Conservative pundits yesterday, after much of Texas was hit with rolling blackouts, were quick to jump on freezing wind turbines to justify increasing production of fossil fuels.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News was right up there among them.

“Rather than celebrate and benefit from their state’s vast natural resources, politicians took the fashionable route and became recklessly reliant on so-called alternative energy, meaning windmills,” he said.

He was wrong; turbines in Texas did indeed freeze up, but that was only a small part of the problem after an enormous freezing burst of arctic air moved into the state. Residents turned up their electric heaters against the rare cold snap. At the same time many of the state’s power plants also ran into problems with freezing pipes, and there was a shortage of natural gas to boot.

Columnist Heather Cox Richardson pointed out Wednesday night that Texas long ago decided to go it alone with its own power grid to ward off federal regulation. That hamstrung the state electric supplies from tapping out-of-state sources.

Frozen wind turbines might have been a part of Texans’ woes this week, but they were hardly the sole culprit.

The real culprit here is climate change, which is causing more and more extreme weather.

Rather than being recklessly reliant on wind, we have been recklessly reliant on fossil fuels. If Texans follow Mr. Carlson’s lead, misery will not be an infrequent visitor.

(1) comment

Gadfly

Wonder why wind turbines on the Great Plains, in northern Maine and other northern climes don't freeze up? I see the problem as a bad combination of appeasing the climate change people and at the same time, trying to make or save money on the infrastructure. But think about it-the wind is almost always blowing in Texas-why not build turbines? Just make sure there is some quality backup, a mix of generating capacity strongly connected. I don't think this happened. Also seems to me that a lot of the people down there were not "ready" for an emergency. Go to "ready.gov", follow their suggestions and use common sense and you will be at least basically ready for such an emergency.

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