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nytimes –   Opinion |  Can you believe this is happening in America?

You don’t have to listen too carefully to hear it. While it’s still too early to say for sure, the Texas freeze fits a recent pattern of increasingly destructive “global weirdness”. I much prefer this term to “climate change” or “global warming”. Because what happens when average global temperatures rise, the ice melts, the jet streams move, and the climate changes, is the weather gets weird. The heat gets hotter, the common cold gets colder, the rain gets wetter, the droughts are drying up and the more severe storms are more frequent. Those floods, drafts, heat waves, or frosts that occur once every 100 years start to happen every few years. This is how we will experience climate change.

According to a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “The United States has suffered 285 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damage / costs have reached or exceeded $ 1 billion (including CPI adjustment until 2020). The total cost of these 285 events exceeds $ 1.875 trillion. … Years with 10 or more multi-billion dollar disasters include 1998, 2008, 2011-2012 and 2015-2020. This year, after that one Texas disaster, could set a record – and it’s not until February.

If global throttling is our new normal, we need a whole new level of buffers, redundancies and supply inventories to create the resilience of our power grids – and many other forms of distributed energy, like solar power, which can allow households to survive when the grid goes down. down. Seeking to maximize profits around fossil fuels in an era of global oddity is just begging get drunk.

As Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation, pointed out to me, “Cavemen understood that you have to put things away to be safe. The birds know it. Squirrels know this. So what do we do? And what was Texas doing?

Every leader should ask himself these questions. Leadership always matters. But today, it matters more than ever at all levels. Because at a slower age, if your city, state, or country had a bad leader and got out of hand, the pain of getting back on track was tolerable. Today, as climate change, globalization and technology accelerate at the same time, small navigation errors can have huge consequences. They can leave your community or country so far away that the pain of getting back on track can be excruciating.

Look at Texas and you will know what I mean. And just look at Mars, and think about the state of mind that got us there, and you’ll know what needs to change.

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