“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” – Lenin

Texas had its “Come to Jesus” moment last week, which is a fitting idiom for a state that is the buckle in the Bible Belt. As I was telling a friend, I expect a good bit of change to come, because the state that calls itself the biggest, the best, the proudest, the most, was brought to its knees by a storm that would have been shrugged off by any state up north.

The beauty of the storm.

Yay, Texas – the state embarrassed itself in the eyes of the country and the world. The state that made its wealth on energy let citizens die in the dark. Our governor tried to blame wind energy turbines that had not been winterized for the failures, and later walked that back. Our most notorious senator fled to Mexico. He came back in disgrace.

As I said, I expect change to happen. We’ll see. Capitalism is bigger and better in Texas, and there are people whose fortunes depend on the hardships of others, so maybe I’m naïve, but if anything, the embarrassment should sting enough to make Texas politicians realize that they don’t want to be unmasked as “all hat and no cattle.”

There’s nothing like Texas aphorisms, man.

We did okay, and I don’t want to hold up my experience as anything other than an inconvenience. We lost power for one day. We decamped to an apartment with heat. We did not suffer broken pipes. We are under a boil water notice as of this writing, but it’s an annoyance. We are not a hospital depending on water, or a household without water or heat or electricity, and we have food, though perhaps not the variety we are used to.

The harsh beauty of ice.

The above paragraph is a description of luck. We are not better than anyone else, we did not prepare better, we do not deserve better. We have resources, the good fortune to live in a neighborhood that doesn’t let the power go out because Texas government buildings are in the area, and we got lucky with the pipes.

There are a lot of people who think that the troubles of others are their own damn fault. These people don’t know that they are one roll of the dice away from being down and out. I hope that maybe we can combine compassion with good governance to mitigate the hardship and death of the next 100-year storm. Because it’s coming, and with climate change, these events are coming harder and faster.


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