Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 17, 2021

Open Thread 2021-014

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 17, 2021 at 16:07 UTC | Permalink

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Mark Dice @MarkDice

Joe Biden says "bIack on bIack crime" is the primary concern of many minority communities, not police brutality, and then stops himself mid sentence realizing he has just committed the cardinal sin of uttering aloud a hate-fact.


Posted by: Mao | Feb 19 2021 11:31 utc | 201

Steven Cheung @CaliforniaPanda

"Minorities... don't know how to use, know how to get online."

@JoeBiden is perpetuating a racist trope that minorities don't know how to use the internet.


Posted by: Mao | Feb 19 2021 11:34 utc | 202

Not everyone is happy about the US landing on Mars,

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 14:00 utc | 203

From today's Guardian. (Which fails to add that these killings occurred during the height of Plan Colombia during which the US under Bush and the UK under the New Labour regime deployed special forces to work alongside Colombia's genocidal forces. It is no surprise that the fascist Israelis were there too.)
Here be Warcrimes
"A special peace tribunal in Colombia has found that at least 6,402 people were murdered by the country’s army and falsely declared combat kills in order to boost statistics in the civil war with leftist rebel groups. That number is nearly three times higher than the figure previously admitted by the attorney general’s office.

"The killings, referred to in Colombia as the “false positives scandal”, took place between 2002 and 2008, when the government was waging war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc), a leftist guerrilla insurgency, which ultimately made peace with the government in 2016. Soldiers were rewarded for the manipulated kill statistics with perks, including time off and promotions...."

Posted by: bevin | Feb 19 2021 14:08 utc | 204

Wuhan Lab Eligible To Receive US Taxpayer Funding Through 2024, NIH Confirms

The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is authorized to receive taxpayer funding for animal research through January 2024, according to the National Institute of Health.

The WIV received $600,000 in taxpayer funds between 2014 and 2019 through the nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance to study bat-based coronaviruses.

The president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, was the sole U.S. member in the World Health Organization delegation that investigated the origins of COVID-19 in China.

Daszak said the White House should blindly accept the WHO’s determination that it’s highly unlikely that COVID-19 could have unintentionally leaked from the WIV.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 19 2021 14:11 utc | 205

"Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has denounced that the CFE and Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) were significantly harmed amid in previous administrations. Moreover, private companies were granted subsidies despite raising prices as the state-owned plants were closed."

Moreover, private companies were granted subsidies despite raising the prices as state-owned plants closed.

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 15:14 utc | 206

By a coincidence, an essay in Aeon on Popper:

The explicit link between Popper and wacky climate science critiques is briefly stated at the end. I disagree about two things with the author. It was the anti-Communist message of The Open Society and its Enemies that won Popper his reputation. It was published in English well before the translation of his Logic of Scientific Discovery. Popper's goal in re-defining science was to do away with the very idea that there could be any scientific aspect to anything but experimental science. Unfortunately, there are not just historical sciences like historical materialism/Marxism, there are historical sciences like geology, biology, cosmology. Popper had to be persuaded to back down from his nutty claim Darwinsim/evolution wasn't science! This idiocy was not an accident, but a necessary consequence of Popper's false notions. The other thing I disagree with the author is the implication von Hayek was a co-thinker in philosophy of science with Popper. Von Hayek wanted to pretend his version of economics was a different kind of science that incorporated the mind or intentions, a kind of a priori psychologizing. Von Hayek was also to a large degree designing a closed system that ruled out Marxism and a lot else, so he had that in common with Popper. But their proposed shibboleths, slogans, supposed touchstones for scientific were different. Were it not for their primary commitment being anti-Communist, they would ahve been resolute opponents, I think.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 19 2021 15:45 utc | 207

@Bemildred | Feb 19 2021 0:00 utc | 184

"Agreed, but ideology in this country and elsewhere has its focus 100% on CO2. And that is a 100% failure.

Oh, so now you want to talk about ideology.

I don't think I have stated I don't want to talk about ideology. Sometimes I point out that people use ideology instead of scientific arguments. That's more or less what I did there. I don't deny the existence of ideology, but replacing real science with ideology is a bad idea.

Also, in saying "this country" do you mean Norway?


Thank you for your comment.

The same!

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 19 2021 15:51 utc | 208

@uncle tungsten | Feb 19 2021 9:41 utc | 198
Thanks for the useful lesson on C8, much appreciated.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 19 2021 15:54 utc | 209

There is no argument about what's happening as the facts are capable of speaking for themselves through the increasing inability of fundamental oceanic organisms to reproduce in an increasingly acidic environment. This action threatens the stability of the ocean's trophic system--the food chain. As a carbon sink, the ocean is essentially overflowing.
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 17:55 utc | 139

You seem not to understand the proportions, the oceans contain about 40 to 80 times (!) more CO2 then the whole atmosphere. There is no 'overflowing'.
The oceans PH is basic not 'acidic'.

No showing of 'overflowing' CO2 in ocean data:

I have not seen any scientific research to show any 'inability of fundamental oceanic organism to reproduce in an increasing acidic environment' happening in the real world...

Do plants like CO2? Yes. We have about 20% (or more) increased plants productivity due to the increased CO2 in the last 100 years.
Historically the Earth has seen higher CO2 levels, trees evolved and grew in 1000+ ppm CO2.
Pls search a bit 'greening of the planet', it is really a good thing to see.
Why do almost all producers pump CO2 in their greenhouses?

BTW, trees did show CO2 starvation during the ice ages...
CO2 is not the climate controls knob, historically CO2 followed warming or cooling by a gap of about 800 years (see Antarctic ice cores)

Posted by: LP | Feb 19 2021 17:15 utc | 210

And North Korea yet again

US administration considering North Korean ‘malign activity’ in policy review

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 17:32 utc | 211

I'd like to pass on some useful information I read at naked capitalism yesterday -- it's about covid, so if you aren't interested, you can move on. I had already found this to be true for myself, at least as far as comfort wearing masks is concerned. The information was simply that a cloth mask gives one a humid environment in which to breath, which is uncomfortable for the virus, more so than for the wearer. My own experience has been with double masking cloth masks when shopping. I have my original padded, home made mask which is fitted nicely to my face lower regions but tends to slip slightly above the nostrils. That mask has three layers of old cotton undershirt quilted into it. (Nice and warm the cold weather we've been getting.)

My sister sent me some nifty cloth masks that are rather skimpy. These have loops over the ears while my original one ties at the back and above my head. I put on the new mask first, then my old one over that. The new one tends to slide up, while the old is very good under my chin. With the two in place I don't have to adjust either one and they feel very comfortable and even stylish.

