By David Glenn Cox
It is a tough time to be a Republican, even the wind is against them and the feeling is mutual. Ever since Faux News lost its flavor of the month status with Trumpy, their stories began to show up on my You Tube feed. I make a point not to watch them fearing I’ll be inundated with screaming paranoid delusional nonsense. But Faux with a straight face told the public that the Texas power outages were caused by wind turbines freezing up. 10% of alternative energy was offline, but so was 30% of fossil fuel energy. While Texas officials point fingers and make excuses, they aren’t even making the right excuses.
The problem isn’t solar panels or wind turbines; it’s climate change. The state was just hit with the worst polar blast in 122 years. It wasn’t one night, but a prolonged event and all they can do is argue about changing the wattage of the lightbulb. The state was caught completely unprepared because they don’t believe in climate change. But climate change believes in Texas! The oil is in the ground, and the sun is in the sky the problem is infrastructure. The Indian Automobile Association believes they could sell more cars if the country had… roads. Legendary traffic jams and crumbling outdated infrastructure discourage people from even considering purchasing an automobile.
Texas is to alternative energy what Texas is to the oil industry. A gusher of wind and solar power and Texas is a leader in alternative energy but a laggard in power grid. A coal, oil or gas plant is dependable, but still needs constant maintenance that often takes them offline. They have redundancy built into their network, but the only redundancy possible in alternative energy is to capture the wind and sun somewhere else and send the power to where it is currently shady. You might be the best farmer in the county, but without a truck and a road into town the point is moot.
A European consortium was/is working on a plan to build a large network of solar plants across the northern tier of Africa. The plan if completed offers a baseline energy independence for Europe. In the grand scheme of things, the solar plants themselves are cheap and getting cheaper, but the cost of the infrastructure continues to climb. In a deregulated market like Texas, you can put in a few thousand solar cells plug into the grid easy peasy. But time after time deregulation fails by making some things lucrative and others a struggle. Siphoning off the profits by compartmentalizing. And you end up with two boxes of baseballs and no bats, four hundred paper plates and no fried chicken. Let George do it! That’s not our job; we only generate we don’t maintain; we are just contractors.
That’s the secret of deregulation allow them to loot the treasury and then declare the meeting closed. The private prison, the charter school, oh we can do it better and cheaper! Especially, if you don’t watch us. Then the Charter school closes, or the private prison gets sued by the Justice department and millions upon millions of dollars have changed hands only to make the situation is worse than ever. That’s why it is a tough time to be a Republican.
Four years of repeated national failure under the Orange one. Craziness like brush fires throughout the Republican Party. And every time there is a failure of government there sits a Republican Governor. A Republican Governor telling people not to wear a mask as hospitalizations rise. A Republican Governor explaining why rich people get special Covid inoculations, while first responders and the elderly get shafted. Gone are the days when a Republican would just run off to Vegas with an intern. No, they’ve gone full tilt Bozo now. The Texas mayor resigns after cussing out the townsfolk and then says, “I was gonna resign anyway.” I guess the newspaper would not print the headline, Mayor Says; “Fuck You to Town!”
It is almost as if their policies aren’t working. The comic aura of the Three Stooges never knowing who will say something stupid next. Frozen wind turbines or raking the forest they do a wonderful job of avoiding the issue. Calling fracking energy independence is like calling prostitution, a part-time job. The only real energy independence comes from getting off the drugs. That will be expensive, unglamorous but important. “I dedicate this high-tension power line somewhere east of Omaha.”
The good news is that the energy is all around, and all we have to do is pick it up. This country is the Saudi Arabia of sun and wind potential. The party of won’t have proved they can’t. If the Republicans had run NASA, we’d still be looking for pieces of John Glenn. “We don’t need to test the rockets, that’s too expensive!” Former energy Secretary and former Texas Governor Rick Perry says, Texans would rather freeze than allow Federal energy oversight, the only true-blue Texan is blue. I rest my case.
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” ― John F. Kennedy
The space race brought about technical advances far beyond Kennedy’s wildest dreams and created our modern world. It returned a thousand fold to what was spent but was opposed by Republicans. The Tennessee Valley Authority returned a thousand fold and helped to create modern America and was opposed by Republicans. If you’d listened to Republicans, you’d still be sitting in your Hooverville. To reach port you must first untie from the dock. Those who tell you that you can’t get there are just too afraid to sail. Those without vision are just blind and will lead you nowhere. Better an idiot with an idea than a Republican with a planning committee.