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February 17, 2021 27 min

An intense winter storm has plunged Texas into darkness. The state’s electricity grid has failed in the face of the worst cold weather there in decades.

The Texas blackouts could be a glimpse into America’s future as a result of climate change. Today, we explore the reasons behind the power failures.

Guest: Clifford Krauss, a national energy business correspondent based in Houston for The New York Times; and Brad Plumer, a climate reporter for The Times. 

For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. You can read the latest edition here.

Background reading: 

  • Systems are designed to handle spikes in demand, but the wild and unpredictable weather linked to global warming will very likely push grids beyond their limits.
  • As a winter storm forced the Texas power grid to the brink of collapse, millions of people were submerged into darkness, bitter cold and a sense of indignation over being stuck in uncomfortable and even dangerous conditions.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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