So, just passing that on - and by the way my thought is that Iran is blessed to have such intelligent prospects for leadership. An indictment of the US education system is in order.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 19 2021 18:20 utc | 212

Sorry, in which to breathe.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 19 2021 18:22 utc | 213

@ juliania | Feb 19 2021 18:20 utc | 212

How was this masking tested for usefulness and efficiency in preventing the passing of any virus ?
Are you taking the diameter of the virus particle to be around 120 nm ( 1/600 th. the diameter of a human hair ) or other ? Comparative to the space between the threads of the material. Or is the virus carried on particles which can be stopped by this masking ?
Or, put in other words, how do you know of the effectiveness of that which you use to cover the mouth and nose orifices ?.

Posted by: Fíréan | Feb 19 2021 18:50 utc | 214

I suspect they will learn from this cold snap and put measures into place to prevent it happening in the future.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 18 2021 8:44 utc | 89

Note that the "math" was merely a statement from one of the Texas utility's website that stated how many homes can be powered by a megawatt for one second. Whether that's useful (or correct) in any way is irrelevant to my simple point that in fact Texas does have some hydropower generation capability.

As to your speculation that they will "put measures into place" - also irrelevant because they weren't in place now which they should have been. Both El Paso and Beaumont in Texas were fine during this major event because they are members of the Western and Eastern Interconnects, respectively. Those are regulated by FERC and after a similar weather event in 2011 the utilities and generators selling electricity were mandated to weatherize their equipment and take other preventive measures. ERCOT has failed to mandate similar actions many times. 1989, 2011, 2017 (Harvey), etc. To simply assume that anything will "fundamentally change" this time around is just putting your faith in these private, unregulated entities to take action due to political pressure. Indeed they should take action, but ERCOT is a broken system and subject to mismanagement and corruption, all of which are documented and date back decades.

What needs to happen is allowing federal regulation or Texas doing away with ERCOT and implementing an actual regulatory agency of their own that ensures accountability to the people and industries that are the customers. I wouldn't hold my breath on that.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 20:29 utc | 215


Same answer as to that above. Whether it's a "blip" is not the point I was making. Texas has the capability for hydropower, both currently in place and possible to expand upon in the future. I took the math from one of the utility's websites and how many homes it is possible to power according to them is not really relevant to my point that in fact it does exist in that state. I don't care to quibble about math when I wasn't claiming that hydropower makes up any particular % of CURRENT electrical generation in that state.

To that same idea, wind power "only" accounts for 13% of Texas' electricity generation capacity but outlets that you cite here often are falsely blaming the blackouts on wind turbines when in fact it was a massive failure of the LNG supplied generators. As stated above, the few areas of Texas with utilities that are members of different 'interconnects' didn't experience any significant, lasting blackouts. That is because they were mandated to winterize after the 2011 event whereas ERCOT was simply given suggestions (and passed to their generators) to winterize, which they didn't do. In fact they are disincentivized from doing so for reasons of profit and executive compensation.

Will they do it this time around even with (fake) political pressure from the ruling GOP and Greg Abbott? I doubt it, and if they do 100% of the costs will be passed down to the customer. Texas already has either the highest or close to the highest electricity costs in the USA. Why do you think that is? I thought they were the "energy capital" and "open for business." Maybe if Tesla and others rethink relocation to Texas as a result of this catastrophe, something will change. Otherwise the GOP and Abbott will kick the can down the road, slap ERCOT on the wrist and continue with business as usual.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 20:37 utc | 216

General note on hydropower in Texas: Indeed only 1% of that state's energy comes from hydropower. BUT there are 29 million residents in Texas, so that means 290,000 people rely on dams for their electricity (or at least part of it). That's not an insignificant number especially for more far-flung rural areas or small towns and cities such as those around the Amistad Dam for example.

GM is correct that hydropower isn't currently (or planned to be) a large part of Texas' energy generation capabilities, but even the state with the most hydropower (Washington) only gets 24% of their electricity from hydropower. The population of Washington is 7.65 million which means that about 1.8 million people get part or all of their electricity from it.

When taken on the whole, hydropower just isn't a big part of the overall energy generation capacity in the USA (or most other countries for that matter).

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 20:48 utc | 217

Norwegian | Feb 18 2021 17:41 utc | 136

The Earths atmosphere contains CO2 as a trace gas only, 400 parts per million, of which essentially all is entirely natural. 400 ppm is too little for efficient photosynthesis, that is why you can buy CO2 generators to put in greenhouses.

I read some research on this subject which said that some land crops preferred (did better with) more CO2 and some with less. What is clear however, is that some marine creatures that make shells out of calcium carbonate, are struggling to make shells as the acidity of the oceans increases.

The "fact" that 400ppm makes it a "trace", is really neither here nor there, given time, a "trace" of HCN will kill you and so will a "trace" of CO. A trace of radon will give you cancer, while a trace of O3 (ozone) will kill covid-19 spores and is not very good for humans to breathe for long periods. Traces of trymethyl tin, in concentrations of a very few parts per billion, are enough to disrupt the sexual development of sea creatures.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 19 2021 20:51 utc | 218

Seems it wasn't weather or ERCOT it was the Russians,,

You'll never guess who is seizing on life-threatening cold weather in the U.S. to fear-monger about... Russia!

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 20:55 utc | 219

@vk #180
Your ongoing divorce from reality is obstructing even your theoretical capability to reason.
First - I never said frozen windmills. What I said was that the grid buildout for the Texas wind buildout seems to have come at the expense of the maintenance of the existing Texas energy grid.
Secondly, Texas may be a red state but they have over 150 wind farms with 60,000 wind turbines and 30,000 MW of nameplate capacity. Every single one of the 60,000 wind turbines had some significant amount of electrical grid expansion to connect it, as well as the secondary infrastructure needed to control and direct this variable power.
Thirdly, the "Green New Deal" or whatever scamcronym pops up has been ongoing for decades. Obama had any number of high profile alternative energy failures to accompany the actual functioning - albeit heavily subsidized - working alternative energy.
But thanks again for chiming in with irrelevancies and lack of reality.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 20:57 utc | 220

@steven t johnson #179
It is truly amazing how you can insert major errors in everything you post.
If "averages" don't matter - then the so-called global warming doesn't matter either because the increasing temperature numbers are averages.
In particular - high temperatures (the highs of a day or other period) are not visibly increasing. What is increasing are the low temperatures (i.e. the lowest temperatures of the day or period).
That is what is driving up the average - which is the panic button number posted regularly.
The problem again is the in the real world - the actual temperature swings far, far more than the 1.6-ish degrees C of "average temperature increase" since whatever scamcronym starting point the modelers choose.
Why again is a lack of actual higher temperatures plus an overall average swing of a small fraction of a normal daily temperature swing, damaging?
I repeat: climate modelers are the only profession which make economists look good.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 21:02 utc | 221

@foolisholdman #218
Are you indoors at this moment? If so, it is very likely the CO2 is 1000 ppm. This is not an unusual level indoors, particularly in either confined spaces or with a lot of people.
400 ppm isn't harmful - neither is 1000 ppm.
The Earth has had 3000 and higher ppm CO2 in its past - it was actually the more biodiverse eras which had the high CO2 levels.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 21:07 utc | 222

We should watch closely the messaging coming from the Texas GOP and right wingers in America regarding the causes and results of the "once in a century" winter storm.

