Encouraging: An environmentalist's slow-motion moment of clarity

From the “there’s hope yet”department comes this remarkable personal story of how one environmentalist in Colorado came to embrace the very thing she had been programmed to hate: oil and natural gas extraction.

I was tipped off to this essay by Dr. Roger Piekle Jr. on Twitter:


Some excerpts:

Reclaiming Environmentalism

How I Changed My Mind Without Changing My Values

In hindsight, I don’t blame them for being hostile. I was insufferable.

Tisha Schuller is principal of Adamantine Energy, where she works to create consensus and build and engage pragmatic solutions for energy’s thorniest challenges. @tishaschuller

Their crossed arms and narrowed eyes stunned me. I was hurt, embarrassed, angry, and self-righteous at the reception I got. If only these people could understand how important this was! They needed to listen to me!

I tried different tactics to soften the atmosphere, some more effective than others. But most importantly, I learned to begin all the sessions with questions. I asked questions, and I listened — about their work, about what was important to them, about what “environmental” meant to them.

By learning the language of these oil and gas workers, by listening to their stories about their work and their lives, I quickly found common ground with them. They cared about their families and their communitiesThey wanted to protect them. They valued clean air, clean water, and proper management of waste. The key was changing the way I communicated.

But on this particular day in 2005, after several hours of driving on rural, two-lane highways, I pulled up to a staggering sight. Literally, as far as the eye could see, were massive wind turbines — gigantic machines that created the effect of an army of alien robots coming to take over eastern Colorado.

I exhaled and mentally fell to my knees. The sweet smell of grass, the cool breeze — and the sound! The whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the turning turbines was disturbingly disorienting. I looked to the horizon and was surprised to find that I was dizzy. This was wind energy?

It was an emotional moment, but not for the reasons I might have imagined when I decided to sign up for wind energy. I turned my attention back to the natural gas facility I was permitting. One lonely acre that had already been subjected to numerous cultural and biological surveys and a forest’s worth of paperwork requirements. Which had more overall environmental impact? I remember thinking.

I didn’t have the answers, but I knew it was time to find out.

Then came the threats. When I think about them, I still fold my body forward and round my shoulders. For more than a year, my family had regular check-ins from the Boulder County Sheriff. We removed all identifying names and numbers from our house and mailbox. Our neighbors and the Four Mile Fire Department kept photographs of the individuals who had threatened us. The boys often had a sheriff at their school, ever since one group of activists had posted pictures of them, their school, and school address online with taglines like “Disgusting.”

For several years, I stopped calling myself an environmentalist. After five years of threats, extremism, and misinformation from a community I’d once considered myself a part of, I simply couldn’t use the term anymore.

It’s easier, now, to unwind my complex relationship with environmentalism and environmentalists. I’m no longer a target of constant criticism and threats, for one, and I have the mental leisure to dissect my own experiences and prejudices. With the benefit of hindsight, I’ve become passionate about reclaiming the term. I am an environmentalist.

But I can no longer embrace many of the totems that have come to define environmentalism for many people. For those of us chugging along in our liberal, urban lives, the environmental truisms are clear-cut: Recycling is good. SUVs are bad (if necessary). Light rail is good (if not always practical). Wind and solar energy are good. Fracking and nuclear energy are bad.

Highly recommended that you read this entire extraordinary essay here: https://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/no.-8-winter-2018/reclaiming-environmentalism

Then email it to your liberal friends, paste it on Facebook, make copies and mail it to people. It’s that good.

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February 16, 2018 2:11 pm

I’m not quite sure if Roger Pielke has fully understood it all yet, but he is possibly veering in the right direction.

Reply to  ntesdorf
February 16, 2018 3:02 pm

Roger pointed us to the comments written by Tisha Schuller . I’ve always looked to Roger as a beacon of sanity.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  commieBob
February 17, 2018 1:50 am

Senior more so than Junior.

Reply to  ntesdorf
February 16, 2018 7:28 pm

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”
“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, Charles Mackay, 1841

February 16, 2018 2:20 pm

And if anyone here hasn’t read it yet, don’t miss this, by vegan environmentalist David Siegel:

Reply to  daveburton
February 17, 2018 9:17 am

I do not understand why there is no explanation of why extreme vegetarianism(vegan) is good for the enviroment!

sy computing
Reply to  Roger
February 17, 2018 10:00 am
Reply to  Roger
February 17, 2018 10:09 pm

… less cow farts …

February 16, 2018 2:22 pm

It’s why I call myself a conservationist … I want to protect the environment, not exploit it for gain …

Reply to  MikeP
February 16, 2018 3:40 pm

So you are against farming?

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 4:23 pm

I’ve found that farmers are often the best, most intelligent conservationists around.

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 5:02 pm

Conservation of principles, yes. It is rational, reasonable, and generally pragmatic. Not perfect, of course. There are no mortal gods on planet Earth. Only chaos, a fitness function, and a will to strive, to adapt, and to optimize.

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 6:17 pm

I’m just trying to figure out what he means by “exploiting nature”.
Surely farming is a form of “exploiting nature”?

sy computing
Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 5:58 am

“Surely farming is a form of “exploiting nature”?”
Is it? Why?

Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 6:10 am

C’mon Sy –
A farmer may remove all of nature’s plant life in a given area and replace it with only the plants he/she chooses. Even a “gatherer” who does nothing but harvest the fruit of certain plants changes the natural landscape by removing seeds.

Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 6:11 am

Oh, PaulH –
I agree. The better steward one is of their land, the more productive and appreciative one is.

Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 7:30 am

Sy, he’s using nature for his own benefit.
That fits most people’s definition of exploiting.

sy computing
Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 8:01 am

“C’mon Sy –
A farmer may remove all of nature’s plant life in a given area and replace it with only the plants he/she chooses. Even a “gatherer” who does nothing but harvest the fruit of certain plants changes the natural landscape by removing seeds.”

I’ll take it a “/sarc” was purposely left out here given the next comment from you. If not, well you might be beyond help…

Reply to  MikeP
February 16, 2018 7:08 pm

Stop. Take a deep breath. Sit down. Look around. Everything you have came from “exploiting nature”. From the clothes you wear to the food you eat.

Sandy In Limousin
Reply to  Jon Jewett
February 17, 2018 5:27 am

Doesn’t every living thing exploit nature and other living things either directly or indirectly. Never been able to work out why people think humanity is different.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Jon Jewett
February 17, 2018 6:24 am

It hinges on the definition of “exploit”. “Use wisely” is to exploit opportunities offered. Extremists consider “wise use” an abuse of their theory of “how things ought to work”. Armchair revolutionaries sipping lattes are big on the word “oughtta”.

Reply to  Jon Jewett
February 17, 2018 6:27 am

Crispin Suggest …big on the words “YOU oughtta”

Paul Courtney
Reply to  Jon Jewett
February 17, 2018 7:57 am

Jon Jewett: Perfect!

Ron Richey
Reply to  Jon Jewett
February 17, 2018 8:06 am

Right on.
All human existence, survival, and betterment is dependent on the conversion of natural resources.

sy computing
Reply to  Jon Jewett
February 17, 2018 8:47 am

Have you all no sensitivity to the poor farmer’s mental well-being? Does not the term “exploit” have a negative connotation? Mustn’t we avoid Webster’s at all costs these days when we’re dealing with language?
Shall we call a janitor a “Janitor” in our modern society, or shall we rather call him/her/other/not sure, a “Cleanliness Advocate”??
For shame…

Reply to  MikeP
February 16, 2018 8:30 pm

I do the same thing, only I use “accidental conservationist” because I kind of just stubbled into it. Wind turbines and subdivisions were my motivation. While I want to protect the environment, but I am realistic about the needs of modern society. While I wish everything was not about money, fact is, that is the world. Making open spaces, forests, deserts, etc financially product while preserving them is the only real option.
This was an interesting article on why we “destroy” nature and why conservation is difficult: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/human-nature/200909/why-do-we-destroy-the-nature-we-love

Phil Rae
Reply to  Sheri
February 16, 2018 9:20 pm

Sheri….the article is interesting enough but seriously misguided IMHO. In general, pollution continues to decline and the environment continues to improve, certainly in most places in the western world. Of necessity, we exploit nature for our resources…….we always have and always will……that’s called life.
However, in general, we are getting better, more efficient and less destructive, outcome-wise, in that exploitation process. Consider urban pollution just a generation or two ago (or, if you like, go back to the early days of the industrial revolution) and compare that with the situation today despite the significant increases in population and improvements in standard of living and life expectancy. Air is cleaner, old industrial sites (mines, factories, watercourses) are rehabilitated, fish swim in rivers, detergents are biodegradable, machines are more efficient (fridges, cars, washing machines, aircons, etc. etc.). We are getting better at all these things……and that process will continue thanks to technology, assuming the loons don’t succeed in tearing down the industries that made our current lifestyles possible.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Sheri
February 16, 2018 10:55 pm

“Air is cleaner, old industrial sites (mines, factories, watercourses) are rehabilitated”
Those things just moved elsewhere, like China, India, and other places. They didn’t go away.

Reply to  Sheri
February 17, 2018 11:47 am

I’m fairly certain that the US still has Mimes, Factories, Steel Mills, Power Plants, and all the other items of modern industry. SOME may have been moved to counties with cheaper labor and lax laws, but many things are still easier to do ourselves, or require something only found locally.
And what we do have has Indead gotten much cleaner and more efficient over the years. And places like China and India are learning that unless they want an environment worse then what the US or Europe has before the turn of the century they need to start cleaning up now.

Reply to  Sheri
February 17, 2018 11:50 am

Well, I suppose we COULD outsource all our Mimes.
Maybe to France?

Reply to  Sheri
February 17, 2018 4:08 pm

There’s a limit to how many mimes even France can support.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Sheri
February 18, 2018 11:06 am

Phil Rae: “…We are getting better at all these things……and that process will continue thanks to technology, assuming the loons don’t succeed in tearing down the industries that made our current lifestyles possible.”
But why did technology make things better? Pressure from the market and regulation, both influenced by environmentalism. If it hadn’t been for the “loons,” our cities and rivers would be more like China’s.
You can’t appreciate the things you listed and our administration’s environmental policy at the same time without hypocrisy.

Reply to  MikeP
February 16, 2018 11:23 pm

All living things live by exploiting their environment. Every plant, insect, animal, bird, fish, human etc would not be alive if it did not exploit its environment.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 17, 2018 9:23 am

Correct. All animals and plants on this earth are here to survive. Fundemental . The word that many do not use is “balance”. Or “working with” .

