Guest essay by Eric Worrall
People who actually care about animals and trees are finally pushing back and winning, against the wholesale wilderness destruction renewable energy supporters are attempting to inflict on green spaces.
Tension and trade-offs between protecting biodiversity and avoiding climate change
BY CHRIS DUNN, PH.D., AND MORGAN BAZILIAN, PH.D., OPINION CONTRIBUTORS — 02/20/22 11:30 AM EST
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL
Land just upstream of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota was leased for copper mining — until the plan was recently scrapped.
This mine would have provided a domestic source of minerals crucial for decarbonizing the economy and mitigating climate change, but at great expense — offering a preview of the difficult decisions that lie ahead.
The development of these leases would likely have been a disaster for the wilderness: the odds are high that the sulfide-ore mining would eventually result in acid mine drainage and the leaching of toxic metals into protected waterways on which a diversity of life depends, in an area with a substantial and established recreation economy.
To combat climate change, we need such minerals — a lot of them — and quickly.
Take for example, that electric vehicles (EVs) use 10 times more copper than internal combustion vehicles — 183 pounds versus 18-49 pounds. And a 2020 study predicted increased demand “for materials between 2015 and 2060 of 87,000% for EV batteries, 1000% for wind power, and 3000% for solar cells and photovoltaics.” Another study notes that “mineral demand for use in EVs and battery storage is a major force, growing at least thirty times to 2040. Lithium sees the fastest growth, with demand growing by over 40 times…followed by graphite, cobalt and nickel (around 20-25 times).”
All of this reflects a growing conflict between competing — though ultimately connected — environmental concerns. On the one hand, large, open-pit mines are a destructive force on the landscape and a substantial threat to wilderness and waters. On the other, the resources they provide are integral to mitigating climate change.
…Read more: https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/595009-the-collision-of-wilderness-protection-and-avoiding-climate
This push back has been a long time coming.
Some of the bigger conservation societies appear to support the destruction of nature, they claim it is necessary to serve a higher cause.
Wind Power and Birds
Properly sited wind power can help protect birds from climate change.
By National Audubon Society
July 21, 2020
Audubon strongly supports wind energy that is sited and operated properly to avoid, minimize, and mitigate effectively for the impacts on birds, other wildlife, and the places they need now and in the future. To that end, we support the development of wind energy to achieve 100% clean electricity.
Wind power is an important source of renewable, carbon-free energy that is critical to replacing and reducing emissions from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas that cause warming of our planet.
All forms of energy—including wind power—have impacts on birds. Audubon’s role is to make sure that key species and high conservation areas for birds are protected as much as possible and in accordance with federal law. We engage in advocacy on federal, state, and local energy planning processes, and on individual utility-scale projects. Audubon also weighs in on federal permitting policies for species protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
…Read more: https://www.audubon.org/news/wind-power-and-birds
This bird society qualified support for bird choppers is particularly disgusting, given the amount of online footage we’ve all seen of birds being smashed from the sky by wind turbines, or incinerated by solar concentrators.
The pushback mostly appears to be coming from local groups, rather than big high profile international groups.
Large green organisations like the Audubon Society might be able to kid themselves they are taking a birds eye view of the situation, fool themselves and their members into believing that substantial destruction of wilderness is necessary to preserve the rest.
Local organisations whose members have dedicated their lives to protecting one particular stand of trees or one wetland, are not so philosophical when someone comes along and threatens their patch. They leap into action, and implement a well rehearsed protection plan, even if the new threat comes from fellow greens.
Frankly I hope the local groups win this battle. There is no good reason to ruin vast stretches of wilderness in the service of the green energy fantasy, even if you think CO2 is a problem.
There are better alternatives to renewable energy.
Zero carbon nuclear power is no threat to the wilderness. Nuclear plants have a tiny footprint compared to renewables, acres rather than square miles.
Worst case, even if there is another meltdown, look at the consequences for the wilderness in places where meltdowns have already happened. The areas around Chernobyl and Fukushima are now unrivalled animal habitats, places most humans dare not disturb. What normal national park has that level of protection?
Compare what happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima, to a horrific vision of solar panels and wind turbines sitting on a bed of concrete, stretching as far as the eye can see, with barely a plant or animal in sight. Man made deserts of silicon panels, glass and concrete. Because that is what would be required to even attempt to satisfy global energy demand using renewables.
Actually you don’t have to imagine – it is already happening in China. Yet even with man made renewable energy deserts like the photo below, China still generates most of its power from coal.
How much more green space destruction would be required, for China to go 100% renewable? For the world to go 100% renewable?
I’m not a fan of nuclear meltdowns, and I’m not mocking the very real harm the meltdowns did to people and nature. But even the very worst harm the nuclear industry has done to nature, does not come close to what would happen if the world seriously attempted to hit Net Zero using renewable energy.
Now that local wilderness groups have finally found their voice, in my opinion the renewable energy revolution is stuffed, at least in the West.
Only wholesale destruction of pretty much the entire wilderness could have supplied the vast mineral resources and land area renewable energy requires. Local conservation groups have finally decided to reject the destruction of everything they care about, even if the agents of destruction claim they want to save the world with green energy.
Forget all that nonsense, with Vlad the Terrible ‘grabbing’ chunk of Ukraine, fossil fuel energy is the energy king of any self respecting nation who wants to have sound economy and sound and safe country, and it may be so for the years to come.
BoJo to Biden: “Let’s send battalion of electric Humvee’s on the russian front, … hmmm.. no charging stations, … or maybe solar powered then.
Why dat what gurl even talkin to dat guy?