Already the corporate "liberal" American media is ignoring this kind of language. Once in a century? You mean like 2011? Like 1989? Like Harvey was a "once in a generation" hurricane? Bullshit. These things are happening once a decade now. Why is that? Because the sun is heating the Earth more than normal? Because of vocanos? Because of cow farts? Or could man-made CO2 actually be playing a big role in it?

Who wants to bet that there won't be another "once in a century" storm somewhere in the US later this year or next year? LOL

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 21:13 utc | 223

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 21:07 utc | 222

Who cares about indoor CO2 levels? I have a meter right here next to me. Currently it says 978 ppm. When I open a window that drops to 400 or less. So what is your point with regard to the environment outdoors?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 21:15 utc | 224

robie | Feb 18 2021 16:12 utc | 123

I wonder how it is possible nobody has publicly raised this obvious discrepancy - may be it is too late and similar thoughts are kind of blasphemy ?

Since it is clear that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, i.e. it helps to trap the Sun's heat and it is clear that the Earth is getting warmer, for whatever reason, and the warming is having a deleterious effect on the weather, it seems a stupid idea to push more CO2 into the atmosphere if we can avoid doing so.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 19 2021 21:16 utc | 225

Fascinating presentation provided for Putin by Head of the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring Yury Chikhanchin which I would describe as actions to control corruption and criminal activity in the widest sense of what compromises the financial sphere. Much is being accomplished with billions of rubles being returned to the budget or impounded along with the opening of several thousand criminal cases. Also a method's been devised to track crypto currency transactions since they're often used in criminal schemes. Of further interest is this service's working with several nations which are avowedly Russophobic, and its involvement with anti-terrorism and sanctions work. Like I said, fascinating!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2021 21:17 utc | 226

The Earth has had 3000 and higher ppm CO2 in its past - it was actually the more biodiverse eras which had the high CO2 levels.
Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 21:07 utc | 222

CO2 even at Hawaii's volcanos usually tops out at less than 500ppm

That Smithsonian article would seem to contradict what you wrote. When were global average CO2 levels EVER above, say, 1500 ppm?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 21:18 utc | 227

For the troll trying to discredit me on Ocean Acidification and the Climate Crisis, Read this, although I really doubt that will occur. Naysayers are anchored to their positions and no amount of facts can pry them free from their purchase as I've discovered over the years in trying to do so. As I wrote above and several times over the years, the Climate Crisis's basic fundamentals are explained by high school physics, that is if that subject's still taught.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2021 21:26 utc | 228

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 20:57 utc | 220

OK, that's enough BS.

"What I said was that the grid buildout for the Texas wind buildout seems to have come at the expense of the maintenance of the existing Texas energy grid."

Cite your sources for that ridiculous claim. Texas has some of the most expensive energy/electricity in the USA. Any expenses related to wind power are passed straight to the customer and you're regurgitating fossil fuel lobbyist talking points now without providing any legitimate sources for these claims.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 21:36 utc | 229

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 21:18 utc | 227

To correct my post, CO2 levels NEAR Hawaii's volcanos...not actually on them.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 21:54 utc | 230

@K_C_ | Feb 19 2021 20:37 utc | 216

Updated info on the Texas ERCOT electrical energy production mix:

According to Wikipedia 2019 figures, the hydropower contribution *blip* is only 0.25% of Texas total power production (I said above that the hydropower blip was 0.45%; my bad).

If they did not do more hydropower in Texas historically, it was most likely for sound economic, civil engineering/geological, and land use reasons.

It is probably pointless to remind some on this board, but Texas is not in the best geographic situation for exploiting hydropower. Topographically (the high mountain areas [large vertical drops] are nearly all in the arid/low population areas in the far west of the state.

With respect to hydrology, the eastern third of state-- where most population centers/power needs are, does seasonally have plenty of water volumes and flow, but i is mostly flat/ low elevation <100-250 m (low vertical drops/low potential energy) with country underlaid by crumbly/porous sedimentary basement geology. It takes a little technical background to grasp this, I suppose. Suffice it to say it is not the same setup as easily exploitable places like NZ, BC, or the Pacific NW.

If Bill Gates, WEF and the big green tech global warming cultists have 'incentivized' the rubberstamping ERCOT leadership/board of directors [currently hiding out in undisclosed locations], and the bought off/corrupted polticians of all stripes, going back probably 30 years, to build cheap unwinterized windmills, uninsulated natgas processing/extraction infrastructures, inadequately redundant nuke plant cooling/safety systems ((all these systems went down horribly during this cold snap [and also back in Feb 2011 as well]), well I guess that is just a hard lesson to everyone.

One that the fake media most certainly will be trying to obfuscate, cover-up, and blame shift on.

Posted by: gm | Feb 19 2021 22:47 utc | 231

vk | Feb 18 2021 12:47 utc | 107
Yes a very interesting and well-written paper. Thanks!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 19 2021 23:20 utc | 232

breakdown of energy sources in british columbia...

Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – British Columbia

Posted by: james | Feb 19 2021 23:21 utc | 233

Smith | Feb 18 2021 12:32 utc | 105

At that point, why is there a need for private companies at all? Why pay these fat cats? To quote the chinese, this is nursing the tiger so it can eat you.

The problem as we found out in postwar UK, is that if you have socialist , "Nationalized" companies and a capitalist government (even one disguised as "socialist", as ours was) the managers are still the same old bosses, just paid by the state instead of from the profits and the company is run so as to subsidize big private firms. So for example British Electricity supplied Imperial Chemical Industies Ltd, ( a privately owned firm) with extremely cheap power and British Coal supplied it with dirt-cheap coal and British Rail transported stuff for it for very little. As a result the books showed that the "Nationalized" firms made massive losses. The MSM seized on this and continually trumpeted "Socialism is all very well, but it Always makes a loss!!"

In the end, after the run-down industries had been rebuilt, at the working class's expense and "Socialism" had been well and truly discredited, a series of Conservative governments sold off the refurbished industries to their friends, for pennies on the pound.

To have socialist industries in a capitalist society, it seems the only possibility is to form cooperatives. There are a few that survive and even prosper but it is not easy to start and they face quite a lot of hostility from the ptb.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 19 2021 23:46 utc | 234

Climate science wrong? Hardly, it has been incredibly accurate over the past 50 years. If you think climate science is lacking accuracy, you have not been studying climate science...likely getting information from Big Oil funded think tanks who hire the same people as big tobacco did to spin confusion.

I work for NOAA developing oyster genetics. Oysters are having a hard time adapting to ocean acidification, warmer ocean temperature and rising sea levels. All three of those variables have been accurately predicted by climate science dating back to the 1960's.

It seems the denialists like to bring up this climate change or that climate change from the past as proof that the current climate change isn't man-made. They act like people who have spent their lives studying climate somehow overlooked this.
No shit Sherlock, that is 4th grade level understanding you have mastered!

