Don’t go with the wind 17

Those noisy windmills that uglify many a rural landscape are not only doing no good, they are doing much harm, not just to birds but to the economy and so to all Americans.

The subsidizing of the wind power experiment is a racket.

Politicians take billions from taxpayers, ratepayers and profitable businesses, to provide subsidies to Big Wind companies … and then they contribute millions to the politicians’ reelection campaigns.

So writes Paul Driessen, who explains all that’s wrong with the experiment in an article at Canada Free Press:

It is impossible to have wind turbines without fossil fuels, especially natural gas. Turbines average only 30% of their “rated capacity”—and less than 5% on the hottest and coldest days, when electricity is needed most. They produce excessive electricity when it is least needed, and electricity cannot be stored for later use. Hydrocarbon-fired backup generators must run constantly, to fill the gap and avoid brownouts, blackouts, and grid destabilization due to constant surges and falloffs in electricity to the grid. Wind turbines frequently draw electricity from the grid, to keep blades turning when the wind is not blowing, reduce strain on turbine gears, and prevent icing during periods of winter calm.

Despite tens of billions in subsidies, wind turbines still generate less than 3% of US electricity. Thankfully, conventional sources keep our country running—and America still has centuries of hydrocarbon resources. It’s time our government allowed us to develop and use those resources.

In fact, rather than having “only 2 percent of global oil reserves” as Obama likes to pretend because he has an irrational hatred of fossil fuels and a love of windmills, “the U.S. actually has 82 percent as much oil as the rest of the world combined, and almost twice as much as the Middle East” (to quote Steven Hayward at PowerLine).

It is likewise impossible to have wind turbines without perpetual subsidies — mostly money borrowed from Chinese banks and future generations. Wind has never been able to compete economically with traditional energy, and there is no credible evidence that it will be able to in the foreseeable future, especially with abundant natural gas costing one-fourth what it did just a few years ago. It thus makes far more sense to rely on the plentiful, reliable, affordable electricity sources that have powered our economy for decades, build more gas-fired generators — and recycle wind turbines into useful products (while preserving a few as museum exhibits).

As Spain, Germany, Britain and other countries have learned, wind energy mandates and subsidies drive up the price of electricity — for families, factories, hospitals, schools, offices and shops. They squeeze budgets and cost jobs. Indeed, studies have found that two to four traditional jobs are lost for every wind or other “green” job created. That means the supposed 37,000 jobs (perpetuated by $5 billion to $10 billion in combined annual subsidies, or $135,000 to $270,000 per wind job) are likely costing the United States 74,000 to 158,000 traditional jobs, while diverting billions from far more productive uses.

Industrial wind turbine projects require enormous quantities of rare earth metals, concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and other raw materials, for highly inefficient turbines, multiple backup generators and thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Extracting and processing these materials, turning them into finished components, and shipping and installing the turbines and power lines involve enormous amounts of fossil fuel …  Offshore wind turbine projects are even more expensive, resource intensive and indefensible. …

Wind turbines, transmission lines and backup generators also require vast amounts of crop, scenic and wildlife habitat land. Where a typical 600-megawatt coal or gas-fired power plant requires 250-750 acres, to generate power 90-95% of the year, a 600-MW wind installation needs 40,000 to 50,000 acres (or more), to deliver 30% performance. And while gas, coal and nuclear plants can be built close to cities, wind installations must go where the wind blows, typically hundreds of miles away — adding thousands of additional acres to every project for transmission lines.

And about those birds, how they get chopped up by the useless giants:

Sometimes referred to as “Cuisinarts of the air,” US wind turbines also slaughter nearly half a million eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, ducks, geese, bats and other rare, threatened, endangered and otherwise protected flying creatures every year. (Those aren’t song birds killed by house cats, and this may be a conservative number, as coyotes and turbine operator cleanup crews remove much of the evidence.) But while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of even a dozen common ducks, turbine operators have been granted a blanket exemption from endangered and migratory species laws and penalties. Now the US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a formal rule to allow repeated “takings” (killings) of bald and golden eagles by wind turbines

So the Left’s passion for preserving species and protecting the wilderness gives way to its apparently greater passion for conjuring “green energy” out of the air.

