Opinion | The Storm That Knocked Out Texas

To the Editor:

Re “Misery Deepening in Texas as Storm Menaces the East; Officials Falsely Hold Windmills at Fault” (front page, Feb. 18):

Once again, sympathies go to the millions suffering frigid Arctic air. This latest episode of extreme weather of unprecedented frequency, severity or duration, along with prior floods, windstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and drought-caused firestorms and crop losses, have become the modern-era plagues of biblical proportions.

This is the face of climate change; we could try getting used to it. Or, better, stop sending to so many state capitals and Washington politicians — in the pockets of fossil-fuel industries — who deny even the possibility of human-induced global weather weirding and are unwilling to undertake precautionary measures in case they are wrong.

Bruce G. Weniger

To the Editor:

Re “Frigid Onslaught Stretches Limits of Electric Grids” (front page, Feb. 17):

I am a Texan currently finishing a master’s degree in power and electrical engineering in Germany. During my studies, I have been able to learn how Germany and Europe are proactively modernizing their power networks to support our ever-increasing energy demands and the use of renewables.

This week, I worry as both of my brothers, their families and others go without power. This severe winter storm has revealed weaknesses in Texas’ power grid. Even without extreme weather, rapid population growth is stressing Texas’ aging power network.

We have an opportunity to modernize our grid with increased efficient use of renewable and alternative energy sources. A “smart” decentralized grid with distributed storage will not only improve the power network’s efficiency, but could also prevent millions from going without power in the next severe weather event.

Paul F. Schleicher
Aachen, Germany

To the Editor:

Senator Ted Cruz flew with his family to Cancún this week as millions of Texans shivered through a winter storm that turned deadly after vast swaths of the state’s fragile electrical grid got knocked offline by freezing temperatures and snow. Mr. Cruz’s tone-deaf trip to Mexico is the perfect analogy for the state’s Republican leadership at this moment.

I have friends in Austin who are seething mad at the state leaders who are shirking any responsibility and instead blaming renewable energy sources for the current debacle. For years, these same leaders have arrogantly touted a dangerously unregulated power grid, but now the chickens have come home to roost. It remains to be seen if voters across the state will remember this moment when it comes time to cast ballots.

Cody Lyon

To the Editor:

As Texas and other states deal with blackouts, the authorities should look to Canada, which is even colder and for much longer periods every year, and where no such problems exist. Our whole infrastructure and home construction are light-years better for both summer and winter.

Last year our furnace broke down because a simple safety switch failed, and it was 40 below zero Fahrenheit. Not a problem for us. We have two natural gas fireplaces, and they kept the house toasty warm as if nothing had happened to the furnace.

The fireplaces were not there for looks but to serve a backup purpose. They don’t even need household electricity to operate. Battery power, 1.5-volt household batteries, start and operate the fireplaces. Enough.

Nathan Larry
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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