Send Wonder Woman 😉
It’s okay feel safe in the knowledge that all the NATO countries and soon the US are meeting there emission control targets on the military 🙂
Here in Massachusetts I’ve often asked the honchos of MA Audubon exactly what they mean by “sited properly”. They never respond. Some wind turbines were planned right next to one of their properties in western Mass. Audubon fought it and won.
Does Audobon speak out about existing industrial scale wind projects that are not properly sited and are currently operating such that they’re harming nearby residents or do they just care about harm to birds?
Rural Ontario along the Great Lakes flyways are an example.
Raptors and bats are being harmed in rural Ontario. What action has Audobon taken to hold wind companies ‘feet to the fire’?
As for Massachusetts Audubon- they only make vague references to “proper siting” and haven’t said much about wind/solar sites in other states. Not sure about the National Audubon. It’s a very tame organization and doesn’t speak up against state policies. Other, radical organizations- which previously worshiped green energy now don’t like seeing large scale solar. They think the world can be carbon neutral just by solar on roofs, parking lots and “brown fields”.
By saying conciliatory catch phrases like “sited properly” they believe they will get more say in the final result than taking an entirely dismissive policy. Not stupid, these bird watchers…
There need to be more plans to turn over entire states & territories for carpeting with solar panels and windmills, such as I suspect was always a covert plan for South Australia.
I mean, SA is a mendicant state taxwise for the Commonwealth of Australia, nobody really goes there except to visit a couple of good wineries, and most of it is desert anyway. The Poms don’t even do nuclear bomb testing there any more.
Plus, if all the solar & wind atrocities are concentrated in SA, other states don’t need to have their views despoiled as far as the eye can see.
Even retired Greens leader Bob Brown couldn’t accept his view in Tasmania being ruined by windmills.
Do you willfully ignore Olympic Dam, one of the world’s biggest copper/uranium mines, that is in South Australia, daily producing materials critical to future generations, especially for energy? Copper for power lines and motors, uranium for low fuel cost nuclear reactors. Geoff S
OK maybe excise Olympic Dam and call it a Protectorate of NSW.
South Australia, unlike the ‘Convict Scum’ states, was not settled as a penal colony.
So with a long history of not being filled with criminals I personally believe it is well beyond time we annexed a few of our neighbours.
Face it, if we took over Melbourne these days do you really think anyone would complain?
Western Australia already has a strong border policy now we just need to make it permanent 🙂
What, exactly, was “the very real harm the meltdowns did to people and nature“? No harm from radiation from the Fukushima incident; the harm came from the extensive evacuation orders. No harm from radiation from Three Mile Island. Chernobyl? Limited to first responders, but not the general population.
There were human casualties and genetic damage, and wholesale destruction of woodlands and animals during the cleanup. I consider this “very real harm”, and I think it is important not to diminish the human and natural consequences.
But the scale of damage is important when comparing the impact of nuclear energy to renewable energy. I hope I made a clear case that renewables, overall, are far more damaging to nature.
No evidence of lasting genetic damage. And instead of woodland destruction, Chernobyl and Fukushima are pristine refuge paradises for nature. Among the biggest and best nature reserves in the world. What keeps humans out with their superstitious numinous dread of radioactivity 😂😂😂 is a dream come true for the living world. Where’s a cobalt-iodine 20 megaton when you need one?
The linear no threshold EPA model disproven by Nature, twice.
Was disproven by Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Have quoted this before about a news paper publishing an article about the rise of incidents of childhood cancer near certain UK military installations.
The following editions had many letters caterwauling about how this was terrible and something should be done and how bad things were. The paper then published the scientific paper which gave the location of these military installations as being Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and several others that are built on granite outcrops and it’s this that causes the problem not any military equipment.
The human casualties were limited to those who worked in the reactor site, both during and after the explosion.
The damage to woodlands during the cleanup, was caused by the cleanup, which with the possible exception of the immediate area around the facility (which wasn’t woodland anyway) was unnecessary.
Even more important than not minimizing the harm, is not exaggerating it.
There’s a lot of benefits from ionising radiation genetic modification of fruit and vegetables. My own favourite is Pink Grapefruit. Also flowers, tulips and Chrysanthemums if memory serves. It was known as Atomic Gardening. Modern technology has made hit and miss Atomic Gardening obsolete.
Good, let them eat their own and give them something productive to do.
I’ve been to the Boundary Waters. I’ve seen mines. The two should never meet.
OTOH, in my career we discovered more than a dozen new mines and took over operations of another 10 or so existing mines until they were worked out. Then we rehabilitated the surroundings. This included two major uranium mines, a tungsten mine, the world’s largest bismuth supply, some of the largest rutile/zircon sand mines, what was once, for decades, the world’s largest gold mine etc etc.
For this we are criticized? Why?
You can go to the sites we restored 30 years and more ago and not even be aware of the boundaries between mined and unmined areas.
You seem to have a comic book image of modern mining being destructive. Sure, some was, when cowboy operators got into the business on a small scale.
But then, cowboy operators have got into the global warming business and done untold harm, on a global scale far, far bigger than any mining damage.
So just keep out the “cowboy” operators when it comes to mining and everything will be beautiful in 30 or so years after the mine is played out, right?
I agree that the global warming business is doing massive amounts of harm but, that doesn’t give license to destroy a natural treasure for several generations because “they” are destroying stuff too. That sounds a bit sophomoric.
“Green” energy will ALWAYS require more fossil fuels and resources than without green energy. The greens will always be in denial of this fact.
The green movement is a patriarchal white supremacy crusade that hates black and brown carbon but which is infatuated with white carbon.
More precisely, the green movement is a white male carnivores patriarchy that will stop at nothing to maintain it’s oppressive hold on society, even if it means destroying the planet in the process.
But you do agree they are all white?
In Germany they are chopping down the 1000 year old Grimeswald forest to put up wind turbines. Insane.
