Friday 16th of April 2021

disaster in texas...


On Saturday, US President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the Lone Star State allowing the government to allocate more funds to help millions of people affected by severe winter storms.

Bill Gates has revealed the reason behind the weather-induced crisis in Texas that resulted in power outages, leaving nearly half of the state's population under a boil advisory. In an interview with CNN, the Microsoft co-founder dismissed allegations made by Governor Gregg Abbott and other officials that solar panels and wind turbines were to blame for the massive outages in the state, noting that state's dependence on renewable energy isn't high enough.

Gates believes that the state's authorities should have spent money on weatherising energy plants. This, the software developer says, would have prevented the crisis.

"This is not because of renewable dependency. This is natural gas plants, largely, that weren't weatherised. They could've been. It costs money, and the trade-off was made, and it didn't work out, and it's tragic that it has lead to people dying", Gates told CNN.Cataclysms, Instability, War

During the interview Bill Gates, who has donated over $50 billion to charitable causes, reiterated the need to address the global warming problem. Climate change is the root cause of all extreme weather events and the solution is green energy, Gates said. The philanthropist noted that without decisions on lowering carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy the world will face catastrophic consequences – the collapse of natural ecosystems as well as the inability to farm, which in turn will lead to war and instability.

According to the Microsoft co-founder, the deadline for the world to deal with the said issues is 2050. "2050 is literally the soonest it could get done given the scale and the number of things you have to change", Gates said.

The philanthropist believes that in an ideal world 80 percent of the energy will be renewable and come from solar panels and wind turbines, while 20 percent will come from nuclear plants. Gates even cited Texas as an example. When harsh climatic conditions make it unable to use green energy, a state can ramp up nuclear energy or draw from storage.

What Happened in Texas?

The Lone Star State as well as other parts of the United States has been affected by severe winter storms, with temperatures in typically balmy Texas plunging to their coldest in more than 30 years. The state's independent energy grid collapsed under high demand for heat and left millions of people without electricity. In Texas alone almost 50 people died due to the crisis, some of them due to carbon monoxide poisoning as they were running cars to stay warm.



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no longer a bitcoin bear...

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is no longer a bitcoin bear. He has now taken a neutral stance on bitcoin as an investment. However, as an innovation, he says that cryptocurrency is one that the world would be better off without because it allows for certain criminal activities.

Bill Gates Changes His Mind About Bitcoin

Bill Gates spoke about bitcoin and cryptocurrency in two separate interviews Thursday. One was with CNBC where he was asked what he thinks about bitcoin “in the context of climate change seeing how bitcoin takes an enormous amount of energy to digitally mine.” Gates simply replied:

I don’t own bitcoin. I’m not short bitcoin. So, I’ve taken a neutral view.

“Bitcoin can go up and down just based on the mania or whatever the views are, and I don’t have a way of predicting how that will progress,” Gates continued.

The Microsoft founder added: “I do think moving money into a more digital form and getting transaction costs down, that’s something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries. But there, we do it so you can reverse the transactions so we have total visibility of who’s doing what. It’s not about tax avoidance or illegal activities.”

Gates has been no fan of bitcoin. In an interview with CNBC in 2018, he, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and vice chairman Charlie Munger talked about bitcoin being worthless.

“As an asset class, you’re not producing anything and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment,” Gates remarked. “I would short it if there was an easy way to do it.” BTC was trading at around $9,300 on that day. Since then, the price of the cryptocurrency has risen almost 511% to $56,805 at the time of writing.


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he would have been better off burning his furniture...

SAN ANTONIO — As millions of Texans shivered in dark, cold homes over the past week while a winter storm devastated the state’s power grid and froze natural gas production, those who could still summon lights with the flick of a switch felt lucky.

Now, many of them are paying a severe price for it.

“My savings is gone,” said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card — 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. “There’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s broken me.”

Mr. Willoughby is among scores of Texans who have reported skyrocketing electric bills as the price of keeping lights on and refrigerators humming shot upward. For customers whose electricity prices are not fixed and are instead tied to the fluctuating wholesale price, the spikes have been astronomical.

