Martis vs. Smucker: Industrial Wind on Defense

Reposted from MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — July 16, 2021

“I will grant that [Kevon Martis] gave a polished presentation of some very selected ‘facts’ totally trashing wind turbines and the power companies and wind energy companies associated with them. His one hour presentation had all of 5 seconds where he had something positive to say about wind turbines as ‘giving local entities a little bit of tax money’ (Don Smucker, below).

“If there was a substantive criticism in my talk, Smucker never proffered it and resorted instead to base name calling.” (Martis, below)

Industrial wind turbines: Dilute. Intermittent. Unneeded. Duplicative. Taxpayer/government dependent. Ugly. Noisy. Blade shadows. Flicker light. Bird hazard. Infrastructure heavy (steel, concrete, and land). Energy sprawl (service roads, long transmission to markets with line loss). Landfill issues.

Is wind the perfect imperfect energy for the modern electricity grid?


With all the government and nonprofit money on the other side, we are fortunate to have a cadre of basically volunteers to speak grassroot truth to wind power. One of the most prominent is Kevon Martis, who masquerades as one cool dude, even a dilettante, outside of his very serious and influential wind work. [1]

Martis’s heroics have been profiled here at MasterResource. His rebuttal to the negative insinuations of one Ed Rivet was profiled last month. The shoestring man has attracted the ire of Big Green, as evidenced by the statement:

Despite his folky style and positioning to the contrary, [Kevin] Martis is a highly polished, fossil fuel operative with aggressive tactics. The taxpayers of Seneca County and all of Ohio deserve a more honest broker than Kevon Martis.

Fossil fuel operative? That will be a surprise to Kevon Martis or anyone who knows him.

So here is the latest ad hominem attack against Kevon Martis (and Norman Stephens) by Emeritus Montcalm County Extension agent Don Smucker. Their Facebook exchange follows.

Wind Proponent Don Smucker

“I personally am very concerned regarding those outside of our county or your township who have effectively disrupted local meetings to push their agenda. I feel that this has been very detrimental.

I agree with Dan Paris’s assessment of Norm Stephens in his April 10 letter to the Daily News. I am equally concerned about the platform given to Kevon Martis whom many of you listened to on April 8.

First why is he not willing to divulge the source of funding for the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, an anti-wind organization which he operates in Michigan and Ohio?

He vigorously denies be funded by fossil fuel money, but he somehow did not mention that he is a Senior Policy Fellow for The Energy and Environment Legal Institute and is also associated with the Institute for Energy Research. You need to personally take a look at the funding history and the purposes of these organizations. Is he in reality a spokesperson for those who want to work against alternative energy sources as it will impact their profits from fossil fuel? You can decide.

But if he will not divulge how he is funded or his role with these entities and even if he presents himself as only a zoning expert selflessly working for the good of everyone, why should I believe what he says?

I will grant that he gave a polished presentation of some very selected “facts” totally trashing wind turbines and the power companies and wind energy companies associated with them. His one hour presentation had all of 5 seconds where he had something positive to say about wind turbines as “giving local entities a little bit of tax money”.

As Sandra Mills told us we need to be very wary of anyone who only addresses one side of the issue. Furthermore there is another side which also needs to be considered with almost every zoning argument which he so aggressively advocated.

But it really is not about my truth and your truth or his truth. There are objective materials available put together by those who strive to present what credible studies say and what is repeated by other objective studies.

I am attaching a presentation put together by Bradley Neumann who is an Extension Educator with Michigan State University who is not advocating either for or against wind turbines. I will send this pdf document in a separate e-mail.

Please go through this and make it available to your other township officials. I feel that townships must deal effectively with this situation and I understand that life is hard right now and I really feel for you. But also consider this:

If in fact wind turbines are needed as cost effective energy sources to replace our coal fired plants that are going off line then I think we can reasonably be assured that our nation and state are going to take steps to make sure that they do get put up, and if that is correct, they could be making the rules that we will have to comply with having much less local control.

If this then does happen Martis and Stephens and others like them are going to get what maybe they deserve and not what they want. And as Laura and Larry Engel recently said in their letter to Douglas township that “township officials and residents can either be proactive and retain a role in how wind turbines will be located, or they can be reactive and fight among themselves, hamper any energy company that ventures into the area and end up doing nothing.”

