January 31, 2019

The Politics Of the Polar Vortex

Dana Mathewson

A large portion of the country is currently in the grip of record low temperatures and, in most cases, very cold wind chill factors. Here in Minnesota's Twin Cities yesterday, we had wind chills in the minus forties. I posted a photo of the thermometer in my kitchen window (seen a few posts below this one).

Can cold temperatures be political? Apparently. Here's an article appearing today on the Fox News website:

It's fossil fuels that are keeping Americans warm this week

What the AccuWeather service calls "the coldest weather in years” is gripping the nation, from Wisconsin to Alabama. The temperatures, AccuWeather says, "will put millions of people and animals throughout the Midwestern United States at risk for hypothermia and frostbite to occur in minutes during the final days of January.”

The only real defense against Winter Storm Jayden is fossil fuels—the source of the vast majority of electricity that Americans will need to stay warm. Pie-in-the-sky talk about renewable energy won’t warm hearths and hearts during this storm, because the sun isn’t shining all the time and the wind capacity simply isn’t there.

So, Americans will reply on fossil fuels—the much-demonized source of concentrated energy – to power our economy and saves lives, literally.

Let’s take two states as examples. Illinois is near the geographical center of the polar vortex. As of 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, the temperature was 5 degrees Fahrenheit, with an expected low in the next 24 hours of 23 below zero. Those winds coming off Lake Michigan are dropping the wind chill to as much as 55 below zero through Thursday morning.

But renewable energy is sitting this one out in Illinois. In 2016, wind and solar energy contributed just 6 percent of Illinois’ electricity supply. A respectable 52 percent came from Illinois’ aging nuclear power sources, but those generators are in trouble financially and politically.

That means nearly 40 percent of Illinois’ electricity came from coal, natural gas and oil. And every Illinoisan, from Waukegan to Carbondale, is thankful for that this week.


The article goes on to describe similar situations in, of course, New York State, where the cost of electricity is way up. One is left to wonder, in fact, if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ran for Congress so she could move to Washington and get out of New York City?

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:13 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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Posted by: buy oxycodone pills at March 03, 2020 03:18 PM (yTRZ9)

2 This global warming should be taken care of.  All countries should invest in renewable energy, I'm talking wind turbines solar panel farms and electric dams.  Its time we take action. 

Posted by: Dimitry Kovac at April 18, 2020 01:31 PM (FOd1i)

3 Thanks for visiting and the comment Dimitry Kovac.  If people want to use such "renewables" that is fine, but it won't really help with global warming, which, if it is even true (and there has been no planetary temperature rise since the '90's) it won't stop any of the warming. So we disagree, although it certainly wouldn't hurt from a climate perspective (but it would from an economic). 

At any rate, thanks for the comment and for reading The Aviary.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at April 19, 2020 06:04 AM (1Bxdp)

4 Many things is already happen in our world. We need  set aside politics instead  world need to be united to fight this pandemic.

Posted by: roofers in boston ma at November 03, 2020 09:25 AM (71l8m)

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