Case study: how to fight the Sierra Club with no money

John Droz, Jr. sends this new item

In October of 2013, a major wind project was targeted for coastal North Carolina. I decided to use this as a test case for AWED’s model wind ordinance.

The results were excellent from the get-go.

For example, with no money and no organization behind this, we were able to:

— setup an informative website,

— get the media to oppose the project,

— get the majority of local citizens to oppose the project,

— get several major local organizations (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) to oppose the project,

— get essentially all our local and state legislators to oppose the project.

— get the two involved communities to draft comprehensive ordinances.

etc.

Note that none of this was easy, as there were numerous substantial obstacles to overcome. For example the Sierra Club conducted a major statewide campaign to support the wind project, and to discredit me and our efforts.

Despite the challenges we persisted.

This coordinated effort was too much for the developer, and last night they officially threw in the towel. (Here is a newspaper article.)…  It took just 3± months of a focused campaign to win.

This came about because of two fundamental reasons:

1 – the developer realized that the involved communities would impose quality protections for citizens, businesses, the environment and the military, and

2 – the developer saw that there was very strong community (and thus legislative) support for those protections.

The protections (and the words for them), are spelled out in AWED’s model wind ordinance:

— 1 mile setbacks to property lines,

— 35 dBA turbine sound limits, at property lines, 24/7,

— a simple but powerful Property Value Guarantee,

— community controlled environmental tests,

— proper decommissioning funds and conditions, and

— an escrow account to pay for town expenses, maintained at $50k for the life of the project.

Probably the greatest frustration in my 35± years of environmental/energy work, is that when faced with such intrusions, that almost every community worldwide seems to basically try to reinvent the wheel.

I’m passing this on to you because I hope you can profit from our experiences. This was a community victory, and a superior example of what can be done elsewhere, when citizens work together in a constructive, productive way.

Consider this final thought: NC passed an RPS in 2007 mandating renewable (wind) energy. A half dozen major wind projects have been proposed since then. We have aggressively fought each of these, using AWED methodology — with no money. As of today there is not a single industrial wind turbine in the entire state.

Draw your own conclusions. See MUCH more at WiseEnergy.org.

regards,

John Droz, jr.

Physicist & Environmental Advocate

Morehead City, NC

About these ads
This entry was posted in Energy, NGOs, wind power. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Case study: how to fight the Sierra Club with no money

  1. Gary says:

    “with no money and no organization behind this, we were able to…”

    “This was a community victory, and a superior example of what can be done elsewhere, when citizens work together in a constructive, productive way.”

    Eureka. Community is stronger than money and establishment organizations. Bravo and bravo. Government and organized crime both hate the community. It’s the only thing that can do them in, stymie their efforts, shut them down.

  2. pesadia says:

    John Droz, Jr

    I have just borrowed my son’s hat so that I can take it off in
    recognition of your achievement.
    This is a very inspiring story and should be disseminated
    to as wide an audience as is possible.
    Many many congratulations.

  3. Steve (Paris) says:

    Excellent! Kudos too you.

  4. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Good for you!

  5. Robin Edwards says:

    Here in the UK people seem to have been less successful. The problem is that project approval is the government supported position, so even successful local opposition is over-ruled by the tame “inspector”. It is a government backed tyranny.

  6. David Ball says:

    But, offshore wind power is so economical and easy to maintain,………

  7. Coach Springer says:

    Making them do it well makes it uneconomical for them to do it. Even with mandates and credits. Such an economic boondoggle and – for what? No electricity before it’s time.

  8. mogamboguru says:

    David Ball says:
    February 1, 2014 at 7:30 am

    But, offshore wind power is so economical and easy to maintain,………
    ———————————————————————————————
    …until the first, really big container vessel suffers an engine failure in the vincinity of an offshore wind park and gets jammed between the turbines by the wind/a current/you name it, like into a giant minefield.

    As soon as this happens for the first time, watch insurance premiums for wind parks go through the roof…

  9. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    From the referenced article:

    North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard calls for 12.5 percent of the state’s energy to be provided by alternative means by 2021.

    According to this reference :

    In 2011, 5.3 percent of North Carolina’s net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources, almost all from conventional hydroelectric power and biomass.

    The big three electricity sources for the state were nuclear, coal, and natural gas, and the bulk of the “renewables” category was hydroelectric. In 10 years according to this mandate, the state must more than double the 2011 renewable sources percentage.

    So if the state can’t pretend to meet this requirement with windfarms, what other scheme will they embrace instead?

    If someone could manage to get the NC legislature sufficiently “prepared” with booze, hookers and cocaine to amend the mandate and qualify thorium breeder reactors as “renewable”, some good might yet come of it.

  10. Ralph Kramden says:

    I remember Morehead City, I used to be stationed at Cherry Point. That C-130 that used to buzz you years ago? That was me.

  11. Thanks John Droz, Jr. Great story. Great hope and inspiration for those of us who oppose industrial wind turbines for environmental reasons.
    I think “community controlled environmental tests” is the most important part of AWED’s model wind ordinance. The birds killed have to be known.

  12. Richard D says:

    Thank you! Coastal North Carolina is wonderful.