“Windmills help curb global-warming,” claim their FANS. (Feminist Americans for National Socialism – an entirely fictitious organization, speaking here for a multitude of real left-wing eco-nuts.)

Scientific support for CO2-driven catastrophic manmade global warming continues to diminish. Even if carbon dioxide does contribute to climate change, there is no evidence that even thousands of US wind turbines will affect future global temperatures by more than a few hundredths of a degree. Not only do CO2 emissions from backup generators (and wind turbine manufacturing) offset any reductions by the turbines, but rapidly increasing emissions from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and other rapidly developing countries dwarf any possible US wind-related CO2 reductions.

Skyrocketing electricity prices due to “renewable portfolio standards” raise heating and air conditioning costs; drive families into fuel poverty; increase food, medical, school and other costs; and force companies to lay off workers, further impairing their families’ health and welfare. The strobe-light effect, annoying audible noise, and inaudible low-frequency sound from whirling blades result in nervous fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, sleep problems, and vibro-acoustic effects on people’s hearts and lungs. Land owners receive royalties for having turbines on their property, but neighbors receive no income and face adverse health effects, decreased property values and difficulty selling their homes.

Public anger was aroused, vexed citizens took action and blocked plans for more of the same:

Unprecedented! As bills to extend seemingly perpetual wind energy subsidies were again introduced by industry lobbyists late last year, taxpayers finally decided they’d had enough.

Informed and inspired by a loose but growing national coalition of groups opposed to more giveaways with no scientifically proven net benefits, thousands of citizens called their senators and representatives — and rounded up enough Nay votes to run four different bills aground. For once, democracy worked.

Upon which enfuriated Cohorts of the Windmill Cult flung themselves into battle with intensified zeal:

A shocked American Wind Energy Association and its allies began even more aggressive recruiting of well-connected Democrat and Republican political operatives and cosponsors … to maintain mandates, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits, and other “temporary” ratepayer and taxpayer obligations. This “emerging industry” is “vitally important” to our energy future, supporters insisted. It provides “clean energy” and “over 37,000” jobs that “states can’t afford to lose.” It helps prevent global warming.

None of these salespitches holds up under objective scrutiny, and their growing awareness of this basic reality has finally made many in Congress inclined to eliminate this wasteful spending on wind power.

Entitlement advocates are petrified at that possibility. Crony corporatist lobbyists and politicians have built a small army to take on beleaguered taxpayers, rate payers and business owners who say America can no longer afford to spend more borrowed money, to prop up energy policies that drive up electricity costs, damage the environment, and primarily benefit foreign conglomerates and a privileged few.

It may be too much to hope for, but how good it would be if a new administration blew them away.

May those who sowed the wind reap the whirlwind.


Don Quixote de la Mancha  May 15, 2012

  • Geo T

    You’re right about the wind power boondoggle, but the following is a common lie among people who refuse to understand energy losses in oil extraction, and just toss around hypothetical numbers.

    ….“the U.S. actually has 82 percent as much oil as the rest of the world combined, and almost twice as much as the Middle East” (to quote Steven Hayward at PowerLine).

    That’s based on the false comparison of shale (especially kerogen) in terms of “oil in place” vs. actual recoverable reserves. It ignores the huge ERoI factor. It’s dumb waste any finite resource, no matter how plentiful it may seem. A wise species would stretch oil as long as it intended to survive, given that’s it’s probably an irreplaceable resource.

    • What makes some future generation more worthy of using oil for its needs than our own generation?

      The wonderful thing is that human beings, left to their own devices, meet the needs of their time with new ideas, new discoveries, new inventions. Always have, always will. Unless governments stop them of course.

      • Geo T

        You’re banking on future miracles by extrapolating from the past, which is hardly assured. People born into the oil age have a cheap-energy mentality and entitlement mindset. Learn about how critical oil is to so many processes and products, besides transportation. It’s the most dense form of portable energy ever discovered. Millions of years of compressed ancient sunlight is being burned in a few centuries but people pretend “they” will replace it somehow. Look into the arrogance of that whole scenario.

        Nuclear fusion could remain a pipe dream, though I hope it does happen. It sure won’t happen without scientific inquiry, which is sorely lacking among “conservatives” these days.

