February 20, 2012

The dark side of wind turbines.



Meade (via Mead) showed me this, knowing it's why I'm afraid to buy a tiny dream house in what looks to be an idyllic country landscape.

143 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I never thought ... what our neighbors across the road would think.

In short, you were a bad neighbor. Who makes a big decision about their property without talking about it with neighbors?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



1) Oil: Evil & Large Corporations & Greed
2) Coal: Ditto & Large Corporations & Greed
3) Nuclear: Fukushima/3 Mile Island/Chernobyl & Large Corporations & Greed
4) Fracking: Ground Water Contamination & Large Corporations & Greed
5) Hydro Power: Salmon/Water Rights/Conservation & Large Corporations & Greed
6) Solar: Desert Tortoise/Endangered Species/Fragile Desert Environment & Large Corporations & Greed
7) Wind Power: Noise/Unsightly/Dangerous to Man and Beast & Large Corporations & Greed

My conclusion is Greens are against EVERYTHING, and hope to return to the Medieval Period, although that era involved Wood/Bio Mass and Deforestation/Particulate Pollution.

Patrick said...

Is "Tilting at Windmills" too cliche?

I've seen them off in the distance, and think they are nice to look at. I've seen them up close, and I am amazed at how huge they are. Driving to CO through WY awhile ago, i saw several of them being moved on semi trailers. One blade per semi. I cannot think that they would be pleasant to be near.

More nukes.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is "Tilting at Windmills" too cliche?"

Yes.

And they are not windmills.

There is no mill involved.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Who makes a big decision about their property without talking about it with neighbors


Uh me? It’s my land, it’s not YOUR land….That having been said, your neighbor/my neighbor might have a cause of action for damages, even in Common law, for certain actions I take. But neither you nor I is in any way OBLIGATED to ask our neighbors what we intend to do with our land. Otherwise Madman let me talk to you about your choice of lawn mower….and don’t get me started on your make and model of car, and that colour *Ugggh*

Ann Althouse said...

"In short, you were a bad neighbor. Who makes a big decision about their property without talking about it with neighbors?"

Somebody needing money and looking at what is to them an offer of a nice pile of money. That's what the movie is about. It tore up a community that previously was a decent place.

Ann Althouse said...

I refuse to move anywhere where it is possible for this turbine intrusion to happen to me.

Do I have to embed in the middle of a city in order to be safe from the noise and the strobing?

traditionalguy said...

The wind turbines have been exposed in Europe for frauds that they have always been. They are basically worthless. They are rents paid to certain owners and manufactures for the myth that clean energy is happening

Wind is 1000 year old technology that was replaced 500 years ago by hydro power, and that was replaced 200 years ago by steam engines.

The question is how long will it be before the Media in the USA dares to tell the truth about clean energy scams.

They are not half good. They are total negatives that have no good in them.

PatCA said...

Wow, the tide is turning. I can't wait for this movie!

Will we see a MSM blackout?

John Lynch said...

The pentagram on the barn shows how evil they are.

To avoid wind turbines, avoid wind. There are places where the wind is too irregular to produce power.

This nonsense will end when the government subsidies end. The same thing happened after the 1970s- energy prices fell and the alternative energy scam could no longer justify itself.

Maguro said...

The real pisser is that wind power is too volatile to even provide a useful source of energy. No one wants a coal mine in their backyard either, but at least you get reliable electricity out of the deal.

MisterBuddwing said...

"Windfall" - what a terrific title!

Rialby said...

"I refuse to move anywhere where it is possible for this turbine intrusion to happen to me.

Do I have to embed in the middle of a city in order to be safe from the noise and the strobing?"

Doesn't Nurse Bloomy want them in NYC? On the top of tall buildings?

Rialby said...

Yup... "Michael Bloomberg envisions an off-shore wind farm and small turbines on skyscrapers and bridges that would provide part of the city's electricity needs in coming years."

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10020875-54.html#ixzz1mx0Ar0eJ

Patrick said...

""Is "Tilting at Windmills" too cliche?"

Yes."

Well, maybe there's a job for me at ESPN.

X said...

Do I have to embed in the middle of a city in order to be safe from the noise and the strobing?

I live a block from the fire station. after a while you don't even notice it.

peprgirl said...

In my neighborhood they are taking an open field and putting in 14,000 solar panels on 20 acres of open space.

The owner of the property is a church and in the Commonwealth of MA there is statue that says "no zoning laws can stop a solar farm", even if its a power plant going into residential land.

My take is, I would rather 20 acres of solar farm over 20 acres of new homes and people and cars.

Green is Greed and its one tax credit away from exploding everywhere.

traditionalguy said...

Too bad Alfred Hitchcock is not around today. He could make a sinister Wind Turbine Development into a movie mixing in Tea Party terrorist operators that secretly send vibrations at Washington.

It should be in black and white. (See, Foreign Correspondent.)

David said...

Ann Althouse said...
I refuse to move anywhere where it is possible for this turbine intrusion to happen to me.


That includes most of Wisconsin then. A few years ago the legislature removed the right of local governments in Wisconsin to approve or disapprove "wind farms." This was done by the legislature at the behest of powerful interests, who did not want the local yahoos interfering with their subsidized tax advantaged boondoggles.