Robert W Turner
Reply to  MikeP
February 17, 2018 1:52 pm

So if a tree sprouts, puts its roots in the ground and begins extracting minerals and water for its own growth, is the tree “exploiting” its environment for gain? Your mind has been poisoned.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
February 17, 2018 6:58 pm

Yes, the tree is exploiting the resources it finds in the ground.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
February 17, 2018 7:22 pm

All things exploit for gain. Profit is good and leads to survival, loss only leads to death.
There is a proper way to look at this paradigm. Living things maximize their personal return on energy investment. The two main categories of the strategies used are parasitism and symbiosis. Both strategies and variations between the two are constantly being tested by all life. Each one has its benefits and pitfalls, each one has expert examples in the living energy systems of this world. For example parasitic tapeworms or influenza are very good at being parasites and are very successful. While mitochondria have taken the symbiosis route and are even more successful. Plants and animals that are pleasant to eat, are farmed and are taking over the biome of the world, that is unless they are in the tragedy of the commons. (cod)
The best approach is to find the best return on investment, with the least damage done. This may only be found by honest study, not by gut feeling, or wishful tree hugging.
All things that may be described as living are continuously asking one question, the most asked question in the universe.
What will it do for me?

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Robert W Turner
February 17, 2018 8:51 pm

“Exploit” has pretty different meanings depending on context, eh?
There’s no better exploiter than humanity. We exploit for the sake of exploiting so we can show other exploiters how much more we can exploit. Other animals just charge each other or beat their chests.

February 16, 2018 2:23 pm

Admirable self-honesty.

Reply to  icisil
February 17, 2018 8:36 pm

Everything in the living world is recycled. Plants exploit the environment, much of which is recycled by plants that have previously exploited the environment. All water is recycled from the oceans and lands, and from transpiration. Animals depend on plants, or other animals for survival, and through defecation and death replenish the environment from which they came. Physical and chemical weathering provide essential inorganic nutrients used by plants, and ultimately by animals. In turn, all living organisms return to be recycled. The problem we face as one of the earth’s animals is our ever-increasing separation from this reality. Those more than one generation removed from “the land” have no appreciation of the simplicity of the basic reality of life.

Tom Halla
February 16, 2018 2:26 pm

Environmentalism is quasi-religious, and has a tendency towards cult behavior. Some of the goals of the movement are worthwhile, but the consensus cult in the US (and Europe and Australia, though I only know their behavior secondhand) demands their adherents do things that are inconsistent with the stated goals of the movement.
If the movement really cared about CO2 “pollution”, and wanted to do something about it with the fewest side effects, nuclear is the obvious choice. But some Cold War anti-nuclear activists cannot separate nuclear power from nuclear weapons, and some hardcore greens like Ehrlich seemingly oppose nuclear as it will allow technological society.
People do leave cults (my ex used to be a Scientologist), without having to abandon the values that led them to the cult in the first place.

Steve Lohr
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 16, 2018 2:51 pm

In every group there forms an identity. At some point the brand may diverge from the admirable purpose to pursue perhaps deviant goals. Often it carries people to a place they don’t want to be but like a rider on a bus, you don’t know you are going wrong until you see you have reached the wrong stop. Environmentalism has become a cash cow where the high priests spout a little homily and cry give and cha-ching out falls the money. Who would want to stop that?!!!!

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 16, 2018 7:16 pm

An enlightening view from somebody truly on the front lines. The patience she has shown in the face of extreme environmentalism is amazing. And she is very, very smart. By building a scientific case for safe drilling and fracking she did her job in the best way, by sublimating her ego and personal feelings.
Also, an interesting view of environmentalist tactics whose uncompromising positions may end up losing to someone as patient as Shuller. Their tactics don’t seem to have served them well given the success of the oil/gas business.

michael hart
February 16, 2018 2:29 pm

When I consider the preachiness of the modern environmental movement I can’t help thinking of the quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson regarding a guest:

“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  michael hart
February 16, 2018 2:58 pm

Methinks they doth protest too much

Reply to  michael hart
February 19, 2018 6:23 pm

Nice. I also like:
“Money is honest. If a man speaks of his honor, make him pay cash.”
– – Robert A. Heinlein

February 16, 2018 2:45 pm

It takes a great deal of courage to finally admit one is wrong.

M Courtney
February 16, 2018 2:59 pm

From the linked article:

There was not one shred of evidence that oil and gas drilling was systematically contaminating groundwater; in fact, there was plenty of proof that it wasn’t. But what had we gotten for it? Less than nothing. Environmental groups, including important, reasonable partners like the Environmental Defense Fund, continued to lambast the rule, insisting that it hadn’t gone far enough.

From which we can deduce that:
A) The Environmental Defense Fund does not act as a partner…
B) The Environmental Defense Fund is not reasonable.
Indeed the only reason anyone notices the Environmental Defense Fund is that they are important. They are important because they are dangerous.
Powerful things that are not constrained by reason are usually dangerous. Like tigers and tidal waves and poliitcians.

Reply to  M Courtney
February 16, 2018 7:44 pm

They are only dangerous because a powerful minority feel they are important, the media.
That small minority is incredibly vocal, unchallenged , and given a a very loud voice by the media in their views/facts. They are never challenged inside the bubble.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  M Courtney
February 17, 2018 2:22 am

M Courrtney: I’ve followed your comments for many years and get a lot of sense from a lot of what you say. But:

Powerful things that are not constrained by reason are usually dangerous.is one of the best aphorisms one could possibly remember. Thank you.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Harry Passfield
February 17, 2018 2:23 am

Darn. The end of the blockquote seems not to have worked – yet I checked it!! Can mods fix? Please?

February 16, 2018 3:15 pm

… and EPA is not the evil entity that many claim. I was one of those very skeptical of EPA, until I worked with them on oil and gas issues for the past 15 years. There are indeed willful violators out there. Enforcement should be painful for them.
Many good people work hard for EPA and State agencies to protect our air and water. Some are over zealous and those at the top are political but the overall goal is the same: a nice environment for all.
The oil and gas industry employs huge numbers of Environmental Engineers, many “left wing”. They work alongside their “right wing” companions because they have the same goal: extract resources carefully and safely. A typical gas well has seven layers of protection between the gas and the ground water, somehow that is never mentioned in all the fracking and pipeline protests.
Slowly the BS is being filtered by the public and people realize it would be a different place without cheap energy. Glad to see this person change her viewpoint.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Photoncounter
February 16, 2018 3:37 pm

Those I know in agriculture do NOT share your belief .WOTUS ?
Prime example of “EPA” high handed bs .
Many families have been on their land for over a century .
They really do care for their land and wish to leave it in the best possible condition so that their children will have the best possible future .
Sadly, the EPA too often cares more about power and control than they care about the earth .