Rebuttal: Kevon Martis

Mr. Smucker: As I have made clear, I have no financial ties to any fossil fuel company. I receive no funding from any energy interest of any kind. And my net financial impact in supporting communities resisting irresponsible wind development is around $100,000 over twelve years: to the negative.

But let’s play Mr. Smucker’s game: let’s presume that anyone who has ties to fossil fuel funding is not reliable as a source of information. If so, that is decidedly bad news for MSU Extension.

MSU’s latest wind turbine zoning template gives credit to NextEra Energy and DTE Energy for helping to develop it. DTE is the biggest coal polluter in the State of Michigan and a massive distributor, consumer and retailer of natural gas. And DTE owns a fleet of coal hoppers that transport thousands of tons per day of Powder River Basin coal into Michigan by rail for use in it’s power plants.

Likewise NextEra. They are the largest utility in the United States and have a vast gas-fired power plant fleet.

And consider APEX “Clean” Energy whose water Mr. Smucker is carrying: they took a round of financing in 2018 from an investment house with substantial investments in fossil fuel extraction and power generation.

So using Mr. Smucker’s own spurious and insulting logic, he has discredited himself, MSU Extension and APEX.

Secondly, I regularly and publicly disclose my fellowship with E&E Legal. And I make it clear that I have never taken instructions from E&E and have never been offered a dime from them. But APEX doesn’t disclose their fossil ties, do they?

In fact, Mr. Smucker’s disingenuous line of reasoning fails on it’s face: rather than asking people to analyze my statements, sources and reasoning, he tells people to look at the funding. That is called an ad hominem attack, an attack against the person rather than the arguments the person presents.

He offered no response to the series of high level and credible sources that show that the proper wind turbine noise limit is under 40dBa. None.

He offered no response to the Sarlak paper I referenced that was published in the journal Wind Energy that suggests wind turbine setbacks should be substantially larger than the 1,200′ to homes proposed by APEX.

He offered no response to my reference to multiple wind turbine manufacturer’s safety manuals suggesting that the minimum employee evacuation distance is 1,640′.

Instead of an academic response, he chose cheap character assassination. Shameful.

Does this pass for professionalism at MSU these days? Finally, Mr. Smucker suggests that I should be discredited because I only offered a few seconds of positive impacts from wind energy development and the rest was negative.

Using his own logic, his criticism of me should likewise be dismissed: his only positive comment about ME was that I was “polished”. The rest was conspiratorial slander. He has circularly discredited himself.

And what of the claim that my talk only focuses on the negative impacts of wind energy development? OF COURSE IT DOES! It was a zoning talk!

Zoning must focus on regulating the negative impacts of any development. The positives don’t need regulation, a point I made in my talk that night.

Sadly, Mr. Smucker is just the latest in a long string of renewable energy groupies who believes the lie that the only people who have objections to irresponsible renewable energy development are taking a secret check from Bob Murray from Murray Coal. Pathetic.

As an agent of Michigan State University, Mr. Smucker should be educated enough to know that 1+1=2 even when the one remaining Koch Brother does the math.

If there was a substantive criticism in my talk, Smucker never proffered it and resorted instead to base name calling. If this is the academic standard now in play at MSU Extension these days, all I can say is “Go Blue!”


[1] Martis’s work has been covered here:

And recall his 2013 post “Dear Michigan: Why Wind?” where he quoted James Hansen: “Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”

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July 17, 2021 6:15 pm

re. zoning meetings

Around where I live, the only level of local government that can block anything are Indian tribes. Any other local government is overturned by the provincial or federal government.

Last edited 1 year ago by commieBob
Pillage Idiot
Reply to  commieBob
July 17, 2021 6:53 pm

There is an easy solution.

commieBob should just identify as IndianNativeAmericanIndigenousPeoplesBob.

Get a critical mass of your neighbors to do the same, and then you can zone your neighborhood the way that all of you prefer!

Rich Davis
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 17, 2021 7:15 pm

“Dances with Unicorns” is already taken (current PM)

Maybe FirstNationsBob?

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 17, 2021 8:06 pm

Indigenous Bobs for Apples. Also, mix up the pronouns. People will respect that.