Hate to break it to you, but assuming because climate changed happened in the past without homo sapiens means that current climate change isn't caused by homo sapiens is halfwit logic.

The wild-eyed nutters bending over for big oil and braying their nonsense are generally religious fanatics, and like many westerners, love to project.

Not that it matters much at this point. Florida is already going underwater, by 2030 we will see mass migrations from the deep coastal south which is unfortunate because I'd prefer they stay where they are.

The amount of greenhouse gasses (yes methane from cow farts qualify as such) already in the atmosphere has baked 50 more years of warming into the system, even if we stopped emitting now. That amount will likely collapse civilization, the result of the disorder being nuclear war.

On the bright side, the warmer planet will make surviving nuclear winter more possible.

Like Karlof1 says, it is an impossible conversation to have with denialists, they are fanatically religious. The younger generation's are much wiser, considering they will have to try and survive the worsening climate conditions, that makes sense.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 19 2021 23:52 utc | 235

Thanks for asking, Firean @ 214; here you go:


Hydrating the Respiratory Tract: An Alternative Explanation Why Masks Lower Severity of COVID-19 (pre-proof) (PDF) Biophysical Journal. From the Abstract: “We demonstrate that normal breathing results in an absorptiondesorption cycle inside facemasks, where super-saturated air is absorbed by the mask fibers during expiration, followed by evaporation during inspiration of dry environmental air. For double-layered cotton masks, which have considerable heat capacity, the temperature of inspired air rises above room temperature, and the effective increase in relative humidity can exceed 100%. We propose that the recently reported, disease-attenuating effect of generic facemasks is dominated by the strong humidity increase of inspired air. This elevated humidity promotes mucociliary clearance of pathogens from the lungs, both before and after an infection of the upper respiratory tract has occurred. Effective mucociliary clearance can delay and reduce infection of the lower respiratory tract, thus mitigating disease severity. This mode of action suggests that masks can benefit the wearer even after an infection in the upper respiratory tract has occurred, complementing the traditional function of masks to limit person-to-person disease transmission. This potential therapeutical use should be studied further. ” The Daily Mail’s retelling (nvl).

My point addressed my experience double masking. You appear to be skeptical on the entire issue. Good luck with that!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 20 2021 0:01 utc | 236

RE: "On the bright side, the warmer planet will make surviving nuclear winter more possible."

-Jason | Feb 19 2021 23:52 utc | 235

Well, using that logic, should the people suffering in cold w/o food, water, electricity in Texas now consider the glass half-full? That is, just think how much *worse* (colder) things would be for them now w/o global CO2 climate warming?

Also, please allow me to rephrase one of my statements from #231 above:

What I meant to say was "... Bill Gates, WEF and the big green tech global warming (GW) snake-oil hucksters..."

The GW cultists/Moonies are the unfortunate victims deceived by the GloboCap hucksters' full-spectrum 2.5 decade long indoctrination program.

Hopefully the victims will eventually wake up, smell the coffee, and realize they have been duped.

Posted by: gm | Feb 20 2021 0:41 utc | 237

c1ue@221 continues to get it wrong. I wrote "I will note that any 'argument' relying on the premise that averages aren't meaningful---as opposed to criticizing a particular method of averaging as undersampled or well, any actual criticism---is in the 'not even wrong' category of error." c1ue misreads this somehow as to mean I'm saying the opposite, that averages are meaningless. (The comment was inspired by another commenter by the way whose user name I've forgotten, but c1ue's vanity misleads.)

But then, to contradict the implication c1ue wanted to make, that averages *are* meaningful, c1ue in a silly attempt at a rhetorical "gotcha!" asks the question of why the average temperature rising matters when the highest temperatures aren't rising so much, but most of the increase is in the lowest ones. The amount of evaporation from soil increases, for one thing. The plants that grow better at the lower temperatures and/or lose water by transpiration at higher temperatures suffer. Many plants whose germination is triggered by temperature changes are affected. (Some plants even require freezing before they can germinate.) In any given site, the effects are various, maybe minimal and sometimes may be locally beneficial. But globally? Widespread changes in the composition of the ecosystem has highly unpredictable effects. But one thing is known: Rapid climate change can overwhelm the ability of forests to migrate. (And yes, forests do migrate, as seeds dispersed into the areas newly receptive sprout and grow, while the seeds dispersed into the areas becoming less favorable, don't.)

Change is frightening for most people, but change is inevitable. It is too soon to counsel despair over the technical ability of humanity at large to adapt to the ongoing changes in the biosphere. It is the political factor that may doom humanity, the refusal to take the challenges seriously. Knee jerk climate change denialism is motivated reasoning in defense of the status quo. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we are not threatening the status quo---the status quo is changing all on its own---but denialism will disarm us all. Being defeated is one thing, but refusing to fight, is cowardice.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 20 2021 1:01 utc | 238

Trying to get a message through:

I am sure that Levy and McCrae have recognized that when Alex Salmond goes into the Fabiani quagmire and raises his hand he puts himself in the same position as the Anglia Television Directors following the takeover by MAI in 1994.

Do not underestimate the malevolence of the opposition. If Alex leaves ANY opening they will take it. Look at poor Julian.

If they get Alex he won-t come out.

I know he has been provoked.
I know he wants his @day in court@
I know he always leads from the front.

But if he goes in on anything less than 100% of the protections demanded by Levy and McCrae AT LEAST, he will live to regret it. Or rather, he will not live to regret it.

Thank you.

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 20 2021 1:04 utc | 239

@ steven t johnson | Feb 20 2021 1:01 utc | 238

What is this? Beta-testing of an AI-generated social media word salad program?

Posted by: gm | Feb 20 2021 1:14 utc | 240

Bill Gates' Dainty Carbon Footprint: (6 min)

Posted by: gm | Feb 20 2021 1:49 utc | 241

Update on Texas:

Nearly 15Mln Texans Affected by Water System Disruptions Due to Weather

It appears gas supply disruptions are coming. Hard to say what can be done about the water system problems in the short term. I don't think little water bottles are going to fix it.

COVID appears to be in decline just about everywhere now, I hope this cold blast does not lead to a change.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 20 2021 2:08 utc | 242

I just finished watching Princess of the Yen that Grieved provide the link to

I want to encourage VK and any who believe her BS to watch the movie and then come back and continue to lie about the world banking systems.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 20 2021 2:56 utc | 243

For the troll trying to discredit me on Ocean Acidification and the Climate Crisis, Read this, although I really doubt that will occur. Naysayers are anchored to their positions and no amount of facts can pry them free from their purchase as I've discovered over the years in trying to do so. As I wrote above and several times over the years, the Climate Crisis's basic fundamentals are explained by high school physics, that is if that subject's still taught.
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2021 21:26 utc | 228

Here from the troll: no intention to discredit anyone, just pointing the facts.
From your posted link, reading for you as you seem unable to do it due to the green glasses.
(now, just poking a little, don't take it personally pls)

The ocean’s average pH is now around 8.1, which is basic (or alkaline)

There is a sentence "Ocean acidification is already impacting many ocean species" not supported by anything. Typical alarmism there are a lot of might could and would. Unfortunately a lot in science has been corrupted and is used in various ways.

