Today, Rush Limbaugh said Europe was “using weather to provide energy”. I thought that was in interesting way of looking at wind and solar. Bottom line, that is what wind and solar generation is doing–using weather to create energy. We all realize how unpredictable and changeable weather is and to realize that we are staking our economic futures and the safety and warmth of our homes on weather really brings home just how bad and idea is. Wind and solar are not renewable and never were. However, I suppose renewable was an easier sell than “using weather to provide energy”.
House Republicans are seeking to compel the Obama administration to turn over uncensored, internal documents related to its enforcement of environmental laws at wind farms where eagles and other protected birds have been killed.
The House Natural Resources Committee issued the subpoena Tuesday as part of a 10-month investigation into the enforcement policies and practices of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Justice Department, a news release said.
There is no justification for allowing wind turbines to kill eagles while punishing oil companies for similar deaths (oil companies are actually punitively fined for many types of bird deaths, not just eagles). If it’s wrong to kill eagles to benefit humans, then it’s wrong. Find another way to produce energy–that’s what is being told to the oil companies. The same applies to turbines–if you can’t make electricity without killing eagles, then stop. Otherwise, all energy producers get a pass on eagle deaths.
My power company is running ads again using “Wattssmart” as a “town” where all the kids turn the lights off when they leave a room, power down/use power strips with electronic devices (thus missing recording any programs on their DVR), and eat their veggies, do their homework, use CFL and LED lights, win awards for their energy conservation. It’s all very heartwarming. Except…..
If the kids in real world live this way, the revenue stream to the power company decreases. The power company cannot afford to keep the lines maintained and read the meters. So the power company goes to the regulating body and demands an increase in rates. People protest so the power company asks for an increase in the monthly fees on the bill and not on the electricity. The regulatory committee says okay and all the people who conserved now see an increase in their bills. “All that money they would save” is not really ever going to happen.
One supposes that if you really want people to conserve, you should be honest and tell them conservation will not save them money. Maybe you can convince them to set the thermostat at 68 degrees to save the planet from global warming while there’s six feet of snow outside. Maybe. Probably not. So please do not complain that people don’t conserve and don’t care and don’t believe or support energy conservation. Energy conservation and climate change are not designed to reward people for the right behaviour. If you believe they are, perhaps you don’t understand what “reward” means.
The panacea of the enviros—wind and solar—are losing their fool’s gold shine. Expensive, unreliable and damaging to the environment, the truth about wind and solar is coming out.
“Renewable” is a misnomer. Wind and solar are “on their own time” energy sources, meaning we have no control over nor any reasonable way to predict the amount of energy we get. Think of it in terms of food—if your food source is wild berries, you eat only when you find berries. If you find no berries—or anything else—to eat, you go hungry. Now, the berries are “renewable”–they grow back in some quantity every year, sometimes several times a season. When the season is over, all one can do is wait for the next season, or search elsewhere. Wind and solar are not a return to simpler times such as the 1800′s. They are a return to preindustrial, pre-agricultural times when people used up all the resources in one area and then moved on—hunter/gatherer lives.
Turbines have been demonstrated to have much shorter “life spans” than the industry claims. It seems 10 to 15 years is a more realistic estimate (not the 20 the industry states) and many times, constant repair is necessary. One can find story after story of turbines losing blades, leaking hydraulic fluid, etc. Leaking hydraulic fluid does not fall under eco-friendly, yet you don’t see environmentalists objecting. The turbines continue to be labelled “earth friendly”.
Then there’s the bird/bat issue. I want to give kudos to the American Bird Conservatory for their fight against turbines on Lake Erie. When Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring”, there was a huge outcry and DDT was banned. Millions reportedly died in Africa from malaria, but that was to “save the birds”. All for a theory that turned out to be completely false. Yet, bodies of birds fall daily from turbines and evidence is everywhere of the damage they do. It’s a fact, not a theory. Maybe it’s time for “Rotochop and Bat Bursting Spring”, the story of wind turbines and birds. Maybe graphic images of the remains of raptors under turbines and animated bats exploding might alert people to the dangers of wind power. Forget softened egg shells—wind turbines take out the egg-laying adults. So where are the Rachel Carson followers? Why no screaming over the decimation of raptor and bat populations. Could it be this was more about destroying modern life that saving birds? It certainly seems that way, doesn’t it?
With all of the downsides, it’s still a battle to get people to understand why wind and solar are a bad deal, except for those lapping up the subsidies and tax credits. Wind and solar are a very anti-environment, anti-people, and anti-economic.
There have been some encouraging developments:
http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/wind-permits-allowing-eagle-deaths-face-blowback-20140123 (the Audubon Society seems to at least be taking some notice)
Got a Christmas card today made by Posty Cards. It says “manufactured with 100% Certified Renewable Energy”. What this means:
The company pays into a special fund, uses EXACTLY the same electricity as everyone else, and then get to lie about using renewable energy.
For future reference, “Certified Renewable Energy” means permission to lie about the source of your energy. Same as “take” permit means you can legally kill eagles that you are killing anyway
And on a Christmas card. Lies on a Christmas card. These people have no ethics and no shame whatsoever.