  13. Michael Finn says:

    Your story doesn’t have enough detail to answer this question: After weighing the positives against the negatives, was this project a good idea overall, or was your effort just another NIMBY success story. I’m sensitive to this after watching the enviros stir up anti-fracing sentiment along the front range of Colorado. The great majority of the anti-fracing information spread by the the anti-fracers, like the Sierra Club, is false information, half truths, and exaggeration, designed to scare the local residents. My general observation about wind power is that it does carry with it local environmental impacts which are not greater than other energy production ventures, overall. My objection to wind energy is that it is not economically viable unless subsidized by taxpayers. I don’t appreciate paying for it through either taxes or higher utility rates.

  14. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Green energy like Wind Turbines are more harmful to the environment than fossil fuel. Wind turbines and solar require rare earth elements to produce which need to be mined for is devastating to the environment in China where it is being produced. click here

    The blades of wind turbines are killing thousands of eagles, birds and bats and is harmful to the health of humans who live near by. click here

    The planting of Biofuel crops are destroying virgin forests where rare birds and other animals are being killed off to make way for them. See Climate Crimes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5igyXyJKL_0

    The bottom line is renewables provide a fraction of the energy fossil fuel does, are unreliable and intermittent thus require a fossil fuel back up to exist, are high cost which hurts the poor the most and to add insult to injury are more harmful to the environment than fossil fuel is.

  15. michel says:

    It seems to be a law of human nature that ‘each man kills the thing he loves’, and so we have environmental groups whose main aim appears to be ensuring that previously banned large scale industrial developments of hitherto unspoiled areas are permitted.

    I don’t know if there is evidence for Global Warming, but there is lots of evidence for Original Sin.

  16. wws says:

    “Here in the UK people seem to have been less successful.”

    And that’s why my ancestors moved over here. The issues may change, but the Song Remains the Same.

  17. peter says:

    I’m actually a fan of Windmills. I think they look cool. But, only as a private venture for someone interested in generating his own personal power, maybe along with solar. No government money. Not those huge mega-wind farms, which in a few years are likely going to be derelict eyesores.

    The remark about the 35 decibel at the property line caught my attention. I’ve used a decibel meter at work, and found in a quite room with no obvious mechanical noise that the decibel level is much higher than that. If you live anywhere near the ocean or a lake you likely have a constant decibel level higher than this from the action of the waves on the shore.

    This sort of reminds me of the fact that Nuclear plants often have to maintain a background radiation level that is lower than many natural levels found in nature.

  18. Steve Keohane says:

    Congratulations, what an inspiration for the rest of the country.

  19. Bob Greene says:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    February 1, 2014 at 7:47 am
    __________________________________________________________________________
    NC Division of Air Quality and EPA got into a spitting contest in 2011-2012 that shut down permitting of biomass energy projects for a year or more. It could have been un watching it if your application was waiting for resolution of that disagreement. They are making some progress toward that portfolio goal but it takes a lot of 0.5-2MW landfill gas projects to move the percentage.

  20. DirkH says:

    Just use airborne turbines instead.

  21. HalfEmpty says:

    Ralph Kramden,

    That’s was me at 12 waving and jumping up and down!

  22. Oldseadog says:

    Mogamboguru:
    Never mind a container vessel, near here it is more likely to be a very large crude carrier or a gas tanker – those will REALLY put the wind up people – and no pun intended either.
    But the developers say that they have done their homework …… .

  23. troe says:

    Just curious. Was Torch planning to sell the electricity to Cherry Point NAS utilizing some of the billions the DOD has set aside to subsidize wind and solar.

  24. Sam Pyeatte says:

    Excellent results. The left has been doing stuff like this to fight projects they hate (usually things that are good for our country). This throws it right back in their face.

  25. Bart says:

    peter says:
    February 1, 2014 at 8:15 am

    “If you live anywhere near the ocean or a lake you likely have a constant decibel level higher than this from the action of the waves on the shore.”

    I’m not sure about the decibel scale being used – they may be different. But, in any case, there is a big difference between general white noise and a steady thrumming – the former can be masked by our brains, but the latter imposes itself and actually causes physiological response. The tedium of a repeated series of beats can drive one batty – think “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” or “She’s So Heavy” – I can only stand the abridged versions.

  26. Clive says:

    John Droz, Jr.

    Thanks so much for your story and inspiration.

    Here in southern Alberta, turbines have defaced our once beautiful prairie, foothills and mountain vistas. But people seem to be slowly waking up.

    Thanks.

    Clive

  27. k scott denison says:

    Congratulations and thank you for the “recipe”

  28. David L. Hagen says:

    Willem Post, PE digs into the details at:
    A More Realistic Cost of Wind Energy November 29, 2013

    The Energy Information Agency (EIA.gov) provides comparative levelized costs of electricity.
    e.g., Levelized costs electricity generation.
    Updated Capital Cost Estimates for Utility Scale Electricity Generating Plants April 2013
    Table on p 6
    Happy hunting

  29. glenncz says:

    Michael Finn says:
    My general observation about wind power is that it does carry with it local environmental impacts which are not greater than other energy production ventures, overall.
    ——————————————————
    Where did you “observe” that? Do you compare the local environmental impact of a 2400 MW nuclear plant to 6,000(SIX THOUSAND) 1.5 MW turbines having an average annual output of 25%. Oh, and let’s not forget we still need the nuclear plant as a backup.

    How about comparing the local environmental impact of a shoebox 1000 MW natural gas turbine to 2,500 1.5 MW wind turbines???

    Do you think any locals would notice the difference??