Both the Pebble mine in Alaska and the Boundary waters adjacent mine in NE Minnesota will eventually get properly (environmentally responsibly) developed. The world does not have a choice in the end unless it goes back to a small population (losing say about 7.5 billion people) with a pre-industrial life style.
Rud, Why did we name the stages of human development Stone Age, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age? It’s because its virtually in our DNA to fashion tools and weapons out of earth materials. Use of minerals and metals were necessary for our very survival. We needed them for hunting and for tools to make things and weapons to defend ourselves and fight for suitable living spaces…
How can anyone but a moron or psychologically damaged person object to mining per se if it’s done with minimal damage (I’ve seen them at protests with bicycles, wristwatches, buckles on their belts, rucksacks, camping gear, thermoses, braces and fillings in their teeth…going to hospitals …looking through windows..
You were done at “moron.” Have you seen the latest iPhone?
I believe it is 32 hectares of some 18,000…
Griff, are you employed by the wind industry? You defend wind turbines at every opportunity, irrespective of the damage they cause.
But still won’t run his life in sync with the output of Home Counties windmills
So that is 0.177% and that would be 10,000 square Km of the Amazon which it must be okay to clear as well.
“32 hectares of some 18,000”
Nukes, NOW! And lots of them!
If for no other reason than national security, we need the Minnesota mines open and productive. Renewable energy is unreliable energy. CO2 is essential plant food, not pollution. Stick to the facts.
“This bird society qualified support for bird choppers is particularly disgusting, given the amount of online footage we’ve all seen of birds being smashed from the sky by wind turbines, or incinerated by solar concentrators.”
The Audubon Society is its own walking talking contradiction. To care abut birds is to oppose that which threatens and kills them (as I do). Trying to balance that fact with their support for renewable energy shows that its leadership is every bit as clueless about energy generation as so many others out there are. The green energy virtue signalling of the AS is a joke.
KILL WIND TURBINES, NOT AVIAN WILDLIFE.
Audubon has looked at the facts and seen that properly sited modern wind turbines don’t kill birds…
Griff, the average wind turbine kills 500 birds and bats every year. The website that I have linked to details the media cover up of the true death toll of wind farms around the world. There has been a noticeable decline in bird populations around every wind farm which has been constructed. This is probably the principal reason why populations of birds of prey are falling in developed countries; wind farms tend to be built in windy areas which are popular with birds of prey.
>>Griff, the average wind turbine kills 500 birds and bats every year.<< That’s a lie. Why are you lying, Toland?
Barry Anthony, you are calling me a liar for reporting what multiple independent studies have found. Why don’t you read the articles on the site that I linked to. You might learn something. Moreover, the figure of 500 birds and bats reflects mostly older and smaller wind turbines. The newer bigger wind turbines will certainly have a bigger death toll, probably in the region of a thousand birds and bats per year.
>>you are calling me a liar for reporting what multiple independent studies have found.<< There isn’t a single example of credible, independent, and peer-reviewed research that supports your claims. Simply parroting nonsense from a fossil fuel-funded anti-wind site doesn’t represent a legitimate data set.
The Spanish Society of Ornithology has stated that Spanish wind turbines are killing between 333 and 1000 birds and bats per year per turbine.
Of course, these death tolls are almost certainly out of date by now. Newer, bigger wind turbines will be killing a lot more than this.
Please let us know when you have a single example of credible, independent, and peer-reviewed research that proves your claim that each wind turbine kills 500 birds and bats a year. We’ll wait.
This link shows bird mortality per turbine in various countries.
Spain: 333-1000 birds/bats per year
Germany: 309 birds per year.
Sweden: 895 birds per year.
More details of the studies can be found in the references
Spanish Wind Farms kill 6 to 18 million birds and bats a year | MABRAKE – Milton Abbot, BRadstone And KElly Action group.
And you still haven’t provided a single example of credible, independent, and peer-reviewed research that supports your claims. All you’ve done is provide links to obvious shill sites pushing the same tired old anti-wind nonsense with nothing backing it up. And, again, as small as the numbers of bird collisions against wind turbines are in comparison to vehicles, windows, cats, and fossil fuels, they’re reduced even more by simply painting one blade black. Yes. Just paint one blade black. Any questions, Bill?
You asked for one study. I provided three. According to you, every study which contradicts your religious beliefs is not credible, irrespective of the source. I have tried to talk to religious fanatics before. They are impossible to reason with, like you. Goodbye.
There isn’t a single example of credible, independent, and peer-reviewed research that supports your claims that wind turbines present little or no danger to birds and bats.
Reality check: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-farms-bird-slayers-theyre-behere.html
That is a wonderful reality check.
It says that about half of the bird deaths caused by humans are from feral cats….
Not only do wind turbines kill thousands of birds a year, they also tend to kill the large, rare raptors, whereas cats kill the far more numerous birds further down the food chain, such as sparrows, starlings etc.
A school in Nottinghamshire had to take down a wind turbine as the heaps of dead birds and bats accumulating every day at its base was distressing the pupils.
The only place where a wind turbine won’t kill birds is where there are no birds at any point of the year. This usually means places where there are no people for some distance, usually 100s of km. This means there’s no need for windturbines.
That is complete BS, GRIFF.
Wind turbines alone are responsible for the killing of thousands of golden eagles in the western USA, never mind the other predator birds that act as pest control critters.
It would be a good idea for you to get some real facts into your head.
Could Audobon be just another ‘gatekeeper’?
Latest brainfart from the greens
“Energy prices are skyrocketing as fossil gas becomes increasingly unreliable. We need a fair energy transition! Everyone has a #RighttoEnergy”
The first question is why are EU “energy prices skyrocketing”? And why exactly are EU “fossil gas” supplies becoming “increasingly unreliable”?