With “charities” like this one and the one mentioned in my previous post, one starts to long for the days when “caring” stops enriching the already rich and actually starts helping humanity. Yes, it’s a tall order, but the current crop of charities are wolves–nothing less. They care only about getting more and more money for themselves and will trample anyone who gets in their way.
“I find it shocking, and offensive, that the United Way, will gladly reap the potential financial benefits, of the legal abuse, that Nextera intends to heap upon Esther Wrightman. Everyone should write to the United Way, and let them know how you feel. If you belong to twitter, facebook, or any of the social media sights, broadcast this nasty behaviour, far and wide! Do NOT give one penny, to these people!”
This is NOT charity. Run from it. Find a local group and check them out if you want to give. Avoid all national organizations.
Update: December 6, 2013
Yesterday’s Casper Star Tribune had this:
And another source:
The answer to the number of dead eagles (not including dead bats and other “non-protected” birds) is 36 to 64 estimate for the first 500 turbines. Of course, it’s very unlikely the number will actually be that low. That’s the number of carcasses people will actually be told about. There will be more–many more. In addition, putting up the towers destroys the open spaces the eagles hunt in. Of course, wind companies don’t care at all about the environment–just get those subsidies and rake in the cash. Dead eagles–too bad.
The permits are interesting–they merely make legal what is now illegal. We need the turbines to “save the planet”–a complete lie in that the turbines pillage the landscape, destroy habitat, kill raptors and yield useless, part-time energy. The eagles will die regardless of permitting. I doubt permits are issued to oil companies and refineries. Clearly, these are a “get-out-of-jail-free” card for wind energy. Imagine if we did the same for say, homicide. If you are terminally ill or very old and would die in jail anyway, we just give you a tongue-lashing and that’s it. I mean, what would the point be of jailing someone who is sick or old? It costs taxpayers a lot, often for a few weeks in jail, assuming the killer lives long enough to go to trial. So let’s just give them a pass. After all, we can’t stop homicides. They happen every day. We should not be so black and white about these things. Plus, there would be more room in jail for younger killers who might kill again. It’s all the same rational as wind companies–well, the birds are going to die anyway and we have to save the planet from climate change that is due to CO2 so let’s kill a bunch of protected birds and claim it’s for the good of society. Better yet, let’s just let everyone kill whatever birds they want. Rancher’s cattle are killed by eagles. So are elk. Since the ranchers are necessary to meat production and the elk for hunting and tourists, they should be allowed to take whatever stands in the way of their livelihoods. Condors are now expendable. Millions spent to save them and now we cuisinart them in the name of saving the planet. Expect in the near future all the work of true conservationists to be plowed under by environmentalists. Please, STOP “SAVING THE PLANET”. YOU’RE KILLING IT.
This answers the question to how many eagles will die so Anschutz make billions more in federal monies which pillaging the Wyoming landscape. Note that he cleverly calls it Power Company of Wyoming –It should be “Colorado Billionaire Power” company. Wind energy is NOT about small companies that “care”. (For those of you who wish to avoid any support of Anschutz, he has a charity called “Foundation for a Better Life” that pretends to care about the people whose environment his is pillaging for his own benefit. I have found that very rich oil people decide if they are charitable, no one will notice the fact that they are billionaires and millionaires because of oil. They can claim to care while retaining all the money they made in oil. It’s smoke and mirrors and completely dishonest. I find it deplorable. If you’re going to “save the planet” from oil, get rid of every dime you made from it, or we will call you a hypocrite, because you are.)
November 24, 2013
Today in our paper, there was an article on Duke Energy being fined for killing golden eagles:
This is especially interesting to me since I can see the turbines from the road to my house (they are nearly 10 miles away but there is a gate that leads into one of the wind plants at the end of my road). I can also see eagles and other raptors (there was a kestrel in my trees about 3 days ago) riding the updrafts and hunting all around my place and every other open area. Duke put up 176 turbines in an area where one can see raptors hunting most of the winter. They admit they knew this when they put in the turbines–translation: Duke Energy willfully installed turbines knowing eagles and other protected birds would die and probably in large numbers. This is why I continually write letters to our paper pointing out there is no evidence that wind companies actually care about bird deaths unless they are fined and their misdeeds reported.
Whether or not $1 million is enough to actually deter Duke Energy remains to be seen. Duke “loaned” ten times amount that to the DNC then just wrote it off. This may just be a slap on the wrist. Hopefully, that slap will lead to more such slaps and the cost will become prohibitive. In addition, the public will see that wind companiesvcould not care unless forced to. They are no different than those “evil” oil companies.
Most interesting was this: “The company did take steps to minimize avian deaths once the respective project came on line and the number of birds killed climbed”. Does that mean that the methods employed only made things worse? If so, wind companies need to do much more research on their “mitigation” planning. Or does it mean that once the turbines started turning, the birds started dropping? I really could not tell.
There is a proposal to put 1000 turbines near Rawlins, Wyoming out on the open prairie. This is over 5 times the number of turbines near Glenrock. How many eagles will die as a result of such an installation? Will the owners be fined if the turbines kill eagles? There are take permits planned, but those only allow for around 5% of the population in the area. I doubt that number will cover the dead eagles in just that one facility, should it actually be built.
The pictures below are of the gate, the turbines as seen from near my house (barbed wire in front of photo) and turbines taken closer to Glenrock. The turbines line the horizon for miles.