Letters to the Editor: It's cold on Mars, so how does Perseverance have power when Texas did not?

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People line up to collect firewood from a wood heap opened to the public Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Dallas. Groups of thirteen were allowed six minutes to load as much wood as they could carry away from the recycling center. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
People line up to collect firewood in Dallas on Wednesday. (LM Otero / Associated Press)

To the editor: NASA was able to land a rover on Mars, which is much colder than Earth, and have it send pictures back to us, release a small helicopter to study the terrain and gather up evidence of possible ancient life to be brought back to our planet later.

Texas was unable to manage its energy production during exceptionally cold weather because of its poorly maintained, fossil-fuel-based power system that was largely unconnected to larger regional grids. Conservative politicians in Texas and elsewhere initially blamed green energy for the problem, forgetting that wind generators function in much colder parts of the world.

The difference is that scientists are making decisions for NASA projects, and politicians are making decisions for the Texas energy grid.

Dan Diamond, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Matt Rosendale (R-Mt.) falsely stated that renewable energy installations, which provide only a small percentage of electrical energy in Texas, are to blame for the loss of power in much of Texas. Rosendale is quoted as saying the blackouts "demonstrate the dangerous consequences of transitioning away from reliable fossil fuel-based power sources."

This is wrong in several ways.

Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is warming the Arctic region much faster than the rest of the world. As a result, "polar vortexes," which cause cold Arctic air to be pushed south, are becoming more extensive, including the large amount of below-freezing Arctic air that was pushed into Texas and along the Atlantic coast last week.

Furthermore, fossil fuels are a depletable commodity. If we continue burning them for energy and do not start transitioning to renewable technologies, particularly solar and wind, we will be without adequate sources of energy in the not-too-distant future.

Al Barrett, Santa Monica

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To the editor: As a taxpayer, I don't understand why the federal government should bail out those Republican-run states that chose not to tax themselves enough to maintain their infrastructure.

Texas brags how cheap it is to live and do business there. I guess it's not so cheap after all.

Last year, some conservative politicians argued against helping Democrat-run cities and states that requested federal funds to offset COVID-19-related revenue shortages. Of course, we're going to help Texas now, because this is the United States.

But when the shoe is on the other foot, it does expose some hypocrisy.

S.R. Fischer, Westwood

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.