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Thread: Very Cold Weather In South 2/10/21

  1. #61
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    whatever warning exists is buried deep in the small print so that all the customer sees is a safe sounding line like "the price per kilowatt-hour on this plan will vary and may change frequently." IOW there was no effective warning that you're making a high-stakes bet. But in defense of the electric providers that sold these plans, it's pretty certain that nobody ever thought wholesale electricity costs had any chance of suddenly becoming $9/kilowatt or even $1/kilowatt.
    I'm a PITA at contract signings like annuities and house closings because I read everything and I ask questions. Hey, it's my money.

    I'll agree that seeing electricity go to even a buck or two per Kw is not a scenario many people besides the utility foresaw. But we're all taught from early on that a deal that's too good to be true needs to be examined carefully. Why would an electric utility provide power at half or one-third the usual rate unless there was some protection for them? They're not in it to lose money. Take the deal if you want but recognize you could get bitten, as many did.

    Then there's the matter of how to remedy the situation. I find it somewhere between hypocritical and comical that the political party of personal responsibility is the one advocating for all of Texas to bail out those who profited from low electricity rates (perhaps for years) now that the waste material has hit the electric-powered air propulsion device. The same state (likely some of the same R-legislators) is adept at telling poor people (in situations similarly not of their doing) to s*ck it up and get another job or something, but now they want to socialize hard times? Let the guy start a GoFundMe or something. Sorry if that seems harsh but what I'm seeing here is hugely out of character for the Republican party.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  2. #62
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    However stupid the customer may have been to take out a variable rate electricity plan, many places wouldn't even allow such things to exist, so it would be a complete non-issue. I had literally never heard of the existence of such things, I mean really who ever heard of electricity rates being variable by any other than location, usage, and allowed rate changes (if it's not government it's a regulated utility)? I do think people who move from places with sane electrical policy, i.e. none of that nutty billing, could be in for a nasty surprise.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #63
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    The same state (likely some of the same R-legislators) is adept at telling poor people (in situations similarly not of their doing) to s*ck it up and get another job or something, but now they want to socialize hard times? Let the guy start a GoFundMe or something. Sorry if that seems harsh but what I'm seeing here is hugely out of character for the Republican party.
    I must have missed any talk of that sort coming out of Texas, but I did hear John Kerry say virtually the same thing a week or two ago.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    People they be weenies.

    I haven’t worn a real winter coat here in years. I have a heavy hooded sweatshirt and wear it over a long t-shirt. My trunk simply doesn’t get cold.

    my ears and hands are another matter. I wear two sets of gloves and have to walk half a mile before my circulation delivers warm blood to my fingers.
    Guess it depends where you live. When it starts to get to about 40F here people are wearing shorts and tank tops!!

  5. #65
    Senior Member GeorgeParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    Texas oil and gas executives were truly giddy "We hit the jackpot!" they crowed, gleeful over fleecing the public. Reminds me of the despicable Enron execs literally yukking it up about their machinations bankrupting widows and orphans. Scum.
    Are you quoting something or just spouting propaganda? I doubt any oil or gas executive who wants survive past the ides of March would be stupid enough to make such a statement.

  6. #66
    Senior Member GeorgeParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Why would an electric utility provide power at half or one-third the usual rate unless there was some protection for them?
    Because the electric utility was acting as a service broker. They don't own the power lines or the generators or anything. They just charge a flat monthly fee (for example $10) in exchange for buying electricity at the wholesale price and selling it to you at the same price they paid for it. Their profit comes from their flat fee, not from the price you pay per kilowatt hour. And you as consumer get both the reward of low wholesale prices and the risk of infinitely high price spikes.

    BTW a lot of the people who had variable-rate electricity plans are probably the same ignorant people who get their income taxes done at a place that not doesn't charge them anything but actually gives them $50 cash because they had their taxes done there. I used to have co-workers who did that, and no matter how I explained to them that the tax place was taking both their fee and that $50 out of their tax refund, they never believed it, and every year they went right back to the same tax place and recommended it to everyone they knew.

  7. #67
    Senior Member GeorgeParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    I doubt any oil or gas executive who wants to survive past the ides of March would be stupid enough to make such a statement.
    BTW: Ref "Ides of March": There was this feller named Shakespeer who wrote a play bout Julius Caesar, and a fortune teller yells at Caesar to "Beware the ides of March" because that was the day the Roman Senators were going to kill him. Also, according to https://earthsky.org/human-world/bew...-ides-of-march "In ancient Rome, the Ides of March were equivalent to our March 15. In the Roman calendar, this date corresponded to several religious observances. The Romans considered the Ides of March as a deadline for settling debts."