1. This is the type of doublespeak propaganda being heavily promoted by the greens, who not only are pushing for the increased taxation of fossil fuels, but who have also mandated that all future gas and oil exploration be prohibited
2. The same greens who promote unreliable renewable energy generation, forcing EU countries to scrabble for increasingly scarce natural gas supplies to maintain a sufficient quantity of electricity supply (see 1 above)
3. The same greens who support the indexing of all energy generation prices (regardless of how much or little renewables are used) to the most expensive energy generation supplies. Surprise surprise that in Europe this is natural gas (See 1 & 2 above why natural gas is increasingly becoming a scarce and expensive commodity)
For decades, the greens have done everything in their power to make nuclear power expensive, then they use the fact that nuclear power is expensive as proof that it should not be used.
Now they are doing everything in their power to make natural gas (what’s this “fossil gas” stuff, I’ve never heard of it) expensive and unavailable. Then they use the fact that is expensive and not available in sufficient quantities when needed the most, as a reason to stop using it.
If you weren’t aware before that greens are raging hypocrites, you are now.
The irony is huge! Dreaded nuclear accidents are creating Serengeti wild life parks around Fukushima and Chernobyl and windmills and solar are destroying wildlife habitat, 100s of sq miles forest, actually killing rare birds and millions of bats, plus creating a desert “exclusion zone”. How do these ugly people sleep at night.
On huge piles of other people’s money.
By your reasoning we should increase wildlife areas by melting down more reactors…
Now that’s a good idea. Well done, Griff.
So far it’s the best idea that lad has ever had. Mind you, it’s also the only good idea he’s ever had. Well done Griffy.
By your reasoning we should remove bird life by building more windmills. By your reasoning we should eliminate plant and animal life by putting them on the constant shade of Solar PV
>>By your reasoning we should remove bird life by building more windmills.<< Reality check: https://www.sibleyguides.com/conservation/causes-of-bird-mortality/?fbclid=IwAR0M-VN3QTKs2LxDBq1i9wFcDEYWxYoTTEzLQPdCCHLBc15Esvj4p9frJ48
And it’s a solved problem: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.6592
>>By your reasoning we should eliminate plant and animal life by putting them on the constant shade of Solar PV<< Given that solar PV works just fine on barren soil, where’s the plant harm? And where, exactly, is your research that solar PV harms animal life? And then there’s the reality that roughly 45 commercial crops in the US actually grow better in shade or indirect sunlight, providing an opportunity for these farmers to increase the utility of their land and put more money in their pockets. But, then, that’s the part that drives the fossil fuel shills over the edge: The thought of someone besides themselves making money selling energy.
Yes, actually. After all, it worked at Chernobyl.
Gee, griff. There have only been 79 people killed by nuclear reactors including research reactors since 1950 and 85% of them were at Chenobyl which was a no frills Soviet era plant. Apparently more people have died installing solar panels and and windmills.
In France, the worlds most nuclear served, there was one death in a fuel rod processing plant. They don’t separate out cause of death so it might even have been a forklift accident.
Your response to my earlier comment reveals a linear thinking way of looking at things, so I’ll expand a little. Even the worst accident ever, with a carelessly built plant, proved to be a small fraction of 1% as damaging as thought by nuke hysterics (UN predicted 4000 deaths plus poisoning a dozen countries’ farmland and making Lapplanders’ reindeer inedible).
Did you know that after the terrible carnage of the Hiroshima deliberate bombing, radiation fell back to background levels in less than a year? They then rebuilt the city. Do you see the harm of your truncated education?
Take a good look at that picture, griff. Do you LIKE that?
Yes nuclear and wind-solar are – at large scale – incompatible. Nuclear will win. Even, eventually, in Germany and Austria.
The higher the price for fossil fuels, the higher the price for ruinables, they are locked like that.
Quoting from the BBC article: “… in the first six months of 2018, the capacity factor of Chinese solar equipment was just 14.7% … the reasons for a low capacity factor [in China} can include things over which we have no control, such as the weather …”.‘
Duh’ as we say nowadays, the low capacity factor together with their relatively short productive life, the enormous material and energy consumed during their production maintenance and safe disposal make solar PV a vast net energy sink and an incredibly stupid solution to a nonexistent problem
Classic fears stoked by the eco-loons.
Remind everyone about mining evils as practiced during the early 20th and late 19th centuries.
Pretend that all of the modern laws and how companies are held to those laws in the mining era do not exist.
Quite a few of them.
Besides the ever present attentive park rangers, many of the parks have their own dangers. e.g., Death Valley, Arches, Capitol Reef, Great Basin, Pony Express, Big Bend and many other National Parks are not for soft urbanites without protection or proper preparation.
Then there is Yellowstone. Walking off trail causes severe scald burns every few years. Signs in the park include pictures of people falling into boiling water when the surface fails.
In Northern Nevada in the Virgin Valley, the matriarchs leading little herds of wild donkeys threaten anyone getting to close. Perhaps the telling sign about these dangerous ladies are the stomped carcasses of rattlesnakes in their tracks.
In Sequoia and Kings Canyon parks, the bears have complete right of way. Camping, food prep, food storage and food consumption are practiced with the intent of not enticing the bears. Storing food in vehicles is a sure method to losing your windows. The park service provides heavy steel cages for locking food in overnight for drive-in campers.
Backpackers must carry bear proof containers and most people hang them high in trees well away from the camp site.
OK. Nature is lovely. Let’s preserve it.
Let’s try some brainache that does not involve dancing angels, engulfed by phlogiston inside a darkened box. Real World Brain Ache.
Just for a change.
