Cambridge professor Michael Kelly on “deniers” and climate change: “science has been consistently over-egged to produce alarm.”

UPDATE: 9:50AM 2/28 Professor Kelly responds in comments. It seems the Times saw fit to remove an important portion of his first paragraph. I’ve highlighted the missing text in red. Gobsmacking that they couldn’t handle this one sentence but left the rest untouched – Anthony

M J Kelly Submitted on 2012/02/28 at 9:13 am

If I told you that the first sentence of my letter was edited, your readers might be mollified.

I wrote:
Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, as the climate has always been changing, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group.

Michael Kelly

=============================================================

This is a rather strong condemnation of the state of affairs in Climate Science. Professor Michael J. Kelly of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering has written a scathing letter to The Times about rightfully criticizing “deniers” and lumping everyone else who questions climate science conclusions into that same meme. Most people I know of agree that CO2 has some impact, but the magnitude and feedbacks are the real issues of debate. Ben Pile has this to say in his summary of the Fakegate:

The myth of the climate change denier exists in the heads of environmentalists, and seems to prevent them entering into conversation with anyone that dares to criticise environmentalism. The crusade of ‘communicating’ climate change is not a project that involves an exchange of views. To criticise environmentalism is to ‘deny The Science’, no matter how incoherent the environmentalist’s grasp of science or how lacking his or her sense of proportion.

Kelly, in his letter to the times, says what we’ve been saying for a long time; the models and the effects have been grossly oversold, and real-world observations don’t match the sales brochure. He writes:

Sir, Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group. The interpretation of the observational science has been consistently over-egged to produce alarm. All real-world data over the past 20 years has shown the climate models to be exaggerating the likely impacts — if the models cannot account for the near term, why should I trust them in the long term?

I am most worried by the billions of pounds being misinvested and lost as a consequence. Look out to sea at the end of 2015 and see how many windmills are not turning and you will get my point: there are already 14,000 abandoned windmills onshore in the US. Premature technology deployment is thoroughly bad engineering, and my taxes are subsidising it against my will and professional judgment.

Professor Michael Kelly
Prince Philip Professor of Technology, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Source An Englishman’s Castle via “The Times“, subscription required

major hat tip to Bishop Hill

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120 thoughts on “Cambridge professor Michael Kelly on “deniers” and climate change: “science has been consistently over-egged to produce alarm.”

  1. “Professor Michael J. Kelly of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering has written a scathing letter to The Times about rightfully criticizing “deniers” and lumping everyone else who questions climate science conclusions into that same meme.”

    What are the “deniers” saying that should be rightfully criticized? That the globe isn’t warming, that the climate isn’t changing, or that the climate isn’t disrupting?

  2. However, the deniers of CO2 altogether having an effect may not be wrong. As N2, O2, CO2 and H2O ALL have IR spectra, with CO2 having the least breadth, it is hard to imagine the smallest bit player in the atmosphere having any detectable effect.

    The recent post regarding the IR Window (said to be closing by the warmists) indicates the above state of affairs. The IR efflux at the poles has not changed in the decades of satellite observation, despite significant CO2 increases. It does sound odd, as CO2 at the poles would be the only GHG there. But, if one remembers that the ENTIRE atmosphere is participating, changes in CO2 could easily have no undetectable effect, being swamped by the 99% of atmosphere’s N2 and O2.

    The participation of the entire atmosphere in modulating IR would easily explain the observed stability of the IR efflux.

    I do find it odd that it was very difficult to find an IR spectra for these two common gases. Wikipedia only mentions CO2 and H2O as GHGs, suggesting by omission that N2 and O2 do not interact with IR—a convenient result, hunh?. The reader is pointed only to CO2 and H2O. Political agenda, anyone?

    Sometimes skeptics are almost too amenable to the junk science of AGW, just as they so very often mention the historically low CO2 concentrations before 1950, accepting a fabricated result and then discussing it as if it real.

  3. CAGW is based on data that aren’t and models that don’t.

    The only climate change “denier” I can think of right off hand is Michael Mann, whose hockey stick “denies” both the MWP and the LIA.

    It seems that the ad hominem attacks and the arguments from “authority” are dominating the discussion, since the climate is not cooperating.

  4. 4 years of WUWT in two pithy paragraphs!

    With such few words, Prof. Kelly couldn’t get into WHY the models are wrong, either the erroneous positive feedbacks, or natural forcings (PDO, NAO, Arctic oscillation, solar influences), not that we know any of these as well as we would like.

    But for his audience, probably what matters most is that the models are wrong, and consistently over predict pretty much everything, relative to reality.

  5. where exactly are the 14000 abandoned windmills onshore in the US? citation/source please. I don’t agree with wind either, but i think he’s making that up. It doesn’t help when you make up a misleading fact, credibility becomes an issue.

  6. The climate alarmist message is shot through with exaggerations.
    Exaggerated certainties in measurement; exaggerated scope and scale of effects, and an exaggerated role for Mankind in climate-making, and the list could go on and on.

    Nothing ruins truth like stretching it.

    Good to see a prominent British engineer standing up to this nonsense.

  7. Michael was one of the signatories to WSJ article criticizing AGW alarmism; it is good that academics of his stature are willing to go public with their condemnation of the abuse of the scientific method

  8. The difference her is that it is a “real engineer” doing the thinking and writing. The whole climate/energy debate has been missing engineering attention, esp. in UK.

  9. Tthe climate warmist defense is understandable, for years they’ve been treated better than rock stars, traveled the world to the hottest locations on junkets, preached the cause and mixed with Hollywood movie stars.

    They call climate skeptics “deniers” for one reason only and it has nothing to do with the science, the skeptic community at large are a threat, denying the fantastic righteous lifestyles they have been accustomed to over the past 20 years. If their message of climate change catastrophe disappears, so to does the celebrity lifestyle of scientists not having to do proper research. It will be back to the real mundane world of scientific discovery, probably too difficult and much like hard work for those now firmly entrenched as made-to-measure celebrity scientists.

  10. This a great and all, but from my perspective; what the hell took you so long? It has been painful to watch the ridiculous expenditure all these years. The Bloggies have rejuvenated my faith in the general publics reasoning skills. So that’s good.

    Sad that environmentalists have to view criminal behavior as “heroic”. Dangerous line of thinking.

  11. higley7 says:
    February 28, 2012 at 6:27 am
    “However, the deniers of CO2 altogether having an effect may not be wrong. As N2, O2, CO2 and H2O ALL have IR spectra, with CO2 having the least breadth, it is hard to imagine the smallest bit player in the atmosphere having any detectable effect.”

    Higley, please take another look at the scales of the absorption spectrum graphs of N2 and O2. They have very narrow spikes or lines with an absorptivity a thousand times less than the ones of CO2 and H2O. They are irrelevant.

  12. I too would like to know the source for the 14,000 number. I live in a county (Lee County, Illinois) where there is in a lively debate going on as to how many turbines should be allowed to be built. I’m sure local opponents would like to know where turbines are being abandoned so this reality could be added to the debate.

  13. It is the environmentalists who are the true deniers. It is they who claim that climate has been stable in the past which is far from the truth. Climate changes, it is what it does and will continue. It is the alarmists who have mistakenly claimed that atmospheric CO2 levels have remained steady at 280ppmvfor thousands of years. The real argument is about causes, feedbacks and model scenarios. The foundation theory of Greenhouse Gasses has been proved wrong in that several of its claims fail. If that theory is wrong then another mechanism for the extra surface heating above that of the BB radiated temperature must be found. Luckily there is a mechanism, thus far overlooked by mainstream scientists, that fits the bill. Adiabatic compressive heating which initiates a star’s trip into nuclear fusion down to the warming of Foehne winds. The principle of Ockham’s razor would indicate that the GHG theory was not a good choice of theory.

  14. For those wanting the source of the claim that 14,000 wind turbines have been abandoned, here it is:

    http://hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1698/Wind-Energys-Ghosts.aspx

    Here is the relevant paragraph:

    “California’s wind farms — then comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity — ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.”

    We all know that you can’t necessarily believe what you read in a newspaper, including, unfortunately for the gullible elites, the NY Times. For this cynical reason, I’m not yet ready to treat the claim in this article as infallible truth, but there certainly is a source for the 14,000 dead wind turbines. I recommend reading the article, it is pretty thorough about how we have come to where we are on wind machines.