Where was the outrage?

traditionalguy said...

The Greenstapo has taken note of Althouse. First she opposed fluorescent light bulbs, and now she openly opposes Wind Turbines.

And who really is this Meade who acts as her bodyguard?

Bruce Hayden said...

See them all over the west, but maybe one of the most notable is I-10 right by Palm Springs. You can't count them all - probably 100 or so withing sight right along the freeway. Since there were different types and to some extent sizes, I wondered whether they were experimental there.

One thing that almost no one mentions is that the best wind is far from where it is needed. My memory of the nation's wind map is that much of the best wind is in the high plains, maybe ND/SD/Eastern MT, and offshore up the Atlantic coast at, for example Nantucket. Actually Colorado has the most highest winds in the lower 48, but most of it is unusable due to the icing on the mountain ridges.

The problem with the location of the better wind being so far from where it is needed is that you have to transmit it there, and that requires transmission lines, which we would have to build, but haven't, due to NIMBY. And, there is significant loss over distance too. (And, there are a lot of people who believe that high power transmission lines are not safe for your health).

Peter said...

'Joe' said, "My conclusion is Greens are against EVERYTHING, and hope to return to the Medieval Period ..."

Except, medievals made significant use of water power- mostly for grinding grain, but also to power stuff like trip hammers.

And surely someone had to smelt the metals used to make all that fine armor.

So, we'll have to go farther back, waaaay back, to satisfy enviros. If smelting copper and tin is too messy, perhaps we'll have to go all they way back to neolithic technology.

AND, you can dang well be thankful that they'll permit that "neo" stuff, instead of insisting on paleolithic.

Bruce Hayden said...

The owner of the property is a church and in the Commonwealth of MA there is statue that says "no zoning laws can stop a solar farm", even if its a power plant going into residential land.

With the proviso that the solar farm isn't within the view of a Kennedy.

Lem said...

Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then

Kit said...

Do I have to embed in the middle of a city in order to be safe from the noise and the strobing?

No.

Joe said...

There is very little accountability for these "green" projects. Try to get documentation of build and repair costs, let alone actual efficiency.

I'll never forget driving past the windmills on I-10 in the 70s and 80s. Most the windmills were broken. It was a hideous sight.

In twenty years, that ugly sight is going to be seen all over the country as windmills fall apart and there is no cost justification to fix or replace them.

I predict that within thirty years, the federal government will add "green" energy sites, including windmills and solar farms, to Superfund cleanup sites.

David said...

Along the interstate north of Indianapolis on the way to Chicago there is a gigantic swath of turbines. Last year I decided to find out which power company had developed it and how it was doing.

Here's what I learned:

1. The farm was owned by a partnership that had been put together by Goldman Sachs, not by a utility.
2. The local utility was required by law to purchase all electricity generated by the farm at predetermined prices for a period exceeding 10 years. These prices were in excess of the price the utility paid for any other power by a substantial margin.
3. The prospectus for the partnership made it clear that the guaranteed cash flow from selling to the utility was sufficient to service the debt and pay the land rent with a very healthy cash return on top.
4. The partnership had all sorts of tax advantages, including tax credits and depreciation that made the cash returns close to tax free. There were also direct federal subsidies and federally guaranteed loans involved.
5. The upshot was essentially a federally subsidized state promoted and utility rate payer funded tax free return well in excess of the usual return for municipal bonds. Through leverage and the Internal Revenue Code, there were actually tax losses that could be deducted against other income.

After a few years of this (and exhaustion of the front loaded depreciation and tax credits), the entire enterprise was sold to am American subsidiary of a Portuguese company. This created a tax advantaged capital gain for the Goldman Sachs investors. I was unable to determine the tax and subsidy angle for the (supposedly) Portuguese investors, but I am sure there was one.

In short, the Federal government, the green lobby, the Commonwealth of Indiana and Goldman Sachs all worked together to create a whiz bang low risk tax free investment for the Goldman clients (whose identity can not be ascertained.)

Nice, huh?

Chip Ahoy said...

It was really weird going back to an earlier house that I hadn't seen in awhile. I don't know why the high tension power lines were needed precisely on that country road or who they serviced but they are massive. And fierce. Had they been there lined up like that when I grew up in the house they'd have been the monsters of nightmares with outstretched arms running rampant with whipping wires.

DADvocate said...

I see the blades to these things being parked on the side of the interstate waiting for escort vehicles and rush hour to pass (apparently they aren't allowed to cross the bridge or go thru certain areas during rush hour). The blades are huge, about twice a long as a standard semi trailer.

They kill millions of birds each year too. But, that's OK, because it's green.

David said...

And by the way, it took me less than two days of working part time to figure all this out.

Do you think there might be just one Fucking journalist in the entire United States who could look into what must be scores of similar deals.

No, of course there is not.

Chip Ahoy said...

I must say, that's awesome sleuthing there, David.

Wally Kalbacken said...

They are an evil wind, they are a mighty wind!

They must be broken!

We must break an evil mighty wind!

Kim Priestap said...

"Do I have to embed in the middle of a city in order to be safe from the noise and the strobing?"

