I have mixed emotions on the whole idea of wind turbines and solar panels. This past week has been a struggle for several of my friends and family who live in the balmy south.

Vinton and the school district are looking at solar power and while that's all well and good, my experience with it as a kid has warped me into hating the word "solar." As a result of believing "the science" my private school installed solar panels. Prior to that, we had wood heat, in an attempt to save on utilities. The wood heat kept the building nice and toasty. All of the men in the church chipped in and spent a few weekends cutting wood to keep the fire burning. Then we bought into the idea that there was a better way. We could save some forests and heat much cleaner...and that's when we started freezing in class.

It didn't matter how many times we said, "we are freezing" or how much the thermostat dropped, we had "solar heat" now and bless God, we'd better be thankful for it! (Insert guilt trip on kids who aren't thankful for solar panels that aren't keeping the room warm.) These solar panels were going to help us save energy and God wants us to be good stewards of the earth.

Prior to that, I was in the public school system, attending classes in the East School, Lincoln and Tilford. You know back in the Carter era where "the science" taught us that there was a HUGE ice age coming and by the time we would become adults, there wouldn't be any oil or gas to heat our buildings. As a result, thermostats were turned down so that we could "conserve our energy." We wore sweaters, to class. I remember shivering and my fingers were always cold, which is probably part of why I hated going to school. But we were "looking out for our future."

Remember the gas "shortages" of the 80s? I remember lining up along a highway waiting to get into a gas station because they limited how much you could buy. Because, you know, "the science."

Back then "the science" didn't worry about windchills, and we went outside to play in frostbite conditions, not once did schools keep the kids inside because it was too cold. "The science" said nothing about that. School never got canceled because the air conditioning went out. We didn't have air conditioning. Neither did "the science" say anything about sweating in class. I suppose someone somewhere couldn't figure out how to make a buck off of freezing and baking kid in their classrooms.

We also listened to "the science" and during every tornado drill, we would huddle in the hallway while one poor soul had the responsibility of being drafted by a teacher to go back into the room and open the windows so that the building wouldn't implode. I think "the science" has debunked was even at 7 years old I thought made no sense. That warps you as a kid. I'm thinking the poor schmuck! He would be sucked out the window if he wasn't fast enough. And IF a tornado hit how in the WORLD would an open window help? Didn't the teachers know that tornados take out building with or without their windows open?

When I asked, I was told "the science" says...the teacher would grumpily explain, so I quit asking. The rest of us huddled in the hallway with a book over the back of our head. Now this always bugged me too. If a building was going to fall on us, how much help would that book be, really. But you know, "the science." I always thought that we should go and hide under the tables in the cafeteria because then if the building landed on us at least our back would also be covered. But again, "the science" said the hallway, so the hallway it was.

If you think I have issues when someone says, "the science" now you know why. Come to find out, we changed our mind. Now "the science" says it's "global warming." Wait, that has been changed to "climate change." I can't keep up with it all.

Is anyone else tired of being told we are experiencing events that only happen once every 100 years or 500 years according to "the science." I'm still scratching my head over being flooded twice in Independence a few years apart. "The science" on the first flood said that it was once in 100 years that this would happen. The second flood came along and then it was a once every 500 year event...and don't you DARE "but, but, but..." and point out that it JUST happened a couple of years earlier.

Shew, I bet you are wondering how I got all of THAT out of the topic of my headline!

A few years ago I spent a lot of time traveling to Texas. I saw turbines dotting the landscape at a rate that you don't see in our part of Iowa. Quite frankly they are ugly monsters in my opinion. I can't honestly say that whenever they are present you enjoy the landscape, you count turbines. Because of my experience with "the science" I counted turbines, shook my head and said, "The suckers believed 'the science' again."

Texas, even though it's probably first or second in oil production in the United States, (and even though the United States is probably number one in clean air, conservation and all of the other things that "the science" has told us that we should care about) has joined the movement to add turbines to the power grid. That's all fine and good as long as you don't get a "hundred-year ice storm" in Texas.

Incoming rabbit trail. At one time during my adventures to Texas there was enough snow in the gulf to make a snowball. But who am I kidding, they said it was a once-in-a-hundred-year snowstorm, even though people remembered it happening when they were kids. The science.

If you've had your head stuck in the sand this past week, Texas has been crippled by the above mentioned ice storm. It sounds like most of the state is freezing, without power and without water in parts of the state. It's not pretty. Their turbines are frozen.

AOC aka New York's Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in all of her wisdom tweeted the following rebuke. “The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don’t* pursue a Green New Deal. 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.”


"Quite literally" my dear AOC, why exactly do you think the landscape is full of these turbines if Texas hasn't begun to buy into the idea of the Green New Deal?

When I think of AOC I think of her mini-me, a little gal name Ava Martinez who lives in California. Ava has a witty dad and uncle who wrote some of her most hilarious skits poking fun at AOC.