Reply to  Photoncounter
February 16, 2018 3:43 pm

For every worthwhile regulation, there are at least 100 that are meaningless and even counter productive.
The EPA has written such a conflicting array of regulations, often at cross purposes, that it is pretty much impossible to do anything without violating at least one regulation.
Yes, there are violators out there. But that is not evidence that there is a problem.

Brett Keane
Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 9:14 pm

Photonc – That swamp is being drained now…..

Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 7:51 am

MarkW says:
For every worthwhile regulation, there are at least 100 that are meaningless and even counter productive.
Exactly. 99% of the EPA staff could be layed-off, and the small remainder left to monitor the worthwhile regulations, and everyone would win.

Reply to  Photoncounter
February 17, 2018 2:57 am

You unwittingly illustrate the difference between regulation and law. I absolutely agree that there should be a law against murder. But do I think I should have to report monthly on whether I have murdered, have the government check that I haven’t each month, should I have to put in place structures and checks to make sure I don’t murder?
By all means make “polluting” a crime and by all means make the punishment painful. But that’s not the same as regulating.

Reply to  Photoncounter
February 17, 2018 3:37 am

Do take the blinkers off and write 100 times “People who take my money to tell me what t

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
February 17, 2018 3:44 am

Continuing after a blackout,
“People who take my tax money and tell me what I should do are a burden on society that all thinking people should work hard to resist then destroy.”
The overwhelming feature of social change in my near 80 years is the huge, illogical growth of groups of people who think they are working for a salary, when their main activity is inventing and enforcing rules that ordinary people do not want.
There is no place for an EPA in anything like the form that you Americans have allowed to grow like a tumour, instead of doing social chemotherapy, nuclear irradiation and surgery to remove it before it kills you. Geoff.

Reply to  Photoncounter
February 17, 2018 12:28 pm

If the EPA had remain on level one environmental forcing, which do pay to clean and have a clear environmental impact, fine that what they were created for. Yet the did not do that they moved to level two and three environmental forcing that to regulate them did not have a beneficial cost benefit ratio, all are a waste of money and human capital. Some are down right dangerous to clean up because the “clean up” does more harm in the cleaning than let them remain as is. Lastly why has EPA neglected the superfund sites after 50 years none should remain but yet they do! That not surprising considering a lot of people duck hard work, they rather complain on how thing should be rather do the work to make them that way, the EPA in the last 30 years is a prime example of that.

Reply to  Photoncounter
February 17, 2018 3:03 pm

Points taken, however CO2 is not pollution…unlike what the ultimate superior (BHO) pronounced on high from the Whitehouse.

February 16, 2018 4:25 pm

These professional environmentalists don’t take kindly to apostates.

John Robertson
February 16, 2018 4:25 pm

Interesting article,the last comment on it is a classic example of the anger she depicts.
Gang Green took over the environmental meme years ago.
Look at Green Peace..money, money ,money..
Gang Green are a very sick bunch of people,operating one of the oldest rackets in the world.
Power and Money their kind of honey.
Funny how we are supposed to have the best educated populace in all time, while the gullibility levels seem through the roof.

Reply to  John Robertson
February 17, 2018 12:34 pm

“Funny how we are supposed to have the best educated populace in all time” No my parent were better educated that I was( I am 64 years old.) Add in education gotten worse for a number of reason, what the present generation is getting can hardly be called education. It more indoctrination and group think rather than education.

Reply to  Mark Luhman
February 17, 2018 4:09 pm

I’ve read some high school exit exams from the turn of the century.
Modern college graduates would have trouble with it.

Reply to  Mark Luhman
February 17, 2018 4:09 pm

Turn of the last century, not the recent one.

old construction worker
February 16, 2018 4:46 pm

I would say she has learn a very important lesson. Socialism is all about the “group” not the individual. You can not have freedom of choice as a group unless the individual in the group has a freedom of choice. Socialism does not allow individual have freedom of anything.

February 16, 2018 4:50 pm

Tisha had an epiphany. What brought on this epiphany? Those windmills going “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh”.
I think every Green should take a tour of their local windmill farm. Maybe the “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” will cause them to have an epiphany, too. And if that doesn’t work, they can take a tour underneath those windmills and look at all the mangled birds.

Reply to  TA
February 16, 2018 4:57 pm

Yes, conservation is a consideration. Also, the nighttime and mission critical blackouts, brownouts, etc.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  TA
February 16, 2018 6:32 pm

Oh, but cats kill birds.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Alan Robertson
February 17, 2018 6:35 am

That is cats exploiting their natural advantage over birds. Birds can exploit their natural advantage over cats by flying away, perhaps gripping little cats in their talons.

Reply to  TA
February 16, 2018 8:05 pm

Chatham Daily News, Feb.14, 2018
’22 of 52 turbines in Raleigh Wind Power facility returned to service’
With photo of one collapsed wind tower. Said to have been placed in service C.2011.
Whole wind facility down almost one month because of one turbine collapse.

Reply to  Barbara
February 17, 2018 7:06 am

Chatham Voice, Ontario, Jan.19, 2018
Close-up photo of the base of the collapsed turbine and other information.