Honestly, Ann, I think that's exactly what environmentalists and Obama-liberals want: the American people living in crowded cities and relying on mass transit. For one, the environment they worship will be protected and, two, we're easier to control that way.

MadisonMan said...

You can buy "green" energy from the local Power Company, and of course it's more expensive than energy produced by natural gas, which is what MG&E uses most of. I know people who do this.

Suckers.

I have thought about solar panels on my roof -- it's a nice slanted south-facing roof. Maybe in 5 or 10 years.

Lem said...

Do you think there might be just one Fucking journalist in the entire United States who could look into what must be scores of similar deals.

They are busy chasing sex stories.

SteveR said...

I predict that within thirty years, the federal government will add "green" energy sites, including windmills and solar farms, to Superfund cleanup sites.

Current law requires companies managing hazardous waste to provide financial assurance as a condition of permitting so in this situation it would make good sense for the owners to do that. Oh wait, that would be the taxpayers.

madAsHell said...

Ted Kennedy lives!

ricpic said...

Wherever I see these things they are an aesthetic affront, otherwise known as an eyesore, on the landscape. Awful in western Iowa where they are at complete odds with the gentle roll of the land, awful in eastern Wyoming where they stick up like toothpicks atop the majestic buttes. That alone should be enough to do away with them. Maybe most folks don't have eyes.

grgeil said...

I imagine in 30 or 40 years we'll be funding a multi-billion dollar environmental reclamation project to rid the countryside of dangerous, old, rusting wind turbines. Our grandkids will wonder whatever possessed us to scar the countryside with these energy-inefficient, bird-killing eyesores.

Amartel said...

I watched and thought it was a UTR spoof of the usual recycled scare tactics and tropes deployed in leftoid robodocumentaries. Good folks frightened in their homes by big business. A community divided (helpful wild animals fighting in cages footage). People developing disorders which they relate to the resident evil lurking out in the field. Pleas to Stop! and Listen! Then I looked it up on the internet and ... not a spoof.

Oh, nooooooes. Somebody's PROFITTING. (dramatic sotto voce: Stop Them.)

We can do better, I hope. Wind energy, and profits reaped from wind energy, are ripe for satire.

P.S. Object to being asked to prove I'm "not a robot." Not that anyone cares.

P.P.S. And before someone gets all huffy and files a lawsuit, I would like it noted for the record that some of my BEST FRIENDS are robots. And they think Captcha is delightful.

Joe Schmoe said...

David, good info. I looked a little bit into a wind farm in an area where I used to live. The company was paying the town (who owned the land) $500K a year into perpetuity. (What a dumbass the town administrator was for that. He just took their first offer and ran it through. Paid off? Maybe.) The power generated was being sold to another municipality almost 50 miles away, as my old town had an agreement in place with another utility co. to receive electricity for 5 more years. The wind company was also the recipient of tax breaks and federal subsidies, and also selling electricity at a higher price compared to regular plant prices.

The people living in the 'shadow' of the wind farm were few, but all complained of the noise and vibration. The strobing had a bad effect on a kid with autism, causing a mild seizure. Since these people are few in number and generally poor, they got steamrolled.

I've yet to see any numbers from the wind farm about actual electric output versus predicted, output during peak demand times, and how much of the town's power they can consistently provide.

edutcher said...

Remember, these are the people who are against people.

DaveW said...

Even if you could fade the noise that strobing effect would be intolerable. The combination of the shadows strobing and the noise would drive me nuts.

Obviously they shouldn't be near people's homes like that.

Original Mike said...

"I refuse to move anywhere where it is possible for this turbine intrusion to happen to me."

Same here. We're thinking of moving to the country, and this is a big concern.

Wind turbines are a joke. A cruel joke to those who must live with them. They retire no power plants (you need full capacity for when the wind don't blow), and they are not environmental friendly.

Alters to the demanding, greedy Green God.

Bob said...

Those folks look overwhelmingly white. No wonder they are against progress for the people.

Triangle Man said...

Do I have to embed in the middle of a city in order to be safe from the noise and the strobing?

You just have to worry about chicken coops, until you move to Middleton.

Chuck66 said...

I'm a right winger who actually like wind power. Assuming it doesn't kill too many birds.

Also....nuclear power is looking pretty good right now. Just don't build the plants alongside and ocean.

Triangle Man said...

The wind farms along I-39 have transformed the landscape from bucolic to agitated.

We used to make fun of how flat and uninteresting the landscape was, but now I have to work to keep my eyes on the road and avoid the mesmerizing draw of the turbines.

Pogo said...

Thank you, Democrats and RINOs, for these great transfers of wealth from the average schlub to Goldman Sachs and their pet Congressmen.

Conservatives have long bitched about keeping power away from the government, but would you listen?

Nnnoooooo, you wanted free pap smears and contraceptives and mammograms and food stamps and cell phones, and you got those, but the other hand takes huge chunks out of your paychecks to give money to their rich friends.

And then they build steaming piles of shit in your yard.

Despite all this, you'll still vote for statists.

HT said...

The low frequency hum would drive me crazy. Quite right to hesitate before moving to a new place.

There are natural phenomena too that cause low frequency hums (tidal bore).