The outcry elicited angry calls for action from lawmakers from both parties and prompted Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to hold an emergency meeting with legislators on Saturday to discuss the enormous bills.

“We have a responsibility to protect Texans from spikes in their energy bills that are a result of the severe winter weather and power outages,” Mr. Abbott, who has been reeling after the state’s infrastructure failure, said in a statement after the meeting. He added that Democrats and Republicans would work together to make sure people “do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills.”

The electric bills are coming due at the end of a week in which Texans have faced a combination of crises caused by the frigid weather, beginning on Monday, when power grid failures and surging demand led to millions being left without electricity.


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the view from ron...

Last week Texas experienced a cold snap that resulted in serious statewide damage, death, and destruction. The collapse of the state’s energy grid left millions of Texans in the dark and freezing for days at a time. Tragically, at least 30 people died.

There are many reasons why Texas became like a Third World country, and we should be careful not to pin all the blame on just one factor. But it seems clear that the disaster was to a large degree caused by political decisions to shift toward “green” energy generated from solar and wind and by Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid restrictions.

Abbott, who won a “wind leadership” award just this month, oversaw the near-collapse of wind energy generation last week. Yet the politicization of energy generation in favor of “green” alternatives over natural gas and other fossil fuels has led to the unintended consequences of freezing Texans facing multiple millions of dollars in property damage and worse.

Additionally, federal emissions and other restrictions forced Texas to beg Washington for permission to generate power at higher levels in anticipation of unprecedented demand. Governor Abbott finally received permission from the Department of Energy on February 14th, but by then many facilities found themselves off-line due to freezing conditions.

Why should the Federal government be allowed to freeze Texans to death in the name of controlling emissions from energy generation plants? It’s a classic example of politics over people. I guess if you want to make a “Green New Deal” omelet, you have to break a few eggs.

While Governor Abbott was quick to blame energy generators and even the state Electric Reliability Council of Texas, NBC News in Dallas reported that ERCOT “did not conduct any on-site inspections of the state's power plants to see if they were ready for this winter season. Due to COVID-19 they conducted virtual tabletop exercises instead - but only with 16 percent of the state's power generating facilities.”

Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid executive orders at least indirectly led to lax inspection, maintenance, and winterization of wind and other energy generation plants.

But Texas did not only freeze because of Abbott’s Covid restrictions. For the better part of a year thousands of businesses have been destroyed. Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics have relapsed. Depression and suicides have skyrocketed. Children have been deprived of education.

And for what? Texas with Abbott’s restrictions fared no better than Florida with no restrictions when it comes to Covid cases and deaths. The Texas governor knew that months ago when the data from Florida proved that lockdowns, masks, and other restrictions had no effect. But he refused to change course. He refused to follow the brave lead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and open Texas completely.

Politicians too stubborn or fearful to change course when facts dictate otherwise do not deserve to remain in office. Governors Gavin Newsom in California and Andrew Cuomo in New York are finally facing consequences for their Covid authoritarianism. When the smoke clears – and it is rapidly clearing – many more of these petty tyrants will fall. That list of deposed Covid tyrants may well include Texas Governor Greg Abbott – and the slumbering Texas state legislature – as well. 

Let’s hope Texans – and all Americans – will learn from this and more forcefully demand their God-given liberty!



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The views from Ron Paul and those of Bill Gates contradict each others on the "green" aspect of electricity generation. In Australia, we had a similar problem when a storm blew the poles and the grid down in South Australia... The blame was placed on the windmills by the CONservatives, while the Labor government at the time decided to install a massive battery storage that Elon Musk promised to be online within three months. At the time, the gas power stations were somewhat idle as well, but with the grid down, there was no way to transport electricity... Green power generation was not the culprit, nor was it in Texas. Provisions have to be made for situations of extreme storms and cold... including encouraging people to be "off the grid"...



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deregulated texas...