Here’s a video for ya.. youtube
What’s happening there, in a nutshell, is that:
a/ Nature preservation
b/ Nature destruction
Most of your atmospheric CO2 was coming from there
Observed temperature rises were coming from there
Your Global Greening was coming from there
Your melting Arctic (NOT Antarctic) Ice was coming from there
Your Obesity, Diabetes and Dementia was coming from there
A daily (US) medical bill of $10Billion was coming from there
Over 200 distinct autoimmune disorders were coming from there
Wildfires were coming from there
Your sea-level rise was coming from there
Your expanding coral atolls were coming from there
What if Charles Darwin, just before he died, considered that the basic process of what’s happening in that video to be of much greater importance than Evolution
….and other stuff
Is what’s happening in that video good or, maybe, not so good?
Peta, I don’t watch random videos people put up.
This is exactly why Marxism always turns into totalitarianism. The only way to prevent a civil war is to seize absolute power. Otherwise the various squabbling factions will eventually duke it out. Talk about all against all.
In this case, we have the actual environmentalists against the renewable energy faux-environmentalists.
My favorite is when some guy declares he’s a woman and demands to get into a women’s shelter.
W/O a nasty dictator, it devolves into anarchy, i.e., multiple civil wars between factions. Generally, the takers against the producers.
NIMBY always works.
[We’re going to limit Barry to 10 or 12 comments a day. He can have his forty or so today, but he’s on permanent moderation and if he gets too loquacious I’ll start to delete his comments with abandon. ~cr]
Yes, we can’t muddy the waters with facts and science, can we? It’s bad for the shill business. But thanks for the screen shot highlighting the hypocrisy. You’ll see it again soon.
In northern California the Sierra Club fights wind farms; in Wyoming they endorse them. I have never known the Sierra club to do any good at all in Wyoming — oh, maybe the Jackson area.
Perspective of initial condition prior to any remodel is important on the SOW involved, isn’t it?
Data & Statistics – IEA
Amazing nonsense, the whole piece…
I didn’t see a single comment here about Trump opening up federal lands for mineral exploitation… and you can’t tell me that all or even most of that was going to be anything to do with renewables.
Chernobyl is good because now wildlife can flourish where it is too unsafe for human habitation? Well in that case we should increase wildlife preserves by melting some reactors!
And I say again: the number of birds killed by modern and properly sited wind turbines is tiny.
Griff, you appear to be saying that modern wind turbines kill very few birds compared to older wind turbines. Since new wind turbines are bigger than older wind turbines, this seems to be rather unlikely to say the least. Could you provide a link that shows that the bigger a wind turbine is, the fewer birds it kills?
What? Griff provide links?
The issue of bird strikes and wind turbines is massively overstated by fossil fuel shills in spite of the data showing those fatalities are a rounding error in comparison to other factors such as vehicles, windows, cats, and, yes, fossil fuels. https://thinkprogress.org/chart-how-many-birds-are-killed-by-wind-solar-oil-and-coal-230d2a939bbb/?fbclid=IwAR2jwPYD_1-7jKN3qf3XC4EKWgZtvSXTrzOciw6aFkUMETW_56cLSon-ijk
Barry Anthony, your link states that the number of birds and bats killed by wind turbines in the United States is between 140,000 to 328,000 per year. This number is an utter fabrication which uses wind industry sources. The United States has 71000 wind turbines. With an average death toll of 500 per year, this equates to 35 million birds and bats every year.
And recent experiments have shown simply painting one turbine blade black drastically reduces bird strikes. It’s a solved problem. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8646735/Bird-deaths-wind-turbines-drop-72-cent-one-blade-painted-black.html?fbclid=IwAR33ExJv-iSIOkttOvRpMnGjNyW_6Kbfb97zVKeCSKAwNiCCfj_fbjIAHZ8
Good to know you finally acknowledge bird strikes are a real problem.
The bird strikes are more predictable than the power output 🙂
What is a properly sited wind turbine Griff?
What, if not minerals and fossil fuel products, are used in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels? Or is it some magical recycling of old baked bean cans?
>>What is a properly sited wind turbine Griff?<< At least 1000 feet away from residential areas and away from avian migratory routes. What’s an oil spill, Vorlich? What are birth defects from burning coal and fracking? I assure you any discussion regarding health and environmental impact always ends up with the fossil fuel shills and Deniers running off with their tails between their legs.
>>What, if not minerals and fossil fuel products, are used in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels?<<
Roughly 91% of all extracted petroleum is burned. That’s the part that the increasing installation of wind and solar is going to stop, not using it for other important industrial applications. We need petroleum for lots of things: Roads, fertilizers, plastics and lubrication for EVs and wind turbines. (In fact, one of the smartest things we can do with petroleum or natural gas is lubricate a wind turbine. Use the lubricant, RECYCLE it, and use it again.) The absolute DUMBEST thing we can do with petroleum or NG is burn it. Once we do that, it’s gone, nothing but pollution.
The dominance of renewables is inevitable.
… and I will kill off 50% of all life to make the universe a better place.
To say this is “finally” happening is a disservice to those of us who have, for twenty years or more, opposed the wholesale destruction of natural habitat in the name of “renewable” energy. What’s finally happening is the recognition by mainstream big green organizations that the path to energy sustainability is not through critical habitats. What is needed is drastic reduction in demand, not unsustainable increase in supply.
The hypocrisy, deflection, and projection consistently demonstrated by the fossil fuel and nuke shills as represented in your messaging has long ago surpassed the bounds of credulity. Hyperbole such as “…wholesale destruction of natural habitat…” is deeply disingenuous. There’s no way whatsoever of spinning around the reality that wind and solar are BY FAR less harmful to the environment and more flexible in their deployment options than thermal generation, while also being much less expensive. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-renewable-energy-technologies#:~:text=The%20environmental%20impacts%20associated%20with,cells%20or%20concentrating%20solar%20thermal
ROFL the fact you buy it is cheaper shows your intelligence. Hint if it were true renewable energy would not need support.
