Wind turbines = climate-change “scarecrows”

Please take time to peruse this tremendous testimony. He eloquently argues why wind turbines are not America’s best choice new power production and what the impacts are on climate change. This testimony is full of facts- something BigWind CAN’T dispute! Robert Bryce says wind turbines are steel scarecrows that deceive the public into thinking that we are actually doing something to avert the possibility of climate change. What did the scarecrow want in the Wizard of Oz? A brain and Robert Bryce shows the tremendous use of his!

Written Remarks for a Hearing of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works,  February 25, 2014.

The focus of this hearing is on the economic benefits of ecosystems and wildlife and how they “are valuable to a wide range of industries,” including tourism. The purpose is also to examine “how the Administration is preparing to protect” ecosystems “in a changing climate.”

The facts show that federally subsidized efforts that are being undertaken to, in theory, address climate change, are damaging America’s wildlife. Furthermore, those same efforts have, for years, been allowing an entire industry to avoid federal prosecution under some of America’s oldest wildlife laws.My discussion will focus largely on the wind-energy sector, an industry that has been getting federal subsidies since 1992, and the impact that the wind-energy business is having on wildlife.[i]

There are two key questions that must be addressed:

Are all energy providers getting equal treatment under the law when it comes to wildlife protection? The answer to that question is no.

Is widespread deployment of wind turbines an effective climate-change strategy? The answer, again, is no.Energy companies are not being treated equally when it comes to enforcement of federal wildlife laws….

Let me be clear: there is no such thing as a free lunch, particularly when it comes to energy production. Every form of energy comes with positives and negatives. What is problematic is the selective enforcement of our wildlife laws. If we are going to have a protected class of energy producers who are exempt from federal laws, then the Interior Department should make that policy clear. If the Justice Department and Interior Department are not going to enforce the law equally – if justice is not going to be blind – then perhaps policymakers should consider repealing our wildlife laws altogether….

I am an ardent proponent of nuclear energy because of its negligible carbon dioxide emissions and its incredibly high power density. No other form of energy production can produce as much energy from such a small footprint as a nuclear reactor. This is due to basic physics. Allow me to explain this by using a common metric in physics: power density, which is a measure of the energy flow that can be harnessed from a given area, volume, or mass.

The concept of power density can be understood by looking at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California. SONGS has a capacity of about 2,200 megawatts (2.2 billion watts.)[xxv] The plant, which is slated for closure, covers 214 acres or 866,027 square meters.[xxvi]Therefore, the nuclear plant has a power density of about 2,500 watts per square meter.[xxvii]

Now let’s compare that to the power density of wind energy, which is 1 watt per square meter. And I can back up that number with a half dozen studies.[xxviii]

Therefore, to replace the San Onofre plant with wind energy would require setting aside 2.2 billion square meters of land. That’s 2,200 square kilometers. Put another way, if we wanted to replace the San Onofre Generating Station solely with wind energy, California policymakers would have to set aside a land area nearly as large as Sacramento County.[xxix] And because of the low-frequency noise and infrasound that wind turbines make, no people could live on that county-sized piece of land.

It is essential to understand the concept of power density because it is directly related to the wildlife-kill issue. To produce significant quantities of energy with wind energy requires vast swaths of land to be covered with wind turbines. And the more wind turbines that are installed, the more birds and bats will be killed…

When we look at the main justification for renewable energy projects, and wind energy in particular, climate change is nearly always mentioned. For instance, the Global Wind Energy Council claims “The greatest benefit of wind power is its contribution to reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.”[xxx] On its website, the American Wind Energy Association says “Mitigating climate change poses an immediate need to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Fortunately, wind energy can play a major role in reducing CO2 emissions.”[xxxi] And in a December 6, 2013 press release that focused on the bird-kill issue, the American Wind Energy Association claimed that wind energy “is one of the cheapest, fastest, most readily scalable ways available now to address climate change.”[xxxii]

Those claims are among many similar ones that have been made over the past few years by renewable-energy advocates. Here’s the reality: Wind turbines are nothing more than climate-change scarecrows….

via Robert Bryce – Author/Journalist/Public Speaker – U.S. Senate Testimony: Killing Wildlife In the Name of Climate Change.

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