Reply to  Barbara
February 17, 2018 8:40 am

Bayshore Broadcasting, Ontario, Sept.29, 2016
‘Solution for Leaning Ferndale turbine’
Includes photo.
Affected turbine began commercial operation in 2002.
Solution included.

Reply to  Barbara
February 17, 2018 9:57 am

CTV News, London, Ontario, April 2, 2013
‘Fire destroys top of wind turbine near Goderich’
Huron County, ON, seven-year-old turbine.
Photo included

Reply to  Barbara
February 17, 2018 11:25 am

Barbara, from the same Chatham website, citizens protesting inaction concerning wells possibly contaminated by windmill construction:

Reply to  Barbara
February 17, 2018 12:26 pm

London Free Press, Ontario, Aug.4, 2015
Wind turbine storm damage ?
Includes photo.

Reply to  Barbara
February 17, 2018 2:03 pm

News & Events
Ontario, Canada, Dec.7, 2006
‘Ice renders wind turbines idle’

Reply to  Barbara
February 17, 2018 3:13 pm

This is a bad thing, at least with the turbines down, no electricity is being generated therefore no payment at 3x the residential rate is being paid out – (for electricity that is in surplus in the province). Alas all good things must come to an end with they come back online again.

Reply to  Barbara
February 18, 2018 12:23 pm

OHS Canada, Oct. 21, 2015
Feature Article
‘Shifting Winds’
Re: Wind turbine workers safety issues and includes the U.S.

Reply to  Barbara
February 18, 2018 12:33 pm

OHS Canada, Oct. 21, 2015
Feature Article
‘Shifting Winds’
Re: Wind turbine workers safety issues and includes the U.S.

Reply to  Barbara
February 18, 2018 5:13 pm

IRSST, Montreal
Mechanical and Physical Risk Prevention / Wind Energy Sector
Peer reviewed, ~ 66 pages
‘Studies and Research Projects, R-858’
Also mentioned in ‘Shifting Winds’ article of Oct., 21, 2015, OHS Canada Magazine

Reply to  TA
February 16, 2018 8:40 pm

I have a link to a short video of a wind plant on a “wonderful Wyoming wind” high wind warning day (35 mph to well over 40 on the ground at the time the video was shot): https://www.dropbox.com/s/n1eo4oezykfo5s3/DSCN0452.MOV?dl=0
My husband asked the clerks in the convenience store we stopped at on the day this was recorded how they thought the wind turbines were doing. They thought lots of electricity was being made—after all, there is a ton of wind. He then had them look out the window, from witch the turbines could be seen in the distance. The clerks were shocked that nearly all were not moving. Hubby explained briefly about feathering and cut-out speeds and why Wyoming wind is not good for wind energy. A teachable moment, as Rush Limbaugh says.

Reply to  TA
February 17, 2018 3:09 am

take a tour underneath those windmills and look at all the mangled birds.

HAVE YOU ever done that? Get away from your keyboard and do what you suggest to others. I did and I could not find a single carcase or feather. That is a not representative study but the habitually ranting about bird choppers and dead bats strewn everywhere is not accurate either. Just a convenient argument for those who oppose wind turbine for other reasons and not honest enough to make their real objection directly.
Pretty much the same dishonesty as water melons wailing about CO2.

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 6:32 am

Trump’s Interior Secretary Calls Obama-Backed Solar Project A ‘Sphere Of Death’ For Birds
“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he’s not against any one form of energy, but still took the time during a recent speech to highlight how green energy from solar panels and wind turbines comes with an environmental cost.
“You know wind chops up around 650- or 750,000 birds a year,” Zinke said at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. “Wind comes at a cost.”
end excerpt
Are you saying Secretary Zinke is lying?

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 12:46 pm

I’VE done that, Greg. I’m from Fort Wayne, IN and we have 2 large wind farms within driving distance.
The one South of us we drove off the interstate to have a close up look at one, and we did see at least 3 dead birds near the base (sparrow to finch size).
And the other one is across the Ohio border to the East. We drive through it any time we take highway 30. Never gotten near the base of one of those, but I have witnessed a hawk that was circling one of them get hit by the spinning blades. The way it tumbled to the ground I doubt it made a quick recovery.
I’ve also found dead Bats on the sidewalk near our tallest building, One Summit Square, on at least 2 occasions. They used to shine lots of big floodlight up at it to light it up at night, which attracted a lot of bugs. So it isn’t a phenomenon restricted to just Wind Turbines. But it does happen.
And trying to act like it doesn’t, and that people are just making it up, really doesn’t say anything good about you. Just because you didn’t see anything the time you did it doesn’t somehow invalidate all the evidence that shows that it does.

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 1:05 pm

Walk under a power transmission line the bodies of bird are there, if you think the windmills with blades moving over a hundred miles and hour are not a problem for birds, you have serious logic skill problem, the reason you did not find “any bodies” may have been more of a function of the local predators and scavenger than what was actually happening. Oh by the way winter killed deer are not found the next summer unless you understand the hair and remains or the deer’s last meal is all that you will find. A wolf kill is less than that.

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 5:03 pm

Most wind plants are private. How did you get permission to look for dead birds?

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 5:05 pm

Also, explain the need for eagle permits if the eagles are so very safe.

Reply to  Greg
February 18, 2018 3:22 pm

They hire workers (yes they actually do) in areas where the bird/propeller quotient is too high, and, might be a photo op risk.

February 16, 2018 4:55 pm

There is cause to consider both the artificial green blight and the organic black blob as suited to purpose, in context.
With a rational and reasonable outlook to the present and future, I would like to conserve flora, fauna, and people, too.

