Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Mayor's Windy Nightmare

By Alan Caruba

People ask me, “How do you find something to write about every day?” And I tell them that I merely wait for some liberal politician and/or environmental freakazoid to announce their latest loony plan to “save the planet.”

So, thank you, Mayor Michael Bloomberg for announcing your “windmill power plan” that would put wind turbines on every building, city bridges, and everywhere else throughout New York for the purpose of “producing ten percent of the city’s electricity in ten years.”

Anyone who has to live near wind turbines will tell you that they are not just noisy neighbors, but their incessant noise can make you crazy. There are reports of medical conditions being attributed to being around wind turbines day-in and day-out.

The problem is exacerbated by the need to keep the turbines turning even when there is no wind; otherwise mechanical problems can occur. So wind turbines are hooked up to a source of reliable energy like that from a coal-fired plant to keep the blades moving.

If, I hear you saying, you have to hook up the turbines to electricity from a coal-fired, natural gas or nuclear plant, why do you need them in the first place? Good question!
Right now, in terms of all the wind turbines in the nation, the amount of electricity being produced adds up to about one percent of the total.

To put it another way, generating electricity with wind turbines is just about the most stupid way you can devise when compared to other methods. The exception to this is the use of solar panels that produce even less electricity nationwide than wind turbines.

Who, in fact, really likes wind turbines? Answer: The people who make and install them. The reason for this is the tremendous federal subsidies involved. In 2006 alone, the federal tax incentives paid out cost taxpayers an estimated $2.75 billion.

Then, of course, is the fact that the wind does not blow all the time. According to energy industry expert Robert Bryce, in economic terms that means “electricity generated by wind costs more than twice as much as that generated by coal, natural gas, or nuclear power.”

Mayor Bloomberg is afflicted with the same madness of all liberals; the belief that any cockeyed notion that pops into their head and requires a lot of money, plus produces a great deal of pain for the most dubious results, must be implemented.

The Mayor has been on a tear since taking office to force everyone to stop smoking, to eliminate trans-fats from all restaurant menus, and other meaningless intrusions into the private lives and choices of New Yorkers and anyone visiting the Big Apple. Simply leaving people alone never seems to occur to him.

Finally, let it be said that wind energy proposals that are based on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, i.e., global warming, are inherently erroneous because the Earth is not warming. For a decade now, it has been cooling and it is likely to continue cooling for decades to come.

The notion that wind energy will reduce our dependency on foreign oil is another myth. That can be achieved by drilling for and extracting the millions of barrels of oil that exist in and around the U.S.A..

If you think life in New York City can make some people crazy, then put wind turbines everywhere and watch everyone go crackers.

One thing’s for sure, the city’s pigeon population would be decimated within a year. The sound and sight of all birds would vanish from the city.


Anonymous said...

It would appear that the two presidential candidates are all so keen to be seen to be Green. In that respect they can be seen to be on the same 'ticket' on environmental issues.
America is still the largest and richest economy in the world and, after dragging its feet, is now firmly in the grip of the environmentalist agenda. The Candidates, political and corporate America are falling over themselves in the rush to embrace this retro-culture of minimalism.
With our present technology based upon our resources of fossil fuels and nuclear fission we can progress as a civilization to our next mandatory point – the development of controlled, safe nuclear fusion. Although always claimed to be 40 years away its time will come – as long as we can be ‘allowed’ to progress our research.
The minimalist retro-culture of the Greens, now well entrenched in all levels of government and public life threatens all our futures – and specifically those generations coming up.
As both candidates are eager to slash greenhouse gas emissions by some form of ‘cap & trade’ I shall borrow some figures from British journalist Christopher Booker – a writer of sensible realities – to illustrate just how crippling this minimalist retro-culture will be to the American economy.
Even at this time America has five-times the wind turbine capacity of Britain, amounting to some 10,000 turbine eyesores over thousands of square miles. The total power from these things is 4.5GW which is only slightly more than one large coal-fired power station.
The economic cost of both candidate’s ‘cap & trade,’ to slash US greenhouse gas emissions to 63 percent below 2005 levels, is an estimated cost by 2030 of more than $600 Billion a year. This represents a cumulative loss to the US economy, from 2005 to 2030 (22 years) of a staggering, eye-watering $4.8 Trillion.
The US reserves of coal are at least 200 years. However, in state after state Green policies are treating coal like the plague – even natural gas and new-generation nuclear.
US government scientist are still firmly in the ‘warmist’ camp. They have prepared a 149-page report as part of a response to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling under the Clean Air Act. The report lays out the ‘grave risks’ that global warming poses, and that the EPA is mandated to regulate greenhouse gasses. This is the kicker, though: in a Supreme Court Judgement – Mass. v the US EPA, the Court rules that the EPA must treat all greenhouse gasses as ‘pollution’ to be regulated under America’s Clean Air Act. CO2 - the life giver and from every source - is to be mandated a pollution?
The implications of this ruling are hard to envisage; the sanity of such measures should be questioned by all as the economic consequences are grave, indeed. However, the two candidates march blindly in happy ignorance, oblivious that their acceptance of this policy of insanity which will all but doom America to a 2nd rate power.
When your lights start to go out, making the Texas black-out look like a dipped headlight, you’re there!

Alan Caruba said...

It's worth noting that Mayor Bloomberg, after being ridiculed by NYC newspapers, backed off this hairbrained proposal within a day, saying, "I have absolutely no idea whether that makes any sense from a scientific, from a practical point of view." Too bad that didn't occur to him with he suggested it, but reality rarely intrudes on most Green "solutions" to real problems and needs.