  30. Berényi Péter says:

    — 35 dBA turbine sound limits, at property lines, 24/7

    Sounds good, but insufficient. Energy in noise spectrum of industrial wind turbines increases towards low frequencies at a rate of 12 dB/octave, the lower cutoff being well below 1Hz. That means it is neither measured by standard noise control equipment nor is it regulated. However, this high energy / low frequency component, although inaudible, has a well understood detrimental effect on the human auditory and vestibular system with diverse consequences to general health and comfort.

    Low frequency infrasound penetrates / circumvents any conceivable sound barrier or enclosure freely, so once it is emitted, there is no protection against it, only distance. But these low frequencies are not attenuated in air and can’t travel much vertically, so exposure only decreases slowly with distance, a 1 mile wide protective zone being absolutely insufficient.

    You were successful in this particular case, but a general solution is urgently needed. It involves proper statutory limits to industrial infrasound pollution along with standard equipment for authorities to enforce it. That is, no A-weighted filters on noise control equipment and microbarometers to measure frequencies below regular microphone cutoff.

    Low frequency noise level should be sufficiently attenuated at homes, workplaces, malls, roads, schools, churches, everywhere people are supposed to spend extended periods ever. I would prefer to include domestic and perhaps wild mammals as well, they have the same cochlea (inner ear) we have.

    Wind Turbines can be Hazardous to Human Health
    Responses of the Ear to Infrasound and Wind Turbines
    Why A-weighted Wind Turbine Sound Measurements are Misleading?
    Wind Turbine Syndrome

    It is beyond shame Sierra Club utterly ignores an obvious case of environmental damage, even promotes it with all devices at its disposal.

  31. Steve from Rockwood says:

    An Environmental Advocate defeats the installation of a wind farm. I’m still trying to get my head around that one.

  32. Steve C says:

    @Berényi Péter – Well said. I flinch every time I see someone talking about dB(A) levels for these things: the dB(A) curve is 50 decibels down on the midrange at 20 Hz, and falls by over 12dB per octave (18 dB/8ve, IIRC) as the frequency gets lower. By the time you reach the single-figure frequencies of a wind turbine, the figures will be essentially meaningless. (Which is, perhaps, why dB(A) figures are popular with wind enthusiasts.) dB(A) was intended to be used for measuring midband frequencies typical of industrial machinery in factories, and should not be used for subsonics at all.

    The dB(C) curve (about 12 dB down at 10 Hz) is better, but ideally wind turbines should be measured with either a dB(Z) meter (with a flat frequency response) or – ideally – with a new curve giving proper emphasis to subsonics and reduced readings at higher frequencies.

    And – Good work, John Jr. You bring hope to the heart.

  33. Steve C says:

    Oh, WordPress, with your lack of a Preview …

  34. Michael D says:

    Hmm, somebody please explain: are we against wind power on principle, or just poorly-located wind power?

  35. Michael D says:

    Clive: I remember growing up in rural Alberta where there were windmills everywhere, mostly slowly pumping water up from the wells for the cattle.

  36. Jimbo says:

    ✔ The Sierra Club believes in renewable energy.
    ✔ The Sierra Club believes in tackling global warming.
    ✔ The Sierra Club used to believe in receiving fossil fuel funding.

    NPR – 3 September, 2010
    With no climate change legislation coming out of the Senate, Sierra Club head Michael Brune says it’s time to try a new strategy to fight global warming………….

    Mr. BRUNE: “There’s a lot that I agree about with Bill. I think he’s a great leader, and he’s done fantastic work. And I think that channeling some anger and urgency will definitely be helpful.

    But I also think it’s important to remember that there’s a lot of momentum that we can build on. We certainly failed to get a bill passed through Congress, and we didn’t even get a vote in the Senate. But it’s also true that we have helped to stop 130 coal plants from being built in the last couple of years, and we’re seeing actions happen from……”
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129629736

    ———————————————–

    Time Magazine – 2 February 2012
    “TIME has learned that between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy—one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking…”
    http://science.time.com/2012/02/02/exclusive-how-the-sierra-club-took-millions-from-the-natural-gas-industry-and-why-they-stopped/

  37. Kevin Kilty says:

    peter says:
    February 1, 2014 at 8:15 am
    The remark about the 35 decibel at the property line caught my attention

    the dbA is decibel acceptible which is a weighted and subjective scale. A dbA value of 35 is appropriate to background interference in a classroom.

    I agree with you about the “become a derelict eyesore” possibility for windfarms. To generate the full potential for wind energy in my portion of the far western Great Plains would require something like 30,000 wind turbines in just one county. We have a couple of hundred turbines visible at present and the average person has no capacity to extrapolate to 30,000 and imagine what the view of the Rockies would be like. Then imagine what to do with tens of thousands of fatigued-out blades every decade.

  38. Matthew W says:

    Michael Finn says:
    February 1, 2014 at 8:08 am
    After weighing the positives against the negatives, was this project a good idea overall, or was your effort just another NIMBY success story.

    My objection to wind energy is that it is not economically viable unless subsidized by taxpayers. I don’t appreciate paying for it through either taxes or higher utility rates.
    ==================================================================
    You answered your own question.

  39. Matthew W says:

    Michael D says:
    February 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hmm, somebody please explain: are we against wind power on principle, or just poorly-located wind power?
    ====================================================
    I think most wind power is great.
    Except where mandated by the goverement or paid for by tax dollars.

  40. Michael D says:

    Matthew W: The US Interstate Highway system was paid for by tax dollars, but has paid for itself through indirect benefits. So I have some openness to tax-funded infrastructure.

