Stuck with the windmill 1

There are plotters of the man-made global warming (“Chicken Little”) scare who know it is not true. They pretend it is true to force our submission to their “saving” rule. That is their motive and their aim. From time to time they admit it. They play us for fools. We will surely have to surrender to them, they reckon, for a cause so compelling – the saving of our planet from “burning up”. They are not hard to understand. They want power. They are organizers of populations. Herders of the human species. Super busybodies.

In addition, there are the untold millions of gulls who believe them. Who are convinced that the planet really is “burning up” and we must do what THEY say if we are to save our home in the cosmos.

It seems a lot of them really believe that if they give money to Al Gore; drive a Prius; stop eating meat; stop flying in aircraft; put solar panels on their roofs; vote for THEIR candidate in all elections; shiver in winter rather than use central heating; boil in summer rather than use air-conditioning; attend warmist protest rallies; put stickers on their cars announcing their virtuous faith in the warmist cult; curse President Trump for not signing a magic “accord” signed by other government leaders in Paris; and so on an on, they are actually doing things that will help to save the planet from “burning up”.

All the Democratic candidates for the presidency are adherents of this extra-weird faith; whether disingenuously because they know it is not true, or ingenuously because they believe it is, who knows?

We quote from some recent articles challenging and debunking the absurd belief.

Paul Driessen writes at Townhall:

CNN just hosted a seven-hour climate bore-athon. That climate cataclysms are real, imminent and indeed already devastating our planet is an article of faith. So host Wolf Blitzer and ten Democrat presidential wannabes vied to make the most extravagant claims about how bad things are and who would spend the most taxpayer money and impose the most Green New Deal rules to restrict our freedoms and transform our energy, economy, agriculture and transportation, in the name of preventing further cataclysms.

Bankrupt the country, in fact.

Cory Booker opened the bidding at $3 trillion. Kamala Harris and Julian Castro raised it to $10 trillion, and Bernie Sanders upped it to $16 trillion. Then they got down to the business of which personal choices and living standards would be rolled back the furthest. Among the proposals:

Ban all commercial air travel, except for ruling and privileged classes. Change our dietary guidelines or ban beef outright. “Massively” increase taxes, to “make polluters pay” for emitting greenhouse gases. Eliminate onshore drilling, offshore drilling, fracking, coal-fired power plants and internal combustion engines. No pipelines. No new nuclear power plants. Ensure “climate justice”.

Whatever that is.

The first bucket of icy cold reality is that we simply do not face a climate emergency. Computer models certainly predict all kinds of catastrophes. But both the models and increasingly hysterical assertions of planetary doom are completely out of synch with reality.

The second, even colder bucket of reality is that the wind and sun may be free, renewable, sustainable. and eco-friendly. But the technologies and raw materials required to harness this widely dispersed, intermittent, weather dependent energy to benefit humanity absolutely are not. In fact, they are far more environmentally harmful than any of the fossil fuel energy sources they would supposedly replace.

Biofuels. US ethanol quotas currently gobble up over 40% of America’s corn – grown on cropland nearly the size of Iowa, to displace about 10% of America’s gasoline. Corn ethanol also requires vast quantities of water, pesticides, fertilizers, natural gas, gasoline and diesel, to produce and transport a fuel that drives up food prices, adversely affects food aid and nutrition in poor nations, damages small engines, and gets one-third fewer miles per gallon than gasoline.

Replacing 100% of US gasoline with ethanol would require some 360 million acres of corn. That’s seven times the land mass of Utah. But eliminating fossil fuel production means we’d also have to replace the oil and natural gas feed stocks required for pharmaceuticals, wind turbine blades, solar panel films, paints, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, and plastics for cell phones, computers, eyeglasses, car bodies and countless other products. That would mean planting corn on almost 14 times the area of Utah.

Solar powerSolar panels on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base generate a minuscule 15 megawatts of electricity, about 40% of the year, from 72,000 panels on 140 acres. Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant generates 760 times more electricity, from less land, 90-95% of the time.

Generating Palo Verde’s electricity output using Nellis technology would require acreage ten times larger than Washington, DC. And the solar panels would still provide electricity only 40% of the year.

Generating the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours that Americans consumed in 2018 would require blanketing over ten million acres with solar panels. That’s half of South Carolina – a lot of wildlife habitat and scenic land. And we’d still get that electricity only when sufficient sun is shining.

Wind powerMandated, subsidized wind energy also requires millions of acres for turbines and new transmission lines, and billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals and fiberglass.

Like solar panels, wind turbines produce intermittent, unreliable electricity that costs much more than coal, gas or nuclear electricity – once subsidies are removed – and must be backed up by fossil fuel generators that have to go from standby to full-power many times a day, very inefficiently, every time the wind stops blowing. Turbine blades kill numerous raptors, other birds and bats every year – a million or more every year in the USA alone. Their light flicker and infrasonic noise impair human health.

Modern coal and gas-fired power plants can generate 600 megawatts some 95% of the time from less than 300 acres. Indiana’s Fowler Ridge wind farm also generates 600 megawatts – from 350 towering turbines, located on more than 50,000 acres, and less than 30% of the year.

Now let’s suppose we’re going to use wind power to replace those 3.9 billion megawatt-hours of US electricity consumption. Let’s also suppose we’re going to get rid of all those coal and gas-fired backup power plants – and use wind turbines to generate enough extra electricity every windy day to charge batteries for just seven straight windless days.

