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Texas Wind Turbines Went Right on Turning Under Harvey’s Impact, as Refineries Shut Down


#1

Texas Wind Turbines Went Right on Turning Under Harvey’s Impact, as Refineries Shut Down

Juan Cole

Extreme weather is in our future. Caribbean hurricanes of the future will be more and more violent and destructive because of manmade global heating. Sea level rise will open the coast to bigger storm surges. The number of coastal floods has already doubled since the 1980s because of people driving their gasoline cars and running their air conditioners off burning lumps of coal.


#2

The race for survival begins. When even an energy company voluntarily switches to solar and wind instead of investing in new fossil fuel based energy, you know the race is finally being run for real. It is our shame to see Trump exploiting a severely dumbed down America to the benefit of a failing out model energy technology. All Trump can see (or allows himself to see) is that coal is abundant and profits can be made by holding back change. But now the race is being run for profits as solar and wind compete well against even coal and over the long term all investments in solar and wind will prove far more profitable with the sun and wind being cheaper than even Trump’s abundant but toxic coal.

Harvey is the warning marker. Harvey was the dividing line between the ordinary past and what will be the extraordinary future that most certainly lies in store for the planet. Harvey was just rain! It wasn’t some massive or powerful storm of apocalyptic proportions, the ultimate reality of Harvey was that it was only rain.
Just rain but not the killer winds of other storms. Powerful storms end. Destruction is repaired but this time it was only rain. Somebody tell Trump that in a climate change world, rain is more abundant than coal.

Meanwhile the markers are being passed by as humanity awaits the storm that is looming in our future. Like casting dice, we wager on the outcomes. This storm (Katrina) was powerful but years have passed. That storm (Sandy) was fantastically huge if not science fiction immense in size but mercifully it’s winds were relatively mild.

The storm - the big storm - the storm of the apocalypse is coming whether fools like Trump admit it or not. The storm that is huge in size like Sandy with winds that tear apart buildings like Katrina and with rain like Harvey.

Or rain worse than Harvey. The oceans are warmer the science is undeniable. Harvey was just rain in our climate changing world.

Just rain.


#3

Well, this seems like a no-brainer.

Government subsidies for Oil Industry, gone.

Government subsidies for Wind Generation, max it out.

Problem solved.


#4

"This is going to be the worst thing the U.S. has seen in decades from an energy standpoint.” (Reuters)

No, it is going to be the best of things. Only higher gasoline prices are going to move USAns to adopt alternatives - from public transit to EV’s and reduce their carbon footprints.


#5

Amazing to think that the nearly century-long death grip by Bernaysian narcissisn to downshift a super charged hyper stimulated cancer of growth now in automatic overdrive might just possibly not be all its cracked up to be. How about that!

You might think that the scam might just be given away by FACT that the system CANNOT exist without CONSTANT GROWTH.

S#it no. No wonder the psychotic scam artists keep intensifying the death grip.


#7

All the carbon barons will not agree. They will fight for their subsidies and the wealth still in the ground. And too many politicians addicted to their money to change what should be an easy conclusion. But as someone once said, when your salary depends upon lying, then you will lie (paraphrased). And too many depend upon the money that carbon fuel generates no matter what harm it causes. Just like in so many other industries that pollute and poison and suffer little consequences for the harm they do.
They get away with murder literally, people die as a result of the poison. The AMA estimates that 50K americans die from burning coal that pollutes the air. The industry complains that installing the filters will cut into their profit. So thus, no filters are being added to existing coal plants.


#8

Then you change the system, because at some point there can’t be anymore growth. Then the system fails and destruct. Thus the intelligent thing would be to design a system so growth is not necessary.
I live on a fixed income, therefore no growth. I live within my means. So it is possible to have a system that a society could live within their means. It means you can’t have everything and must prioritize.
As a species we will hit the wall where there is no possible growth anymore. As a biologist I will tell you that when that happens in nature, there is a collapse with most of the species dying from starvation, disease, and predation. Humans may be smart enough to avoid it, but we aren’t wise enough to do so.


#9

If it was true that wind and solar were so expensive, neither would be able to compete with the cost of coal. And both are able to do so.
If you are right, then at some point we are doomed, because there will not be sources of natural gas available. Gas is finite, there is none be created for us to use in the future. And using coal condemns us to death from climate change and pollution of the air.
Plus I am willing to bet that those figures are from carbon industries and ignore the true cost of using carbon fuel and all the subsidizes that carbon gets, which is 10 times what solar and wind get. W/o adding the environmental cost to us, in all ways, then the true price is far understated. Fracking poisons our water supply. Mountain top coal removal destroys water sources and poisons rivers. Burning coal kills 50K americans every year due to the pollution. Fracking has waste products that have to be disposed, all of it poisonous and some radioactive. Some of this waste is disposed of w/o any knowledge of what is in it and no safe guards for the poisons.
That doesn’t include the damage from climate changes. In 1980 we spent about 19 billion on natural disasters with 2 disasters a year. Now we spend over 95 billion with an ave of 10 disasters a year. Disasters are storms, flooding, wildfires, drought, etc. Those costs are also not added into the real cost of burning carbon.
I would be willing to bet that if the real cost of burning carbon was added, then wind and solar would be so cheap in comparison. That is a huge subsidy of the carbon industry by the american people for carbon fuels. Makes the few billions we give to green tech look quite small.


