Tag Archives: Wind Power Issues

Another wind farm proposed. This time next door to Cherry Point

November 11, 2013  —  Some, including us, have long felt that Downeast is the “red headed stepchild at the family reunion,” so to speak, in North Carolina politics. Raleigh has for decades catered to the timber companies that have stymied development while shipping our resources, and the profits therefrom, out of state and now in recent years, out of the country. In recent months we have seen the departments of Defense and Agriculture trying to tie up thousands of acres of land in Eastern North Carolina to prevent development to its highest and best uses. Now Downeast is being hit with another “anti-development” scam called “green energy.”

We say “scam” because the fundamental essence of green energy is that it cannot stand on its own economic legs and relies on taxpayer subsidies and then the result of the energy produced by wind mills and solar farms cost the rate payers more than conventional generated energy, thus adding to the cost of doing business and thereby handicapping economic growth and development.

While the proposed Pantego Wind Farm flies under the public’s radar another huge project is now being proposed in Carteret County near Cherry Point Marine Air Station. It’s being called the Mill Pond facility by its developer, Torch Renewable Energy, LLC. That link will take you to a document related to a November 5, 2013 meeting held in Wilmington (yes, in Wilmington but we don’t know why it was scheduled so far away) but it was covered by the Carteret News-Times.

You will note in the presentation materials that Torch says they have satisfied the concerns of the Marine Corps about the windmills being in the flight paths of planes from Cherry Point Air Station. Reliable sources tell us there is a simple reason Torch can claim it has satisfied the military’s concerns…local Marine commanders have been order to “sit down and shut up” about the proposal. And we suspect the top brass in the Pentagon have also been told by the White House to stand down on anything “green” related.

But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the problem. Page 12 of the report shows the project to be within the FAA’s designated air space of Cherry Point. But the real issue can be seen on Page 18 where part of the project is within the flight space where structures as tall as these windmills would be constructed. Now in fairness to Torch, they say they have “moved about 10 structures” out of the red area of the map on Page 18, but that still leaves the project immediately adjacent to the approach path of jets landing at Cherry Point. Blue area on the map. Gives a new meaning to the cliché “close enough for government work.”

One retired Marine/Navy aviator tells us: “this is the stupidest idea I’ve seen in many years. To put wind turbines right next to a glide path to one of the most critical installations on the east coast defies common sense. On a clear day if everything is working correctly there probably will not typically be a major problem. But let a low ceiling move in and a pilot be hit with equipment malfunction and we could have a disaster on our hands. I once had to make a hard landing that if I had been using this runway at Cherry Point with a low thrust engine problem I would have hit one of these things because I did not have the power to follow the normal approach. Why would we subject our aviators to these risks?”

Indeed. Why would we even be considering such a thing?

Wind and solar generated electricity depend on being on government welfare. They can’t make it work on their own with government subsidies..

John Droz, Jr., a well-known and highly respected expert on wind energy, says that the project does not make sense from many other perspectives. He writes that North Carolina’s public policy related to “renewable energy” is in critical need of review and revision. He points to the Wise Energy website for a wealth of documentation, with specific proposals for addressing the issues related to such projects. You can keep abreast of what is happening with Mill Pond and other energy related issues by signing up for the AWED newsletter at aaprjohn@northnet.org.

Our military expert also says that retired military personnel need to step forward and advocate for the aviators’ interests because political correctness from Washington has stifled the local active duty leadership from saying what they actually believe about this project. But he assures us that his contacts at Cherry Point are extremely concerned about the proposal.

Update 2: Newport Wind Project with Map

Please read this new excellent article about the Newport industrial wind project.
For the first time we can see specific map as to where this will be. See attached. Turbines will be clearly visible from Highway 70, well into Morehead City.
Independent studies elsewhere have concluded that such industrialization decreases tourism (some samples are here, and here, and here, and here, and here). The Crystal Coast is heavily dependent on tourism dollars, so who is taking this cost into account?
I like the fact that the article focused on the military impact.
What most civilians do not know, is that military personnel (including base commanders) have been specifically ordered not to speak out publicly against any wind energy projects. So, when the Cherry Point base commander says little (if anything) about the military issues resulting from the Newport project, it does NOT mean that there are no problems!
The fact is that local military personnel are preparing an internal report that identifies about a half dozen areas of concern — but this document will remain confidential, and not be available to the public.
In my opinion, the best way we can protect our military bases is to have Town, County and state regulations that provide comprehensive protections to citizens and the environment, near any wind project. I have passed on effective words to Newport and Carteret officials.
The second best way is to have retired military personnel do the candid talking that active military have been prohibited from doing. Anyone who is interested in helping with that, please contact me.
This article also provided a link to the slide presentation made by the developer, last week in Wilmington. There is a wealth of misinformation in that marketing material.
To give you an idea how to translate this self-serving material, I’ve written up comments based on a quickie review — see attached pdf.
As always, let me know any questions.
john droz, jr.
PS — If there are others who you think would benefit from being on this list, please let me know the specifics. If at any time you’d like to be taken off, please let me know that too.