That would require a lot of extra wind turbines, as we are forced to go into lower and lower quality wind locations. Instead of generating full nameplate power maybe one-third of the year, on average, they will do so only around 16% of the year. Instead of the 58,000 turbines we have now, the United States would need some 14 million turbines, each one 400 feet tall, each one capable of generating 1.8 megawatts at full capacity, when the wind is blowing at the proper speed.

Assuming a barely sufficient 15 acres apiece, those monster turbines would require some 225 million acres! That’s well over twice the land area of California – without including transmission lines! Their bird-butchering blades would wipe out raptors, other birds and bats in vast regions of the USA.

Eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, geese and other high-flying birds and bats would virtually disappear from our skies. Insects and vermin would proliferate.

Seems the entire ecosystem would be severely disrupted.

Manufacturing those wind turbines would require something on the order of 4 billion tons of steel, copper and alloys for the towers and turbines; 8 billion tons of steel and concrete for the foundations; 4 million tons of rare earth metals for motors, magnets and other components; 1 billion tons of petroleum-based composites for the nacelle covers and turbine blades; and massive quantities of rock and gravel for millions of miles of access roads to the turbines. Connecting our wind farms and cities with high-voltage transmission lines would require still more raw materials – and more millions of acres.

All these materials must be mined, processed, smelted, manufactured into finished products, and shipped all over the world. They would require removing hundreds of billions of tons of earth and rock overburden – and crushing tens of billions of tons of ore – at hundreds of new mines and quarries.

Every step in this entire process would require massive amounts of fossil fuels, because wind turbines and solar panels cannot operate earth moving and mining equipment – or produce consistently high enough heat to melt silica, iron, copper, rare earth or other materials.

Not once did any of CNN’s hosts or Green New Deal candidates so much as mention any of this. To them, “renewable” energy will just happen, like manna from Gaia, or beamed down from the Starship Enterprise.

They should no longer be allowed to dodge these issues, to go from assuming the climate is in crisis, to assuming “reliable, affordable, renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly” alternatives to fossil fuel (and nuclear) energy will just magically appear, or can just be willed or subsidized into existence.

Citizens, newscasters, debate hosts and legislators who are more firmly grounded in reality need to confront Green New Dealers with hard questions and icy cold facts – and keep repeating them until the candidates provide real answers. No more dissembling, obfuscation or incantations permitted.

And the frail equipment we build in the hope that, if we put it out there, sun and wind will kindly come along and use it to move us and warm us, does not last long.

John Hinderaker writes at PowerLine:

Wind turbines only last for around 20 years, so many of them are now wearing out. That raises serious questions about disposal of defunct wind turbine parts. The turbines’ giant blades are not recyclable, so they must be dumped in landfills. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports on one South Dakota landfill that is saying no mas to wind turbine blades:

The Argus Leader reports that more than 100 wind turbine blades measuring 120 ft long have been dumped in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, landfill, but there’s a problem: the massive blades are taking up too much room, according to local City officials. …

A wind farm near Albert Lea, Minn., brought dozens of their old turbine blades to the Sioux Falls dump this summer.

But City Hall says it won’t take anymore unless owners take more steps to make the massive fiberglass pieces less space consuming.

The wind energy industry isn’t immune to cyclical replacement, with turbine blades needing to be replaced after a decade or two in use. That has wind energy producers looking for places to accept the blades on their turbines that need to be replaced.

For at least one wind-farm in south central Minnesota, it found the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill to be a suitable facility to take its aged-out turbine blades.

But nothing disilusions the faithful. They go on believing that the earth is warming so fast that the ice-caps are melting, and over and over again they set out to “prove” it.

They never do.

James Delingpole writes at Breitbart:

Yet another greenie expedition to the Arctic to raise awareness of ‘global warming’ has been scuppered by unexpected large quantities of ice. This brings to a total of six the number of Ship of Fools expeditions where weather reality has made a mockery of climate theory.

According to Maritime Bulletin:

Arctic tours ship MS MALMO with 16 passengers on board got stuck in ice on Sep 3 off Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, halfway between Norway and North Pole. The ship is on Arctic tour with Climate Change documentary film team, and tourists, concerned with Climate Change and melting Arctic ice. All 16 Climate Change warriors were evacuated by helicopter in challenging conditions, all are safe. 7 crew remains on board, waiting for Coast Guard ship assistance.

The reporter, Erofey Schkvarkin clearly has a sense of humour. He adds:

Something is very wrong with Arctic ice, instead of melting as ordered by UN/IPCC, it captured the ship with Climate Change Warriors. …

Here is the Ship of Fools list of shame

Ship of Fools 1 [December, 2013] Australian climate researcher Chris Turkey and a crew of climate alarmists on a mission to demonstrate just how much Antarctic ice has been affected by global warming get stuck in unexpectedly thick ice and have to be rescued by helicopter.

Ship of Fools II [September, 2016] Arctic expedition led by veteran explorer David Hempleman-Adams to raise awareness of “permanent irreversible change in the sea ice landscape of the Arctic” caused by global warming is ruined by unexpectedly large quantities of ice.

Ship of Fools III [June, 2017] Global warming research study in Canada cancelled because of ice. “It became clear to me very quickly that these weren’t just heavy ice conditions, these were unprecedented ice conditions” claims the lead scientist, blaming it on “climate change fully in action” and calling it “a wake up call for all of us in this country.”

Ship of Fools IV [September, 2017]Arctic Mission sailing expedition to North Pole to raise awareness of global warming has to turn back after yachts find their passage blocked by large quantities of unexpected frozen white substance.

Ship of Fools V [August, 2018] Scientists, students, filmmakers from University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center on a mission to “document climate change effects” in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago have to be rescued after the ship is damaged after grounding on unexpected hard, bluey-white substance floating on the sea.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!