Concerning the Green New Deal, there's this YouTube video. Of course, like all things fun or funny, attempts to silence this little girl was successful when she started receiving death threats, because apparently "the science" followers are threatened by a little girl.

So anyway, while my friends and relatives are freezing in Texas, some with power and water, and some still without, like everything, thanks AOC, for taking a crisis and turning it "quite literally" political.

As another Texan, Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya?"

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Comments (5)

77 hours, (3 days plus) with NO power, living in an all electric home in West Texas I can attest it's not been fun. We were lucky to have a small fireplace and able to find some firewood to keep the temperature inside around 50F when outside it dropped to 3F. As I type this Friday morning the outside temp is 12F and we pray our recently restored power will remain on. With the 10.4 inches of snow when this all began, I was glad my driving skills on terrible roads and streets relied on my upbringing in Northeast Iowa. Now, we are checking the internet for weather conditions in Panama. Well, sort of.
Editor’s note: I’m so glad to hear that you are able to stay somewhat warm in all of this! Here’s hoping things get back to normal for you!
By: Del Pfranger on February 19th 4:25am
Actually they privatized electricity here in Texas to avoid regulations. The biggest part of their problem was with coal-fired and natural gas plants not being on line. Wind turbines were iced but they never made the investment or maintenance to withstand this type of weather. It was in the 20’s here yet our turbines in Iowa buzz along at 20 below. Don’t fall into the anti-renewable hype! We will have a need for petroleum-based energy for quite awhile but only as a back up to renewables. It’s the way to go. I’m at South Padre Island for the winter so I’m living lack of leadership and ducking reasonable regulations for profit!
By: Randy Braden on February 19th 1:00pm
From what I have read only 20% of their power comes from wind and 40% from coal so when Abbott comes out to blame wind energy he was not being honest which isn't unusual for him. The problem is his refusal to winterize the entire power system which he simply doesn't want to "waste" the money on because this doesn't happen often, maybe once ever 10 years or so. The people have to suffer and a few die but what the hell, they get over it. That's the republican way.

Norma Gould
By: Norma Gould on February 19th 1:09pm
Just to help you with a few things. Nothing associated with "The Green New Deal" has passed any legislation, to this date. Anything that's being done, that resembles what might be in that bill, is done voluntarily. As far as the turbines (windmills) in Texas are concerned. Texas only had enough windmills and solar panels to power 10% of their daily needs. Also, when the Texas legislature made the decision to purchase those windmills, they didn't feel they needed to upgrade to the models that can handle freezing temperatures. Notice that the windmills in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and even North Dakota, don't have issues with the below zero temperatures that we deal with. Now, 50 years ago, it would've seemed ridiculous for anything in the flat areas of Texas to need to be Winterized. That's when scientists first noticed that the Ozone was being damaged. After they studied that a little, they realized that; without the Ozone, the Earth would heat up to dangerous temperature. So the term "Global Warming" came into our lexicon. But, as with all types of science, they kept studying, and the then realized that the diminishing Ozone was also the cause of changing weather phenomena, all over the planet, at all different times. So, based on the newly discovered information, the term "Global Warming" was changed to "Climate Change". That better described what they were finding, with the many different climates around the planet. Back when I was a child, it was rather normal that the Winter type weather would start around November 1st. It would last until around March 1st. We could then be fairly certain that our temperatures would could be in the 60-70° point, the 3rd week of March, when we had Spring Break. The last decade or so, I've been able to work outside into December, before I have to weatherize and hibernate. But, I've been hard pressed to get back into a full fledged effort out there, before the 1st of May. Last year was the end of May. Our "Climate" is changing. The seasons are being pushed out of their "normal" bounds. The weather isn't changing much. It's when the weather is happening, that's changing. Climate and Weather are two different things. Scientists believe that the Earth poles have actually flipped a few times, in the billions of years, since it was formed. What we are seeing, *might* be a part of that process. With the "climate" in Texas showing signs of changing, it could be the start of a push of colder climates moving toward the equator. Once that process goes far enough, maybe it causes that flipping of the North and South Poles. Or, maybe it's the very early signs of another Ice Age. Whatever it is, it's something. It's probably a process that none of us will ultimately see the end of. Maybe we can effect it's process, maybe we can't.
By: Darrin Lindsey on February 19th 2:05pm
You do know that "the science"... changes? Make observations, take measurements, gather data, form a theory... test said theory... gather more data from the test, make observations of the test, gather data from the test, adjust the theory... test the adjusted theory, gather more data from the test of the adjusted theory, make more observations of the test of the adjusted theory, readjusted the theory... test the readjusted theory... and so on and so forth. That's why we've gone from "impending ice ages" to "global warming" to "climate change". That's why we've seen changes in the protocols related to this pandemic - and the former administration interfering with the data certainly didn't help. Read a science book - I know they're some good ones at the library. Scientists got robots to Mars - politicians froze Texas.

By: Mark Engledow on February 25th 4:08am

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