Please, no projections have seen enough BS, just facts. Tell me when the oceans' average is down to 8.0.

"Although climate models suggest the ocean’s surface pH has dropped from pH 8.2 to 8.1 since 1750, that change was never actually measured. The pH drop is merely a modeled conjecture that is, unfortunately, constantly repeated as fact.

Posted by: LP | Feb 20 2021 8:48 utc | 244

@ juliania | Feb 20 2021 0:01 utc | 236

Thank you for your reply to my previous post. I followed up the information which you gave in your reply and came to this -

Short quote from the link article :
"We propose that the attenuating effect of face masks on COVID-19 severity (5,26) is dominated by the substantial increase in the effective humidity of inspired air, by which the mask acts as a temporary water storage site. The mask absorbs much of the water in exhaled breath that becomes supersaturated upon cooling when exiting the mouth; upon subsequent inspiration of dry air, this water evaporates and thereby humidifies the air that passes through this hydrated mask. We measured the magnitude of the effect at temperatures ranging from 8 to 37°C and for different types of mask material. Whereas all masks tested result in substantial humidification, the effect is strongest for high-density cotton masks, for which the high heat capacity of such masks aids in heating and humidifying the inspired air, resulting in effective increases above the environmental humidity that can exceed 100%. Hence, such masks act as rudimentary equivalents to the more effective heat-exchanger masks introduced decades ago to mitigate cold-induced asthma (28,29). " /end quote.

I will follow through with the notes given therein at the end of the article .

Meanwhile, regards to "skepticism ".
" Skepticism, . . . is a key part of critical thinking – a goal of education. The term skeptic is derived from the Greek skeptikos, meaning “to inquire” or “look around.” Skeptics requires additional evidence before accepting someone’s claims as true. They are willing to challenge the status quo with open-minded, deep questioning of authority. " ( just one quote on the postive aspects, and need for, "Skepticism ')

Thank you for your good luck wishes, yet required takes more than good luck. Hence resort to critical thinking and good study. One firstly takes responsibility for ones own health before delegating responsibility and giving trust to others .

Posted by: Fíréan | Feb 20 2021 13:40 utc | 245

Left out by EU, Eastern Europe scrambles for Russian, Chinese vaccines

Discarded like useless old dogs.

Sometimes you are what you are.

Posted by: vk | Feb 20 2021 14:50 utc | 246

gm@240 gives an example of the internet principle that pretending not to understand English is an admission of defeat in argument. Also, that gm doesn't know what "word salad" means. And that gm attributes magical powers to "AI."

And it's still true: c1ue misread my rebuttal to another commenter's claim that averages are meaningless, into the opposite. Then after saying averages are meaningful, promptly proceeded to imply a specific average *wasn't* meaningful, asking what difference it made if the average was rising. c1ue was incoherent but that's not "word salad" either, by the way.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 20 2021 15:26 utc | 248

@ psychohistorian | Feb 20 2021 2:56 utc | 243... glad you liked that princes of the yen movie... i did too when i watched it, maybe less then a year ago!

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2021 17:01 utc | 249

@ james | Feb 20 2021 17:01 utc | 249 with the follow up about Princess of the Yen

I have read about how the Asian Tigers were taken down but didn't have a bigger picture view of the Japan part.

Have you read The Shock Doctrine? It is about the same Central Bank set up, establish and oligarchy and rape the commoners that went on through South America and is about to happen to America and Canada too.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 20 2021 17:18 utc | 250

psychohistorian... - i haven't read the shock doctrine - is that naomi klein?? i see it is... i read the book after that one - This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.- i thought it was a good book.. informative and on point...

hasn't it already happened in canada and the usa?? how would you articulate how it hasn't happened yet~! you are kind of scaring me! i think what is happening now is blackrock is taking over everything... not sure how long that lasts for... we are living in a totally fictitious financial reality at present, but it seems to be working - until it doesn't...

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2021 17:41 utc | 251

i think naomi is a canuck too as memory serves... she might live in vancouver.. that is what i remember from the book.. i might be wrong..

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2021 17:43 utc | 252

@ james

Yes, Nomi Klein lives somewhere in Canada I believe.

If you are rich then I would worry but if you don't have anything then you have nothing to lose.....
This next crash is meant to smash what remains of the middle class in the US and Canada and take all their invested money in equities/bonds. Real estate values will crash along with other prices to some new normal with lots of folks losing their homes because they can't keep the payments up.

I have no idea when this crash happens but it seems imminent. The US Fed has been propping up the private banking system since September of 2019 and last year in June they stopped reporting the daily REPO data....

The world needs an Occupy Wall Street 2.0 that finishes the job of eliminating private finance in favor of public focused finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 20 2021 18:13 utc | 253

@ psychohistorian.. thanks.... we own our house and love where we live... if this place went to zero - we would still love it! i have nothing in the equity/bond markets.. my wife has some.... i guess this is the 64,000 question - when does the bubble burst?? it is very hard to predict, but it will eventually happen.. cheers james

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2021 19:47 utc | 254

@steven t johnson #238
You think you are witty, but you're only half right.
The definition of the delusion: triumph of hope over realism is reading any of your posts.
Your understanding of history is wrong, your reasoning is poor, your ability to independently think and research is nonexistent, and your Dunning-Kruger like belief in your own debate skills is the most terrify part.
The facts are the facts: despite now 35 years of "the sky is falling" - the sky isn't falling.
Despite trillions in spending on magic alternative energy, followed by multiple months of literal lockdowns - CO2 levels have not changed nor has human behavior.
Rational people look at generation long failures and think - maybe this isn't the right way to go.
But ideological puppets can only keep repeating the same tired mantras every time their wind-up springs are pulled.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 20 2021 21:55 utc | 255

c1ue@255 displays more incompetence. The claims that I'm wrong would give me food for thought if ever there were actual examples of elementary errors. Misreading my attack on the idea that averages are meaningless as a claim that averages are meaningless, is an example of genuine incompetence, as opposed to an unsupported assertion. That's nothing but malice and malice is not an argument.

In addition to poor literacy skills, c1ue hides the supposedly-superior research skills that produced the figure of trillions in spending. A source would make this point so much stronger. Adding "magic" to alternative energy does not. Adjectives are not arguments. Plus of course, good reasoning about numbers would compare the money invested in alternative energy to the money invested into fossil fuel energy. Liars can play tricks with percentages to provide an illusion of significance...but liars can avoid percentages in order to give a false impression.

