People are talking about a petition for Texas to secede. Obviously it’s never going to happen but it’s fun to think about, and so there have been blog posts about it, but it seems to me that they’re profoundly lacking in imagination.
Bob Smiley at the Daily Caller points to Texas’s natural resources to suggest it can pull it off. But with the exception of Norway (more on which below), natural resources are more often a curse, generating the “Dutch disease”, exogenous shocks, and political corruption (think Russia).
Annie Lowrey at Foreign Policy thinks an independent Texas would whither, but because it would be crushed by war and embargo from the remaining United States. The problem is that there’s no reason to think Texas independence has to be violent.
Most likely, it would not be. This is the 21st century. The US is a democracy. If Texas had an independence movement akin to, say, Scotland’s National Party or the Bloc Québécois that achieved enough success to decisively win an independence referendum, would a sitting President really order an invasion? Would the American public, many of whom have family links to Texas, really stand for that? It is, at the very least, highly doubtful.
Germany is dumping electricity on its unwilling neighbors and by wintertime the feud should come to a head.
Central and Eastern European countries are moving to disconnect their power lines from Germany’s during the windiest days. That’s when they get flooded with energy, echoing struggles seen from China to Texas over accommodating the world’s 200,000 windmills.
Renewable energy around the world is causing problems because unlike oil it can’t be stored, so when generated it must be consumed or risk causing a grid collapse. At times, the glut can be so great that utilities pay consumers to take the power and get rid of it.
“Germany is aware of the problem, but there is not enough political will to solve the problem because it’s very costly,” Pavel Solc, Czech deputy minister of industry and trade, said in an interview. “So we’re forced to make one-sided defensive steps to prevent accidents and destruction.”
The power grids in the former communist countries are “stretched to their limits” and face potential blackouts when output surges from wind turbines in northern Germany or on the Baltic Sea, according to Czech grid operator CEPS. The Czechs plan to install security switches near borders by year-end to disconnect from Europe’s biggest economy to avoid critical overload.