  15. The myth of the climate change denier exists in the heads of environmentalists, and seems to prevent them entering into conversation with anyone that dares to criticise environmentalism.

    Another myth is the myth of the well-funded anti-science skeptical campaign/conspiracy. Another is the myth of the skeptics who are paid by Big Oil.

    And we can and should always object to the term climate change denier for several reasons, the first of which is the implication that skeptics are no better than holocaust deniers.

    The second objection is who denies the climate changes? Being a climate change denier is like being a gravity denier. It’s meaningless, except as a precalculated insult against those who disagree.. Is there any serious skeptic out there who believes the climate doesn’t change? Isn’t it the AGW proponents who try to gloss over the fact that the climate changes all the time? By using climate change instead of man-made climate change, Professor Kelly is deliberately misleading the public and using straw man arguments.

  16. I cannot attest to the 14,000 number. However, on a road trip across country about 4 years ago, I do not remember seeing a single wind turbine installed on an “erector set” tower which was operating.

  17. dwb says:
    February 28, 2012 at 6:31 am
    where exactly are the 14000 abandoned windmills onshore in the US? citation/source please. I don’t agree with wind either, but i think he’s making that up. It doesn’t help when you make up a misleading fact, credibility becomes an issue.

    and
    HankHenry says:
    February 28, 2012 at 6:50 am

    You will get multiple hits if you google: 14000 windmills
    you will get multiple hits if you google: abandoned windfarms

    such as

    http://epaabuse.com/3124/editorials/wind-farm-grave-yards/

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html

    You can also search in more detail and get

    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/708563

    Derelict wind turbine

    http://www.artistsagainstwindfarms.com/walks/queens-exhibition/bucks-cross-folder/turbines-in-spain-and-france.html

    Or of course you can just drive through some of what were the more beautiful parts of the world such as California or Spain and see them yourself.

    It stands to reason that if an industry can only be worthwhile when it is subsidized that when the subsidies cease – so does the industry.

  18. On a trip down the Columbia River gorge from Pendleton to The Dalles, where a large number of turbines sit on the summit of the gorge walls, I could see many that were inactive. I found it rather odd that for all the touted benefits of wind generation, so many of these units were at a standstill. Extrapolating…..

    Something bothers me about the effect of CO2. If it has been shown to lag behind temperature rises, why then are so many agreeing that it has some effect on temperature increase? I’m not getting this.

    But what REALLY bothers me is the out-of-control bellowing about “deniers”: it’s childish, sandbox-and-toybox blather that destroys the credibility of those who engage in the mudslinging. With the recent self-immolation of Dr. Gleick (an action based on a self-admitted loss of control), it only points to the childishness of the entire tendency. An immature ‘science’ using immature, whingy methods to get what it wants. Donna was correct to call the IPCC a delinquent teenager.

    Glossing the attack mentality over with factoids does nothing to disguise the vitriol, as can be demonstrated by WUWT’s klatsch of resident snarks, who regularly hijack threads with their ongoing meme-citing. It is laudable that they are not censored, but what a bunch of wasted effort to sling mud back….it reduces some threads to the level of a backwoods snake-oil revival!

    Common sense will prevail. Or at least, one sure hopes so. This entire industry is unsustainable, and a blight on society, science, and the world’s economic state. The apparent failure of the green energy industry is the beacon illuminating the folly-in-progress. And as the light brightens, the gleick-shriek will only increase, until it too becomes unsustainable.

  19. I’ve spent an hour trying to find the source of the 14,000 abandoned windmills claim but only find it is repeated almost endlessly but not cited. Until someone can do better than me this will have to be declared “faked but accurate” which is a code word for urban legend.

  20. CO2 still has not start to have “some impact” in Antarctica, allegedly the most sensitive polar area to “increased greenhouse effect”. Wake me if it starts.

  21. Positive Feedbacks: I am a true believer in climate change positive feedbacks — not in the physical world but in the emotional and ideological world of the global warming alarmists. For those on the Left, the tipping point was probably ClimateGate and since then shrillness has truly become parabolic. It’s now out-of-control: e.g., FakeGate.

  22. To paraphrase the writer P. J. O’Rourke who said, “Environmentalists will do anything to save the planet except study science.” For fun you should look at the college curricula for programs such as Environmental Studies. Very flimsy on real science and math.

  23. As we’ll see more scientists and engineers express doubt about alarmism, we should not put too much weight on each of their words. Some may have to keep their face or may have still to learn about the variety of sceptics out there.
    True science blogs, common sense and the fanatics like Peter Gleick are contributing to this process.

  24. Professor Michael Kelly: Prince Philip Professor of Technology,
    is echoing the sentiments of Prince Philip whom last November leaked that he won’t have wind turbines on “his land”, which I suspect is due to NIMBY. This denouncement by Kelly is only a political move in support of his monarch.

    The 14,000 number is doubtful. Attribution is difficult to confirm. I call BS.

    ” The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.”

    http://toryaardvark.com/2011/11/17/14000-abandoned-wind-turbines-in-the-usa/

  25. “Prof. Kelly claims that “All real-world data over the past 20 years has shown the climate models to be exaggerating the likely impacts…” This claim does not stand up to scrutiny.

    In arriving at the definitions of climatological outcomes, time series are averaged over a specified period. Thus, for example, if an outcome is a magnitude for the global average surface air temperature, this temperature is averaged over the specified period.

    The IPCC is mute on the magnitude of the averaging period. If the magnitude is taken to be the 30 years that is canonical in climatology then the real-world data of the past 20 years cannot have shown a climate model to be exaggerating the likely impacts, for the duration of an independent statistical event can be no less than the averaging period and thus an independent event of a duration that contains the past 20 years cannot yet have been observed.

    Furthermore, none of the IPCC models make the predictions that they would be necessary to the falsification of them. They make “projections” but the concept that is referenced by this word is materially different from the concept that is referenced by the word “predictions.”

  26. Infographic. For those who can only think using infographics, there needs to be an arrow at the bottom of the LHS pointing to a box titled “this infographic”.

  27. The environmentalists simply cannot see beyond the denier label. The reason is this i not about global warming (oops, don’t use that, Mr Gleicks recoomendation you know), it’s about EVERYTHING. People who question global AGW are also questioning all environmental issues and are trashers of the planet.

    That’s the way their tiny minds work.

  28. Terry Oldberg says:
    February 28, 2012 at 8:05 am
    “Prof. Kelly claims that “All real-world data over the past 20 years has shown the climate models to be exaggerating the likely impacts…” This claim does not stand up to scrutiny.

    In arriving at the definitions of climatological outcomes, time series are averaged over a specified period. Thus, for example, if an outcome is a magnitude for the global average surface air temperature, this temperature is averaged over the specified period.

    The IPCC is mute on the magnitude of the averaging period. If the magnitude is taken to be the 30 years that is canonical in climatology then the real-world data of the past 20 years cannot have shown a climate model to be exaggerating the likely impacts, for the duration of an independent statistical event can be no less than the averaging period and thus an independent event of a duration that contains the past 20 years cannot yet have been observed.

    Furthermore, none of the IPCC models make the predictions that they would be necessary to the falsification of them. They make “projections” but the concept that is referenced by this word is materially different from the concept that is referenced by the word “predictions.”

    Statistics meet real-world.
    Terry – try to think through what you are saying. The Earth system has a rate at which it will warm – take the ocean system (as then you won’t get confused between temperature and heat and atmospheric enthalpy). – the Sea Surface Temperatures are way below what the models said they would be as they have stayed almost flat for the 20 years. OK – so that is not 30 years. So now you should identify what could make the ocean system warm by 30 years worth of forecast/projected temperature rise but inside only a 10 years period? Have you any idea how much energy that would take? When it is 29 years 11 months real world data – will you still be using the same statistical period of measurement argument? Wait wait – its not 30 years yet?

  29. Excerpted from: http://www.zimbio.com/member/StoryReports/articles/qmUuK2zben5/Abandoned+Rusted+Wind+Turbines+Reflect+Hoax

    The ghosts of Kamaoa [Hawaii] are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles — but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California “big three” locations — Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio — considered among the world’s best wind sites.