And other methods of energy extraction (fracking for instance) that divide towns.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Blinded by the money...

It's an epidemic, spreading from DC to a neighborhood near you. The wizards of smart.

Here is a tremendous resource page for anyone wanting to learn something about 'wind' power.

Paddy O said...

They should have built a monorail instead.

Michael said...

David; So what? The investment bank Goldman Sachs spotted an opportunity with all sorts of govt. bells and whistles and capitalized on it. As a nation we cannot expect to go twenty years yapping about green this and green that and not have somebody decide to make money on it. So. You have your fucking wind turbines and your green energy. So take the kids to see it and yap on about how your local community is thinking globally. And then shut up about Goldman Sachs who only gave you what you wanted.

Pogo said...

You can't pick the light bulb you want, you can't give your own kid a sack lunch, and you can't refuse to pay for wind turbines.

And yet the statists are still winning elections.

One is forced to conclude that people don't want freedom. They want to be told what to do in every goddamned portion of their lives.

Why believe otherwise?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"As a nation we cannot expect to go twenty years yapping about green this and green that and not have somebody decide to make money on it."

Who is 'we' Michael? I think you mean, 'you', yourself.

The rest of us haven't been in on the fix, I can tell you that for sure. I think David's point is that Sachs were opportunistic in concert with their DC insiders to make this work for them. It has more to do with corruption and taking advantage of taxpayers than your angle appealing to the bleats of green-energy promoters.

HT said...

If you want to read a story about towns and greed, look at the story about Jefferson County and the sewer and public (nonbid) financing situation there. Pretty bad. The county is now bankrupt.

In Alabama.

There are risks. It would seem that the mitigants against these kinds of disasters (I include the installation of wind turbines) include an informed AND plugged in, committed populace that directly participates and controls their fate. Look for that, maybe?

Joe Schmoe said...

Pogo, you didn't mention a big beneficiary of the Green green: General Electric, featuring Obama bud Jeff Immelt. GE makes a lot of wind turbines.

Lloyd Blankfein and Immelt must kiss Obama full on the lips whenever they see him. He's lined their pockets with so much lucre, it's filthy.

Joe Schmoe said...

Oh yeah; GE makes CFLs, too. What a coincidence.

bgates said...

Will we see a MSM blackout?

We would if any of them were stupid enough to depend on wind energy.

Mike said...

One consistent feature of Wind Farms we have in California is that most of the turbines are locked down most of the time. Whether driving past Whitewater (the wind turbines west of Palm Springs on I-10) or Tehachapi you will see very few turbines turning.

At least this is true during daylight. Maybe these farms are contracted out to provide more electricity at night? And they are remarkably fragile, designed to operate for ten years or less, generally. That's just enough time to make the money back for the subsidized and tax-advantaged initial investors.

Lem said...

To call it a technology would be tantamount to a misrepresentation of what the word technology means today.

These things were already old technology when Christopher Columbus used it to cross the ocean back in the 1490's.

What is the fucking richest country, the world has ever seen, doing subsidising 500 year old technology?

I'm with Pogo.. we have brought this shit upon ourselves.

Amartel said...

The main unexpected surprise to city folks moving to the country is the smell of poop. Seriously. Sometimes you can't get away from it. Asking the neighboring farmer to "move his cows/hogs away from the fence" or redirect the poopshooter won't go over well. Also, the noise of farm equipment at night in the summer. Also, you might get crop-dusted (though standards have probably changed in the last 30 years). Or mistaken for a deer or a coyote and shot. (Ditto re: standards.) Also, if it snows, the plows will not be out there the next morning. And then there's the whole hillbilly thang . . . [cue Duelling Banjos]

Triangle Man said...

The main unexpected surprise to city folks moving to the country is the smell of poop.

You can often smell our dairy air in Madison.

Triangle Man said...

To call it a technology would be tantamount to a misrepresentation of what the word technology means today.

The first thing we did in my high school physics class was compute the maximum possible efficiency of a wind turbine. It was computed by Betz in the 1920's and is 59%.

MarkW said...

A huge wind project with 500' windmills was narrowly averted up near where we have a cottage in Northern Michigan -- at least for the time being:

http://arcadiawindstudygroup.org/

It would have been a ghastly.

Deloras said...

So Ann, What are you afraid of?

Property ending up worthless, health problems, messed up views, paying more for everything because of higher electrical costs, government abandoning hurting citizens, yeah, it all happens with industrial wind turbines.

For information on whats happening in Wisconsin go to: http://betterplan.squarespace.com/

http://lifeinawisconsinwindproject.tumblr.com/

Unknown said...

The envirocrazy's motto:

"We'd all be better off if we didn't exist."

Palladian said...

"The main unexpected surprise to city folks moving to the country is the smell of poop."

I live in Brooklyn, and my neighborhood often smells of shit and piss. Farm animal manure smells practically wholesome in comparison.

Christian said...

Anyone else think to themselves they want to find out who the company is and approach their local town board about doing this in their neck of the woods? This makes me want to investigate doing it.

Hagar said...

I understand (electricity is not my forte) that even when they are running, it is necessary to keep a conventional power plant idling along in parallel and ready to take over if the wind slackens. This is not economical as a system, even when it is running.