A note on history? When I have cited history I have usually cited a left-wing viewpoint which is *not* dependent thinking or repetition of the standard story. c1ue's nonsense is forgettable *because* it's nonsense, the way random numbers are harder to remember than a regular sequence. But I'm pretty sure c1ue is offended by my history because it is not always the same old orthodoxy.

And it's still true that a higher average temperature will---for one single effect---increase the amount of evaporation from the soil, affecting plant life, even if the highest temperatures don't change much. c1ue implying otherwise (as ignoring the answer c1ue *asked for* implies) is very much like saying that a crock pot won't cook because it's temperatures are not as high as the oven's.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 20 2021 22:46 utc | 256

RE: gm@240 gives an example of the internet principle that pretending not to understand English is an admission of defeat in argument. Also, that gm doesn't know what "word salad" means. And that gm attributes magical powers to "AI."

-steven t johnson | Feb 20 2021 15:26 utc | 248

Sorry, but maybe you should get a room?

In other words, if you can't make your shared post at least partly comprehensible/follow-able to the casual peruser of the thread, then perhaps you should take it private.

Posted by: gm | Feb 20 2021 22:55 utc | 257

Thanks, Fíréan @ 245 -- your post is most interesting, more detail! Apologies for my misapprehension - You are absolutely correct: critical thinking and good study, well said -- we all need to act on these principles. Best wishes for good health!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 21 2021 1:44 utc | 258

Again, I'd like to commend Firean @ 145 for following up on the comment I had made about a link at Naked Capitalism concerning the humid environment of facemasks with respect to respiratory infections and specifically Covid. He kindly geve a link at the above comment which goes to more detail in examining this concept, and I would recommend strongly that article be carefully read. Here are a few more extracted segments:

"...the high heat capacity of the mask causes it to function like a rudimentary heat and humidity exchanger, warming and heating the inspired air to values much closer to those in the lower respiratory tract than of room air..."

"...At all temperatures, the humidification resulting from the heavy cotton mask is about double that of a surgical mask with the N95 and cotton/polyester cloth mask falling in between..."

The article goes on to disagree with the concept that in allowing a few virus particles through, a mask may inoculate the wearer, since observations show that rate of infection increases linearly with exposure, and indeed cloth masks are relatively poor at filtering out incoming aerosols. Yet they are proven to be effective, hence the targeting of the humidity and temperature factors.

It is also finally concluded that as well as the mask environment, there has to be considered how well a mask fits around the face, so that the tighter fitting masks perform better overall. One would want ideally to perfect that fit, and perhaps that is why my double fabric mask felt so comfortable, as it takes care of any gaps better than one mask alone.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 21 2021 2:30 utc | 259

Take that, Bill Gates!

Data Shows Wind-Power Was Chief Culprit Of Texas Grid Collapse

Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 3:09 utc | 260

Cool story, bro:

Covid-19 led to a massive housing boom in the U.S.

The numbers don't lie. I just don't think they mean what the analysts from Bloomberg think they mean...

Posted by: vk | Feb 21 2021 3:31 utc | 261

@ Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 3:09 utc | 260

The report you linked stated the two main problems were lack of winterization and the fact that Texan grid is not connected to the outside grid (federal?), so there was no "plan B". Both problems are directly linked with the lack of investment in infrastructure.

It never stated the problem was with wind.

Posted by: vk | Feb 21 2021 3:36 utc | 262

Meanwhile, from Indian Marxist news: With media blitz, China crafts new narrative on border crisis

Posted by: Antonym | Feb 21 2021 4:15 utc | 263

IN China, guys like Ted Cruz would prolly get a firing squad…

Posted by: denk | Feb 21 2021 5:07 utc | 264

Well, now we have an American corporation making unilateral international political decisions....who to support

(Reuters) - Facebook on Sunday deleted the main page of the Myanmar military under it standards prohibiting the incitement of violence, the company said, a day after two protesters were killed when police opened fire at a demonstration against the Feb 1 coup.

“In line with our global policies, we’ve removed the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page from Facebook for repeated violations of our Community Standards prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm,” a Facebook representative said in a statement.

The Myanmar military is known as the Tatmadaw. Its True News page was no available on Sunday.

The military spokesman did not respond to a Reuters phone call seeking comment.

Two people were killed in Myanmar’s second city Mandalay on Saturday when police and soldiers fired at protesters demonstrating against the overthrow of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, emergency workers said, the bloodiest day in more than two weeks of demonstrations.

Facebook in recent years has engaged with civil rights activists and democratic political parties in Myanmar and pushed back against the military after coming under heavy international criticism for failing to contain online hate campaigns.

In 2018, it banned army chief Min Aung Hlaing - now the military ruler - and 19 other senior officers and organisations, and took down hundreds of pages and accounts run by military members for coordinated inauthentic behaviour.

Ahead of November elections, Facebook announced it had taken down a network of 70 fake accounts and pages operated by members of the military that had posted either positive content about the army or criticism of Suu Kyi and her party.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 21 2021 6:45 utc | 265

I haven't seen this reported here

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Several rockets hit the Iraqi military air base of Balad north of Baghdad on Saturday, injuring one Iraqi contractor, Iraqi security officials said on Saturday.

No group immediately claimed the attack. It was the second salvo of rockets to hit a base hosting U.S. forces or contractors in less than a week.

The Iraqi military said four rockets hit the base. Iraqi security officials initially said three rockets had hit and told Reuters the contractor had suffered non-lethal injuries.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Armed groups that some Iraqi officials say are backed by Iran have claimed similar incidents in the past, including an attack last week on the Erbil International Airport compound. The attack killed a contractor working with U.S. forces at the military base part of the compound.

Iran-aligned paramilitary groups demand that all foreign troops, including U.S. forces who number around 2,500 in Iraq, leave the country, calling their presence an occupation.

A U.S.-led coalition whose mission is to fight Islamic State militants is still stationed in Iraq, as well as a NATO-led mission that trains Iraqi security forces.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 21 2021 6:49 utc | 266

Facebook censored the Aus govt and now the Myanmar govt.

They are now stronger than any government.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 21 2021 7:48 utc | 267

In spite of the Texan troubles, watch out for this if you are a "fin-du-monde" fan. Edgar Cayce prophesied that the "earth changes" would be signaled when Etna erupted, and would include the US being divided by being invaded by the sea. (Mississipi basin). Texans, visit Florida while you still can without taking a boat....

Pretty pictures, even if you don't really believe him.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 21 2021 11:08 utc | 268

@ vk | Feb 21 2021 3:36 utc | 262

Yes. The problems in Texas were due to them not winterizing their power infrastructures to handle cold snaps, and a domino collapse of the entire TX grid happened when a predictable Feb cold snap came (similar but longer than the one that happened ten years earlier in TX in Feb.2011).

TX is probably wise though, to avoid tying into the rickety national grid system.

Remember the Great NE US (and Ontario Canada) August 14, 2003 blackout, where 50 million customer accounts from NYC to SE Michigan lost power for days, triggered by a single tree falling on a power line in Ohio, in clear weather, in mid afternoon?

Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 11:21 utc | 269

FB stronger than governments? As long as you have a few billions customers, you bet you are stronger than a gov. But that does not mean that the customers are not being willingly fooled by FB.

Posted by: Mina | Feb 21 2021 12:01 utc | 270

@vk | Feb 21 2021 3:36 utc | 262

Re: It never stated the problem was with wind.

Well if you think about it for a minute, it actually is/was.

The land-based unwinterized windmills in TX are mounted high up in the wind 75-100 meters above ground,

and thus are exposed to more severe weather/cold *sooner* than other power system infrastructure (well heads, pipelines, separators etc.) down on/in the ground.

Thus the unwinterized land-based windmills were the first system components to freeze up, and the first 'dominoes in the TX grid to fall', if you will, in the chain reaction collapse of the power system.

Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 12:32 utc | 271

Jesus christ, I just discover new smartphones don't even come with chargers anymore.

Apple did it first, for "green" reasons, now Samsung and now Xiami follow the leaders.

This is just terrible, next I guess they will just sell the screen and we have to buy the phone separately. Freaking capitalist greed.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 21 2021 13:50 utc | 272

Smith | Feb 21 2021 13:50 utc | 272

good grief! is that really something to complain about? You really don't already have 5 or 6 USB chargers? and should you not, is it not possible to pick up a charger for a few bucks?

perhaps you are too young to remember when every phone had its own proprietary charger. why would you be upset that a useless or redundant power supply is no longer packaged with the phone?

definitely a first world problem.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 21 2021 14:27 utc | 273

@ Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 12:32 utc | 271

But the "dominos" only fell because the private companies administering it weren't required to have excess capacity as is the normal (as the linked report itself states). When you run at full capacity all the time, every fall in output will generate an outage. And eventually, as the linked report also states, the gas infrastructure also failed - only some moments later. The dominos were going to fall, with or without wind, because there was no cushion. There was no cushion because the Texas grid is privatized, and those private companies operated at the limits of the infrastructure because it is more profitable.

But even then, the Texas grid could have gotten away with murder if they had a secondary source (aka plan B), i.e. if they were connected to the federal grid. They weren't because of historical reasons: Texas is the most independence-minded of all American states, and, in 1935, it refused to be regulated by the new Federal Act, so they cut themselves off from the federal grid.

Besides, there's no excuse not to winterize your energy grid. Forget about climate change or unusual weather. There's a little thing called meteorology stations. They can see a snowstorm or a hurricane coming months in advance. Didn't the Texas meteorology services know a big fucking snowstorm was coming? Of course they did - Ted Cruz planned his trip to Cancún because he new of this. The Texas grid administrators, therefore, had months to winterize their infrastructure. They didn't because it is not profitable.

Posted by: vk | Feb 21 2021 14:32 utc | 274

And it's still true that a higher average temperature will---for one single effect---increase the amount of evaporation from the soil, affecting plant life, even if the highest temperatures don't change much. c1ue implying otherwise (as ignoring the answer c1ue *asked for* implies) is very much like saying that a crock pot won't cook because it's temperatures are not as high as the oven's.
Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 20 2021 22:46 utc | 256

The above is sophistry combined with oversimplification: talking about the increased in evaporation that would be caused by half or one degree Celsius ignoring reality:
- plants do like more CO2 and grow better with increased CO2 - see link below
- plants can better withstand droughts with increased CO2 (!)
- there is no measured increased evaporation or increased droughts except in climate models
- satellite measurements show 20% increased greening
- satellite measured warming shows +0.12°C for January 2021 to the running average (UAH)
There is also a medieval warm period info as well as ocean 'acidification' database. It is simple science data.

Posted by: LP | Feb 21 2021 15:26 utc | 275

@ vk | Feb 21 2021 14:32 utc | 274

It is not clear from what I have read how much autonomy/independence/immunity from local political control that ERCOT power grid corporate leadership has over major directions/budgets/planning, but I get the sense they are sort of like the FED, ie. Federal Reserve, for Texas electrical power decision/policy-making.

Clearly ERCOT knew well in advance that some very rough and prolonged weather was in headed for a big area of the state,

and I read somewhere from a local TX news source recently (although can't locate the exact link at the moment) that the ERCOT CEO Bill Magness and the board of directors held a [probably on-line] meeting on FEB 9, where the approaching weather/storm was an agenda item, and was discussed for a grand total of only forty (*40*) seconds [!!] during the Feb 9 meeting.

Five of the ERCOT directors, including the Chair and and vice-Chair, don't/never even live/ed in-State, and another three of the present directors were serving in their same seats during the last (2011) TX cold-snap induced power outage (after which they appointed a 'lessons learned' follow-up study commission, and then did NOT adopt any of the commission's winterization recommendations).

[Sounds like a real sh!tshow of rubber-stamping recycled bureaucrats and BS-ing lawyers on that ERCOT board.]

And as to your assumptions of inadequate reserve power capacity in TX, from what I have read, there is plenty of endogenously produced reserve capacity in the TX system---enough to keep the entire state comfortably air-conditioned for 8+ months out of the year.

What happened appears to be a domino-effect collapse of the entire TX system, and if Texas had been tied into the [decrepit] national grid (also run by many the same inbred/incestuous stock of seat-warming incompetent rubber-stampers as those apparently on the ERCOT leadership/ board), the collapse might just as likely could have propagated in a wave of collapse throughout the entire tied-in system.

Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 16:55 utc | 276

@ dan of steele

I am not first world and this issue affects everyone equally, everyone is forced to pay for a charger separately, wasting more money and not being able to use the phone.

Why do you make excuses for the corporations? They can shelve the charger for a few bucks but we are forced to pay more, why?

Posted by: Smith | Feb 21 2021 23:11 utc | 277

Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 16:55 utc | 276

Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting your comment, but if I'm reading it right you're literally 180 degrees from the truth and 100% wrong. In fact, IF 90% of Texas had been tied into the other regional grids (Western and Eastern Interconnects), then there would have been few blackouts and they would have lasted minutes, not hours. This is borne out by the very reality of El Paso, Beaumont and other towns in the panhandle that are not part of ERCOT's grid.

This was a GOP legislated, deregulation-based failure of epic proportions in the state that you correctly cite as being potentially energy independent because of a once in a DECADE freeze and incentivized refusal to winterize their equipment.

Texas == Fail. Period. Now will the rest of the states let those idiots secede (after the Texas GOP has received $4Bn in federal aid)? I hope they do and I'm from Texas. Time for them to learn their lesson. Federal regulations and a lower profit motive protected El Paso and Beaumont. Profiteering, lobbying and conservative GOP politics caused many of my relatives to be plunged into darkness for DAYS in sub 20 degree F temperatures. There are pictures of Texas towns and grocery stores that I could swear I've seen the US corporate illiberal media pushing every day about Venezuela, Iran, Russia and Cuba.