    Built in 1985, at the end of the boom, Kamaoa soon suffered from lack of maintenance. In 1994, the site lease was purchased by Redwood City, CA-based Apollo Energy.

    Cannibalizing parts from the original 37 turbines, Apollo personnel kept the declining facility going with outdated equipment. But even in a place where wind-shaped trees grow sideways, maintenance issues were overwhelming. By 2004 Kamaoa accounts began to show up on a Hawaii State Department of Finance list of unclaimed properties. In 2006, transmission was finally cut off by Hawaii Electric Company.

    California’s wind farms — then comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity — ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.

    Hmmm … getting closer to the source of that 14,000 …

    .

  30. When professor Kelly writes “… is correct to castigate climate change deniers …” he loses my interest. The vast majority of those called “deniers”, myself included, in fact do not deny the earth’s climate is changing. We only deny man’s impact on the climate is significant. We only have to point to the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age to show the earth warms significantly with no help from man. And don’t forget, the alarmists first started with “anthropogenic global warming”. Their “global warming” morphed into the more nebulous “climate change” when the global temperature apparently stopped rising.

  31. Although I generally applaud Professor Michael Kelly for writing this, I have to wonder about this part:

    Sir, Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group.

    Who are these “climate change deniers” that need to be castigated? I’ve never heard of them. I suppose you can find some individuals somewhere who believe climate never changes but have they even risen to the level of becoming a group?

    I’m not sure that the professor really understands the skeptical side of the issue.

  32. Terry Oldberg says,

    “The IPCC is mute on the magnitude of the averaging period. If the magnitude is taken to be the 30 years …”
    Since the IPCC is mute on the magnitude of the averaging period, surely the first question to ask is – Why is it mute? The next question to ask is – Why is 30 years “canonical in climatology”? And, assuming satisfactory answers to those questions there is a third – How does the real world data over the last thirty years compare with the IPCC projection?
    We cannot discard the last twenty years experience just because it does not fit in with the canonical 30 years. After all when their projections are proved wrong in ten years time, the climatologists might start to use an averaging period of 150 years (the supposed period since the industrial revolution) and their projections cannot then be falsiified in our lifetimes.

  33. Getting to the bottom of this “14,000” number is going to take going back in history, or herstory (depending on your predilections and orientation … if you visited the Bloggie winning site ‘autostraddle’ this will make much more sense as they have a category titled: “Herstory”).

    From an article originally written in 1999: http://www.wind-works.org/articles/99rush.html titled “The Great Wind Rush of 99” by Paul Gipe we have this:

    It has been 14 years [that would make it 1985 -_Jim] since the last great boom, and subsequent bust. Everyone is crossing their fingers that the projects being rushed to completion perform as projected. No one wants a repeat of the shoddy projects that littered California with poorly operating–sometimes non-operating–wind turbines.

    From 1981 through 1985 federal and state tax subsidies in California were so great that wealthy investors could recover up to 50 percent of a wind turbine’s cost. The lure of quick riches resulted in a flood of development using new and mostly untested wind turbines. By the end of 1986, when projects already underway in 1985 were completed, developers had installed nearly 15,000 wind turbines. These machines represented 1,200 MW of capacity worth US$2.4 billion in 1986 dollars.

    It took nearly a decade from the time the first flimsy wind turbines were installed before the performance of California wind projects could dispel the widespread belief among the public and investors that wind energy was just a tax scam.

    The article is a good one, lots of reference to various wind farms and the subsidies in effect at the time that led to each ‘bubble’ of wind farms …

    .

  34. The question all sentient observers should ask is this: now one gravy train has been officially abandoned, it is extremely likely that the next one is up and running.

    Perhaps this blog should invite readers to nominate the next sponging scandals across the entire spectrum of society?

    Key components:
    1. Difficulty to prove hypothesis one way or the other.
    2. Strong ties to a febrile media.
    3. Ability to dupe politicians to provide lots of funding.
    4. Ability to use seniority to force dogma through.
    5. Potential benefits to developing countries’ corrupt elites through ‘doing good’.

  35. If I told you that the first sentence of my letter was edited, your readers might be mollified.

    I wrote:
    Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, as the climate has always been changing, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group.

    Michael Kelly

    REPLY: Thank you, I’ll add this to the post to make it known. – Anthony

  36. DirkH says:
    February 28, 2012 at 6:48 am
    “Higley, please take another look at the scales of the absorption spectrum graphs of N2 and O2. They have very narrow spikes or lines with an absorptivity a thousand times less than the ones of CO2 and H2O. They are irrelevant.”

    Except that they are 3000 times as abundant.

  37. Eric Dailey says:
    February 28, 2012 at 7:55 am

    “Professor Michael Kelly: Prince Philip Professor of Technology, is echoing the sentiments of Prince Philip whom last November leaked that he won’t have wind turbines on “his land”, which I suspect is due to NIMBY. This denouncement by Kelly is only a political move in support of his monarch.”

    Haven’t you heard? Queen Elizabeth II has been the UK monarch for the last 60 years.

  38. Terry Oldberg says:
    February 28, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Your quibbling over semantic niceties reminds me of a famous quote: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”. The statement was true as long as you defined the words correctly.

    No matter how you attempt to spin it, the models have no skill.

  39. Terry Oldberg says:
    February 28, 2012 at 8:05 am
    “Furthermore, none of the IPCC models make the predictions that they would be necessary to the falsification of them. They make “projections” but the concept that is referenced by this word is materially different from the concept that is referenced by the word “predictions.””

    The difference between a projection and a prediction is that a prediction can be validated. Period. That’s the difference.

    So they don’t do predictions. Instead, they initialize the model randomly, and run it for a 100 years, and they do that say a 100 times. Now they say, let’s average the outcome and see what we have. Okay, so all the details are lost and were only pomp and circumstances for the paying public anyhow. So what do they get. They get ever increasing energy content. Why? Simple.

    Energy goes into the system from the sun. That’s fixed.
    Energy leaves the system to space. That’s what determines the outcome of the average of the single runs. That’s where they need to work on to get the desired outcome.

    And they do that not via CO2; oh no. They do it by meddling with the aerosol forcing because that still counts as uncertain.

    It’s a shell game. Control how much energy leaves the system and you control the outcome.

  40. I looked up the “big three” wind spots mentioned in the article, and looks to me as though there is a substantial amount of generation coming from those sites. The Kamaoa (37 turbines) is actually abandoned.I don’t think there are “thousands abandonded” – it looks to me as though there are some in disrepair and they are looking to replace the older obsolete technology with newer MW-level technology. I think that the 14,000 is an urban legend. If someone can show me an actual accounting, methodology, or something (ala Wikipedia’s list of wind farms in the US, or the link to a list of wind farms) please post it. Don’t misunderstand me – wind power IMO is 100% tax subsidy fueled and probably even carbon-inefficient since a lot of gas-fired plants have to be on stand-by in case the wind stops blowing. However, I just cannot add up 14000 units – unless we really are counting basically all the units from the 80s, in which case “planned obsolescence” is a better term because the technology has vastly improved (and those sites mentioned will be rebuilt with new technology thanks to tax subsidies!).

    http://www.thewindpower.net/country-datasheet-windfarms-4-usa.php

  41. Charlie A says on February 28, 2012 at 9:36 am:

    ..
    It appears that tax subsidies in California led to about 15,000 turbines being installed In the 1981-1986 period, and that virtually all of those are now inoperative.

    Yup; found the same thing here … a post (still) apparently stuck in the spam filter would bear that out … still a little hesitant to post another link in fear it too will land this post in the spam filt …

    Well, here goes: A ‘period piece’ from back in 1999 talking about the subsidies and ‘bubble’ in wind farms and the xx,000 of defunct wind generators: http://www.wind-works.org/articles/99rush.html “The Great Wind Rush of 99″

    .

  42. Sir, Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers…

    Is this Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate? If so, presumably, this makes him a “climate change expert.”

  43. I have had my words unscrupulously expurgated from the middle of a quote to suit the message an editor wanted to make, so I empathize with Dr. Kelly.

