World Amid Texas storm, UN chief says it's 'complete ignorance' to say cold weather nullifies the reality of climate change

23:48  18 february  2021
23:48  18 february  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

Scientists are divided over whether climate change is fueling extreme cold events

  Scientists are divided over whether climate change is fueling extreme cold events Is the cold wave that froze Texas this week a unique event or a sign of what’s to come?States like Texas with milder winters were caught off guard by the chill, which led to a massive spike in energy demand and a huge drop in available electricity as the infrastructure around natural gas, coal, nuclear, and wind energy froze up. Tuesday was the coldest day in North Texas in 72 years, with the Dallas-Fort Worth area reaching a record low temperature of minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit this week.

Deadly weather will be hitting the U. S . more often, and America had better get better at dealing with it , experts said Wednesday as Texas and other states battled winter storms that blew past the worst-case planning of utilities, governments and millions of shivering citizens. This week' s storms — with more still heading east — fit a pattern of worsening extremes under climate change and demonstrate anew that local, state and federal officials have failed to do nearly enough to prepare for greater and more dangerous weather .

Scientists say global warming – specifically the rapid warming of the Arctic – is a possible, if not likely, culprit in the extreme weather . Historically, frigid temperatures have typically been contained within the Arctic by a jet stream circling the polar region. In fact, along with the spinning of the planet, it ' s the contrast in temperatures and atmospheric pressures between the Arctic and lower latitudes that results in the winds. One group said it was taking care of more than 2,500 after the ice storm in Texas . 1d ago.

Antonio Guterres wearing a suit and tie: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to parliamentarians at the Bundestag on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN on December 18, 2020 in Berlin, Germany United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to parliamentarians at the Bundestag on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN on December 18, 2020 in Berlin, Germany
  • The UN chief excoriated leaders who suggest cold weather means global warming isn't happening.
  • "This is total lack of scientific knowledge, this is complete ignorance," Antonio Guterres said.
  • A fatal winter storm in Texas has sparked renewed discussions on climate change in the US.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday ripped into climate change deniers, stating that it's "complete ignorance" to suggest severe winters prove the planet isn't warming.

3 ways Texas could avoid another electricity crisis

  3 ways Texas could avoid another electricity crisis The answer is not more fossil fuel power plants.When the cold front hit over the weekend, electricity use soared to heat buildings, but the grid couldn’t keep up with demand. Natural gas plants, which supply the majority of the state’s electricity, were not equipped to operate at such low temperatures. Despite widespread false claims spread on Fox News that frozen wind turbines were solely to blame for the blackout, failures at these gas plants are the main cause of the crisis, a spokesperson for ERCOT told Bloomberg.

“ It ’ s a dangerous situation,” the younger Mr. Singh said . His other problems Thursday were indicative of the broader troubles still facing Texas , where some areas were being affected by a band of foul weather stretching from the Rio Grande to New York. As fresh snow fell, Mr. Singh was waiting with a few Thursday’s winter storm brought freezing rain, snow and temperatures that were “much below average,” a gut punch for Texans who have resorted to stoves, barbecue grills, gasoline generators and their vehicles to keep themselves warm. Days of glacial weather have left at least 38 people dead

media captionFrozen turbines and climate change : The politics behind the Texas power failure. A huge winter storm sweeping across the southern US has killed at least 21 people and left millions without power. There have been widespread blackouts in Texas , where the energy grid was overwhelmed Millions of people in the state, which rarely experiences such low temperatures, have been struggling to cope with the lack of power and frigid conditions. The extreme weather is forecast to continue until the weekend. Deaths attributed to the storm have been recorded in Texas , Louisiana, Kentucky, North

"This is total lack of scientific knowledge, this is complete ignorance," Guterres said in comments to reporters, per Reuters.

"If you look at hurricanes, if you look at storms, but also if you look at heat waves and cold waves, they are becoming more extreme because of climate change," Guterres said. "Climate change amplifies."

In response to whether climate change is to blame for the intense winter weather in the US, the UN chief said global warming could make "all storms, all oscillations ... more extreme."

Guterres' comments come as Texas and neighbouring states contend with a fatal winter storm that left millions without power, heat, and potable water.