As millions of Texans struggled desperately to keep warm amid power outages stemming from the devastating winter storm sweeping the nation, the state’s Republican governor late Tuesday blamed solar and wind for the blackouts—despite the fact that Texas relies overwhelmingly on fossil fuels—and claimed the crisis shows that the Green New Deal would be a “deadly deal” for the United States.

“Texas is blessed with multiple sources of energy, such natural gas and oil and nuclear, as well as solar and wind,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in an appearance on “Hannity” Tuesday night. “Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid. And that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power in a statewide basis.”


Abbott was far from the first Republican to deploy such blatantly false talking points in response to the ongoing crisis in Texas, which has left at least 10 people dead. But the governor’s decision to appear on Fox News and attack a policy that has not even been implemented as Texans resorted to burning their belongings to keep their children warm was viewed as yet another example of his failed leadership.

“Five million Texans are without power tonight and temperatures are below freezing. People will most certainly die tonight because of it,” said Sawyer Hackett, senior adviser to Julián Castro. “But Gov. Abbott had time to go on Sean Hannity to blame the Green New Deal.”

Citing an official with the state’s Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT), The Texas Tribune reported that as of Tuesday afternoon “16 gigawatts of renewable energy generation, mostly wind generation, was offline. Nearly double that, 30 gigawatts, had been lost from thermal sources, which includes gas, coal and nuclear energy.”

“Texas is a gas state,” Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Tribune. “Gas is failing in the most spectacular fashion right now.”

But that hasn’t stopped Texas Republicans like Abbott and Rep. Dan Crenshaw from attempting to blame frozen wind turbines for outages that could continue for days, endangering lives and coronavirus vaccines.

In response to Abbott’s “Hannity” interview, Texas voting rights advocate Charlie Bonner tweeted, “He is lying. People are dying, and he is on Fox News lying to you. We are living in fear and Greg Abbott is playing politics with our lives.”

“Greg Abbott doesn’t care if you live or die tonight so take care of each other, my friends,” Bonner added. “We’re living in a failed state.”

Castro sent a similar message Tuesday afternoon, writing that “Governor Abbott failed to prepare for this storm, was too slow to respond, and now blames everyone but himself for this mess.”

“He neglected the state’s antiquated and deregulated electrical grid,” said Castro. “Now 4.4 million Texans have no power in freezing conditions.”

In an interview on ABC 13 in Houston earlier Tuesday, Abbott said that officials at ERCOT—the agency that oversees Texas’ power grid—should resign over their failure to be sufficiently transparent with the people of Texas during the storm and its aftermath.

But Abhi Rahman, communications director for Texas Democrats, said Abbott is the one who should step aside.

“Abbott is the leader of the state,” said Rahman. “He gets briefed on emergencies. He should be the one that resigns.”

In a statement earlier this week as temperatures plunged and millions lost power, Texas Democratic Party chair Gilberto Hinojosa said that “Abbott’s inability to govern is not only negligent but incredibly dangerous.”

“People are freezing. Families can’t open their fridge, heat their food, or go grab supplies,” said Hinojosa. “Much like the coronavirus crisis, Abbott’s negligence has once again put lives at risk. Abbott owes an explanation to the people of Texas. And Texans deserve better than failed leaders who couldn’t lead their way out of a shoebox.”



Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. 

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how global warming is going cold in europe and in the USA...

cancun cruz capers...

The claim: Sen. Ted Cruz lost his Marriott Hotel points after traveling to Cancun during Texas storm

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz faced intense backlash following his family trip to Cancun while residents in his state battled a deadly winter storm, which was further intensified by the loss of access to power and water for millions.

Following the barrage of criticism on social media — and calls for resignation from the Texas Democratic Party — the Republican senator quickly returned to Texas while his wife and children stayed in Mexico. 

As Cruz navigated the public consequences of taking his trip to Cancun, an article published on Patheos claims he also lost his Marriott hotel points as a punishment for his trip.

Fact check: ERCOT, not Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, requested bypass of environmental limits

The article, written by Andrew Hall, claimed that hotel company Marriott revoked all of Cruz's award points following his decision to leave Texas while the state's residents suffered during the winter storm.

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