  44. dwb says:
    February 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I looked up the “big three” wind spots mentioned in the article, and looks to me as though there is a substantial amount of generation coming from those sites. The Kamaoa (37 turbines) is actually abandoned.I don’t think there are “thousands abandonded” – it looks to me as though there are some in disrepair and they are looking to replace the older obsolete technology with newer MW-level technology. I think that the 14,000 is an urban legend.

    What’s your timeline going back? 5 years? 10 Years?

    Or a full 26 years back to 1985?

    We’ve all been to this rodeo before (‘renewable’ energy et al), with the (wind) activities in the 1980’s growing out of the late 1970’s and with the 1979 energy crisis in particular …

    .

  45. I find it astonishing – and disturbing – that the Times should edit Professor Kelly’s letter in the manner they appear to have done. It’s not a long letter, and they have removed just 7 words. But the removal of those words, which qualify the previous sentence, substantially changes its meaning. Is this the sort of depth to which warmist newspaper editors will now stoop? If I sent the Times a letter saying, “I don’t believe in global warming,” would they have no compunction in removing the “don’t” from the published version?

    Also, what the heck has Andrew Motion got to do with climate change? He’s a poet, isn’t he? Isn’t it scraping the barrel a bit to get poets to castigate climate change deniers? Are they going to drag in rock stars and footballers and celebrity chefs next?

  46. @Terry Oldberg who said:
    “The IPCC is mute on the magnitude of the averaging period. If the magnitude is taken to be the 30 years that is canonical in climatology then the real-world data of the past 20 years cannot have shown a climate model to be exaggerating the likely impacts, for the duration of an independent statistical event can be no less than the averaging period and thus an independent event of a duration that contains the past 20 years cannot yet have been observed.”

    Fwew! Take a breath!

    “Furthermore, none of the IPCC models make the predictions that they would be necessary to the falsification of them. They make “projections” but the concept that is referenced by this word is materially different from the concept that is referenced by the word ‘predictions.'”

    What I get from your comments is that the output of the IPCC is meaningless and useless and should be ignored.

  47. John says:
    February 28, 2012 at 6:31 am

    4 years of WUWT in two pithy paragraphs!

    With such few words, Prof. Kelly couldn’t get into WHY the models are wrong,

    Looks like you’ve fallen for their trap. It’s their theory. They need to explain how it works, what will demonstrate the theory is accurate, ~what will falsify the theory~, and the experiments and data that support the theory but do not falsify it.

    No one is under any obligation to come up with an alternate theory.

  48. “as the climate has always been changing”

    This is essential. It has been my point for at least 10 years. Many people don’t realize the power of words – they can have a kind of hypnotic effect. It can even erase years of good education so people forget that climate always changes. I call it a linguistic hockey stick. No wonder it was edited.

  49. TomB is right. If the end of your proof is “1 = 0″ — I don’t have to do a detailed analysis to mark this proof wrong, and tell you to go find your invalid assumption or illegal step.

    The data don’t match the projections or predictions of the models. I’ll mark this as “failed” with little compunction to unscramble their logic.

    Gendanken experiment: Imagine building a model with various noisy inputs. For example the temperature, pressure, solar irradience, and db level sitting on a park bench. Then flip a coin 10 times and track the percentage heads. Using a SV decomposition create a set of weights correlating the coin tosses historically to the sample inputs. Be amazed at the correlation you can get, especially as you increase the number of input variables (gender percentage of observed people, number of flying birds, swimming birds. Amazingly the more inputs you get the farther back you can hindcast… awesome. You must really be on to something!

    Now, predict the next 10 coin flips…. :)

  50. The Time omitted that portion of the opening sentence because THEY (like all Greenies) are the real deniers. They deny that climate has always changed. Sorry to state the bleeding obvious – just adding my tuppence for the record, for what little it is worth.

  51. Texas has something like 7,000 wind turbines installed. Almost all of these were relatively recent installations of the very big, more modern turbines that cost more than a million dollars a pop. So that’s $7 billion in hardware alone (not including the associated transmission infrastructure). These twirling whirligigs make a lot of money for a variety of special interests. All the land owners collect a piece of “money for nothing” just for having the eyesores on their property. The owners of the windfarms are awash in (taxpayer) subsidy money. The utilities don’t really care that they are forced to buy the overpriced output of windfarms – they just pass the expense on to consumers. The manufacturers of wind turbines have made out quite well. But the whole operation runs on a sea of government subsidies and crony capitalism. Don’t think for minute that politicians don’t have their snouts in the trough.

    A good friend of mine lives in Amarillo and has occasion to drive throughout the Panhandle of Texas. He reported to me that on any given day at least 1/3 of the turbines are not turning. Another thought occurred to me last Summer when Texas has that withering hot weather. I suspect it may have been physically impossible to service a lot of these wind turbines last Summer. If it’s over 100 d F outside, can you imagine the temperature inside one of those towers? Who can climb up 300-400 feet of ladder in that kind of heat? These spinning eyesores are expensive and difficult to service and like all mechanical gadgets (like cars) require regular maintenance and oil changes. Their failure rate has been grossly understated by the wind industry.

    I’m not an engineer (although my father was), but one of my best friends is a mechanical engineer and a Distinguished Scientist at Sandia National Labs. We have discussed wind power. If you accept the fact that anthropogenic CO2 is not a problem or that mitigation thereof will not affect climate in any significant way, then wind power is probably one of the DUMBEST methods of generating electricity on the commercial level. Wind power is low density, diffuse and intermittent as well as extremely expensive and labor-intensive. It places strain on the grid and requires spinning back-up. It’s idiocy! Only a crony capitalist or a politician could love this scam.

    I too, doubt the claim of 14,000 abandoned wind turbines. But I’d be willing to bet a month’s salary that at any given time there are at least 14,000 wind turbines in the US that are not producing ANY electricity.

  52. @Jim

    not sure what your question is. read my whole comment. I don’t think 14000 have been “abandonded”. period. We do not need made-up statistics to prove wind is bad. The facts will do just fine. trouble is, when one wrongly cites made-up statistics, people will also start to question the facts because the source is not credible.

  53. There are surely two underpinnings to the notion of an unchanging climate until man came alomg. The first is the hockey stick and the second the Met office-a prime contributor through the Hadley centre to the IPCC assessments, who assert:

    “Before the twentieth century, when man-made greenhouse gas emissions really took off, there was an underlying stability to global climate. The temperature varied from year to year, or decade to decade, but stayed within a certain range and averaged out to an approximately steady level.”

    I have asked the Met office where their information came from but they steadfastly refuse to say but I suspect they are still wedded to the hockey stick view of the world.

    tonyb

  54. Wind Turbines South Point Hawaii – note in the early part of the vid a number of non-functioning wind turbines:

    The comment that sounds like ‘Texas’ in the beginning is actually about the Cactus they spotted …

  55. That’s a really nice letter by Dr Kelly. The editing is shocking; it changes the interpretation of the first sentence. It seems newspapers are still unwilling to honestly present one side of the debate.

  56. The climate always changes, is known by all sceptics and are those that particually argued this case in the first place. (but we know that) Just that the science was always against the pro AGW alarmists , so falsely spin this around to claim sceptics deny climate change to try and discredit them. My observations over the years have well noticed that whatever the alarmists do they then blame this behavour on the sceptics, when they have never done such a thing.

  57. The omitted statement by The Times makes earlier comments inapplicable. Should this be a new topic?

  58. I agree with MSG!
    The removal of something as innocuous as ‘the climate has always changed’ is the absolute key to this story. Given WUWT’s team of most excellent sleuths and sources it should be possible to discover who owned the leaden hand that deleted this.
    Name and shame.

  59. “Gobsmacking that they couldn’t handle this one sentence but left the rest untouched – as the climate has always been changing” . So that Dr. Kelly’s actual statement is”

    “Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, as the climate has always been changing….”, and it appears that the offending Editors themselves are climate change deniers.

  60. dwb says:
    February 28, 2012 at 11:35 am

    “@Jim

    not sure what your question is. read my whole comment. I don’t think 14000 have been “abandonded”.”

    Take the number that was built in the 70’s and the 80’s and most of them are still standing, wholly or in part, dead today since most countries don’t have a fine print that forces the energy companies to recycle wind turbine constructions. Companies only do that if it’s economically feasible. It’s not much difference with old dead industries, they only get recycled when gov pay for the cleanup (which they only do when there’s a need for more houses and apartments or new industries.)