  41. M Simon says:

    If someone could manage to get the NC legislature sufficiently “prepared” with booze, hookers and cocaine to amend the mandate and qualify thorium breeder reactors as “renewable”, some good might yet come of it.

    Lobbying done right. LOL.

  42. David in Michigan says:

    Does the Audoban Society have a position on these bird killers? Anybody know? I couldn’t find anything on their site. Well,probably not. For the usual reasons. But you can’t be certain as the damage windmill generators do to birds is well documented.

  43. M Simon says:

    Michael D says:
    February 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hmm, somebody please explain: are we against wind power on principle, or just poorly-located wind power?

    As long as it lowers my taxes and electrical costs and makes the grid more reliable I’m all for it.

  44. glenncz says:

    Steve from Rockwood says:
    February 1, 2014 at 10:31 am
    An Environmental Advocate defeats the installation of a wind farm. I’m still trying to get my head around that one.
    ——————————————————————
    It’s all in the math. What do you want your county to have? 1 nuclear plant (good for six counties where I live) or 6,000 wind turbines which will become rusted hulks in 20 years? 1 nat gas plant or 2,000 turbines? Of course there are adjunctive issues, like indetermincy, back-up, the seasonal and daily production curves of [wind] turbines, the issue of where does the construction material of a [wind] turbine come from, and many, many other weaknesses that wind has for large scale power production. There was a study done a couple of years ago by Robert Bradley(and I confirmed that short tons of coal mined = kwhrs) where at the time all of the energy produced by all the US [wind] turbines was equal to the energy produced by the Cardinal coal mine i think it was. One single mine = all US [wind] turbines. Compare the environmental destruction. “These people” have most of us hoodwinked where any analysis of this situation is forbidden. It’s Green! It’s Great! Let’s Do it! Why not ask, is that all there is to it? REAL environmental advocates like John Droz are not afraid to ask these questions and give you the answers. Compare what he says to the almost complete lack of real information you receive from the mainstream so-called environmentalists. They will tell you NOTHING.

  45. john says:

    Well done Mr. Droz!

    My reply to Michael D says:
    February 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hmm, somebody please explain: are we against wind power on principle, or just poorly-located wind power?
    ——

    1. Poorly sited wind was done for multiple reasons. Prior to electricity de-regulation (in the Northeast US), any power plant had to produce X amount of power and if it couldn’t, fines were imposed by NEPOOL (New England Power Pool, now known as ISO-NE).

    2. The existing wind plants are also in a corridor that has and will be used for purposes such as Transmission and pipeline R.O.W.s. The entities doing this are former Enron employees who may have violated RICO statutes (among other items).

    3. Grid reliability has been an issue when implementing intermittent generation and has caused electricity prices to nearly double in the NE region and triple in Europe.

    4. Plant reliability has been terrible with numerous gear box, blade, fire and other failures. The reliability and output are way over stated.

    5. Billions of taxpayer dollars have literally been pissed away by the cronyism involved. This includes former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers ownership stake in First Wind/IVPV/UPC et.al.. This also includes TS Tim Geithner’s multiple meetings with the above and fast tracking stimulus moneys to them.

    6. The money laundering (and related issues) is another very long story.

    I could continue writing a post here as long as the Bible itself (no kidding), but for now I leave you with the above.

    john from DB

  46. M Simon says:

    This sort of reminds me of the fact that Nuclear plants often have to maintain a background radiation level that is lower than many natural levels found in nature.

    Back when I was a Naval Nuke in Idaho we would get our plant alarms tripped by some of the commercial folks out in the desert. We then had to do a full site survey to prove it wasn’t us.

  47. M Simon says:

    There is a plan afoot to integrate all this unreliable power into the grid and as a bonus open the grid up to hackers.

    Stop The Smart Grid

  48. Berényi Péter said on February 1, 2014 at 9:29 am:
    ” — 35 dBA turbine sound limits, at property lines, 24/7

    Sounds good, but insufficient. Energy in noise spectrum of industrial wind turbines increases towards low frequencies at a rate of 12 dB/octave, the lower cutoff being well below 1Hz.”

    The truth is not as bad as Berényi Péter says. For one thing, natural noise sources don’t have slopes of multiples of 6 dB/octave, but odd multiples of 3 dB/octave. White noise has a slope of 3 dB/octave, towards higher frequencies. Natural slope alterations from this are by multiples of 6 dB/octave, so an accentuation towards low frequencies by one order of of sloping would make this 3 dB/octave towards low frequencies. This is known as brown or Brownian noise.

    As for the noise of air turbulence, in a range of frequencies where the size of the turbulent eddies and an associated object are both well below half a wavelength, the frequency spectrum is sloped towards higher frequencies even in comparison to white noise. I have heard this in many different situations. Only, I don’t know whether the difference is one slope (making the total slope 9 dB/octave towards higher frequencies) or two slopes (making the total slope 15 dB/octave towards higher frequencies). However, this would be the situation with the noise spectrum generated by a wind turbine around and below 1 Hz.

    As for higher frequencies, such as above some lower or middle audio frequency, I can believe the spectrum slope would be 12 dB/octave more towards lower frequencies than white noise is, making the total slope 9 dB/octave towards lower frequencies. This would happen at frequencies so high that the turbulent eddies are mainly larger than half a wavelength.

  49. Kevin Kilty says:

    Michael D says:
    February 1, 2014 at 11:06 am
    Matthew W: The US Interstate Highway system was paid for by tax dollars, but has paid for itself through indirect benefits. So I have some openness to tax-funded infrastructure.

