Skip to content
Timothy L. O'Brien

Texas Shows What Happens When We Ignore Climate Change

Stop looking for something or someone else to blame for cold, dark days.

Houston, we have a problem.

Houston, we have a problem.

Photographer: MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” said boxing’s philosopher king, Mike Tyson. That’s a variation on an earlier adage from another prizefighter, Joe Louis, as well as observations from countless military strategists who have warned that battle plans often evaporate the moment bullets begin flying.

Texas, plunged into darkness by vicious winter weather and an inadequate power grid, may have to come up with its own pithy description of what happens to best-laid plans when reality intervenes. On Monday, about 4 million Texans — around 1.4 million in greater Houston alone — had no heat or electricity during an ongoing series of rolling blackouts.