    The life span of a wind turbine is only about 20 years at best, so the number isn’t all that shocking.

    What’s shocking in EU is why the greens here never forced the energy companies to pay for the cleanups wind mill sites so the sites can be re-introduced to nature as energy companies are forced to do with coal-, gas-, hydro-, and nuclear-power plants.

  61. This is a rather strong condemnation of the state of affairs in Climate Science.

    The highlighted missing phrase is itself a strong condemnation of the state of journalistic ethics at that publication.

  62. Gleickenspiel again
    With malice aforethought, deleting a key phrase to misrepresent the writer.

    What the h**l have the T***s got to gain by that kind of f***dulent misrepresentation?

  63. Perhaps the Levison enquiry would like to hear about the omission from Dr Kelly’s letter
    the press in the UK has reached its absolute bottom of integrity/professionalism.

  64. “Climate change deniers”
    I don’t know of anyone who fits this exact description, but plenty of us think that man-made climate change is trivial. The phrase was global warming deniers, until the graph changed direction…

  65. 1DandyTroll says on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm:


    What’s shocking in EU is why the greens here never forced the energy companies to pay for the cleanups wind mill sites so the sites can be re-introduced to nature as energy companies are forced to do with coal-, gas-, hydro-, and nuclear-power plants.

    Que?

    Removal and Restoration Costs in California: Who Will Pay? by Paul Gipe
    (An edited version of the article which appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of WindStats Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 2)

    Longish article … here are just a few details to whet one’s interest:

    … Who will pay the estimated $100 million in unfunded liabilities that aging wind turbines represent in California? New data from California indicates that it may be more expensive to remove wind turbines and restore their sites than previously thought. It was widely believed by California’s wind plant operators that the resale value of used turbines or their value as scrap metal would offset the cost of turbine removal and site reclamation. This may not be the case new data suggests for several reasons. Removal costs may be higher than first expected and salvage values may be lower than once thought. Thus, the costs to remove the 1,200 MW of first generation turbines still standing in California could exceed $100 million.

    ..

    At the old Airtricity site in Tehachapi, landowners have had to hire a contractor to remove the remaining Windmatics and Storm Masters and to restore the site abandoned by the long-defunct wind company. In the Altamont Pass landowners will likely be stuck with removal costs of Storm Master turbines that have become a safety hazard to SeaWest employees servicing nearby Micon turbines.

    There are some 50 MW of early first generation turbines, such as the Storm Masters, remaining in California. Very few of these are still operating or remain in service. Removal of these turbines and restoration of their sites represent, at a minimum, $2.5 million in unfunded liabilities.

    In 1988, consultant Bob Lynette estimated that 1,000 machines in California were so poorly designed or manufactured that they were unsalvageable. Lynette’s estimate may have been far too conservative. More than 3,000 turbines comprising 230 MW of California wind capacity may be unsalvageable and best suited for the scrap yard.

    Yet these early machines are just the tip of the iceberg. There are nearly 12,000 turbines of first generation designs. The gross cost to eventually remove these machines and restore their sites, if repowering does not proceed, is staggering: from $60 to $120 million.

    Also note the total of 12,000 1st generation California turbines of which (at the time in 1997!) “3,000 turbines” were good only for scrap .. and this was 1997, before the ‘boom’ or Wind Rush in the 1999 time frame.

    .

  66. Jean Parisot says:
    February 28, 2012 at 7:41 am
    Engineers vs Scientists — get your popcorn, this will be good.

    Well, don’t get too comfortable. A comparison from my own field: the chemist’s choice of weapon, the 250ml Erlenmeyer flask; mine (chemical engineer), the 5.000 gallon batch reactor.

    Engineering is like Science, only LOUDER. ;-)

  67. Umm, Jeremy..

    David Suzuki is not Carl Sagan.
    He is widely known,and has a reputation for explaining science to youngsters. Being a grandatherly looking figure he may have been more accepted.

    But I’d want to look back at his public teachings to check what he was saying.

    He’s clearly a Marxist, note for examplehis raning against businesses when he spoke and wrote in support of the Occupy mob.

  68. The source of the 14,000 abandoned turbines is Paul Gipe. His resume is here:

    http://www.wind-works.org/giperesume.html

    He has written numerous books on wind energy. Ironically, he is a strong advocated of wind turbines. Try his article in the 1999 edition of New Energy if you are still a ‘denier’.

    If you Bing ‘Gipe 14,000 turbine’ you will see that he has been quoted thousands of times on this.

  69. Keith Sketchley says: February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Umm, Jeremy..

    David Suzuki is not Carl Sagan…

    … He’s clearly a Marxist, note for example his ranting against businesses when he spoke and wrote in support of the Occupy mob.
    _____________________

    Suzuki used to be a peace, love and crunchy-granola kinda guy… …a Harpo Marxist.

    As he aged and became old, angry and bitter, he changed… …into a Groucho Marxist.

    Enviro-radicals have to keep re-inventing themselves, and their scary stories.

    For example, scary “Catastrophic Manmade Global Warming” was changed into very-scary “Climate Change”.

    Very-scary “Climate Change” was even better than scary “Global Warming”, because “Climate Change” is so vaguely defined that it is non-falsifiable – “Climate Change” can be warmer, cooler, wetter, drier, up, down, in, out or sideways.

    Climate Alarmists say anything they want, fabricate their false alarms with facile impunity, change their scary stories daily or even hourly, and still believe they are operating within a logical, rational envelope.

    However, those of us who remember the crazy Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland have seen this sort of behaviour before.

    It is the Climate Alarmists irrational behaviour that is indeed unbalanced and truly scary – their very-scary stories, not so much.

  70. _Jim : February 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    “Wind Turbines South Point Hawaii”

    Rough count from the early part of the vid looks like 9 bladeless, 8 bladed but not turning. Of the 37 that I could see in the vid, about 46% were non-operable in some manner. (not counting internal stuff)

  71. Ian W ( February 28, 2012 at 8:32 am ):

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. A model is legitimately tested by comparison of the predicted to the observed outcomes of the events in a statistical sample. In such a sample, there is no such thing as a partial event (e.g., an event in which 20 of the 30 years of a complete event have elapsed) for in such an event the outcome cannot have been observed.

  72. Frank Davis says:
    February 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Also, what the heck has Andrew Motion got to do with climate change? He’s a poet, isn’t he? Isn’t it scraping the barrel a bit to get poets to castigate climate change deniers? Are they going to drag in rock stars and footballers and celebrity chefs next?

    Did I miss something? I thought they already had!

    DaveE.

  73. Engineer vs Scientist? I’ll place my bet on the engineer.

    An engineer works with what can be proven to be viable. Understanding of physics required. Responsible for results.

    A real scientist would likely work with the engineer to see if a particular theory / idea could be developed into a viable product or process.

    A ‘climate scientist’ will work with any fallacy as long as the grants keep coming in. Appeal of authority is the only prerequisite required. . Credibility or ethics optional but not required and not desired in post normal science.

  74. JPeden says:
    February 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm
    “Gobsmacking that they couldn’t handle this one sentence but left the rest untouched – as the climate has always been changing” . So that Dr. Kelly’s actual statement is”

    “Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, as the climate has always been changing….”, and it appears that the offending Editors themselves are climate change deniers.

    =====================

    Good point. “The offending Editors themselves are climate change deniers.” The editors are literally living in a parallel universe of post normal science and journalism (if it could be called that).

  75. If I might quote from a comment I left on Bishop Hill

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/5/16/david-mackay-at-oxford.html

    “Go to http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/releases/shownews.htm?NewsID=553
    and download “Generating the Future”. So far as I am aware this is the only serious study which has been carried out into the practical implications of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050″

    Michael Kelly was one of the engineers who produced this essential report.

    But it is with fury and shame that I note that the (UK) Institution of Civil Engineers (my professional body) has been taken over by the greenie plague and their forthcoming Brunel Lecture is titled “Delivery of a Low Carbon Society – Beyond Rhetoric Or Not?”

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

  76. I’m sure that the editting of the good Prof’s letter, was simply done to fit in with the amount of space available and to improve its appearence & readability!