The first problem with renewables is obvious they are intermittent so you need other technologies for storage and for grids to function. Those technologies are either expensive or don’t yet exist. The result is much of the energy available by renewables occurs at the wrong time and is simply not called on or worse paid to be dumped. Happens almost every country when you reach 20% penetration of renewables.
The second problem is you need an alternative source for when the renewables aren’t working and that backup needs to be available 24/7 and possibly for days.
All of that makes renewable energy extremely expensive to deploy we aren’t talking about on a model in some dropkick eco-warrior calculation but in the cold hard world.
>>Hint if it were true renewable energy would not need support.<< Like fossil fuels, you mean? https://phys.org/news/2019-07-vast-subsidies-fossil-fuel-industry.html
The “drastic reduction in demand” is the exactly the type of malthusian propaganda most of us are wholeheartedly against. The miracle of electricity in reducing misery and suffering is something that many seem not to understand.
“What is needed is drastic reduction in demand”
How do you propose to accomplish this?
“What is needed is drastic reduction in demand”
He will only drive his Tesla when he absolutely needs to.
Usually involves taking civilization back to the stone age.
I doubt there are a lot of rural folk pushing to see this. Those who want all these wind and solar farms probably all live in cities. This doesn’t bother them because it’s what’s already all around them.
Well, of course, they live in cities.They think food and clothing come from the store. They have no idea how such things really work. Ever wonder how much they’d like sweet Bell peppers if they had to spend hours harvesting those beauties in the pepper fields? Or cabbage? Tomatoes? Carrots?
I don’t know about them, but I LOVE my peppers, tomatoes, etc that I spend hours harvesting 🙂
Better appreciation of them along with they’re just better
That’s exactly my point, Tony. You do the work. They don’t.
” Green Civil War ”
Good news! I like that!
Really, as a product of a constantly changing 20th century – regarding appliances of all sorts, including ice boxes (um, what are those/) — I’m just gobsmacked at the quarreling over what’s more damaging to This or That, because your arguments don’t make any sense.
Aside from the few Geezers like me, who grew up with a fireplace that stood in for the furnace when the power went out every winter – you could count on that happening – and having to cook on a gas-fired stovetop with a gas-fired oven, both of which had to be lit with kitchen matches, I do wonder how many people squabbling here over bird kills and nuclear this ‘n’ that — just how many of you have had to spend a major portion of your winter days trying to keep warm by the fireplace or sitting near the big, black cast-iron gas stove in the kitchen, JUST TO KEEP WARM, when the power went out and the power company literally took days to get the power back on.
I sometimes think my Dad enjoyed it because he grew up without any central heating at all, so I’m sure his memories of rotten cold winter days with deep snows and boots that leaked because the leather was rotten, were ameliorated by central heating and a self-igniting stovetop. We DID have an ice box, which had a compartment for a block of ice, and the other side was for keeping food cold. REAL MODERN STUFF, y’know. Would you like to know how fast milk can go sour when it isn’t cold enough?
You’re all squabbling over windmills, like Don Quixote on his quest to slay Giants, when the real issue is not the windmills but the damage they do. Windmills were originally used to grind hard grains into flour, in case you didn’t know that. The sails in the windmills caught the wind and turned the cogs that turned the grindstone to grind grain. Of course, back in them there Olden Times, there was no electricity, so the windmills – MILLS driven by WIND – served a useful purpose, but now? When they were used for pumping water troughs full for cattle a sheep or for grinding grain into flour, they served a real purpose but they did NOT kill off birds. Is that clear?????
They’re mostly junk. They break down easily, kill off useful predator birds, set themselves on fire, take up thousands of acres of good farmland that could be used to produce grain crops, and in the end, are nothing but useless junk. Definitely not worth the damage they cause to wildlife, and certainly THE ugliest things I’ve seen in a long time.
Oh, and when the power goes out in my AO, which happens at least once a year around here and frequently in the winter or the HEAT of summer, none of the appliances work, but there’s still pressure in the gas line to the stove so that means I can actually still cook as long as I have matches to light the stove burners. Can’t use the oven, though – thermostat doesn’t work without electricity. And when it gets dark, I’m just glad I have my great-granny’s oil lamps!
I might as well be living in a log cabin some place where I don’t have to put up with ecohippies and greenbeaner tramps, but they’re afraid to leave the cities they live in. They might get cold, y’know, and not find any food wrapped in cellophane.
In case you missed the POINT to the article, ti was about the destruction of the environment by solar and wind farms, the tolls they take o wildlife – especially useful critters – and how they not only don’t hold up under real use (my nephew in Texas can attest to that) but are completely unreliable. PERIOD!!!!
If you want reliable electric power, you’ll have to suck it up and go back to nuclear reactors and or coal-fired power generators, and deal with that like grownups.
And if you think China is NOT doing that, you are kidding yourselves. Ditto Russia. They don’t have a bunch of twits squabbling over what to build to produce electricity, because neither Putin nor Xi Jinping gives a flying fox bat in space what the ecohippies and greenbeaners think, and they never will.
Kinda long, Eric. Sorry about that!
Sara, your comment really just amounts to the same tired old Denier and fossil fuel tropes that have been steadily debunked for the past 20 years. Wind and solar are cleaner and cheaper BY FAR than thermal generation options, and improving in both metrics almost weekly. This is why they’re being deployed faster than any other sources of electricity in history. Yes, in history. I’d suggest you step out of old energy echo chambers like WUWT and simply look around. The dominance of renewables is inevitable.