    And so do we all, but infrastructure spending ought to lower transaction costs and increase mobility. In addition it ought to return benefits in excess of what the tax dollars left in private hands might accomplish. In doing so, the infrastructure could be purchased not just with tax dollars, but with bonds serviced with user fees. Can you demonstrate that wind energy accomplishes any of this?

  50. Followup on one of the links provided by Berényi Péter: The one that mentions Van den Berg 2006. That’s no slope of 12 dB/octave towards low frequencies. It’s mostly around 10 dB/decade towards low frequencies, which is 3 dB/octave.

    Also, I am going to look into the methodology mentioned in that study, since the reported slope does not change by 12 dB/octave when going from frequencies where the turbulent eddies and associated objects are much larger than a half wavelength, to where they are much smaller than a half wavelength.

  51. RACookPE1978 says:

    M Simon says:
    February 1, 2014 at 11:16 am (replying to)

    Michael D says:
    February 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hmm, somebody please explain: are we against wind power on principle, or just poorly-located wind power?

    As long as it lowers my taxes and electrical costs and makes the grid more reliable I’m all for it.

    And, wind turbines – in every power grid installation worldwide to date – lowers raises my taxes and raises electrical costs and raises grid maintenance costs and raises conventional maintenance and support costs and makes the grid more less reliable but ALWAYS increases the government payments to democrats and their socialist-environmental-industrial complex supporters (GE, Enron, BP, Duke Power, Perot, Siemens, WWF, Greenpeace, etc.)

  52. Another Ian says:

    This might add oil to your windfarm file

    “interesting addition to this. the enviromentalist nuts who praise the windmills. who are now exempt from killing bald eagles.

    we had a truck come in and make a rush delivery for us. rest of his truck was mobil 1 55 gallon drums of oil. i ask. “whats that for” driver says “them springfield windmills”

    he makes a delievery every other week. the motors medium is oil. and because of the massive weight its needs to be replaced often. i had no idea they used that much oil.

    so windmills use oil and kill bald eagles. W**. and now they gripe about the amtrak. holy peets. morons ”

    (FYI Mobil 1 is a synthetic oil)

    From comments at http://www.redpowermagazine.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=84772

  53. M Courtney says:

    Steve from Rockwood says at February 1, 2014 at 10:31 am

    An Environmental Advocate defeats the installation of a wind farm. I’m still trying to get my head around that one.

    Environmentalism is good. Caring for the natural world is the duty of all those who can do so. The abuse of the term by people who use the environment to push their own agenda is the problem. The children are worth caring for. But you know when someone say “Please, think of the children” that they are not on the level.

    Activism is good. Taking action to make things better is the duty of all who can help. The lack of humility by those activists who cannot believe they may be in error are the problem. They become zealots and bigots.

    So Environmental Advocates are not necessarily your opponent. Judge the individual not the generality.

  54. pat says:

    Fake energy savings. All a money scam from you to thee. Then bankruptcy and run.

  55. Chad Wozniak says:

    Mr. John Droz –

    Congratulations on a great victory against one of the most perverse, irrational, destructive entities on the planet. Together, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace are the two must destructive NGOs on Earth. Here’s to more victories over them!

    “Renewable energy” (other than hydroelectric, which the greens don’t count as renewable), besides being an unmitigated environmental disaster, is little more than a mechanism for transferring wealth from low- and middle-income electric ratepayers to billionaire investors in uneconomic projects – in short, from poorer to richer. It’s also been amply demonstrated that because of the need for spinning reserve (i.e., generation running but not feeding power into the grid) and quick-start generating facilities (burning several times as much fuel to produce the same output of electricity), having wind and solar power results in burning considerably more fossil fuels (and burning them dirtier) than if there were no wind or solar.

    Isn’t there something wrong here? More emissions? More, not less, pollution? Higher costs to the people least able to afford them? This is social justice? Puh-LEEZ!!

  56. jollyfarmer says:

    Michael D says:
    February 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hmm, somebody please explain: are we against wind power on principle, or just poorly-located wind power?

    There is no “we”. This is not a groupthink session.

    and:
    “The US Interstate Highway system was paid for by tax dollars, but has paid for itself through indirect benefits. So I have some openness to tax-funded infrastructure.”

    Surely net benefit, indirect or direct, is what counts? You need roads. You do not need wind turbines.

  57. AlexS says:

    Horrible. What right someone has to stop another person to start a project?

    This is totalitarian mindset. The fact that is against the totalitarians of Sierra club doesn’t change the case.

  58. techgm says:

    Wow, 37dBA at the property lines? That’s less than a typical library and almost ambient rural. Congrats.

  59. Alan Watt:
    “So if the state can’t pretend to meet this requirement with windfarms, what other scheme will they embrace instead?”
    1- the RPS also allows RECS.
    2- our hope is to fix the RPS. H298 was introduced last year, and something comparable will hopefully be proposed this year

    A lot more information is available at our website: WiseEnergy.org.

  60. johndroz says:

    Berényi Péter:
    — 35 dBA turbine sound limits, at property lines, 24/7
    “Sounds good, but insufficient.”

    Our challenge it to get the maximum protection that is legally defensible. In addition to that we also have the challenge to come up with a test that is practical and affordable. A TALL order!

    The best study we found is “Noise: Windfarms”: <>. It concludes that 35 dBA is an excellent proxy limit for infrasounds.

