Diary of a Congresswoman

Mary-Charlotte Domandi:
The power outages in Texas and what the, what the learning lesson is for us. I mean, besides Ted Cruz going to Cancun, which has its whole own little mini drama, but there’s a lot that it’s like a cautionary tale, I think.
Teresa Leger Fernandez:
Well, I mean, Texas is the cautionary tale of, of, you know, what the U S is going to face. Texas is a clear case of where they were going to do it on their own, not heed the warnings, because they had been warned multiple times about the fact that the changing weather conditions and the likelihood of freezing and the impacts on their facilities, and these were all things that they could deal with. I mean, we have lower temperatures in New Mexico and across the country all the time, but we prepared for that. So it’s not something that can’t be done. So the response is classic. If you deny it, then you don’t prepare for it. Then when the emergency hits you, you blame something else. So deny, don’t prepare, blame. And that is sort of what the Republicans have been doing regarding climate change in general.
And what we need to do is upset that framework and say, we need to acknowledge, we need to prepare. Then we need to face the crisis right on. And that’s exactly where we are trying to go now, I think, that we have somebody in the white house that actually believes in science and has taken us back into the Paris climate accord, right? That’s acknowledging, that’s preparing, and that’s where we need to go. And so that’s what I think Texas tells us. But we can expect that, right? That as things go bad, they’re going to want to blame other, you know, the idea of blaming the green new deal–which is a resolution, which they have not adopted, which they fight–to blame the green new deal for their lack of preparation for these weather disturbances and weather changing is just outrageous. But the other part of it that is scary is that if you are a consumer of Fox News and no other news, you might think that it is the green new deal’s fault that this happened. And so that’s the scary part of it is that there are many in Texas who might not completely comprehend what just happened to them and might want to blame the wrong source for this.
That whole thing of deny and then blame, for all the world. It sounds like a dysfunctional family, doesn’t it?
I don’t know. I’m very lucky in that. I grew up in, as my brother used to say, it’s like, we’re dysfunctional, but we love each other. So, you know, we were never denying and blaming. We were, we were acknowledging our dysfunction and then just loving each other through our, our dysfunction and craziness. So I don’t–I’m really lucky in that really this concept of blame is not something that I’m really familiar with because that’s not what we grew up with. And that’s not what I practice in my family. So, you know, when something goes wrong, when the kids wanted to blame somebody, it’s like, that’s not getting us anywhere, let’s fix it, right? So I don’t, I can’t comment on other people’s families.
Very interesting. But I think the reality of what this means about, you know, people were saying, Oh, some of the windmills ceased to function. So the question of how to winterize all of our systems, whether they be natural gas systems or solar systems or wind or whatever, renewable energy we have–making those climate safe. Yeah. It costs more. And then these things don’t happen.
Right. Because the consequences, that’s exactly it, the consequences from your failure to prepare are so much more expensive than what the preparation would have cost you. And this is the worst part of it: those who have the least face the worst. That is exactly what happened here is that those who have the least face the harshest consequences. The facilities that are housing women who have fled domestic violence, they’re left out and you just go through the listing of all the hardship that Texans and working Texans and poor Texans, are already suffering, and then to have this piled on top, it is an example of what happens when government refuses to do its job and govern. And when that happens, those who are the most vulnerable suffer the most. And so that’s the other part of the lesson from Texas. I don’t know that Texans will necessarily, Texan Republicans will necessarily learn that lesson, but I hope others do. And I hope some in Texas say, no, we’re not going to accept this anymore. We expect our government to address these things. Deregulation doesn’t work. This is an example of it.