THE DAILY REFORMER (NEW YORK, UNITED STATES)
The deadly, once-in-a-generation winter weather that has overwhelmed power grids and left millions without electricity in record-breaking cold kept its grip on the nation’s midsection Wednesday.
At least 20 people have died, some while struggling to find warmth inside their homes. In the Houston area, one family succumbed to carbon monoxide from car exhaust in their garage; another perished after flames spread from their fireplace.
Experts say to blame the unusual polar vortex, a weather pattern that usually keeps to the arctic, but is increasingly visiting lower latitudes and staying beyond its welcome. More than 100 million people live in areas covered Wednesday by some type of winter weather warning, watch or advisory, as yet another winter storm hits Texas and parts of the Southern Plains, the National Weather Service said.
As innocent Americans die, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., took to social media to gloat.
Weak on sweeping next-gen public infrastructure investments, little focus on equity so communities are left behind, climate deniers in leadership so they don’t long prep for disaster.
We need to help people *now.* Long-term we must realize these are the consequences of inaction.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 17, 2021
Scientists mostly agree that global warming caused by humans is partly responsible for making its southward escapes longer and more frequent.
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However, critics were quick to reply to Ocasio-Cortez’ “heartless” tweets with facts that dispute her claims.
Approximately 20 percent of the power struggles throughout Texas are from failures from green energy sources like windmills and solar energy facilities, some critics pointed out.
Additionally, while “images of frozen wind turbines grab everyone’s attention, a major cause of the problem in Texas is insufficient oil and gas production,” RedState reported. “Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, noted that while many are focusing on the failure of solar and wind energy generation during the storm, Texas’ oil and gas production is 21 gigawatts below what is needed during this cold snap.”
In other words, experts said this was a failure in fossil fuel energy infrastructure — not because America needed a Green New Deal.
Utilities from Minnesota to Texas and Mississippi have implemented rolling blackouts to ease the burden on power grids straining to meet extreme demand for heat and electricity as record low temperatures were reported in city after city.
Nearly 3 million customers remained without power early Wednesday in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, more than 200,000 more in four Appalachian states, and nearly that many in the Pacific Northwest, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outage reports.
The latest storm front was predicted to bring snow and ice to east Texas, Arkansas, and the Lower Mississippi Valley before moving to the northeast on Thursday. Winter storm watches were in effect from Baltimore to Boston, and Texas braced for more icy rain and possibly more snow.
“There’s really no letup to some of the misery people are feeling across that area,” said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service.
But in Texas, at least, temperatures are finally expected to rise above freezing by the weekend.
“There is some hope on the horizon,” Oravec said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
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