Gary Pearse
February 16, 2018 5:13 pm

Tisha has a great skill in “seeing” things that throw up questions about her most cherished belief structure and reacting to them logically. She was horrified when she actually saw a wind farm stretching to the horizon on the attractive plain that had been transformed into something sinister by these alien marching giants that she had welcomed in concept and immediately thought of a single gas well of a client occupying an acre of wilderness and recalled the staggering number of regulations and masses of paper forms the owner had to fill out to “protect the environment”. Making this connection is a mark of a very special type of person. One in a million. Very much an individualist in a culty zone where introspection isnt in their dictionary. She would be an excellent resource for righting this global foundering ship and moving things in a realistic direction. She’s a natural negotiator with empathy for the antagonist.
From observations and acquaintanceship with a career activist who got caught up in it in university and could not got away from It, there is little doubt in my mind that there are personality issues, neuroses (perhaps bordering on psychosis) with most zealots. There are no teachable moments. There are no compromise positions. They are blind to contradictions or new evidence that demands modification of views. They are like the marching alien giants unmoved by chopping up birds and bats that get in their way. The threats and maliciousness Tisha endured was from this mindless source.

Curious George
February 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Time is out of joint. Fascists call themselves antifascists. Environmentalism has been hijacked by Greenpeace. Look at what they do, not what they say.

February 16, 2018 5:37 pm

Great stuff, Anthony . .

February 16, 2018 6:14 pm

Sorry, I choked on “nuclear energy … bad.” Nuclear energy is a gift, one that promises the next giant leap toward a higher standard of living AND a cleaner environment. A favorite aunt once remarked that the world is run by B students. Sigh. So true.

Reply to  pops
February 17, 2018 12:44 pm

And reported on by D students.

J Mac
February 16, 2018 6:18 pm

You can lead a person to knowledge but you cannot make them think critically. They must achieve that for themselves. Even when cognitive dissonance haunts their existence, many will not succeed because they cannot break through their deeply embedded indoctrinations. “Don’t try to confuse me with facts. I know the truth!” becomes their solace and their refuge.
Tisha Schuller seems to have succeeded in large part but her painful evolution is telling of how deeply seated her indoctrinations really were.

February 16, 2018 6:25 pm

It might be useful if a time machine, or some sort of past representation of what she experienced, could be produced of what those few of us that sampled the Houston Ship Channel saw in the late 1950s. It’s not now perfect, but fish swim the length. I still have a scientific paper on Galveston Bay calling out the real problems. In the era of the first Earth Day my wife found an article in an early “environmental” magazine that established that the Green party groups were socialist. Of course, some became violent, spiking trees and such.
For a long time it has been evident that there have been at least two major problems with the environmental revolution–(1) they destroyed a lot of their credibility, and (2) there are still places in the world, very few in the developed part, that are 50s era Houston Ship channel or worse types. Both of these caused a great loss of resources, material and otherwise, that could have been put to good use as have many applied to real problems. It was sold (taught) that the earth was fragile, fortunately, the opposite proved true.

Reply to  HDHoese
February 16, 2018 7:24 pm

One of the two founders of Earth Day had his girl friend’s dead body stuffed in a trunk in a closet in his house that he killed as the first Earth Day was celebrated. The body was in his house for months.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  Paul
February 17, 2018 2:50 am

Ira Einhorn did not co-found Earth Day. He did, however, kill his ex-girlfriend and stuff her in a closet. https://www.snopes.com/holidays/easter/earthday.asp

Reply to  Paul
February 17, 2018 1:17 pm

That snoops article is hilarious. They offer no real reason for why the first Earth Day fell on Lenin’s hundredth birthday, just a lot of arm waving. And they have lots of quotes from people who, years after Ira was found to be a murderer, decided that he wasn’t REALLY a part of their groups and definitely didn’t contribute anything, he was just always there because he was a nuisance. Oh, and they didn’t REALLY want him to speak for half an hour at the beginning of the thing, they just didn’t know how to get rid of him.
Progressive fact checking at its finest.

Matthew R. Epp
February 16, 2018 7:54 pm

The author exposes the problem brilliantly,
“People are mostly lazy about their political positions. My understanding of health care policy, for example, is simplistic and guided by what I read in the New York Timesand hear from Democratic politicians. The same is true of education and any number of other issues that I have not spent most of my professional life immersed in. This is how most people engage questions of energy and the environment.”
“I could imagine a parallel universe in which I myself received the knock on the door from a neighbor urging, “Come to the community meeting! They’re going to poison our children!” I probably would have gone. I might have carried the sign myself.”
Acting without knowledge, then holding fast to what you were told because now you believe it, regardless of the evidence to the contrary. Sadly, she knows this is how her neighbors will react and behave, because of the groupthink that is liberal, environmentalism hysteria.
”But I can no longer embrace many of the totems that have come to define environmentalism for many people. For those of us chugging along in our liberal, urban lives, the environmental truisms are clear-cut: Recycling is good. SUVs are bad (if necessary). Light rail is good (if not always practical). Wind and solar energy are good. Fracking and nuclear energy are bad.”
She acknowledges the “truisms”, all the while admitting that “They” (Urban Liberals), do not practicing what they preach. They are on the morally superior high ground however because they care more, They feel bad driving their SUV, but it is safer for their kids as they drive all over town from one activity to another; They justify doing so by pay “penance” to the electric utility to support wind farms; They feel superior because They care more than the oil field worker or coal miner who chooses to drive the big truck without regard for the environment.
While the light is dawning, she is still a liberal and a democrat, and isn’t calling out her friends, neighbors, colleagues for their ignorance and hypocrisy. Perhaps a few more years and the sun will fully illuminate her, melting away the crust of liberal idealism, and she will fully immerse herself in and embrace reality. She’s taken baby steps, let’s hope she can begin standing and walking on her own and continue on her journey. God speed
Matthew R. Epp

Tsk Tsk
Reply to  Matthew R. Epp
February 17, 2018 7:09 am

She also sincerely (and incorrectly) belies that “organic” food is better and eating locally is better. The fact that she came to realize that much of what she believed was driven by mindless tribalism and religion may be good news, but the fact that she doesn’t realize that the very same problem could be lurking in all the REST of her precious views shows just how hopeless she is.

