The wind-power farce

July 3, 2011

Maybe “scam” would be a better word for something that is pushed as a “green solution” to anthropogenic global warming (1) , yet doesn’t do what it promises to do, but what it does do is done at tremendous public cost, all while making the alleged problem worse. In the UK, wind farms have become the government’s centerpiece for fighting climate change (2). Christopher Booker, writing about this policy in the Telegraph, explains why wind power is a chimera worthy of Don Quixote tilting at windmills:

Centrica and other energy companies last week told [the Department of Energy and Climate Change] that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.

We will thus be landed in the ludicrous position of having to spend an additional £10 billion on those 17 dedicated power stations, which will be kept running on “spinning reserve”, 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. This is that their power continually fluctuates anywhere between full capacity to zero (where it often stood last winter, when national electricity demand was at a peak). So unless back-up power is instantly available to match any shortfall, the lights will go out.

Two things make this even more absurd. One, as the energy companies pointed out to DECC, is that it will be amazingly costly and wildly uneconomical, since the dedicated power plants will often have to run at a low rate of efficiency, burning gas but not producing electricity. This will add billions more to our fuel bills for no practical purpose. The other absurdity, as recent detailed studies have confirmed, is that gas-fired power stations running on “spinning reserve” chuck out much more CO2 than when they are running at full efficiency – thus negating any savings in CO2 emissions supposedly achieved by the windmills themselves.

And before we laugh and point at the Brits for their folly, keep in mind that these are the very same “solutions” that the Obama administration, its eco-statist allies, and the corporations that would benefit from the required government subsidies all want to impose on us. We even have a whole government agency devoted to pimping wind power, while the administration has shown repeatedly its hostility toward developing our vast coal and oil supplies.

Rather than laugh, we should look to Britain for a warning.

Footnotes:

(1) A problem, remember, that does not exist.

(2) Attempting to control the world’s thermostat. Someone should introduce these idiots to King Canute.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sunday book review: The Real Global Warming Disaster

April 25, 2010

For years now, we’ve been warned the world faces catastrophe because man and his polluting activities are making the world too hot, principally by pumping too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This anthropogenic global warming, the Wise tell us, will wipe out species, cause the spread of disease, submerge islands and coastal cities as the seas rise, while turning much of the world into a desert. Britain may come to resemble a Mediterranean country, while, in one dire scenario, Man’s folly will leave Antarctica as the only inhabitable continent.

Scary stuff, indeed.

But what’s more frightening, according to Christopher Booker, author of The Real Global Warming Disaster, is that so many have fallen for this nonsense and that the major nations of the Western world, notably Great Britain and the United States, stand on the verge of doing near-fatal harm to their own economies in order to fight a problem that does not exist.

Booker’s is not a work of science, but a book about the corruption of science, journalism, and politics, and how they have combined to create one of the greatest public scares and manias since Dutchmen thought tulip bulbs were a sound investment. Scientists who placed ideology and pride ahead of empirical truth; journalists who failed in their most basic responsibility, to be skeptical of what they were told; and politicians who didn’t understand the science , but jumped on a bandwagon and then found it going too fast to jump off. Booker traces these and other intellectual and social threads back for over 60 years to see how we arrived at the verge of economic suicide.

What’s truly disheartening about a book such as this is how figures in whom we are supposed to place great trust –scientists, journalists, and politicians– can be so incompetent and petty. And vicious, given how they have treated those who have questioned the vaunted “consensus” regarding man-made climate change. The story of the global warming craze, which has yet to play to its end and may still trap us in its delusional green fantasies, serves as a warning to the public in democratic societies to never let down their guard. When someone says, “There is a crisis, and we must surrender our liberties and spend trillions to fix it – just trust me,” we should be at our most wary and skeptical.

The Real Global Warming Disaster is available through Amazon; I highly recommend it.

(And yes, FTC, I do get a few pennies should someone click on the link. )


This is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

November 29, 2009

An excellent summary in The Telegraph of what happened in ClimateGate and why it’s significant. The money quote:

Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.

Do read the whole thing.