    With the Texas Legislature screaming for vengeance, backed up by hoards of outraged citizens howling for blood to flow because they lost electric or water service during this fiasco or received huge electric bills, I figure the high muck-de-mucks of all the companies involved will quickly choose a few disposable low-level executives and throw them to the wolves as a ritual sacrifice. Most of the execs on the ERCOT board of directors have already resigned and are trying to find a good place to hide. Under these circumstances an oil or gas exec would have to be mighty stupid to express anything other than utter shock and horror about this terrible situation which was, of course, caused by someone else at a lower level, not them.

  8. #68
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I have been trying to understand what is, has happened and will happen with the jet stream that influences climate issues around the world. People may respond politically, emotionally and rationally but at some point, the human race collectively is going to recognize when nature is impacted by man's many choices.

    I found this explanation an easy-to-understand summary. Feel free to challenge, question or debunk it by clear explanation of where Gwynne Dyer is demonstrably wrong.


    It’s not funny when people die of the cold, but there was some innocent amusement to be had from the indignation of Texans unable to boil their drinking water during the Big Freeze because the power was still out. Things like that are not supposed to happen in a modern, developed country like the U.S. How dare they?

    Others, aware Texas has cut every corner in the public services that it’s possible to cut, were not surprised by the five-day mini-disaster that struck the country’s second-biggest state of 30 million people. One blogger wrote philosophically: “Occasionally, something will happen in Texas to remind the people who live here that we live in a failed state.”

    A winter temperature 25°C colder than usual for the time of year is rare, but this is not the first time it has snowed in Texas. The electricity failed, triggering a cascade of other disasters, mainly because of a long-standing refusal to connect the state electricity grid with the two main national grids. (This was done to avoid federal supervision on prices and standards).


    The explainers talk about a rogue Arctic vortex, but what’s really happening is much simpler than that. It’s just what global heating has done to the northern hemisphere’s jet stream.
    The northern jet stream is a high-speed, high-altitude atmospheric river that flows from west to east all the way around the planet. It marks the boundary between the polar air mass, sometimes called the Polar Vortex, and the warmer air masses of the mid-latitudes. (East-bound airliners crossing the North Atlantic and the North Pacific often hitch a ride on the jet stream, saving up to an hour compared to the west-bound journey.)

    The energy that drives the jet stream comes from the temperature difference between the two air masses it divides. However, the Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the world, so that difference is shrinking and, with less energy, the jet stream is slowing down.

    It used to blast straight east all the way around the planet, but even then, it occasionally developed long S-shaped kinks called Rossby waves: big loops extending far north and south of its usual track. As it has slowed down (the average speed is now 150 to 225 km/h), the Rossby waves have grown both more frequent and bigger.

    They often now are great loops deviating far north and south from the straight track, and those loops bring with them cold polar air rarely seen so far south, or warm air not seen previously so far north. That’s what happened to Texas last week: one of those Rossby waves brought cold Arctic air all the way south and then, stuck for a while.

    The jet stream itself didn’t stop. It just flowed all the way around that loop and kept going east, but the kink stayed put and the cold air in it froze Texas. This pattern will recur lots of times, and Texans will have to learn to live with it. Climate change doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not. And it may get worse.
    In June and July of 2018 record-breaking heatwaves hit the western United States, Western Europe and the Caucasus-Caspian Sea region at the same time, while there was extreme rainfall and flash flooding on the U.S. east coast, in eastern Europe and in Japan. It was all happening in big Rossby loops that had taken over the entire jet stream.

    All the loops, containing hot dry air or cool moist air, were stuck for upward of two weeks. Norway had its hottest temperature ever but only half the normal rainfall for July, while in Japan severe floods and landslides caused by heavy rain destroyed more than 10,000 homes.

    By last year, researchers had found, during over the past twenty years, the same pattern of seven stalled peaks and lows over the same regions — “Wave 7” — has lasted seven times for more than two weeks. In the previous twenty years (1980-2000), that had not happened even once.

    This suggests the pattern is getting stronger and since the latitudes where the loops are stalling include most of the major ‘breadbasket’ regions of the northern hemisphere, the crop-killing droughts and heatwaves they bring could cause a big loss in world food production. It’s the ‘unknown unknowns’ that do the worst damage.

    Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist based in London, England.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  9. #69
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    "Climate change doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not."

    Sums things up rather nicely, I think.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
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  10. #70
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    This is a long article but I found the history of climate changes through the millennia fascinating. It seems we have been living in the golden age the last 100 years or so:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...istory/617793/

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