Reply to  Tsk Tsk
February 17, 2018 5:09 pm

Cut people some slack. They don’t all get this giant epiphany (as you may have) and realize how much pseudoscience is in their lives. It’s all or nothing? She’s hopeless because she didn’t meet 100% of YOUR standards. You sound like Trump supporters that thought Trump had a magic wand and the day after election, he’d wave it and everything would magically be perfect. The fact that he did means they will never support another Republican. It’s irrational as thoughts come. This person is learning and should be praised for doing so. I’m not sure we can say the same for you.

Reply to  Tsk Tsk
February 17, 2018 5:43 pm

Eating “organic” foods was in fashion before “climate change” was even known.
Many people prefer local foods over imported foods.

Reply to  Tsk Tsk
February 17, 2018 7:01 pm

Mental illness predates the latest global warming nonsense.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Matthew R. Epp
February 17, 2018 8:49 am

“They feel bad driving their SUV, but it is safer for their kids as they drive all over town from one activity to another”
That seems like the classic definition of a sociopath.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
February 17, 2018 5:10 pm


Reply to  Matthew R. Epp
February 17, 2018 11:50 am

Matthew R Epp says:
While the light is dawning, she is still a liberal and a democrat, and isn’t calling out her friends, neighbors, colleagues for their ignorance and hypocrisy.
Same as Carl Sagan, IMO. He identified many of the problems in education, yet coudn’t bring himself to admit his fellow liberals had been in “charge” of education for decades and his own colleagues were a big part of the problem.

February 16, 2018 7:58 pm

She starts out saying that her values hadn’t changed. Actually, she DID change her values. Before, the violence, hate, and bigotry of the Environmental Movement were acceptable (she may have been willfully ignorant). After coming face-to-face with the evil side of the Environmental Movement, it was no longer OK. That is a change in values. There is a cliché that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. She, and her family, got mugged.

February 16, 2018 8:19 pm

Drive through the windfarm at Altamont Pass in California and you’ll need LSD to come back down to Earth.

February 16, 2018 9:03 pm

She’s on her way, but still hasn’t figured it out:
“Ultimately, most of us want the same things — a reasonable quality of life, the opportunity to improve our circumstances, and access to beautiful, healthy, natural environments. But we have wildly different ways of pursuing those dreams.”
No. The environmentalist movement is made of radical Marxists who care nothing about the environment; that’s just a tool for their hidden agenda. We absolutely, definitely do NOT all want the same things.

Reply to  Ken Barber
February 17, 2018 7:46 am

Environmentalists want to lock off wilderness areas to prevent any humans from accessing it.

February 16, 2018 9:17 pm

“she works to create consensus and build and engage pragmatic solutions”
this is only a ‘real thing’ to the zero skill unemployables. how can it possibly matter what color lipstick she puts on?

Jim Steele
February 16, 2018 9:45 pm

I feel a kindred spirit with Tisha Schuller. Our professional careers led us down a path to a new understanding of what it truly means to be an environmentalist and an honest critical-thinking scientist , and shedding the political BS and alarmism

February 17, 2018 1:21 am

An example of a person that seems to have lived a life, as so many do, based on emotions. Her emotions though led her to a situation where she was motivated to start thinking critically. A whole new world much different than the one she had been living in was then revealed to her.

February 17, 2018 2:57 am

SUVs are bad (if necessary).

WTF? In what distorted world can a sports utility vehicle be called “necessary” ?
Necessary to go to the supermarket ? Necessary to pick up the kids? Necessary to impress the neighbours and business colleges ?
sports utility vehicle is an oxymoron. Sport is not done for utility. It is done for fun. Besides the vast majority of SUV drivers don’t even know how to engage the 4WD.

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 5:07 am

The majority of SUV owners don’t have to know how to engage 4wd and couldn’t if they wanted to because their vehicles have AWD.

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 5:17 am

An SUV is generally a pickup truck with a backseat and a complete enclosure of what would normally be the truck bed. They come in different sizes: quarter-ton (Ford Escape), half-ton (Ford Explorer), and the two largest sizes, both capable of carrying a full ton load in the back end, the Ford Explorer and Expedition. They’re handy to have if you run a lot of errands as I do, or go on a hike and want to carry photo equipment with you which includes a tripod, cameras, backpack and water container.
Why would anyone need one?
Because those wickerbill windup toy cars like Nissan’s Versa and Versa Note are so small and so low to the ground that they are nearly invisible to the big rig drivers, never mind the distracted drivers on the road now.

Reply to  Sara
February 17, 2018 7:54 am

Ha! This big truck driver has always wondered what a “Smart car” would look like if it got tangled up with a big rig. Golf carts with a windshield and doors really don’t have a chance. But really I have no room to talk. Years ago I owned a cherry Triumph Spitfire and had a ball tooling around in it. But at least it had the turning ability to get the hell out of the way.
Today I own a Toyota FJ Cruiser and an old Chevy 3/4 ton extended cab short bed pickup. Really Love my FJ and the 4wd. Drive the pickup to work and leave the FJ for my wife and it gives me peace of mind that she can get out and go even in the snow and ice if she needs to. And it’s short enough that she really feels very comfortable driving it. The ONLY things I don’t like about it is that the side mirrors are not heated and it’s limited range because of a rather small gas tank for a V-6 powered vehicle. But no matter, we intend of keeping that vehicle for the duration.