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 17, 2021 8:29 pm

IndigenousNeutralGenderBob should nail it.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  BobM
July 17, 2021 9:25 pm

“What do you call a Native American with no arms and legs stuck to the side of a truck”.
Running Board

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 18, 2021 12:34 pm

I can’t wait for the day when all humor is banned to avoid the risk of offending someone, somewhere.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 18, 2021 5:42 pm

Pretty much here isn’t it?

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 18, 2021 2:24 pm

Not all First Nations people are aware of the issues with wind turbines. Take a look at this recent development in Ontario near Ottawa where residents strongly opposed the Nation Rise Wind project.
“The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation is situated on the shores of Golden Lake and the Bonnechere River in Renfrew County, along Highway 60, northwest of Ottawa. It has been actively investing in renewable clean technology, taking into consideration the environment and current trends to move away from fossil fuels.” 

Reply to  commieBob
July 18, 2021 12:00 am

“Around where I live, the only level of local government that can block anything are Indian tribes.”

Same in our neck of the woods but there’s a superlative irony in that at present and rather prescient to the topic at hand with what particular tribe you belong to and whether you qualify. I’m suddenly reminded of ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ with Black Lines Matter it seems-
Newcastle Uni demands proof from students claiming to be Aboriginal (
What a tangled web these lefties weave when first they practice to relieve.

Reply to  observa
July 18, 2021 1:57 am

The content of your link reminds me of Conrad Black’s description of the situation in Canada: “… the notoriously ragged self-defined communities of partially pre-European descended people …” link

We’re setting some people up to be some kind of aristocracy based on their supposed ancestry. We spent hundreds of years getting rid of the aristocracy but some people want to bring it back in the name of equality.

Orwell nailed it:

Doublethink is a process of indoctrination whereby the subject is expected to simultaneously accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in contravention to one’s own memories or sense of reality.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  commieBob
July 18, 2021 4:32 am

Around here we / our Zoning & Planning Boards are statutorily prohibited from addressing renewable boondoggles. The state has preempted such.

Michael S. Kelly
July 17, 2021 6:21 pm

With a name like “Smucker”, it has to be good…

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
July 17, 2021 6:46 pm

Someone is trying to “Smucker” us …


Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
July 17, 2021 8:12 pm

You could get into a jam though.

July 17, 2021 7:06 pm

If people knew how wind turbines can cause vibro-acoustic disease, they wouldn’t want them within 10-15 km.

Reply to  icisil
July 17, 2021 7:27 pm

Wind turbines “farms” are not going to do anything positive, They are simply “optical pollution”

July 17, 2021 7:40 pm

I’ve yet to meet an advocate of renewable energy who can actually defend renewable energy.

They either descend immediately into baseless slander, or they just declare that if we don’t do something, humanity is going to die.

Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 8:11 pm

[catastrophic] [anthropogenic] global warming… climate cooling… warming… change is taught in schools, reinforced through the press, and spread on social platforms. And, there is a political economic religious (“ethical”) consensus. Unfalsifiable. Undeniable. Humanity is indeed not viable. The Choice is clear. Social justice for Gaia.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  n.n
July 17, 2021 8:31 pm

And prepare to be cancelled if you don’t advocate for some flavour of Marxism to control your every movement and medical choice.

Bill Toland
Reply to  MarkW
July 18, 2021 12:15 am

Mark, nobody can defend renewable energy because it is not defensible.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 18, 2021 10:03 am

I can see that eventually we are going to have to compromise on the ff/wind issue. We have enough wind turbines to power the world already. With a bit of retrofitting each wind farm could have a central natgas boiler with an octopus of steampipes fitted to the cowlings of the windmills, along with steam distribution piping to make the rotating blades into steam.

The high pressure steam would convert the mills to 24/7 operation raising average output to nameplate capacity (5 to 10x usual output including windless days). When the wind blows, natgas could be cut back automatically and and when it doesn’t, the blades could be automatically feathered. This clever arrangement dispenses with costly storage batteries and it stabilizes the grid.
Moreover, this steam puffing monster would scare away birds and bats….. I better put sarc/ or the nimrods might run with it.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 18, 2021 10:05 am

Oops… making the rotating blades into steam pinwheels.