  77. eyes;
    Ethics in Crimatology makes you unreliable, like a Soviet counter-revolutionary cad (Limeliters). Ostracism, purging, elimination of sources of income, and exile are the responses of choice.

  78. Quite a few years ago the Daily Telegraph printed my letter about the European Union. The night before, the editor phoned me and asked permission to cut a bit out, as it was too long. I agreed, as it did not change the main thrust of my letter.
    In this case, cutting just a few words from Michael Kelly’s letter completely changed that sentence’s meaning, clearly indicating that Kelly agreed with Motion’s stunted beliefs. If I were Kelly I would insist that the Times print a correction.
    It is ironic – and stupid – that the true believers like to use the ‘climate change denier’ label. It is insulting, bnecause it is clearly designed to sound like ‘holocaust denier’. It is also stupid because a major sceptical argument is that the climate is always changing.
    The whole purpose of the hockey stick is to show that there was essentially no climate change until the 20th century, despite the mountains of evidence for a global MWP that was quite possible warmer than the present.
    So who are the real climate change deniers?
    By the way, for anyone who objects to this, why not shoot off an email to the Times?
    Chris

  79. dwb says:
    February 28, 2012 at 6:31 am

    where exactly are the 14000 abandoned windmills onshore in the US? citation/source please. I don’t agree with wind either, but i think he’s making that up. It doesn’t help when you make up a misleading fact, credibility becomes an issue.

    There are 37 broken or dismantled 250 KW wind turbines at South Point on the Island of Hawaii. Replaced by 14 new 1.5 MW turbines built less than two miles away which went online April 2007. The old units were installed in 1987 and a declining number kept running by salvaging parts from broken units until 2006. I saw them during Christmas in 2011 and the towers and nacelles are still standing although many now lack blades. See here.

    Given that earlier windfarms used smaller turbines and if the lifecycle experience in Hawaii is typical, I’m guessing virtually 100% of the turbines installed before 1990 are now broken. Does anyone know of any old turbines which have been completely dismantled and removed?

  80. The Digest of United Kindom Energy Statistics (DUKES) gives the total wind energy contribution to the UK’s electricity output for 2010 as 2.7% (10,216 GWh of a total 371,977 from all sources).
    Renewable UK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. It tells us that one modern wind turbine saves over 2000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, and that there are 3422 operational turbines in the UK.
    That’s a total of about 7 million tonnes of CO2 saved annually, which sounds very impressive.
    However, the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 3 thousand gigatonnes. Divide the amount saved by the amount in the air and you’ll see that the turbines are ‘saving’ two millionths of the atmospheric total annually.

  81. GeoLurking says on February 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Re: “Wind Turbines South Point Hawaii”

    Rough count from the early part of the vid looks like 9 bladeless, 8 bladed but not turning. Of the 37 that I could see in the vid, about 46% were non-operable in some manner. (not counting internal stuff)

    Thanks for the tally; we might also note, for the record, that those in the industry have a term for non-operational (non-generation) turning (rotation) of the turbine blades, in lieu of ‘locking’ the rotor: ‘virtual mode’. Virtual mode or operation is done for a couple of reason: for lubrication (keeps bearings and bearing surfaces lubed and not ‘seated’ in one position (deformation issues), keeps seals ‘moist’ and flexible, runs the lube/pressure pump) _and_ it looks good to the public (a PR move; public has higher measured and tabulated opinion of wind power when they see a dynamically-acting vs statically-displayed wind turbine).

    So, those that may be ‘turning’ might not be generating. Depending on the wind turbine deisgn/model (a synchronous vs asynchronous generator/alternator affixed after the gear box) one might expect all blades to be rotating in synchronism (synchronous alts) or slightly off (asynchronous alts) … also, ‘facing into the wind’ is done via actuation of “Yaw” motor which rotates the nacelle assembly based on the integrated/average direction indicated by the wind vane.

    .

  82. Even assuming you can make an economic case for wind turbines with a 20-year lifetime until complete replacement, doesn’t anyone find it odd that new turbines don’t just replace older non-functional ones? Take the Hawaiian example: 100 acres of defunct turbines were left there while a new park was built close by. Why isn’t it economic to re-use the access roads previously built? Must be some other distorting effect of the subsidies.

  83. @Watt
    doesn’t anyone find it odd that new turbines don’t just replace older non-functional ones?

    No – investment tax credits, renewable energy credits, and other subsidies are what makes these “profitable.” they will only be rebuilt/replaced if there are more subsidies. The ones in CA and elsewhere are slowly getting replaced because CA has high subsidies for wind.

    @Jim
    Removal and Restoration Costs in California: Who Will Pay? by Paul Gipe
    (An edited version of the article which appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of WindStats Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 2)

    Every type of power plant has removal and decommissioning costs (coal, gas, nuclear) . Are these higher or lower than other types? The lifespan of a coal plant is about 30 years and parts continually need replaced, including turbines and boilers. New technology makes them more efficient. If you count the 14,000 original wind turbines since 1985 as “abandoned” then the US has “abandoned” a lot of coal, gas, and nuclear plants too. We have lots of mothballed coal, gas, and nuclear plants too, they are just less obviously littering the landscape.

    I’m not defending wind,but this 14,000 number is one of those urban legends.

  84. jtom says on February 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm:

    The source of the 14,000 abandoned turbines is Paul Gipe. His resume is here:

    http://www.wind-works.org/giperesume.html

    He has written numerous books on wind energy. Ironically, he is a strong advocated of wind turbines. Try his article in the 1999 edition of New Energy if you are still a ‘denier’.

    If you Bing ‘Gipe 14,000 turbine’ you will see that he has been quoted thousands of times on this.

    I am wondering, where the irony lies in this (that is, what is ironic here?)

    Let me proffer that in Paul Gipe we have an individual who is more a ‘wind power specialist’ and historian as opposed to simply a political advocate/activist or PR front man.

    There is probably not a more comprehensive collection of works on wind power over the last three decades than that collected by Paul. I think his objectifiable facts on the state and history of that industry (both the manufacture and use of wind power turbine equipment).are second to none. His expression and advocacy of wind power are not comprised of wild-eyed optimism and radicalism, although he has not met the burden of proof regarding economics for utility-scale wind generation systems.

    Have you seen Paul’s webpage titled: Self-Guided Tour to the Wind Farms of the Tehachapi Pass (circa 1998-2001 time frame)?

    A brief excerpt, and one can see he pulls no punches in describing what one can see on a tour:

    Looking Eastward

    On the far northeast side of the valley (left) near the cement plant is a large limestone quarry. Visible beyond the cement plant is the abandoned Airtricity site with two dozen or more derelict Storm Master, and Wind-Matic turbines. This site has been abandoned for more than a decade.

    Beyond the Airtricity site is the former Arbutus site on Pajeula Peak. The three-bladed Bonus turbines are in service but all the Windtech and DWT turbines are derelict and have been for many years.

    In the far distance is Cameron Ridge with a mix of three-bladed Danish turbines. The larger NEG-Micon and Vestas turbines replaced FloWind’s eggbeater turbines in the 1999 wind rush.

    Abutting Highway 58 on the south side (right) is Zond’s wind wall, a dense cluster of 400 Vestas turbines. These were installed in 1985. Note the deep road cuts, rock falls, and erosion gullies leading from the turbines down the hillside towards Zond’s buildings at the base of the hills. Zond was bought by Enron in the late 1990s and is now known as Enron Wind.

    Near the center of the ridge is Windland’s cluster of Carter 250s, and Vestas V25s amid Zond’s large array of Vestas turbines.

    Note that a description of the smallish “Carter 250″ may be found in a document I linked in one of my prior posts that can be found by clicking on this link string.

    .

  85. dwb says:
    February 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

    The financial contortions from the Gore-Pelosi-Obama-DOE-EPA’s subsidies and rate prop of wind energy are even worse. As noted above, wind farm construction direct subsidies pay nothing for the short term (year-to-year) upkeep, repair, and maintenance of wind turbines. They pay nothing for the long-term (3 year and 7 year) outages and replacement of major parts and controllers (pumps, drive motors, gears, generator connectors, cleaning, open-and-inspect, troubleshooting, etc.) inside the cramped and dangerous cowlings where all parts have to be lifted 200 feet up in the air.