This is wonderful news about how cheap wind and solar power is. This means that all subsidies for wind and solar can be cancelled with immediate effect.
>>This means that all subsidies for wind and solar can be cancelled with immediate effect.<< It’s always good for laughs when fossil fuel shills pretend their gravy train isn’t pulling down trillions in subsidies around the world each year. https://e360.yale.edu/digest/fossil-fuels-received-5-9-trillion-in-subsidies-in-2020-report-finds#:~:text=Fossil%20Fuels%20Received%20%245.9%20Trillion%20In%20Subsidies%20in%202020%2C%20Report%20Finds,-An%20open%2Dpit&text=Coal%2C%20oil%2C%20and%20natural%20gas,8%20percent%20of%20the%20total.
Confirmed: Repeating False Statements Over And Over Magically Makes Them True | The Babylon Bee
With all due respect, Barry, you seem to completely miss the damage done to the places where wind and solar farms are planted. Beneficial animals, such as predator birds, never mind the rest of the critter kingdom, are being killed off – PERIOD. THEY are necessary to a healthy environment.
Furthermore, there is more than ample evidence that when these “farms” begin to fail, they are left to rot and no one cleans them up. If you have valid evidence otherwise, please provide it.
I stand by what I said, as I grew up in farming country where windmills were used ON FARMS to pump water to livestock. Some of those old windmills are still around and they still work and cost the farmer nothing but minor repairs when needed. Mother Earth News published articles back in the 1970s supporting INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL USE of solar and wind power, but said bluntly that both are useless as commercial entities because they will do far more damage to the environment than any benefits. Both are UNRELIABLE as sources of electricity, which is repeatedly being proven when weather conditions block sunlight, or it’s night, the panels are damaged, AND wind farms are likewise unreliable.
Even Michael Moore found out the hard way that solar and wind farms trash the landscape when he went on a helicopter tour of those facilities. He was making a movie about the environment and was gobsmacked by the damage he saw. That was reported here on WUWT a short while ago.
What part of these things do you not understand?
And no, the so-called dominance of renewables is NOT inevitable.
Nuclear power for electricity is reliable, and has a long, long history of reliability. Wind and solar are NOT, and this is proven repeatedly.
Referring to me as a DENIER is a rather cheap shot, something I would expect of a grade-schooler.
I said specifically, more than once, that on an individual basis for the person who is willing to be the caretaker, they are useful, but NEITHER is completely reliable, and definitively NOT on a commercial scale. If that were not so, then why do they repeatedly fail when needed most, specifically in the WINTER???????
Nuclear power used to generate electricity is reliable, has been for decades. Wind and solar are NOT.
Almost forgot this part: solar energy has a capacity factor of a measly 24.9 percent, against Nuclear’s 92.5 percent.
Do you still think solar and wind are better, Barry??? Do you?
Again, Sara, all you’re doing is regurgitating the same tired old fossil fuel shill messaging that’s been long-since debunked. “Teh birdz are being killd!” rhetoric is just laughable posturing on the part of shills doing anything and everything they can to blunt the skyrocketing deployment of wind and solar. Again, every sane line of evidence and argument has proven over and over that bird kills by wind turbine are a drop in the bucket compared to other factors. And the fact that wind and solar are BY FAR less harmful to the environment than any thermal generation technology is well established. https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2018/04/risk-posed-to-birds-by-uk-wind-farms-has-been-exaggerated-new-study-indicates/?fbclid=IwAR14romxzE3gpgWOBj5btNBJVUBSXal3tG2RHH2gPXXdDsvAnKz_UJEMPZs
Just to be clear, the film you’re trying to refer to wasn’t Michael Moore’s movie, for one example. It was directed by Jeff Gibbs. And it was promptly ripped to shreds by not only experts in the field, but even Moore’s own fact-checkers. But it accomplished its primary purpose of spreading yet more misinformation for the uneducated to lap up without question. https://climatecrocks.com/2020/05/12/michael-me-just-went-boom/?fbclid=IwAR3lFRYfvYHfTBz70EG03OUOYYORlMRBchh_j7PNTks2GwUZPrsh3pSGZbQ
Nuclear energy had its chance and blew it. It’s obsolete, takes FAR too long to build, it’s outrageously expensive, and generates lethal waste that STILL has no sustainable storage solution. Even France is cutting back their reliance on nuclear to increasingly embrace renewables.
“Increase the share of renewable energy sources to 23% and 32% of total energy consumption, respectively, in 2020 and 2030. Renewable energies must reach 40% of electricity generation by 2030.” https://cnpp.iaea.org/countryprofiles/France/France.htm
Again, Sara, stop getting your news and energy insights from well-documented shill sites and misinformation outlets like WUWT. This is just an echo chamber feeding confirmation bias. Stop letting them lie to you, Sara.
Obviously, you are referring to yourself, Barry. You are cranking your own tune.
Name ONE solar or wind field that can supply recreational fishing to people who like to fish. The LaSalle cooling ponds provide a good deal of entertainment for such people, in the form of EDIBLE FRESHWATER FISH, AS FOLLOWS:
This is only ONE example. The nuke station near me that was deommed about 8 years ago had lake trout and salmon in the cooling ponds. I know people who used to fish there.
As I said, name ONE solar or wind farm that can do that. The only things I’ve seen coming out of those areas is trashed land, dead predators birds – I HAVE seen them myself – and destruction of useful land that can provide FOOD resources to the population.
I don’t get MY information from shill sites or “misinformtion” sites. I get it first hand, on my OWN recognizance.