I think there are opportunities in small windmill applications to generate power and charge batteries vacation homes, isolated ranches and farms, etc., but industrial wind farms are economic and ecologic monstrosities that will wind up with a series of expensive government funded programs to remove them and restore the ground.

Michael said...

Dont Tread. I was speaking as an American who has been subjected to the yapping for two decades. These laws to "stimulate" these unworkable and unscalable technologies have been passed by congress after congress and people like you and me let it happen. You lifted a finger to stop it? You laugh in the faces of the teachers teaching this crap? Doubtful. There was no double secret cabal of DC and Wall Street making this happen. The whole fucking polite country bought into this crap and now here it is. Dont act like Goldman Sachs thought it up.

Hagar said...

And what Santorum meant by "theology," which our hostess will probably carp about since there is no god involved, just a fervent belief in an improbable proposition despite all evidnce to the contrary.

Bill said...

"Alternative Energy Revolution"
http://xkcd.com/556/

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"These laws to "stimulate" these unworkable and unscalable technologies have been passed by congress after congress and people like you and me let it happen. You lifted a finger to stop it? You laugh in the faces of the teachers teaching this crap? Doubtful."

No, I didn't dedicate my life to stopping this Michael, but I do know that this 'technology' is woefully inadequate and will never replace current technologies in terms of efficiency. Just don't make the mistake of lumping regular Americans in with those that pushed this stuff through. We are all busy raising families, working jobs, caring for sick/older family members, among other things. You have to choose your battles. Wind energy is not the only thing being stuffed down our throats, you and I...no, it goes much further than that, and all thanks to the leftists steering us all off a cliff in the name of fairness, environment, and equality. Wake up.

garage mahal said...

The first thing we did in my high school physics class was compute the maximum possible efficiency of a wind turbine. It was computed by Betz in the 1920's and is 59%.

You might be interested in this.

garage mahal said...

Interested in a geeky physics way...

Don't Tread 2012 said...

garage

So the output nearly TRIPLES?

No sale.

Did you hear the guy say, "0.3%"???

Sorry, 0.9% is still woefully inadequate. Unless you want the landscape littered with these things, they'll never replace fossil fuels. Never. Not even close.

Amartel said...

Well, the dairy air (love that) smell comes as a surprise to some, especially up close where it can be a sinus-clearing experience. The point being that a change of scenery, even to an idyllic setting, can bring unexpected negatives. You either get used to it or you don't but it's good to know in advance. I live near a big airport, and the rumbles and vibrations off the nearby hills kept me up at night at first but I got used to it.

Synova said...

I don't really blame someone for being smart enough to take advantage of subsidies and laws, but I think it's vitally important to reveal those goings-on so that we can insist that our government stop doing more of it.

garage mahal said...

garage

So the output nearly TRIPLES?


According to this Japanese researcher, yes.

edutcher said...

Pogo said...

One is forced to conclude that people don't want freedom. They want to be told what to do in every goddamned portion of their lives.

Dude, it was ever thus.

Never forget that only a third of the American people - at most - supported the Continental cause in the American Revolution. About a sixth were Loyalists.

Change is something forced on the masses.

So the rest of us have to get up and fight.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"According to this Japanese researcher, yes."

LOL. Very convincing. Does the sales pitch include placards, chanting and drumming as well?

ElPresidenteCastro said...

Garage, That's not 'free' power. It requires additional materials in the blades, rotor, tower and generator. It looks to me like he is increasing the effective diameter of the blades with his "wind lens" by about 50%, which will get you 125% improvement because swept are is an r^2 function.

No such think as a free lunch or a free kilowatt.

Methadras said...

To say I told you so would be to mild. Leftards are fucking this world up with their bullshit ideology. Alternative energy in the form of wind-turbines is a losers game, but a government tax windfall for their owners in green energy initiatives. You are fucked.

They are large, noisy, inefficient (6% max), heavy, and in some instances dangerous if not deadly. Oh and they kill birdies too.

viator said...

ENERCON E126 - The World's Largest Wind Turbine

YouTube

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

The first thing we did in my high school physics class was compute the maximum possible efficiency of a wind turbine. It was computed by Betz in the 1920's and is 59%.

You might be interested in this.


Lol. 6% to 12% potentially while still maintaining the same level of noise. I seriously doubt it's size will be the same.

garage mahal said...

LOL. Very convincing. Does the sales pitch include placards, chanting and drumming as well?

I wasn't trying to sell you on it. I thought Triangle Man might appreciate the link, being a bit of a math geek that he is.

jono39 said...

Wind and solar are obviously two of the larger current boondoggles that will disfigure landscapes where shopping malls cannot be constructed. At least the windmills will provide a supply of scrap. The solar will be nothing but toxic silicon. Melancholy Patriot

John Smith said...

When there are hundreds of billions of dollars in politician controlled subsidies there will be tens of billions of dollars in abuse. My favorite part of this whole scheme is hiding the real costs so well in tax breaks, green subsidies, artificially high payment rates by electric companies (again by taxpayers).

Penny said...

I thought one of the things that both Republicans and Democrats could agree on was the need for energy independence?