    Rate subsidies only pay off-set (increased) electric rates to the wind farm owner IF the wind farm turbines are operating. This means that even short term repair periods are non-productive (non-profitable) between those 3 and 7 year longer outages. As a result, there is NO incentive to repair the things; and in fact, even disincentives. As far as their actual payback rates go to the owner, “build ‘em, start ‘em, and then run ‘em till they burn up” is the government’s preferred rate structure! (Of course, this ensures that these democrat politicians get their campaign contributions and editorial mentions in the mainstream liberal extremist ABBCNNBCBS press corpse for being “green friendly” early in the election cycle. ten years later? “Who cares, I’m already elected right now.” )

    I am now repairing conventional and nuclear power plants that my dad built in the mid and early 60’s and 70’s. Upgrading and replacing steam turbines and generators that were made in the 50’s as well. With only one or two exceptions nationwide, the only power plants being decommissioned and abandoned in today’s world are the coal powered plants that the EPA unilaterally outlawed by their “new and improved” CO2 and mercury limits this past year. A fifty year power plant life is not common, but not unusual either. A thrity year old power plant turbine is just a good target for a $2,000,000.00 to $10,000,000.00 outage and upgrade.

    And that outage – costing 1/10th of a single wind farm producing 10 Meg’s of power only 20% of the time – will generate 25 to150 more Megawatts every minute of every day for the next 20 0years.

  86. dwb says February 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

    @Jim [Please note: The name is "_Jim" on account of the numerous 'Jims' on the site]
    Removal and Restoration Costs in California: Who Will Pay? by Paul Gipe
    (An edited version of the article which appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of WindStats Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 2)

    Every type of power plant has removal and decommissioning costs ..

    Not my dog; I was responding to another poster; as you can read by various references and articles, overall the wind generation folks have not historically been tied/committed to any ‘decommission funding’ (except in a few rare cases where local law or Federal permits requried same).

    dwb says February 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I’m not defending wind,but this 14,000 number is one of those urban legends.

    I think I have provided sufficient background data that such that one might be able to adjudge whether 14,000 was an appropriate number, and if not what sort of adjustment up or down should be made. From an RF engineer’s point of view I would quantify it certainly within a range of 10 dB (yielding a range of 1,400 to 14,000), and even within 6 dB (3,500 – 14,000). A 3 dB range yields 7,000 to 14,000.

    The post I made here above contains an estimate from 1988 of 1,000 machines in California alone being “[so] poorly designed or manufactured that they were unsalvageable”, Gipe estimates the number of the 1997 article as being 3,000, and this is out of “12,000 turbines of first generation designs” fielded ostensibly across the continent.

    I don’t think the majority of persons considering the accuracy of that number has any comprehension of how small some of these early wind generators were in the early years … I would strongly recommend one might consult the reference at the link I cited earlier to gain some idea of the smaller animals that were actually installed in the first real ‘Wind Rush’ in the 1980’s …

    .

  87. Highly 7 says on February 28, 2012 at 6:27 am :
    “————“
    ========
    Wise words, I say – but then again – I am one of those “deniers” who does not believe that “climate-scientists” – of any ilk, have got it “quite right” yet.

    And:
    DirkH says on February 28, 2012 at 6:48 am :

    “Higley, please take another look at the scales of the absorption spectrum graphs of N2 and O2. They have very narrow spikes or lines with an absorptivity a thousand times less than the ones of CO2 and H2O. They are irrelevant.”
    ======
    So then DirkH, why do CO2 and H2O not absorb “Solar Radiation” (SR) in that particular spectrum? – I do hope we all know that the Earth’s surface stops and absorbs SR thus warming the surface.

    Could it therefore have something to do with gases versus solids and liquids – perhaps?

  88. The following from “Windpower”, by Christopher Gillis, bought at the National Windpower and Windmill Museum at Lubbock TX during a recent visit there.

    Its forward by Nolan Clark claims that almost 15,000 windmills were installed in California alone between 1984 and 1986.

    “Large” prototype windmills at that period of time built by NASA were as small as 100 KWatts. Worldwide, none were very large.

    More telling details later in the book:
    Page 55, “Between 1981 and 1983, US Windpower built the first 100 turbines in Altamont Pass …. By 1990, California’s wind farms contained more than 17,000 turbines, with ratings from 20 KWatts to 400 KWatts. Together these turbines produced more than 3 million megawatt hours of electricity…. All three companies [US Windpower, Fayette Manufacturing, and Wind Master] offered turbines rated at 50 KWatt each.”

    Page 56. “Re-powering in California’s wind farms has taken off more so in recent years. Wintec Energy, which operates turbines on 1,200 acres in the Cocchella Valley north of Palm Springs, announced in 2007 a 3 billion to 4 billion dollar program to tear down the old machines and and install about 1,100 new turbines each separated by a quarter mile.”

    So, yes, more than 14,000 old, worn out, scenery-polluting eyesores wasting taxpayer-sponsored time, material, labor, and capital could definitely have been ripped out. unfortunately, some are being replaced by even bigger wearing out, scenery-polluting eyesores wasting taxpayer-sponsored time, material, labor, and capital without producing any reliable energy at twice the price of conventional power.

  89. More environmental damage and pollution from California’s un-regulated and poorly-maintained state-sponsored wind farms noted at the link above:

    http://www.wind-works.org/articles/TehachapiTourGuide.html guide.

    From above: jtom says:
    February 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    The source of the 14,000 abandoned turbines is Paul Gipe. His resume is here:

    http://www.wind-works.org/giperesume.html


    Spinning Turbines

    If the wind is blowing, you will see a mass of spinning turbines upon entering the Tehachapi Valley from Bakersfield. There are more than 1,000 turbines visible from this vantage point and in good winds, most will be spinning. Unfortunately, not all will be operating. Some of those not spinning have been derelict for at least a decade. There is no law in Kern County that requires removal of broken or abandoned wind turbines. Zond (Enron) alone has dozens of such turbines that are derelict and these are clearly visible from Highway 58.

    Over Oak Creek Pass

    Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road crosses the Tehachapi Valley parallel to the ridge with the wind turbines, then turns and climbs over Oak Creek Pass. Just before the final ascent to the pass, the road passes a Bergey 1500 on the west (right) side. The battery-charging turbine is part of a wind and solar hybrid power system.

    The summit of Oak Creek Pass affords spectacular views of the Mojave Desert, the Garlock Fault, and Cameron Ridge. On the left is Zond, on the right is CalWind. In the far distance is what was once SeaWest’s Mojave site with more than 1,000 wind turbines. Just below the summit on the north side is Mogul Energy’s 450 kW Mitsubishis.

    On the east side of Cameron Road is Cameron Ridge. On top of Cameron Ridge are Florida Power & Lights NEG-Micon and Vestas turbines, and Coram/TaxVest’s Aeromans.

    Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road leads past Oak Creek’s wind plant and out onto the desert.

    In the Vicinity of Oak Creek

    Near Oak Creek are two more or less defunct wind plants. On the east side is Zephyr where only four carcasses of turbines remain. On the west side is a field of modified Storm Masters, most inoperative and on the ground. The Zephyr site is the world’s most egregious example of the unnecessary environmental impact that can result from uncontrolled wind development. The gouges in the hillside are only now, after more than a decade, healing. The turbines were sold for scrap years ago. In the 1999 wind rush, Oak Creek installed several NEG-Micon turbines on this site.

    To SeaWest

    On the east side of Oak Creek Pass are extensive fields of Joshua Trees. These unusual plants are found in limited areas of the high desert, including the eastern flanks of the Tehachapi Mountains and the vicinity of Joshua Tree National Monument.

    Oak Creek Rd. leaves Tehachapi-Willow Springs Rd. and travels eastbound toward the town of Mojave. After winding through a short canyon the road opens onto the Mojave Desert and the Mitsubishi turbines at a large wind plant once operated by SeaWest.