>>Name ONE solar or wind field that can supply recreational fishing to people who like to fish.<< https://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/offshore-renewable-energy-improves-habitat-increases-fish/?fbclid=IwAR2eSefeVQ7Jc5Tbpzsbf3BkJCX0SBbpH8R9rHSrA-U9_P-Cnrfi7cXNDQE
>>and destruction of useful land that can provide FOOD resources to the population.<< Unlike a nuclear reactor, wind turbines don’t require a massive source of fresh water. Wind turbines can be installed on a wide range of sites. They can also be installed on family farms, where they’ve proven to be a valuable source of stable income. (Wind installation operators in fact paid out around $400 million to these farms last year.) Unlike nuclear reactors, which are limited to very, very few suitable sites in the US, wind turbines can be beneficially installed virtually anywhere the wind blows with regularity. There’s enough onshore wind potential alone to power the US grid 9 times over. The wind energy potential in Texas alone could power the US grid twice over. A wind farm the size of Delaware could easily power the entire US.
And then there’s solar. Solar PV also requires no access to fresh water, and in fact is ideal for operation in the hottest and most desolate lands on the planet. A solar PV installation covering 1.2% of the Sahara could power the entire world. Arizona deserts, Florida swamps, barren soil, superfund sites, landfill, abandoned strip mines, solar PV will do just fine in virtually any of them. And, in fact, solar energy has become so efficient and cost-effective there’s a legitimate consideration of draining some dam reservoirs and instead using the land for solar arrays. https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-are-tantalised-by-the-idea-of-replacing-hydropower-dams-with-solar-panels
Yeah, sport, you left out the part about toxic waste and the effect it has on people who go out collecting those pieces of trash from solar and wind turbine fields, because they DON’T get disposed of safely, BARRY and aren’t even being recycled.
And if you say your electric bill hasn’t gone up, my response is “hogwash”, check your OLD power bills from 5 -10 years ago. Oh, that’s right: you probably throw them out. And you might explain why you think it’s okay for a swamp in Florida, which is a home to many necessary species of critters and very likely a wintering-over area for hundreds of thousands of birds – why it’s okay to trash that instead of leaving it alone.
Where’s your environmental concern about that, Barry??????
Here’s a nice photo of a solar field, just for you, Barry. Give it up. Your violin is cracking open.
>>And if you say your electric bill hasn’t gone up, my response is “hogwash”,<<
Here are the four states in the US with the most wind power (over 35%), and their kWh cost:
Iowa: 8.97 (57% wind)
Kansas: 10.38 (43% wind)
Oklahoma: 7.63 (31% wind)
Texas: 8.36 (24% wind)
The US average is now 10.59. (And the recent spike in gas and coal prices are going to drive the US average up even more, to be sure.)
You were saying?
And lest Barry think that there is only ONE nuke plant in my state that offers fishing, the Braidwood power plant offers it, too:
I can find a LOT more of these instances.
Conservation is fine under controls but remember the extreme animal rights groups are antihuman and think population control and reduction in Africa is needed so that there is more room for lions and elephants. Rather what is needed is the already conserved places to be managed better.
Clearly this wanton destruction of Gaia has to be modelled by the experts in the interests of settled science-
Turning Sahara into a solar farm? It may not result as good as researchers think (interestingengineering.com)
That settles it and we have to stop this libido for albedo and more global warmening.
The fact that it would only take solar panels on 1.2% of the Sahara to power the entire world, the whimsy of the thought exercise is obvious. But also given that applying solar panels on all suitable rooftops in the US alone would meet 34% of the country’s demand is also intriguing. No additional land usage required at all. Food for thought.
Have used this argument with ecoloons when they are spouting how EV’s will save the planet, I ask them where do they think the rare earth metals will come from and ask if they would like the huge areas dug up to get them. Giving the them the hint that the clue is in the name, rare meaning there’s not a lot about and you have to dig vast areas to get a small quantity of what you want.
>> I ask them where do they think the rare earth metals will come from<< It’s hilarious that nobody was overly concerned about rare earth mining until the Big Oil shills started trying to use it as a way to discredit renewables. Rare earth metals have been used for many decades for a variety of industrial uses. Cobalt, for example, is used to make parts for gas turbine engines. Cobalt is also used to make airbags in automobiles; catalysts for the petroleum and chemical industries; cemented carbides (also called hardmetals) and diamond tools; corrosion- and wear-resistant alloys; drying agents for paints, varnishes, and inks; dyes and pigments; ground coats for porcelain enamels; high-speed steels; magnetic recording media; magnets; and steel-belted radial tires.
And then there’s lithium. Again, used for many decades in a variety of applications. But now Oil Shills are targeting it because it’s used in LiOn batteries. (And part of their misinformation campaign is focused on a photo of a copper mine, for some reason.) Fortunately, other battery technologies, carbon-ion, for instance, are beginning to come into the market. Within 10 years, lithium batteries will most likely join nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium technology in the museum. But, in the meantime, mining for lithium (notably in desolate areas of Nevada, Australia, and the Atacama Desert in Chile) will be supplemented if not eventually replaced by petrolithium filtration and refinement technology. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/lithium-alberta-oilsands-1.5424527?fbclid=IwAR1oEp4eUzUe7CQjasDAj69tx8Y-S1uw3uU4yg8w8haZZN0FofYwmIpZaWQ)
“But…but… What about all the other rare earth metals??” the shills will still screech. As luck would have it, the Japanese have found a *massive* deposit of rare earth near Minamitori Island. How massive? Literally hundreds of years’ worth of raw supply, and virtually infinite when considering recyclying. That’s massive.
But of course the Oil Shills will still do their best to flip the script and paint renewable energy as dirty and destructive. This is of course nonsense. Even when considering all aspects of current mining, refining, fabrication, installation, operation, and disposal/recycling, renewable energy is FAR less harmful to the environment than any fossil fuel solution for generating electricity. That’s just a fact of the science.