You know...A little bit here and a little bit there...all adding up over time.

rhhardin said...

If you set up solar panels nearby, your right to uninterrupted solar panel sunshine trumps their right to build a solar shadow-casting windmill.

Solar panels need cleaning, by the way. It's best to put them where you can reach them easily.

rhhardin said...

5 watt solar panel.

Penny said...

Otherwise known as a rearview mirror, rh?

Penny said...

"Solar panels need cleaning, by the way. It's best to put them where you can reach them easily."

Yeah, easily with a county truck, it's industrial extension ladder and a minimum of two public workers.

traditionalguy said...

The wealth transfer scams run from within corrupt Governments with free subsidy money was sold to us by using two lies:
1) that the beneficial trace gas co2 traps heat in the the atmosphere, and
2) that "fossil fuels" supplies have peaked and are running out fast.

These two totally false myths were PROCLAIMED as Theological truths by the Media for 30 years. It is therefore today's media's job to correct the record.

BTW, that's precisely the Theolgical difference between The Obama Beast and the sincere young Catholic boy opposing him.

Penny said...

Which brings me to the second thing that I thought both Republicans and Democrats could agree on.

We need more jobs, and we need them NOW.

Barry Dauphin said...

The term "windmill" is quite OK even if there is no milling involved.

Penny said...

Do we really care if our kid is working for the church or for county government?

Cut me a break.

Lem said...

By going backwards technologically we are selfishly robbing future generations of the good life previous generations have worked and paid for with their lives.

The idea that we are going to be loved because we foolishly choose to freeze in the dark is ridiculous.

Its like going back and retrofitting a Ford plant to sell model Ts again.. even that example doesn't come close to the ridiculous idea that we can power the future with wind!

Environmentalism is worst than a religion.. is a retardation movement.

Lyle said...

I lived in the Eifel region in Germany and there are wind turbines (the big kind) dotting the landscape.

The locals there hated the wind turbines because of the way they looked.

I actually didn't think they looked that bad nor does the sound they make bother me.

Michael McNeil said...

Althouse said:
And they are not windmills. There is no mill involved.

I'll amplify on what Barry said above. Certainly they are windmills. As I pointed out in the comments here just a day or two ago, the etymology of a particular word's origins (in that case science) in the distant past does not constrict what it may mean today. And you, a law professor! (always wanted to say that here — grin!) should know that.

Dictionary.com, the first three defs.:
windmill […] noun

1. any of various machines for grinding, pumping, etc., driven by the force of the wind acting upon a number of vanes or sails.
2. (loosely) a wind generator; wind plant.
3. Aeronautics. a small air turbine with blades, like those of an airplane propeller, exposed on a moving aircraft and driven by the air, used to operate gasoline pumps, radio apparatus, etc.

Michael McNeil said...

A cute chart floating around Facebook recently graphically indicates how many windmills it would take (when the wind is blowing!) to equal the output of one nuclear power plant.

'Course, that says nothing about how many it would take when the wind isn't blowing….

marylynn said...

I live near the proposed sites in Brown County. The energy company has backed off on plans to proceed due in part to the fight from residents, but also due to Governor Walkers vow to prevent wind farms from being built where the residents don't want them. In short, our Governor has created an "unfriendly climate" for the wind people. Another reason to vote for Walker!!!

Cedarford said...

Very interesting 1:38 post by David explaining how these cost of electricity uncompetitive monsters are spring up all over the place.

==============
Add another thing to the noise, visual pollution, new high transmission lines local communities have no say over, and the strobing (which I didn't notice and is awful for certain citizens on their property)
That is bird kills. And the snakes and other scavengers.

Touring one facility in the early 90s, excited about this new wind power possibility, I noticed not just dozens of dead songbirds, but corn snakes and rattlesnakes everywhere - many with bulges of digesting dead birds.

Lem said...

There were no wind turbines in those Popular Mechanics futuristic issues.. there were flying cars and self cleaning ovens.

I'm afraid to look to see what they think the future holds in store now.. caves with sleeping spider holes maybe?

David said...

Michael: I'm not blaming Goldman Sachs. I blame the politicians who create this deliberately obscure structure in the name of goodness but actually to get themselves reelected by spending the people's money and making very rich people more rich. I like it when rich people get more rich, but not on the back of government subsidy of otherwise non competitive activities.

If all this really made a dimes worth of difference to the environment, there might be a sliver of an argument for it. But it does not. Wind and solar are minuscule in the overall scheme of energy needs and will remain so.

Mostly I object to the lies and the obfuscation.

Michael Haz said...

Progressives are such saps. They protest and scream and lobby and demand "green" energy, and bribe politicians to pass laws requiring same.

Then they protest and scream and lobby and demand we understand the horrible-ness of the things that make the "green" energy producing equipment, and bribe politicians to make it end.

The politicians don't give a shit, although they fake being concerned. They get paid either way. And if they are connected, they can get a piece of the action, a really big piece. Right, Al Gore?

Saps, truly. Saving the world, one green millionaire at a time.

gadfly said...