        • I still say we have it, we use it. If humanity survives for a few centuries more – or a few millennia – the living will solve their own problems. Not true that conservatives are “anti-science”. Quite the contrary. It is the Left with “the AGW science is settled” nonsense who are anti-science. And their “you can be any sex you like” pretense. Scientific balderdash!

          • Geo T

            You admitted you’re an AGW-denier and you’re still ignoring the finite nature of fossil fuels. What sort of people waste resources just because they want to? Greedy people, that’s who. Gotta have that overstuffed vehicle and McMansion. Catering to greed is what “conservatives” are all about, since Reagan kick-started that mentality.

            True optimism faces up to the evidence, not just ego and personal wants.

   (time-line of CO2 science before and after right-wingers politicized it and pretended that the scientists had done so)

            My main reason for posting is to note that global warming denial makes it even harder to stop the wind power debacle. Anti wind power voices should not be associated with lower-thinking and greed, which makes wind turbines appear good, relative to their critics.

            • liz

              “Catering to greed is what conservatives are all about”.
              Said by a true ‘we must sacrifice ourselves for the greater good – for the collective – to save the planet! – enviro-leftist.
              Green is the new red.

          • Hi Jillian, this is Pudding / Powerful Stuff ( I use different ID’s on each of my 7 Disqus channels ) , would you like to put up an article page refuting the false science of Global Warming, the new core religion of the hard left on my Science & Learning channel ? ( officially the Garden Gnomes Corner channel but now re-orientated to Science & Learning )


            • Hi Tom! Good to hear from you. Thank you for re-posting my essay on “Civilization’s fulcrum moment” and it’s follow-up with Stev60. Would an already posted piece on anti-AGW be acceptable to you? I rely on trustworthy scientists as I am not a scientist myself. So the piece would contain quotation. I could try to pick the best of the posts on that theme, and send you the link.

            • Hello Jillian & thank you, yes it would be perfectly acceptable . My channel is a strictly amateur science channel with 406 registered followers at the moment on the Disqus network of discussion channels .

              The AGW debate is something that some readers have asked about, it is a subject where the hard left have pre-positioned themselves to accept it as ‘Gospel’ ( pun intended ) and anybody not agreeing with them are ‘Heretics’
              ( 2nd pun intended ) . The core membership of my channel are like me not believers in the fiction of man made global warming as opposed to the climate undergoing periodic & naturally occurring changes over the millennia uninfluenced by the advance of mankind’s industrialization .

              I look forward to either you posting it yourself as an article page on my channel or passing me the links so that I can re-post it in your name .
              Best regards Tom AKA Pudding on my Top Hat.

  • Guest

    no wonder this has no likes, its biased, you gotta look at the postives, in fact if you do, there are more positives than negatives… anyway, i guess this person who wrote this did not get a very accurate collage education….

    • Jillian Becker

      Did you get a very accurate college education? Did you get high marks for spelling?

      There are no positives to look at in a stupid wind-power policy based on AGW lies.

      And by the way, this article was posted before the “like” button was added.

  • Harold

    I find the suggestion that nuclear power plants can be built close to cities amusing.

    • rogerinflorida

      Well then you should be ROFLYAO. Ontario Hydro, for instance runs the Pickering facility of eight nuclear reactors at the Pickering nuclear power station only a few miles from downtown Toronto. A few miles further up the coast of Lake Ontario  is the Darlington NPS. How do you think  crowded countries like Britain, France, Germany and Japan can enjoy cheap reliable nuclear power without locating their nuclear sites close to cities? 

  • Liz

    Just like the mercury lightbulb – such a brilliant idea!…if it wasn’t poisonous…  
    The lightbulbs, the windmills, and all their FANS need to go the way of the Dodobird.  Then maybe all the birds that aren’t extinct yet – no thanks to our genius planet saving crusaders – will survive. 

    • Frank

      Don’t worry about the mercury in the light bulbs. An environ-nazi acquaintance assured me that all the land fills have impenetrable liners and none of that mercury could ever leak into the ground water. 

      • Liz

        Interesting how the leakage appears or disappears as the need may apply!  And even if it were true, that still doesn’t help all the people who will have to call in hazmat teams whenever one breaks. (yeah, right!)

  • cheongyei

    Long live islamomisia.