July 17, 2021 8:05 pm

I smiled when watching a UK documentary recently and a water wheel mill that was used for grinding flour was shown, the presenter asked why water wheels are no longer being used and the obvious reply was that steam engines made them obsolete.

Which leads to using wind for power, commercial sailing ships were quickly replaced by ships powered by steam engines.

But today the “renewable energy” politicians (climate hoaxers) and investors (wealth creation schemes) continue to talk up wind turbines and want to replace the steam powered coal fired power stations that are cost effective and very reliable generators of electricity and do not need expensive and land area for back up generators, storage systems and feeder transmission lines from installations to main grid.

Wind turbine energy supply, on average 2.1 days in every 7 days, but no guarantee of which days they will operate.

Reply to  Dennis
July 18, 2021 12:51 am

Wind turbine energy supply, on average 2.1 days in every 7 days, but no guarantee of which days they will operate.

Yes, but in the future, new designs will mean wind turbines will work 24/7/365 and solar panels will work even on cloudy days and at night. There will be no need for dirty fossil fuel backup.

We’ll all be driving EV’s powered by free electricity

Wind turbines and solar are the future

Melvyn Dackombe
Reply to  Redge
July 18, 2021 5:16 am

I really do hope you are being sarcastic.

Reply to  Melvyn Dackombe
July 18, 2021 6:19 am

Nope, I was being Griff

Rich Davis
Reply to  Redge
July 18, 2021 7:23 am

Yup, griff didn’t even bother to comment since you had him covered. But you forgot that even before the miracles occur, wind and solar is totally, completely predictable.

So you can just crank up the coal-fired boilers, oh wait, no not coal, you crank up the gas turbines, oh right that’s going away too, well you can start up the nukes, what? Now why would those be shutting down?

Oh right, we need to destroy capitalism and then we’ll go back to burning brown coal without any emission controls. Now I remember.

July 17, 2021 8:11 pm

Wind energy is hype except for remote areas that have low needs/usage and reliability isn’t an issue. Grid scale wind turbines are a waste of resources.

July 17, 2021 8:11 pm

An electrical engineer from the UK recently arrived in Australia to manage The Australian Energy Market Operator which is a cooperative between state and federal governments that manages the transmission lines that form the world’s largest area electricity interconnected grid system.

He has stated that he intends to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy supply by 2025. But added that would not be all day every day 52 weeks of each year?

So another example of woke nonsense backed up by power stations continuing to generate most of Australia’s electricity.

A cost-benefit analysis would reveal this exercise in futility and stupidity.

Reply to  Dennis
July 17, 2021 10:01 pm

What he actually said was he wanted the grid ready to accommodate 100% renewables by 2025, as it fairly likely that at various times of the day. In some states (e.g South Australia) renewables will often produce 100% of requirements at times.

How do we know that this is needed? Because it already happens In South Australia and Tasmania (i.e., 100% of demand supplied by renewables) and by 2025, is likely to happen in other states too. He is only responding to what is happening on the grid already.

You may wish it not to happen, but you’re too late. And good luck fighting the future.

Reply to  Tony
July 17, 2021 10:31 pm

good luck fighting natural law.

100% renewable at times equates to about 25% renewable on average.

As the UK and germany reach this sort of level, fossil fuel usage is increasing as there is no other way to stablize grid frequency than by running generators off load as short term energy stores.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Leo Smith
July 18, 2021 12:43 pm

As has been pointed out many times, the baseplate output is always a small fraction of the actual output because of intermittency. What I don’t recall seeing is accounting for the resistive line losses delivering power to where it is actually needed.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Tony
July 17, 2021 11:37 pm

it is not the future, it is a red herring and requires large amounts of expensive and added complications to overcome the very real technical deficiencies of wind and solar over and above intermittency. Asynchronous, non inertial generation is not what a stable grid needs and the consumer needs a stable grid.
At times there will be next to no renewable power so a reliable alternative is necessary to be able to supply the demand, essentially doubling capacity of what is actually needed. This has to be paid for.

And if you think any of this nonsense is going to affect the climate as it is intended to do, time will show that it didn’t work.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Tony
July 18, 2021 12:33 am

Tony, it is amusing that you think windmills are the future. Windmills are a failed medieval technology. They are the past, not the future.