    There is much more at WiseEnergy.org.

  61. Matthew W says:

    Michael D says:
    February 1, 2014 at 11:06 am
    Matthew W: The US Interstate Highway system was paid for by tax dollars, but has paid for itself through indirect benefits. So I have some openness to tax-funded infrastructure.
    ============================================================
    Big difference
    We need roads.
    We don’t need overpriced, intermittent, inefficient electricity.

  62. Congratulations and thank you for your efforts.

  63. jim karock says:

    “Matthew W: The US Interstate Highway system was paid for by tax dollars, but has paid for itself through indirect benefits. So I have some openness to tax-funded infrastructure.”
    Actually it was built ONLY with user fees, not general taxes:
    “Revenue from the Federal gas and other motor-vehicle user taxes was credited to the Highway Trust Fund to pay the Federal share of Interstate and all other Federal-aid highway projects. In this way, the Act guaranteed construction of all segments on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, thus satisfying one of President Eisenhower’s primary requirements, namely that the program be self-financing without contributing to the Federal budget deficit.”
    see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/interstate.cfm#interstate_funding

  64. John droz, jr. says:

    Sorry, my link in my prior comment did not get published.

    The “Noise:Windfarms” is at “tinyurl.com/qxcr8s7″.

  65. Davidg says:

    Mod says wind power is great!! You must live on a different world then the rest of us where wind power is an ecological disaster and a waste of money and resources.

  66. Davidg says:

    MSimon, do you really think wind lowers your energy cost and adds anything to the network? The truth is quite the opposite, you are dreaming.

  67. M Simon says:

    AlexS says:
    February 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Horrible. What right someone has to stop another person to start a project?

    This is totalitarian mindset. The fact that is against the totalitarians of Sierra club doesn’t change the case.

    Look up your tort law my friend. It depends on whose ox is gored. Or is likely to be gored. BTW the tort law most well known to the founders came from English Common Law and the Talmud. The phrase “Whose ox was gored” is Talmudic.

    There is no perfect set of rules though.

  68. M Simon says:

    Davidg says:
    February 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    MSimon, do you really think wind lowers your energy cost and adds anything to the network? The truth is quite the opposite, you are dreaming.

    I’m a power engineer (occasionally). I agree with you. You might like this:

    Stop The Smart Grid

  69. Matthew W says:

    jim karock says:
    February 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm
    “Matthew W: The US Interstate Highway system was paid for by tax dollars, but has paid for itself through indirect benefits. So I have some openness to tax-funded infrastructure.
    ======================================================

    This quote is being incorrectly atributted to me.
    I did not say that.

  70. garymount says:

    peter says:
    February 1, 2014 at 8:15 am

    “If you live anywhere near the ocean or a lake you likely have a constant decibel level higher than this from the action of the waves on the shore.”
    – – –
    There is probably a lot of difference between sound generated at ground level and sound generated several stories above ground level.

  71. Gail Combs says:

    As a citizen of North Carolina, A GREAT BIG THANK YOU!

  72. Chuck Nolan says:

    AlexS says:
    February 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm
    Horrible. What right someone has to stop another person to start a project?

    This is totalitarian mindset. The fact that is against the totalitarians of Sierra club doesn’t change the case.
    ————————————
    It does for me.
    cn

  73. James the Elder says:

    AlexS says:

    February 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Horrible. What right someone has to stop another person to start a project?

    This is totalitarian mindset. The fact that is against the totalitarians of Sierra club doesn’t change the case.

    So you are in full agreement that “The science is settled” is also a totalitarian mindset?

  74. More followup by me on infrasound and low frequency sound from wind turbines:

    After some effort, I have yet to directly access the supposed Van den Berg 2006 article mentioned in http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/wt4.html, which is linked in an above comment by Berényi Péter. I would appreciate a link to it.

    Meanwhile, I have done some research on my own. The low frequency and infrasound issue is worse than I thought, but does not appear to me as bad as the wustl.edu link says. One reason is that it is common for sound travelling hundreds of meters or more to not follow the inverse square law, but a mere inverse law, when there is a temperature inversion at levels from several tens of meters to a few hundred of meters overhead.

    Most of the research results I did find indicate that the main negative effect of wind turbine infrasound hitting the human body, when at a level where it becomes detectable, is an audible train of pulses or a sensible feeling of pulsating pressure felt by the eardrums. For most people, staying below 85 dB on the G-weighting curve causes infrasound to have no perceptible effect.
    A cite of mine: http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/JASMAN12963727_1.pdf

    One indirect effect mentioned is infrasound and low frequency sound causing rattling of parts of a home. Much of the time, it is easy to fix rattles.

    I propose as reasonable limits at property lines for noise from wind turbines, all of these:

    A-weighted: 35 dB. More is allowed when environmental conditions are so noisy that that the wind turbines do not boost the total by more than 1 dB. The border here is environment minus the turbines 41 dB, total 42 dB. And, I would want the worst frequently-repeatable .2 second to apply.

    C-weighted: I propose a limit of 55 dB, or adding no more than 1 dB to the total, whichever happens last. The borderline is 61 dB being boosted to 62 dB. And, I would want the worst frequently repeatable .1 second measurement period to apply.

    G-weighted: I propose a limit of 78 dB, or adding no more than 1 dB to the total, whichever happens last. The borderline is 84 dB from the environment being boosted to 85 dB. And, I would want the worst frequently repeatable .1 second measurement to apply.