    The SeaWest site at one time contained a mix of Mitsubishi, Micon, Danwin, and Nordtank turbines. Some of the early turbines have since been removed. Note the Mitsubishis’ direction of rotation. Of the 5,000 turbine in the Tehachapi-Mojave resource area only the Mitsubishis (660) and Wind-Matics rotate counterclockwise (viewed from upwind). The Danwins (clockwise rotation) are buried inside the Mitsubishi array and the difference in direction of rotation is easily discernible, if not jarring. In the 1999 wind rush, owners of the Mitsubishis removed some older turbines and installed new turbines on much taller towers. The developer substituted an awkward, non-uniform array for what was at one time the California wind industry’s most aesthetically pleasing wind plant. Since the discordant erection of the new turbines this array looks, unfortunately, like many of the other wind plants in the state.

    To Zond

    From SeaWest, Oak Creek Rd. westbound leads to Tehachapi-Willow Springs Rd. and back over Oak Creek Pass. Just before the freeway overcrossing is a frontage road, Jameson, that leads to Zond’s assembly building and good views of Zond’s wind wall as well as its large arrays of turbines. In early to mid May the slopes above the Zond buildings can be ablaze with bright orange poppies.

    Wind Plant Maintenance Items to Note

    Throughout the Tehachapi-Mojave area look for turbines without nose cones, turbines without nacelles (blown off and not replaced), oil leaking from blade-pitch seals, oil leaking from gearboxes, road cuts in steep terrain, erosion gullies, non-operating turbines, and “bone piles” of junk parts. One Zond bone pile of abandoned fiberglass blades is visible on the east side of Tehachapi-Willow Springs Rd. near Oak Creek Pass. (Kern County doesn’t permit on-ground disposal of fiberglass.) While touring wind farm sites look for blowing trash and litter (plastic bags, soft-drink cups, bottles, electrical connectors, scrap bits of metal, and so on). These all reflect management’s attention to maintenance and general housekeeping. At the better sites, you won’t see any of this.

  90. Solomon Green (Feb. 28 at 9:03 am):

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. You’ve raised some good questions. First off, that the IPCC is mute on the averaging period relates to a fatal error in the methodology of the IPCC’s inquiry into AGW. The error is to have failed to define this inquiry’s statistical population. If it were to exist, events drawn from this population and observed would provide the sole empirical basis for testing the IPCC climate models but there is no such population or sample. In lieu of these ingredients, the IPCC’s inquiry cannot have been a scientific inquiry for the models cannot have been statistically tested. The IPCC represents that its inquiry was scientific but this representation is false.

    While a 30 year averaging period is canonical, the canonical period doesn’t have to be adopted by the IPCC’s inquiry. Were an averaging period to be identified by the IPCC, this would place a lower bound on the duration of a statistical event, for the duration can be no less than the averaging period. Thus, for example, if the averaging period were 30 years, the duration of an event could be no less than 30 years.

    The duration of the events in the (thus far undefined) statistical population of the IPCC’s inquiry would be identical to the period over which the associated models predicted climate outcomes. As the duration is undefined, predictions cannot have been made. IPCC climatologists work around this lapse by designing their models to make “projections” rather than “predictions.”

    By the way, contrary to your understanding, projections cannot be proved wrong. It is predictions that can be proved wrong but the IPCC models do not make them.

  91. commieBob (Feb. 28, 2012 at 9:25 am):

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I plead innocent to your charge of reaching false conclusions through semantic tricks. The skill of the forecasts that are made by the IPCC climate models is undefined, for these models do not make forecasts. The “projections” which they do make are not examples of forecasts.

  92. RACookPE1978 says:
    February 29, 2012 at 8:37 am

    The following from “Windpower”, by Christopher Gillis, bought at the National Windpower and Windmill Museum at Lubbock TX during a recent visit there.

    Its forward by Nolan Clark claims that almost 15,000 windmills were installed in California alone between 1984 and 1986.

    Good catch; Unfortunately, “Windpower”, by Christopher Gillis does not appear anywhere as/in a Google book preview …

    .

  93. O H Dahlsveen says:
    February 29, 2012 at 8:21 am


    DirkH says on February 28, 2012 at 6:48 am :

    “Higley, please take another look at the scales of the absorption spectrum graphs of N2 and O2. They have very narrow spikes or lines with an absorptivity a thousand times less than the ones of CO2 and H2O. They are irrelevant.”
    ======
    So then DirkH, why do CO2 and H2O not absorb “Solar Radiation” (SR) in that particular spectrum? –

    Sorry if I get in the middle of this, but, what does this plot of incoming SR depict:

    “Atmospheric Absorption and Transmission” – http://www.udel.edu/Geography/DeLiberty/Geog474/spectrum.jpg

    Fiugre title: “Absorption-transmission characteristics of cloud-free atmosphere shows gases responsible for EMR absorption as function of wavelength”

    16% of shortwave solar radiation absorbed directly by atmospheric gases

    Atmospheric gases – selective absorbers w/reference to wavelength

    . . Gamma and X-ray – completely absorbed in the upper atmosphere by Oxygen and Nitrogen

    . . Ultraviolet (<0.2um) – absorbed by molecules of oxygen (O and O2 combine form ozone); ozone absorbs UV w/ wavelengths -0.2-0.3um in stratosphere

    . . 0.9-2.7um – water vapor and carbon dioxide absorb in narrow bands

    . . thermal infrared
    . . – strong absorption by water vapor between 5-8um and 20um-1,000um (1cm)
    . . – carbon dioxide absorbs 14-20um
    . . – ozone 9-10um
    . . . . (absorbed radiation heats the lower atmosphere)

    . . microwave region – 3 relatively narrow absorption bands occur between 0.1 – 0.6cm (oxygen and water vapor)
    . . beyond 0.6cm , atmospheric gases generally do not impede passage of microwave radiation

    Gleaned from about the halfway point on this webpage: http://www.udel.edu/Geography/DeLiberty/Geog474/geog474_energy_interact.html

    .

  94. DirkH (Feb. 28, 2012 at 9:31 am):

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I agree with you when you assert that a difference between a prediction and a projection is that only the former can be validated. However, I disagree with you when you assert that this is the only difference. There are numerous additional differences. For example, predictions have a one-to-one relationship with independent statistical events but projections have no such relationship.The complete set of independent statistical events, the so-called “statistical population,” does not exist for the IPCC’s inquiry into AGW. This being the case, it is impossible for the IPCC to have reached the high level of confidence that it claims to have reached in the reality of CAGW.

  95. Jim says on February 29, 2012 at 10:30 am:

    “- – – – – – – – – – what does this plot of incoming SR depict:

    . . thermal infrared
    . . – strong absorption by water vapor between 5-8um and 20um-1,000um (1cm)
    . . – carbon dioxide absorbs 14-20um
    . . – ozone 9-10um
    . . . . (absorbed radiation heats the lower atmosphere)”

    ========

    Are you really saying that the Sun is warming those gases by sending thermal IR radiation into the Atmosphere?

    If that’s the case then I must admit I have misunderstood the whole thing. – The Sun is causing “Global warming” after all

  96. That strategic edit by the paper, removing the statement that ‘climate always changes’, is unforgivable, IMHO.

    It changes the whole tone of the ‘lead in’ from ‘of course ice ages come and go’ to one more like ‘of course CO2 is causing bad things’ instead.

    That then shifts the rest of the letter from “critique of junk science” to “you guys are just soo devoted it’s a bit over the top”, at least, for me.

  97. Terry Oldberg says:
    February 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Clive Best (Feb. 28, 2012 at 6:58 am):

    Contrary to your impression, those colored lines in your article at http://clivebest.com/data/Poster.pdf aren’t predictions. They are projections. Predictions are falsifiable. Projections are not.

    As soon as challenged, the Hokey Team & Assoc. are quick to take refuge in the “projections” claim. Then they (and their political masters and puppets) go right back to treating them as predictions. A cute trick! Authority without accountability; nice work if you can get it.

  98. Brian H (March 4, 2012 at 9:21):

    This phenomenon can profitably be viewed from the standpoint of logic. Conflation of the idea referenced by “projection” and the idea referenced by “prediction” creates the opportunity for the construction of specious proofs of conclusions that are false or unproved. Each such “proof” employs negation of Aristotle’s law of non contradiction as a false premise to a specious argument. The IPCC employs this technique in the argument that it makes for CAGW in AR4.

  99. Terry Oldberg says:
    March 4, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Yeah, old A. had no patience with BBB (BS Baffles Brains). He would have laughed at the Trenberth Twist!

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