#10

Professor Cole, as usual, lays-out the straight-skinny I believe, one that must be embraced before the sand slips away entirely. The problem is to save our Mother Earth’s ability to sustain and nurture life there is a battle between science and greed-driven short-term profits, between old money energy conglomerates and sustainable new direction non-polluting energy, between the ignorance, corrupt insanity, and stupidity of the trump regime and truthful wisdom.

The economic equation has been that money and those who control it make the decisions on life, health, and death for all humanity, not science or conservation, truth or wisdom, but the vulture capitalism that controls life on Earth and dictates who lives lives of obscene wealth and ease and who struggles just to survive - on not - who remains wage and interest slaves to vast wealth and political domination, modern-day serfs.

If we don’t change that construct that puts wealth and greed foremost, especially on environmental destruction/degradation, over truth and sustainability, we will all suffer increasing consequences.

As Doctor King said, “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values” - that is more than true if we are to survive - the domination of wealth/money as end-all and be-all must be smashed and replaced by a sustainable truth and science-based future.


#11

This is all good news. Human beings do not respond well to facts only to emergencies. Years back an author on global warming wrote of the upside of down.

He said if only pacific islands and Bangladesh deltas etc are destroyed there will be no action. If first world areas however meet catastrophe there will be a call for action. So more Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Carolinas disasters are welcome - in the heart of GOP climate change denisl areas in the country that is withdrawing from accords.

You can’t fix stupid with reason - stupid needs its teeth kicked in with first hand evidence.


#12

Skip,

Depending on the outcome of Irma, a “real” conversation about Climate Change/Global Warming and Fossil Fuel burning contributing to the severity of storms, may arise.

And soon.

Let’s pray now for the people in Irma’s way.


#13

I just had an evil thought about Irma making landfall at Mar-al-Ego. Let’s watch.


#14

that would be a perfect location for global warming effects to hit.


#15

The path of Irma is going to hurt and kill plenty of people. This past morn, it hit category 5 and closing on puerto rica. Climate change across the world is going to hit the poor the hardest.

I’ve been reading about hard difficult it is for the scientists to pin climate change on any one storm. And that causes a problem because it givers deniers a way out to say, see, it isn’t real. They ignore the fact that the scientists do say that the warmer water causes more destructive storms.

My point is that most likely they will not be able to say definitively that climate change caused Irma to be more destructive. And any wiggle room allows deniers to say climate change isn’t real. I don’t see any storm or disaster as making them be convinced that we need to change our ways. When all the ice has melted and the sea level has risen, they will still be denying as category 5 storms happen at double or triple the rate. And they are drifting out to sea, though they are 50 miles inland.


#16

I am by no means a proponent of continued use of fossil fuels; I agree that we need to move to sustainable fuel sources. However, I must note that wind sources of energy suffered over 33% loss (down to 13% from 20%) during Harvey, compared to the 20% loss you mention for the fossil fuel sources. That makes the claim about the wind resources hardly being affected a bit misleading.

We need to do more to create wind and solar sources that are robust to disaster.


#17

Not sure what your percentages are of, but I believe the article says the main loss of power supplied by wind farms was from losing the connections to the grid.


#18

In the final analysis, the truth ALWAYS prevails! It’s just a shame that along the way we ALWAYS seem to encounter such formidable resistance from those few who profit at the expense of the many.


#19

That’s kind of the point. All the liars here who say that the fossil fuel industry is subsidized know that government gets back tenfold, in royalties, severance taxes, and special consumption taxes, any tax breaks it gives the industry. Gets it back tenfold, and with it supports wind and solar and them.


#20

I haven’t read any comment to this artcile mentioning the misleading title: “Texas Wind Turbines Went Right on Turning Under Harvey’s Impact, as Refineries Shut Down”

Riight. Consider that Texas is a big place so no doubt there were places to the west and north where wind speed didn’t exceed the maximum windmill capacities.Windmills are typically shut down at windspeeds exceeding 55mph and that was certainly the case for Harvey. But in the path of the hurricane, windmills would have to be shut down, of course ignoring Mark Z Jacobson’s advice to keep windmills running so as to dissipate the destructive wind energies.

Now consider that the South Texas Project nuclear plant keep on chugging while directly in the path of Harvey. Of course Fukushima FUD mongers were decrying that this plant could sustain a meltdown while all the while having been engineered to sustain hurricane wind and water. Thankfully a nuclear plant was able to deliver much needed electricity for the duration of the crisis while huge swaths of Texas with wind and solar farms could offer nothing to mitigate the destruction.


#21

Read the article.