I think that Dilbert is generally correct about green energy. But as far as wind turbines go, crony capitalism has set in as Obama is financing 30% of the new wind farms at a cost of $3.5 million per tower to the tune of about $4.8 billion so far.

For that we get electricity pumped into the power grid about 17% of the time -- when the wind blows. States, including the one led by so-called conservative Mitch Daniels, are requiring that 15-30% of our power must come from these monstrosities. Sadly there is a five-fold cost premiums to be paid for wind power over old fashioned coal and gas power plants.

As for suckering our farmers, they are already on the government dole, so why not rent some land for windmills?

Lem said...

Wind and solar are minuscule in the overall scheme of energy needs and will remain so.

Meantime, immensely valuable resources like know-how and the technological advancements that comes as a direct result of the enterprise are arrested and eventually lost.

Michael McNeil said...

They kill millions of birds each year too.

False. A report five years ago by the National Academy of Sciences — evaluating 14 other studies of good quality — concluded (as an article in the journal Nature put it) that “America's birds seem to die in turbine blades at a rate no higher than 40,000 a year. Deaths due to domestic cats, on the other hand, are put at ‘hundreds of millions.’”

Thus, the average American wind turbine kills no more than about 0.03 bird per year — or, in other words, “It takes 30-odd turbines to reach a kill-rate of one bird a year.”

roesch/voltaire said...

At first I thought this was an expose on how the gas companies work to getting fracking rights-- seems to be the same thing really. And given the problem of Wind Turbines near homes, there has been a effort, as in Wisconsin to keep them isolated and of course the push is to get them off-shore as many are in Europe. Given the rate of technological advancements, most of the comments posted here will be archived as another example of how most human say it will never fly.

David said...

So Michael MacNeil, perhaps we should start tossing cats into the blades of wind turbines. Or do offsets. If you want to have a cat, you also have to throw a different cat into turbine blades.

The several million birds figure may well be bullshit. But only 40,000? Sounds like more bullshit.

Bullshit being the coin of the realm regarding green energy.

Penny said...

The windmill in our mind holds promise.

David said...

Given the rate of technological advancements, most of the comments posted here will be archived as another example of how most human say it will never fly.

What will never fly? Human? Human no fly. We are a gigantic no fly zone we humans.

The big technological breakthrough would be a vastly improved means of electric transmission, which would reduce the energy loss in transmission.

Electricity is inefficient

Michael Haz said...

Where the hell is the electricity for all the damn plug-in cars supposed to come from?

Michael McNeil said...

The several million birds figure may well be bullshit. But only 40,000? Sounds like more bullshit.

It “sounds” like that, hm? Well, I suggest you argue with the National Academy of Sciences about that. Once again, that reportt doesn't stand alone, but summarizes fourteen separate studies that appear to be methodologically sound.

The NAS report, by the way, can be accessed and downloaded here (pdf).

Penny said...

If there is a cadence, a beat, then some darkness followed by light again?

It qualifies YOU as an important energy source.

A little bit here, and a little bit there.

It all adds up.

Lem said...

I don't know of anything like it.. in the history of science were a problem was presented and a "solution" that didn't work on paper, that should have been rejected, was gone ahead and built at great expense and trouble anyway.

I mean the foolishness of it just cries out idiocy!

Penny said...

Your keyboard has a character for "<" and ">"

Haven't you ever wondered why your keyboard doesn't have a companion character to " ^ "?

Lem said...

A little bit here, and a little bit there.
It all adds up
.

Penny.. advancement mitigates inefficiency.. inefficiency cannot equally and nicely coexist with advancement..
Inefficiency starves and eventually kills advancement.. see Soviet Union.

Meade said...

"...perhaps we should start tossing cats into the blades of wind turbines. Or do offsets. If you want to have a cat, you also have to throw a different cat into turbine blades."

I laughed at that. And I'm deeply ashamed of myself for laughing.

Can we humanely put the cats to sleep before tossing them? Just to assuage my guilt?

Lem said...

There is a good reason why we cant go to a store and buy one of these anymore .. maybe you can find them at flea markets .. but it would not be for use.. for one they dont work anymore.. and the reason why they dont work anymore is because they sell better ones now.

Better is good.. good is better.

Just cycle and repeat.

Michael McNeil said...

I rather enjoy arguing both sides in this debate — as there's a plenitude of hype on both sides (just as in the larger global warming debate) that's itching to be demolished — so I'll add a pointer here to another NAS report from just the other day that found that:

“The US Department of Energy set a goal for the country to generate 20 per cent of its electricity from wind by 2030. One-sixth is to come from shallow offshore turbines that sit in the path of hurricanes.

“Stephen Rose and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, modelled the risk hurricanes might pose to turbines at four proposed wind farm sites. They found that nearly half of the planned turbines are likely to be destroyed over the 20-year life of the farms. Turbines shut down in high winds, but hurricane-force winds can topple them. […] Each wind farm may cost $175 million.”

Steve Koch said...

Global warming alarmist and fraudster Peter Gleik has admitted using identity theft to fraudulently obtain docs from Heartland Institute i FakeGate.

CAGW skeptics had already figured out that Gleik was the most likely culprit. Absolutely no surprise that a highly politicized lefty climate scientist would stoop to fraud to advance the cause of CAGW. Delightful that it has back fired so rapidly.