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 18, 2021 8:36 am

Sorry but windmills were not a failed technology during times much more recent than medieval times.

They were a very successful technology for the purposes, grinding grain and pumping water. Colonial Virginia used wind to grind grains in areas where there was insufficient grade to use water.

Even in up to current times, win is used to pump well water to stock tanks in remote areas.

NOW as for grid scale generation, you are correct, it is a failed technology, unless the intent is to transfer money from the serfs to the wealthy. In that case it is very successful.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 18, 2021 12:45 pm

You’re just tilting at windmills!

However, they are monsters!

Last edited 1 year ago by Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dennis
July 18, 2021 11:02 am

Missing from a lot of the discussions is the wind maps for various regions. Not only can you not build all of these millions and millions of windmills where they are needed, they have to be situated in the strong windfields where they already count in the thousands. If only unicorns were real, eh?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Mason
July 18, 2021 12:48 pm

It is not unlike ignorant progressives grudgingly admitting that mines are a necessary evil and demanding that they be placed where they can’t readily be seen. They have never heard of the saying “Gold is where you find it.”

July 17, 2021 10:19 pm
Reply to  Chaamjamal
July 18, 2021 12:53 am

I’ve been saying this for years

There’s also a paper by Polish scientists saying the same thing (sorry can’t remember the names)

July 18, 2021 5:19 am

The most important fact about today’s environmental movement, and the book Clean Energy Exploitations explores is that the healthy and wealthy countries of the United States of America, Germany, the UK, and Australia representing 6 percent of the world’s population (505 million vs 7.8 billion) could literally shut down, and cease to exist, and the opposite of what you have been told and believe will take place.

Simply put, in these healthy and wealthy countries, every person, animal, or anything that causes emissions to harmfully rise could vanish off the face of the earth; or even die off, and global emissions will still explode in the coming years and decades ahead over the population and economic growth of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, and Africa.

China (1.4 Billion), India (1.36 billion), Indonesia (270 million), Japan (126 million) and Vietnam (80 million) plan to build more than 600 coal power units, and African countries (1.2 Billion) are planning to build more than 1,250 new coal and gas-fired power plants by 2030.


The book “Clean Energy Exploitations” helps citizens attain a better understanding that just for the opportunity to generate intermittent electricity that is dependent on favorable weather conditions, the wealthier and healthier countries like Germany, Australia, Britain, and America continue to exploit the most vulnerable people and environments of the world today.


Bro. Steve
July 18, 2021 6:47 am

Every windmill you plug into the grid drives up cost.

The backup must always be there for when the wind dies down, so you can’t get rid of existing generation. Thus, structural costs never go down, while the new windmills have to be paid for in addition to the existing generators.

And for you electrical engineers out there, the vast majority of windmills are induction machines. So they provide no reactive power or voltage control — and this is another reason why existing synchronous generation must be maintained.

Steve Richards
Reply to  Bro. Steve
July 18, 2021 8:48 am

Not sure I agree with your last paragraph.

Reply to  Steve Richards
July 18, 2021 11:08 am

Steve, I think he is right on that. In a buyers guide only Enercon had synchronus generators.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Bro. Steve
July 18, 2021 12:51 pm

… so you can’t get rid of existing generation.

Tell that to the Australians that have been demolishing coal-fired power plants!

Thomas Gasloli
July 18, 2021 9:58 am

As someone who lives in East Lansing and, unfortunately, has to admit to a BS from MSU in the 70s, MSU has degraded into a diploma mill and works very hard at being more Woke than U of M.

July 19, 2021 3:26 pm

Meanwhile, in the real world…

Duke Energy application points finger at solar for increased pollution

…“After committing $2 billion in tax credits, and more than $1 billion in electricity overpayments for solar power, we now learn from Duke that nitrogen oxides have actually increased, and that CO2 may be headed in the wrong direction,”
…“Renewable energy sounds good, but it performs terribly. If you want electricity available when you need it, you don’t want intermittent, unreliable, renewable energy,” Kish said. “It’s like a cancer on an efficient grid, with its ups-and-downs forcing other sources to pick up the slack in the most inefficient ways, which, in some cases, are more polluting.”

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