Republican leaders and climate change sceptics have falsely blamed the outages on renewable energy sources and the Green New Deal, a Democratic plan to address climate change that hasn't actually been implemented. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state's power grid, said that most of the outages have been "primarily due to issues on the natural gas system."

Much of Texas has power back — but it still faces water and food shortages

  Much of Texas has power back — but it still faces water and food shortages Millions of Texans are under “boil water” orders after a winter storm.On Friday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which oversees much of the state’s power grid, ended emergency conditions and returned to normal operation. Previously, soaring demand for power and frozen natural gas pipelines, among other factors, meant that millions of Texas residents were without power and facing widespread rolling blackouts in freezing weather.

"It was scary," he said . Power was out except for a couple of brief spurts for most of the day. "I thought I could tough it out, but it ' s really, really cold ." Johnson was watching news reports that warned that her power wasn't likely to return until Tuesday and getting angry that the state's energy providers weren't more prepared. "After this is over, I expect a reckoning about why we weren't able to anticipate this would happen," she said .

Abbott said Wednesday afternoon that he spoke with both the lieutenant governor and the state speaker and that an investigation of ERCOT is slated to begin next week. But in the meantime, millions of Texans were left without power or running water in the wake of the storm . Power is slowly being restored to homes. Since last Thursday, 16 Texans have died due to the extreme weather , according to a CNN tally.

The UN on Thursday released a new, dire report on environmental crises threatening humanity, zeroing in on climate change, biodiversity depletion, and pollution. It offers a blueprint for how the world can approach this trio of crises.

"Without nature's help, we will not thrive or even survive. For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature," Guterres said in remarks on the report during a virtual press briefing on Thursday. "Human well-being lies in protecting the health of the planet. It's time to re-evaluate and reset our relationship with nature."

In his remarks, Guterres praised President Joe Biden's move to return the US to the Paris climate accord, a landmark agreement between almost 200 nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"President Biden's commitment to net zero emissions means that countries producing now two-thirds of global carbon pollution are pursuing the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050," Guterres said. "But we need to make this coalition truly global and transformative ... We cannot delay."

How to Keep Warm Without Power as Winter Storm Causes Outages Across U.S.

  How to Keep Warm Without Power as Winter Storm Causes Outages Across U.S. Millions of people are facing power outages across southern U.S. states as an unprecedented winter storm hits the grid system.The storm has led to widespread outages as well as icy roads, traffic deaths, frozen pipes and circumstances most southerners have never seen in their lifetime.

by President Emmanuel Macron who said it will strengthen the country' s secular principles.His party said the need for such a law was highlighted by the killing of a schoolteacher in Paris last October.Samuel Paty was beheaded by a teenage Islamist after he showed cartoons of the Prophet "This is unacceptable," and the Texas government and legislature must find ways "ensure that our state never experiences power outages like this again." This isn't the state' s first rodeo with widespread blackouts amid unseasonable cold , however. The Texas power grid is designed to independently

What Happened: “Well, it ’ s important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made,” the billionaire-philanthropist said on NYT opinion writer Kara Swisher’s twice-weekly podcast “Sway.” “Underestimating Elon is not a good idea,” Gates added. from the lab to the real world.“While there is still a lot of work to be done and we could encounter new challenges as we increase our layer count, this is an incredibly important result, and we are excited to have this so early in the year,” Chief Executive Officer Jagdeep Singh said in a letter to

Former President Donald Trump, who is among Republicans who've suggested cold weather means global warming isn't occurring, withdrew the US from the Paris agreement. On his first day as president, Biden signed an executive order to reverse Trump's decision and has made tackling climate change a top priority. Biden tapped John Kerry, secretary of state under the Obama administration, to serve in a brand new role as his climate envoy on the National Security Council.

The Weekly Planet: The Great Climate Bill of 2021 Is Being Shaped Now .
The game before the game has started.President Joe Biden’s legislative climate agenda has kind of fallen out of the news. Lawmakers are focused on what the Biden administration calls the “economic-rescue bill,” the one with the $1,400 checks. The climate content will come in the second, “economic-recovery” package.

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