AJ Lynch said...

The noise bothers them? I have lived on 3-4 busy roads in my life and after a while you get used to the noise of the traffic.


wv = fockad

Cedarford said...

Meanwhile, green power is in real trouble in Germany. A conclusion by the energy ministry made to Chancellor Merkels administration is that it costs Germans jobs, increases electric rates considerable even with subsidies, and those very subsidies, currently 10 billion/yr. just for solar, are financially unsustainable.

There is also an aesthetic clash long raging, continuing to intensify - in Germany - between conservationists and environmentalists.

Conservationists want the nation's forests, mountain scenery, country vistas unpolluted by billboards and windmills. Environmentalists hate billboards and support laws outlawing them - but not any restrictions on windmills the Federal Government of Germany has decided to site even if locals and States within Germany object.

Penny said...

"Inefficiency starves and eventually kills advancement.. see Soviet Union."

Pondering Putin.

Penny said...

And laughing quite like Cedarford.

Penny said...

"Can we humanely put the cats to sleep before tossing them? Just to assuage my guilt?"

Feel FREE, Meade!

Penny said...

And especially FREE to rephrase all that.

Steve Koch said...

What is especially delicious about global warming hysteric Gleik's fraud is that he chairs the American Geophysical Union task force on scientific ethics and integrity.

Ain't lefty politicized post normal science great?

Penny said...

Was LISTENING to Robert Stacy McCain who you linked earlier.

Penny said...

Now all you and Althouse need to do is listen to us, and get rid of Captcha.

NOT winking!

Something in my eye, dammit.

Jon Burack said...

Far be it from me to complain about this, but the little poster of greedy capitalists that appears in the middle of this for a second is classic anti-Semitic propaganda, perfectly in tune with the OWS mentality and every bit as disgusting. As to the merits of the rest of it, fine, but I don't care.

viator said...

Lies, lies and damn lies.

Conventional wisdom (.1 to .5 million birds kills annually) says that wind farms kill relatively few birds. Studies support this. However, observations at specific sites reveal numbers of bird kills that conflict with conventional wisdom e.g. 2,000 eagles (one species, one location) killed at one site alone. Expect conventional wisdom and reality to collide, once again.

"Data from Altamont Pass, California wind farms – the most studied in the nation – suggest that over 2,000 Golden Eagles alone have been killed there."

AugustaFreePress

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

But the bleats of those prosperous-looking Concerned Citizens (all boomers, right?) avoid any thought that all that MONEY going into booming green energy is simply borrowed from China to subsidize the Obamacrony capitalists who build the turbines, and will be paid for decades by their grandchildren.

But they're boomers, they have a hell of a lot less grandchildren than their parents did, and who'll be here to pay when the bill comes due?

Bruce Hayden said...

I thought one of the things that both Republicans and Democrats could agree on was the need for energy independence?

You know...A little bit here and a little bit there...all adding up over time
.

Depends on the Republican. Some of them think that if you just got the government out of the way with fossil fuels and somewhat out of the way with nuclear, we would have no supply problems whatsoever.

Ok, maybe we would still be dependent upon Canada. But we really haven't fought them for maybe 200 years now, and we have a lot more tanks and war planes than they do, so, not overly worried about that country as a source of energy.

Why was the pipeline killed? Could one reason be that it would have helped us towards reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels? And, that would reduce the impetus for wind and solar?

Also, how energy independent are we, if we import our solar panels from China?

Bruce Hayden said...

Which brings me to the second thing that I thought both Republicans and Democrats could agree on.

We need more jobs, and we need them NOW
.

Which is why the government needs to get out of the way and cut its spending by a trillion or so dollars a year.

And, that is the difference between the two - the Dems still seem to believe in the much discredited theory that you can spend yourself out of a recession with borrowed money, ignoring that the times that this has been seriously tried in this country, the problem has gotten worse, not better.

Of course, this belief in "Keynesian" economic stimulus is very convenient for them, since it also means more government, which means more loot to spread out to their friends, families, and supporters. Now, the fact that the loot comes out of the pockets of the rest of us, and is therefore not used for job growth, only makes it more urgent in their view that we increase this spending.

Bruce Hayden said...

Do we really care if our kid is working for the church or for county government?

Cut me a break
.

Maybe not that, but we should care if they are participating in wealth creation or wealth destruction, which means whether they are working in the private sector, or the public sector.

Bruce Hayden said...

But the bleats of those prosperous-looking Concerned Citizens (all boomers, right?) avoid any thought that all that MONEY going into booming green energy is simply borrowed from China to subsidize the Obamacrony capitalists who build the turbines, and will be paid for decades by their grandchildren.

Paid off long after the green energy projects have all rusted away. It is one thing to "invest" in energy projects that may be paid off before they wear out. But that is highly unlikely in the case of most of these "green" energy projects, including the current crop of wind turbines.

Deb said...

"Will there be a mighty wind?"

Eric Shun said...

Similar to other equipment, residential wind turbines also have both negative and positive impacts. But many reports have highlighted the growing popularity of residential wind turbine among the homeowners interested in generating and using 100% clean and green energy.

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