Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Nope. No Global Warming here

The mercury broke the century mark here yesterday. That's over 100 degrees in April! I know Texans always brag/bitch about how hot it gets in this state, but even here, that's just flat-out wrong. Temps shouldn't approach 90 until May at the earliest, yet here were are, registering 102 degrees in San Antonio at Kelly USA (although the official high was "only" 99) and Austin setting a record of 100 for April.

The combination of high temperatures and many Texas power plants being off-line for scheduled maintenance during a traditionally low-demand time of the year resulted in statewide rolling blackouts:
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the statewide grid, ordered the rolling blackouts because some power plants in Texas weren't prepared for summerlike heat in April.

The normal high for San Antonio in April is 80 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

San Antonio's official high of 99, though short of the record for April 17 of 100, set in 1920, contributed to the statewide drain on the Texas power grid.

"At the same time, we have many power plants in Texas that are down for maintenance, so they can be up and fully operational this summer," McCullough said.

Monday's blackouts came as surprise and were needed "to preserve the integrity of the state grid. I don't think anyone really forecasts that energy demand in April would be so high," he said.

I had first-hand experience with the heat. On the drive home, I ran into a traffic jam on I-35. There'd been a wreck in a construction zone on the north end of New Braunfels, wholly blocking the highway and forcing all traffic to divert to the access roads. As I sat there, unmoving, I watched as the temperature guage on my car climbed higher and higher--alarmingly so. It never reached the "red zone," but that's only because I shut the air conditioner off, rolled down the windows and ran the heater at full blast for 15 minutes or so to cool the radiator off. It got pretty hairy there for a few minutes, I can assure you.

So, the next time some wingnut spouts off that there's no evidence for global warming and how it's just a liberal/commie conspiracy designed to undermine the good ol' U.S. of A., would you please kick them in the ass for me?

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