But here's another thing still.....Is California "dunking" on Texas like Texas Republicans did to California when they had rolling BROWNouts a few summers ago? Also, where's John Cornyn? Missing in action, probably in Cancun where Teddy F-Lyin Cruz had to cut his trip short.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 22 2021 6:41 utc | 278


This is the part of your post with which I disagree vehemently. The rest of what you wrote about ERCOT and Texas is 100% factually accurate.

What happened appears to be a domino-effect collapse of the entire TX system, and if Texas had been tied into the [decrepit] national grid (also run by many the same inbred/incestuous stock of seat-warming incompetent rubber-stampers as those apparently on the ERCOT leadership/ board), the collapse might just as likely could have propagated in a wave of collapse throughout the entire tied-in system.

This article might be helpful for you. It's a straight up deception (lie) to call the other grids "decrepit" and your source is dead wrong. Trust me as a former El Pasoan - AND - Texan.

ERCOT and its utilities are the "decrepit" portions of Texas' grid. That's just the unvarnished truth. Literally the exact opposite of what the idiot at the link you shared is saying. He might as well be one of the ERCOT board members who don't live in, and never have lived in Texas. Just sayin'

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 22 2021 6:47 utc | 279

To gm and whoever else might still be reading, I apologize for the formatting shitshow I just added above. No idea how that stuff ended up on block quotes. Hopefully y'all (that's the Texan in me) can still make sense of it.

P.S. to gm - I appreciate your consistent civility even though I often think you're posting sources and ideas that are disingenuous in nature. You're a good guy in my book, even though we disagree on a lot, for example that the election was not, in fact, stolen. At least not in November, LOL.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 22 2021 6:50 utc | 280

_K_C_ #280

even though we disagree on a lot, for example that the election was not, in fact, stolen. At least not in November, LOL.

Which November was that? ;)

Mt Etna is not looking good. Lava fountains of that magnitude indicate an enormous pressure bubble of lava. Good luck to all in the Mediterranean, I trust it dies down.

I guess Greta will soon condemn it for its gross CO2 pollution and direct atmospheric warming.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 22 2021 11:08 utc | 281

gm #276

What happened appears to be a domino-effect collapse of the entire TX system, and if Texas had been tied into the [decrepit] national grid (also run by many the same inbred/incestuous stock of seat-warming incompetent rubber-stampers as those apparently on the ERCOT leadership/ board), the collapse might just as likely could have propagated in a wave of collapse throughout the entire tied-in system.

I just hope Rachel Maddow doesn't read your post. We will never hear the end of it. She will work her febrile brain into a frenzy and claim this is proof that the Dulles brothers were right in their theory of the Russian/Chinese Communist inspired domino effect.

THAT would be too much, I would have to drink tequila yet again.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 22 2021 11:15 utc | 282

The question is: if an election is never set up to produce a legitimage result to begin with, what can you steal, hookwink, or cheat out of it?

What we need is honest, transparent, legitimate elections, not to be arguing over who won that last rigged one.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 22 2021 11:57 utc | 283

@_K_C_ | Feb 22 2021 6:47 utc | 279

RE: "It's a straight up deception (lie) to call the other grids "decrepit" and your source is dead wrong."

When I use that term to describe the US power grid hodge-podge, I do it based on personal experience.

I've lived mostly in the Midwest, also for a couple years in the mid-atlantic and New England seaboard regions.

I experienced the August 14 2003 NE Blackout cited above, where a tree falling on a power line in Ohio on a clear afternoon took out power to 50 million customers.

My local state privatized utility still has relatively inexpensive electric rates, mainly due to access to many natgas pipelines that crisscross the region, to fire gas turbine plants, and also access to cheap locally mined soft coal that still fires a few but dwindling # of large coal power plants within my state.

In spite of its affordability, our power is dropping out *all the time*, w/o warning, rhyme or reason, in any kind of/ no weather at all. The outages in our area have been so frequent and [during winter ice/wind storms, so damaging/long-lasting] that ~25% of our neighborhood now have installed those Generac-style home backup generator systems that run off natural gas or propane and come on automatically when an outage hits.

We have finally decided to bite the bullet and find the $6K+ to put one in too. But guess what? There is currently a 22 week backlog wait for US made (Kohler, Briggs & Stratton) units! Stable national grid? My hairy yellow butt it's stable.

I've also lived for several years in Tokyo, INCLUDING during the time of the Great Northern Japan Earthquake/tsunami/Fukushima Disaster of March 2011.

In all my time there in Japan, during taifun, numerous magnitude 4-6 level earthquakes, even including during the Great earthquake where I watched 50 story Tokyo highrises wiggle and sway, and during the Fukushima meltdowns, over the next few days, while 40+ nuke power reactors were being SCRAM-ed or dropping off-grid, the power was somehow maintained and barely flickered in residences in Tokyo and the cities not directly hit by the tsunami.

Now THAT is what I think of as a stable power grid.

Posted by: gm | Feb 22 2021 13:23 utc | 284

This link gives a brief historical overview of the context for the recent Texas grid failure. The neoliberal obsession with cutting up and profiting from social systems, infrastructure, which benefit the whole of society including, especially, small businesses and communities is at fault imo.

[As an aside, there’s one charge on the telecom bill here which has increased regularly since deregulation of 1990s — they call it a “deregulation fee.” No need to hide the rentier theft anymore as it’s legal.]

Things grew complicated in 1996 when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 888, allowing states to restructure their electric power industries to promote more competition. Through the actions, or inaction, of individual state legislatures, the U.S. electricity market fractured.
Some states, primarily in the Southeast and the West, maintained the vertically integrated structure. The rest of the nation moved to a market structure in which generators compete to sell their electricity.

Regions created new independent organizations – known as independent system operators or regional transmission organizations – to regulate the flow of power on the grid. In these regions, generators compete to sell their electricity, and organizations called market monitors make sure that generators follow the rules. This approach created power markets that prioritize generating electricity at the lowest possible price.

1996 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 888

Posted by: suzan | Feb 22 2021 15:42 utc | 285

@Smith #88:

Putin is speaking to Zyuganov, a communist.

It would be hard for a communist to defend privatization of ANYTHING, let alone for the "sake of privatization". In your mind, what is honestly an industry that can be privatized AND be made to serve the people better?

Off the top of my head—grocery stores and restaurants/cafes.

This is not even ideological purism, this is just nonsense and confirms that, even in flowery speech, Putin is a gatekeeper.

A gatekeeper of what? Putin does not claim to be a communist. How can he be a gatekeeper of it? You should read definitions of words before using them.

As usual, I would refrain people from trusting speeches, but rather compare the data, how many hospitals, how many highways, how many schools, how much russian wages have increased this year compared to the last.

Actions matter, not words.

Real wages in Russia increased by 2.5 percent in 2020 (RIA Novosti, February 18, 2021 — machine translation)

Posted by: S | Feb 22 2021 23:27 utc | 286

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