For, at least, four days, from February 15, 2021, millions of Texans were forced by the harsh consequences of the failure of its own electric grid to turn to the ways of dark, dreary and rural quietness set in frigid, wintry temperatures…. Without electricity or natural gas to heat homes, it’s terribly and dangerously cold for us in Texas when the weather drops to 10 degrees. Around Houston, the weather is usually 67-78 degrees; almost like Nigeria’s.
For, at least, four days, from February 15, 2021, the overwhelming power of climatic changes and disruptions dramatized, equally, the critical importance as well as the limits of electrical charging as the dominant centerpiece of social interaction! Texas remains emblematic of these existential realities.
It allowed, or may be better put, it compelled comparative assessments for most of the recent immigrants from Nigeria and other parts of Africa where the naked absence of light/power/electricity form the daily, weekly, monthly and in some cases and communities, fill the 12 calendar months of living in deprivation and darkness! Without any idea of when and if a fix will ever come to the monumental incompetence in the area of electricity and power generation.
Thankfully, in these parts of Texas, restoration and return to normalcy for at least 85% of the affected should be in place within the next 100 hours!
For, at least, four days, from February 15, 2021, almost 3.6million Texans, such as myself, our families, neighbors and friends, struggled without power supply (electricity), gas and water — or an intermittent combination — since the devastating snowstorm of this Monday.
Again, exposing how feeble and relatively weak the power of humankind or any country really is in the vortex of nature’s climatic changes and dynamism. If you cannot charge phones/devices and you cannot cook or warm a meal, the perilous decline to the imaginations of what approximates a contemporary ‘state of nature’ begin to form in reality and in your mind.
Somehow, the politics of America’s culture wars have come into play to distract from having someone, certain persons accountable and responsible for the failure to “winterize” the independent Texas Electricity grid. Winterizing the grid enables it to withstand winter storms such as Uri.
The first person who should be responsible and accountable for the dangerous failures to protect and provide forTexans is our Governor, Greg Abbott, usually a gentleman. But he has lost some measure of credibility by claiming, falsely that the very small 12% of renewable and clean wind mill energy was the reason why Texas (which pulled itself out of the national grid) failed to adequately protect its citizens. So far, 37 persons have died.
In terms of national impact, the political person suffering the worst negative image is the Republican Senator Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz of Texas
He made the number one mistake a politician should not place himself or herself into: to go on a quick vacation especially outside your country while witnessing a major crisis, a climate-related disaster devastating your constituents! Especially when this disaster reflects the collective incompetence of your political party’s leadership and its governance team!
Are you surprised that Cruz, the same man who shamelessly sacrificed the dignity of his own heritage and his wife’s when in 2016 Donald Trump attacked both, complicated it with another lie by blaming his beautiful daughters for the foolish decision to go to Cancun in Mexico — at a critical time when some of his constituents were dying from a brutal snowstorm, freezing cold and lack of electricity to keep their homes heated, warm and cook meals or get water to drink and keep hospitals and critical care medical facilities going?
The echo-chamber of the Republican party, FoxNews channel, has not relented in the twisted, misleading and atrocious propaganda of spinning the calamities of the snowstorm in Texas to serve partisan interests. “It seems pretty clear that a reckless reliance on windmills is the cause of this disaster”, Tucker Carlson falsely claimed —- as much as his colleagues on Fox and a battalion of Republican activists who foolishly and shamelessly allege that liberal Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’ (yet to be enacted bill) is responsible for the failure of Republican Governor, Republican State Representatives, Republican Speaker of the State House, all two Republican federal Senators. and a majority of members of the Texas delegation to the United States House of Representatives to exercise basic oversight over an agency they empowered called the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). It is the operator of the State’s power grid; used by about 90% of the State.
Sadly, most of what we’ve heard from Abbot, Cruz & Company are ridiculous and embarrassing deflections. We’ve heard, watched and read tons avoidance of basic responsibilities!
Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the Founder of USAfrica multimedia networks and public policy organization since 1992 in Houston, established the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the Internet USAfricaonline.com. He served as adviser on Africa business to the ex-Mayor of Houston, Dr. Lee P. Brown. Chido is the first continental African to be admitted to the 100 Black Men of America. He is the author of the February 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity. In July 2017, he was issued a U.S. Congressional Recognition for USAfrica’s 25 years. Chido has been honored by the Washington-D. C.based National Immigration Forum for utilizing multimedia to fight authoritarianism and foster freedom of expression in parts of the African continent.
He has been profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. [email protected]