Impact on Birds or USA
The fair landscape of Coachella Valley's western end is blighted by scores of ugly windmills. Their production of electricity goes into the state grid. Energy produced here should stay here to lessen local bills. And if we must suffer their presence, keep them in operation constantly to benefit us further.
Nor will environmentally friendly wind, solar and biomass power meet the need, despite their growing popularity. These up-and-coming renewable resources merit further development and investment, but the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow when you want it to. For now, their intermittent qualities render them incapable of serving a large population's daily needs.
Good public policy promotes desirable social and economic change cost-effectively. Government programs, however well-intentioned, tied to bad ideas are bad policy. Such is the case with federal and state programs promoting industrial wind energy.
Intuitively, though, it feels like there's something wrong with this picture. When you stop and think about it, the whole idea of driving a car, paying money into a green kitty to offset the CO2 from burning the gas, and then calling the car trip carbon-neutral, is ludicrous.
Wind and solar power make up less than one-half of 1 percent of what we use on a typical day. In part because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine (and in part because wind turbines and solar cells are expensive to build) neither technology is yet good enough to generate large, reliable quantities of inexpensive electricity, or what utility companies call “base load” power.
It is routine these days to read in newspapers or hear -- almost anywhere the subject of climate change comes up -- that the 1990s were the "warmest decade in a millennium" and that 1998 was the warmest year in the last 1,000.
This assertion has become so accepted that it is often recited without qualification, and even without giving a source for the "fact." But a report soon to be released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee by three independent statisticians underlines yet again just how shaky this "consensus" view is, and how recent its vintage.
Suppose you wanted to make a bundle in the electric energy business in the little state of Vermont. How would you go about it? The old-fashioned way would be to generate electricity at a lower cost than your competitors. But forget that – too demanding. Here’s another way: get the federal and state governments to rig the deal in your favor.
It’s time for the Times to catch up with the truths about “wind energy.” In fact, “wind farms,” including the Cape project, make little sense from a national and public interest point of view.
Editor's Note: Submitted to the Washington Times on July 7, 2006. The Washington Times editorial follows Glenn Schleede's response.
...coal power plants provide over a quarter of our energy in Massachusetts (and over half of our energy nationwide). So while researching alternative energy sources is important, cleaning up our existing plants will have a much bigger and more immediate effect on the environment.
For environmental and geopolitical reasons, the U.S. must reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Traditional coal-fired plants are dirty and contribute to foul air problems in North Texas and elsewhere. Coal gasification, a cleaner technology, is relatively untested on a large scale. Wind and solar power are clean but insufficient. Natural gas is becoming more expensive.
In short, the means to become energy independent in the US are at hand and must be developed. This means coal conversion to motor gasoline and nuclear power plants for more electricity. The American public should not be diverted by dreams of risk free, aesthetically pure fuels which do not exist and cannot exist. This fixation only serves to paralyze the process of energy independence.
The notion that industrial-size wind energy facilities — arrays of huge wind turbines — will solve America's increasing electrical energy demands, while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of being environmentally ''green'' technology, is inaccurate.
Instead of destroying the mountains that make the Berkshires unique, let's focus on sensible alternatives that will be a true sign of success, not for the investors, but for us.
...nuclear power emits no carbon dioxide and causes no air pollution. It can be argued that because of the large amount of base-load electricity it produces from a small amount of fuel, nuclear power is the only energy source that can make a real difference in the battle against global warming.
There should be great hesitation before swallowing the Chicken Little du jour. The good news is that the bad news about the climate is exaggerated.
As Will Rogers famously observed, every time Congress makes a joke, it’s a law. And every time it makes a law, it’s a joke. If we could simply harness congressional hot air, America’s energy problems would be history...Until then... America will be held hostage to foreign “oiligarchs” and domestic environmentalists. And consumers will have to dig deeper into their pocketbooks – or try to live more like the average family in China or India.
Editor's Note Replacing "Ethanol" with "Wind energy" makes this an interesting read.
A dangerous trend of political opposition to wind farms has developed in 2006. Beginning with one or two isolated incidents, the opposition to wind power is rapidly growing into a global movement that threatens all future renewable energy projects.
That said, here's some valuable advice for the GOP, if they want to remain in power: Pretend you have a viable energy policy that goes beyond running cars with Mazola.
Nothing in nature is ever quite that simple.