Reply to  Sara
February 17, 2018 12:54 pm

I once saw a picture of a “smart car” that got sandwiched between to loaded gravel trucks. The only way you knew that had happen was one of the “smart car” wheels were alongside the rear duel wheels of the gravel truck. I had the morbid thought of what the unfortunate personnel who’s job was to recover the remains and what he/she used to scrape the smart car occupants bodies from the smart car once the sheet metal was pulled apart.

Reply to  Sara
February 17, 2018 4:11 pm

Two loaded gravel truck would do pretty much the same thing to any car. Probably even most SUVs.

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 7:48 am

Safety and cargo space.
Just because you don’t need one is not evidence that nobody needs one.
You are not the measure by which the world is judged.

Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 12:45 pm

Secondly, not everyone can afford two cars. One for the big jobs, and one for everything else.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 9:15 am

Greg. Let me guess. You live in a coastal city. Your Priuswont serve you well off 5he grid in Colorado.

Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 12:58 pm

The SUV replace the station wagon of my youth, if you need to haul more than four people now days it what the car industry has to offer, the other offering is a mini van. Even what called a midsize car of today is hard press to carry five people.

Reply to  Mark Luhman
February 17, 2018 4:11 pm

The station wagon that was killed by the government’s CAFE standards.

Jim Steele
Reply to  Greg
February 17, 2018 1:36 pm

For my wildlife surveys, a high clearance SUV with ample storage space was absolutely critical to negotiate logging roads and carry equipment. There are many rural activities where SUV’s are invaluable.

Peter Lewis Hannan
February 17, 2018 3:43 am

“And thus began the process of changing my mind. Or I should say, learning to change my mind because, as I’ve discovered, changing one’s mind requires more effort and self-awareness than holding onto one’s beliefs.” It wasn’t by the same route, but this is like what I experienced when I realised that Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, on global warming, was rubbish, scientifically, and then read Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear”. So then I started reading the actual scientific literature, and discovered that a lot of scientists are sceptical of “global warming” and related themes, and the evidence for it is very weak. I also realised that climate alarmism was pushing just about all genuine environmental problems out of the public eye and concern. I also realised more deeply the immense benefits that access to reliable energy brings, and how necessary it is to solve the human questions of poverty, disease and conflicts. So I appreciate this essay, and recommend reading it. Thank you, Watts Up With That:

Peta of Newark
February 17, 2018 4:05 am

Go visit Drax power station at night.
(The public highway passes right past/under it)
Burning trees – though not obvious from the outside.
There is an actual Doomsday Machine – created by Kindergarten science, Good Intentions and Sheer Greed milking those 2 things

David Dibbell
February 17, 2018 4:29 am

Nicely written article. Thank you WUWT for linking to it. I appreciate the part about the whooshing wind turbine army of alien intruders. I hope Tisha Schuller eventually has another epiphany by watching the weather, especially thunderstorms, “un-trap” the heat that was “trapped” by carbon dioxide and methane.

Peter Morris
February 17, 2018 7:23 am

Well she’s almost there. Maybe when she reads up on diminishing returns she’ll understand most environmental victories were complete by the early 90s. Everything after that has been destructive.

Reply to  Peter Morris
February 17, 2018 12:46 pm

When you are spending other people’s money, the law of diminishing returns never applies.

Larry D
February 17, 2018 9:42 pm

I wonder if the Russians had anything to do with the rapid groundswell of opposition to natural gas?

Roger Knights
February 18, 2018 4:44 am

The lunatic fringe wags the dog.

Julie near Chicago
February 18, 2018 8:28 am

Excellent piece, Anthony. Thank you so much for posting it.
It takes a long, long time for a major piece of one’s mental map of Reality to change. It seems Ms. Shiller’s is in the process of being recast. That’s encouraging. :>)

Julie near Chicago
Reply to  Julie near Chicago
February 18, 2018 8:30 am

Oops, Tisha Schuller. Apologies.

February 19, 2018 7:53 pm

Tisha’s curriculum vitae as posted on 6/02/2017 at
“Tisha Schuller founded Adamantine Energy to provide thought leadership to transform energy policy and politics across the country and around the world. Tisha consults private clients from Fortune 500 energy companies to non-profit environmental organizations in energy policy, business strategy, politics, and community engagement. She also serves as the Strategic Advisor for Stanford University’s Natural Gas Initiative (NGI). In this role, she chairs Stanford NGI’s symposium to reduce energy poverty in the developing world using natural gas, scheduled for May 2017. Tisha conducts public speaking and consulting across the United States focused on energy policy, managing the divest-from-fossil-fuels movement, understanding the polarized landscape, and navigating successful stakeholder engagement strategies.
Tisha most recently worked as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association in one of the most dramatic and contentious times for energy development in Colorado’s history. Prior to COGA, she served as a Principal and Vice President with Tetra Tech, a national environmental consulting and engineering firm for 15 years.
Tisha has a B.S. in Earth Systems with an emphasis in Geology from Stanford University. She is incoming Board Chair of the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the American Red Cross, a member of the Board of Visitors of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, a member of the Board of Directors for the Butterfly Pavilion, a member of the Board of Directors for the Breakthrough Institute, and a member of the National Petroleum Council, an advisory board to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.”
So, based on the last sentence, she has at least some input into the Trump administration’s energy policy.

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