    Unweighted: I propose a limit of 88 dB of all sound and infrasound, from .01 Hz to 20 KHz, or adding no more than 1 dB to the total. And, I want the worst frequently-repeatable .1 second to apply. The borderline here is the environment being boosted from 94 to 95 dB.
    ==============

    Besides reasonable sound regulations, I have an issue with the slow growth of the technology that is being implemented on wind farms. Will they need subsidies to compete 20 years from now?

  75. Rabe says:

    @M Simon: your link “http://classicalvalues.com” yield a “403 forbidden” message.

  76. rtj1211 says:

    A true activist hero who understands that victory only comes with the consent of the community, through argument not money and when working in the interests of the community.

    Well done on everything you have done: you have not opposed any technology per se, you have applied a rigorous set of principles to determine whether its application is sensible, acceptable or just.

    One simply wished that governments, be they village or town councils, City Mayoral offices, State legislatures or Central government would use similarly rigorous criteria when spending tax dollars.

  77. hunter says:

    Fantastic news and a great idea. Big Green thinks years of imposing their terrible ideas on us means they control us.
    Morehead City is a neighboring town to many in my family. You have helped a lot of people.
    Thank you for leading such an effective effort to end another money grab by Big Green and their faux environmentalism.

  78. hunter says:

    For AlexS,
    Thank you for assisting in my project siting decision.
    My project involves an after hours nightclub which will now be next to your house.
    It is a venue that offers outdoor rock and pop music, especially in the hours after most clubs close.
    Additionally, the parking will sometimes overflow onto your street. Sorry about your occasionally blocked driveway.
    And trash cleanup, well, you know that is a big expense so I am sure you will understand.
    I thank you in advance for not opposing my project. I am sure we will be great neighbors.
    Sincerely,
    hunter

  79. theBuckWheat says:

    While “sustainability lobby” is the one pushing wind projects, very few of those projects are economically sustainable without government subsidy. Putting aside the ecological burden that taking money out of efficient hands and putting them in inefficient hands imposes, the economic truth is that eventually government will become exhausted or somehow unable to continue the subsidy. When that happens these projects will instantly be candidates for decommissioning. If the funds (or at least assets) have not been set aside for that purpose, will the eco-lobby have come full circle, in that their legacy will a landscape littered the the skeletons of motionless and broken wind turbines? If so, it would be ironic because one of the social forces that gave rise to the eco lobby in the first place was the horrible damage that the coal industry caused when they didn’t need to reclaim abandoned open pit mining operations.

  80. Rod Everson says:

    I view this effort as a logical, and apparently legal, means to ensure that wherever a wind project is undertaken its cost will include all of the external costs such as potential discomfort to neighbors (excessive sound/vibrations), potential damage to property values, potential legal fees to the community, and potential clean up costs when the project is eventually abandoned (as most will be when we come to our senses and stop both the subsidies and the mandates for wind power.)

    A developer should be required to consider all these external costs when deciding to build, and the best way to do so is to require him to either mitigate them by design changes or pay for them up front with something like the suggested escrow account. As evidenced in this “case study,” once the external costs are included even the massive subsidies are not enough to justify some projects. (And, at that, addressing only 5 of the 40+ potential costs was sufficient to make the project undesirable from the developer’s point of view.)

    I would note that this is not the same as the typical NIMBY reaction with people waving signs, packing legislative meetings, issuing threats, etc. This appears to be a valid effort to ensure that the external costs are considered up front and compensated by the project, rather than being born by the taxpayers, either immediately when values and living conditions deteriorate, or eventually when decommissioning is required.

    Would that all environmentalists behaved similarly. If they did, they’d find that most of us would actually be on the same side, looking for sensible ways to mitigate potential damages of new developments.

  81. Keith Sketchley says:

    I am cautious about some claims, such as:
    – bird deaths: are they documented, or just projections ignoring that birds don’t fly in strong winds? (How much economic penalty from stopping the blades in mild winds when birds would be flying?)

    – noise: complaints I am aware of, which may well not be all, are the periodic sounds made as the blades pass the tower. How much can those be mitigated by spacing blades and tower further apart? (Costs more in tower structure – greater bending and hub support cantilever structure.) Good point about low frequency effect, the human body has a resonant frequency circa 3-5 Hz IIRC.

  82. Keith Sketchley says:

    Mathew D, the fallacies in “indirect benefits” include:
    – how benefits are calculated (everyone claims to be the engine-of-the-economy or such, most economic analyses are not “all in”, not integrated)
    – winners and losers at government direction (the railways lost from Interstates, tire companies won), rather than individual choice in the marketplace
    – the assumption that the collective has to force something, which is based on a negative view of humans
    – the immorality of manipulation, which is what you support.

    I urge you to think about your view of humans.

  83. _Jim says:

    Keith Sketchley says February 2, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Good point about low frequency effect, the human body has a resonant frequency circa 3-5 Hz IIRC.

    Due to ????

    I guess a ‘bag of water’ has a resonant frequency involving a kind of fundamental-mode ‘wave action’ (literally: waves transiting a medium, meeting an impedance mismatch at the far end, and reflecting back, repeatedly, from one of a body to the other) with a fundamental resonant frequency in the single-digit Hz range …

    Sure would like to see a cite on that though.

    .

