolarWinds Became the Vehicle for a Massive Government Computer Hack.” December 17, 2020.
Solar Winds – Fast Reference
CBS News. “Former top cybersecurity official on why U.S. intelligence missed Russia’s SolarWinds hack.” February 15, 2021.
Halpern, Sue. “After the Solarwinds Hack, We Have No Idea What Cyber Dangers We Face.” The New Yorker, January 25, 2021.
Jibilian, Isabella. “Here’s a simple explanation of how the massive SolarWind hack happened and why it’s such a big deal.” Business Insider, December 24, 2020.
Last March—if not before, as a report by the threat-intelligence firm ReversingLabs suggests—a hacking team, believed to be affiliated with Russian intelligence, planted malware in a routine software upgrade from a Texas-based I.T. company called SolarWinds, which provides network-management systems to more than three hundred thousand clients. An estimated eighteen thousand of them downloaded the malware-ridden updates, which were embedded in a SolarWinds product called Orion. Once they did, the hackers were able to roam about customers’ networks, undetected, for at least nine months.Halpern, Sue. “After the Solarwinds Hack, We Have No Idea What Cyber Dangers We Face.” The New Yorker, January 25, 2021.