It snowed again last night, as predicted. It doesn't look like too much; maybe another two inches, but that's two more inches of snow and another several days of cold in a state that simply isn't prepared for it and mostly doesn't seem interested in dealing with it. (Amusingly, the theme for today's Weekly Blogging Challenge is "how I take care of my health" and the answer, at this point, is "stay warm, and reach out to friends and family who might not have electricity." Like so much of 2020, at this point we're just trying to get through it and hoping there's something better on the far side.)
There's a lot of misinformation going around, including reports about Texas' "green grid" failing, and... look, first of all, the only reason you get to call it a green grid is because you colored it that way on a map. Second, while the wind energy resources have largely frozen up, that's a very small source of power generation here in the middle of winter and ordinarily the rest of the grid could cover it; plus, the wind turbines could have been winterized, but nobody wanted to put the money into doing that down here where it never gets cold. (Ha!) Which is basically what's going on with the other power plants, though there may be some artificial scarcity and price gouging figuring in as well what with the sudden rise in demand for natural gas (which supplies power to our power plants as well as heating to a lot of dwellings).
But it's also worth noting that, as we've been discussing for at least a decade now, Global Warming isn't universally warmer; it's better described as Global Weirding. Heat is energy, and if the atmosphere is holding extra heat it's going to produce wilder, more spectacular, and more destructive weather events. I realize a lot of news services don't seem to be able to grasp this, but this is Climate Change 101.
We're lucky: we still have electricity. (No gas -- the house isn't built for it -- but we're not just sitting here freezing.) We're trying to use as little as possible, but the house is staying warm and the indoor pipes, at least, haven't frozen. It helps that we're a relatively small, snug house; but even so, the pipes for the kitchen are in the outer wall and have frozen closed at least twice already. Fortunately, we've been able to restore them with a hair dryer.
Meanwhile, the dog hasn't been on a walk in three days; he is absolutely sure that this is the end of the world. The local school district is shut down until at least Friday (and probably will be on Friday as well) for both in-person and distance learning; you can't do remote teaching to people who have no power. My job has moved to "late opening" for people who are still coming in, but that's because it's local government and has a crippling pathological fear of being seen as "lazy government employees" even in the face of genuine danger. But, of course, nobody much else is available, so I'm using this time to catch up on online training instead of working on the half-dozen major projects that are going to immediately fall on my head once things get going again. Beautiful Wife has had her classes cancelled for the rest of the week; she's using the time to nail down resources for the rest of the semester... which, again, is only possible because we still have electricity. (This, in turn, is probably only because there are a couple of private care facilities including an Alzheimer's unit relatively close by.) So far, nobody has had to come shelter with us -- a relief, since we're still in the middle of a pandemic -- but if this keeps up, I don't know.
So, yeah: I knew 2021 was going to be at best the beginning of a long, slow climb back up from 2020... but I hadn't really appreciated the way the steady cascade of ongoing apocalyptic disasters would just blithely continue. But here we are, and the only way through is as it always was: forward, and together.