  84. Zeke says:

    _Jim, I believe hyperphysics discusses some of the effects of infrasound on the human body. I cannot load the page right now, but the lower frequencies penetrate the body cavity where the vitals are. It is the same principle you see at work when a car playing wub wub base
    goes by, and it easily penetrates the walls. About 20% of people tested feel general anxiety when exposed to infrasound. Power lines also have a little hum to them, but are delivering tremendous amounts of power to distant users affordably. No such benefit comes from wind turbines, and infrasound is powerful in the natural world. I believe that it is why animals can sense impending earthquakes or eruptions.

    A lot of fish use infrasound to communicate. And earth worms are also very sensitive to lower notes, as Darwin found out. Or maybe he was a lousy piano player.

  85. Zeke says:

    In fact I am stunned to see people opposing power lines. True they have some radio interference for homes sited right by them, if you like AM/FM, but a single CFL does that inside your home! Last I checked no volatilized mercury is used in a power line.

  86. Brian H says:

    Been following John for years. He shows deep (well-justified) contempt for wind power. Solar ain’t high on his admiration roster, either.

  87. Ric Werme says:

    Donald L. Klipstein says:
    February 1, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Meanwhile, I have done some research on my own. The low frequency and infrasound issue is worse than I thought, but does not appear to me as bad as the wustl.edu link says. One reason is that it is common for sound travelling hundreds of meters or more to not follow the inverse square law, but a mere inverse law, when there is a temperature inversion at levels from several tens of meters to a few hundred of meters overhead.

    A cite of mine: http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/JASMAN12963727_1.pdf

    Interesting, I don’t think I’ve seen that.

    This has a number of good references.
    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/84293/wind-turbine-noise-and-air-pressure-pulses

    On wind shear, nice images:
    http://docs.wind-watch.org/wind-shear-turbine-noise-propagation.pdf

    Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines, Alec N. Salt and Timothy E. Hullar (WUSTL)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2923251/

    http://www.kselected.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/The_inaudible_noise_of_Wind_Turbines-infrasound.pdf

    I think some of the references to dbA should be dbC or flat in this presentation. The original is in German:
    http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/ceranna-et-al-inaudible-noise-wind-turbines-infrasound/

    This is a basic intro, but does have references to people who have abandoned their homes to get away from turbine noise and flicker.
    https://www.wind-watch.org/docviewer.php?doc=WTSguide.pdf

  88. Rod Everson: You have phrased it very well — better than I could have. Thank you.

    Gail Combs (or others): send me “aaprjohn@northnet.org” your email and I’ll put you on my distribution list.

  89. Ric Werme says:

    Zeke says:
    February 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    > In fact I am stunned to see people opposing power lines.

    I’m not. There are people who want to live in cities and think rural life is too limited and sterile, there are people who live in very rural areas because they appreciate wildlife and the majesty of the nighttime sky. I own property on Mount Cardigan. From our yurt we can see no streetlights. Higher up we could, and there is some sky glow from Concord, 40 miles away. Nice spot.

    What does surprise me in New Hampshire is that the effort to stop Northern Pass, a project to bring a 1,200 MW DC line down from Hydro-Quebec, is:

    1) getting a lot more opposition than a similar line 20 years ago that reaches down to Westford MA.
    2) getting a lot more opposition than some proposed wind projects.

    Northern Pass is criticised for:

    1) Towers taller than typical high tension towers.
    I’ve heard something like 140′ towers. Some wind projects proposed in NH will have 500′ base to blade tip heights and are tall enough to require aircraft warning lights.

    2) Noise issues from corona discharge, especially in damp weather.
    This is audible only within a few hundred feet. It’s low volume and high enough frequency to attenutate in the air. Wind turbine’s infrasound is over 100 db and attenuates very little. People have abandoned homes due to it and some sighthing guidelines recommend constuction at least 1-2 km from residences.

    3) Unsightly scar in the powerline corridor, especially where the line crosses ridges.
    Wind turbines are placed along ridges and have huge visibility, even in some “viewsheds” where the ridge is blocked by nearby terrain but blades reach above it.

    Those 500′ tall turbines have a capacity of about 3 MW. With the capacity factor taken into account, they’ll produce less than 1 MW. If they did produce that whole 1 MW, then it would take 1,200 turbines on average to equal the power carried by the Northern Pass line. With a typical spacing of 1000′ between turbines, that would use a lot of the high performance ridgeline in the state.

  90. Mickey Reno says:

    Others have commented on Michael D’s question of whether “WE” are for or against wind power? I have to say there is no WE in these comment blocks. YOU need to decide what you’re for and against, Michael. I don’t want any part in being a crutch for the solution to some ethical dilemma you might have.

    Commercial scale electrical generation by wind has many challenges. You need to educate yourself on those, and stop being persuaded by greenie nonsense that promises some future utopia powered by free wind. Wind power is NOT free. If you take the time to look closely, I think you will also find that it’s not even cheap.

  91. Lars P. says:

    glenncz says:
    February 1, 2014 at 11:22 am
    It’s all in the math. What do you want your county to have? 1 nuclear plant (good for six counties where I live) or 6,000 wind turbines which will become rusted hulks in 20 years? 1 nat gas plant or 2,000 turbines?

    glenn, the point is you still cannot replace that 1 nuclear plant with 6000 wind turbines, or the 1 nat gas plant with 2000 turbines.
    to replace the 1 nat gas plant you need 2000 turbines and 1 nat gas plant.
    to replace the 1 nuclear plant you need 6000 turbines and 3 nat gas plants.
    just saying

Comments are closed.