Update 1: Newport Wind Project

You may have heard about the proposed wind energy project for Newport, NC (Carteret County). [Note: these are 450± foot structures in Mill Creek, where the trees are about 75± feet tall.]
A mailing list has been put together for citizens who’d like to keep up on this important local (and statewide) matter. To be included, please email Morehead City physicist John Droz. You can get off at any time.
There have been several mailings already, as quite a bit is happening quickly. Below is John’s synopsis of where things are now…
You may want to find out where your elected officials stand on this issue. Start with Representative Pat McElraft, email – Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Senator Norman Sanderson, email – Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net; Carteret County Commissioner, Chairman Greg Lewis, email – greg.lewis@carteretcountygov.org. Contact information for other County Commissioners here.
This is a complex technical matter. If you’d like it digested down to a soundbite, here it is:
Industrial wind energy is a net economics and net environmental loser, that has no scientifically proven net benefits.
To get a more in-depth understanding of how we got here, please peruse (as a minimum) the following:
1 – Senate Bill 3: a 2007 NC law that mandates a certain % of renewables. The real-world consequences of this are:
a) Most of this requirement will be met by wind energy (for a variety of reasons), and
b) ALL of that wind energy will be on the coast (onshore or offshore), due to the Ridge Act which protects NC mountains. (There is no comparable law that protects the NC coast.)
c) For the realities about wind energy see WiseEnergy.org and (in particular) EnergyPresentation.info


2 – Senate Bill 3 is a poor idea for many reasons. Here I explain some of the economic and environmentalproblems.
3 – “Affordable & Reliable Energy Act” (H298): was a good 2013 proposal to fix Senate Bill 3. It got pulled for political reasons.
4 – “Wind Permitting Bill” (H484): a 2013 NC law which was intended to protect NC military, but it really doesn’t.
5 – The current version of the document I sent to legislators about the deficiencies with H484 — which are legion.
6 – Per H484, DENR is the lead agency overseeing the state level wind permitting process. In our view their focus should be to protect: nearby citizens, the nearby environment, and affected NC military bases. To date these do not seem to be their priority. [If you’re interested I can send you a copy of an email I sent to the DENR Secretary, detailing some concerns so far.]
7 – The proposed project is roughly half in the town of Newport (Mill Creek), and half in unincorporated parts of Carteret County.
8 – Carteret County has Tall Structure ordinance, that addresses some aspects of wind development. Since this was written in 2008, we have learned a lot more about industrial wind energy, so this needs major updating. I’ve marked up suggestions to improve that law.
9 – Newport has no wind ordinance. They are currently working on writing and approving such a law. At their invitation I met with them to give them suggestions on how to do this well. They were appreciative and the meeting was constructive.
10-My recommendations were that they focus their efforts on four technical areas, and require an Escrow Account. The details of these suggestions are spelled out here. [There will be a town meeting about this on Thursday, November 14th.]
Until H484 is fixed, the burden will be on towns and counties to write detailed and effective wind laws.
Let me know any questions.
john droz, jr.
physicist & environmental advocate
Morehead City, NC

Local News – Newport Wind Project

A Texas company is proposing to develop a Wind Farm Enery Project in Newport, NC. This wind farm may consist of 50 windmills each which will be 450 feet tall. The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources  (DENR) is reported to be bending over backwards for this wind developer in supporting the project. Even to the extent of having the first meeting that DENR refused to classify as a planning or scoping meeting (so what was it) in Wilmington, NC (not in Newport where most people affected are). It is also not clear where our local NC House member, Representative Pat McElraft, stands on the Newport Wind Project. Some have expressed concern that because of her close relationship to House Speaker Thom Tillis who killed a key bill (H298) in the last session, Representative McElraft may be turning a blind-eye to the Newport Wind Project and the residents of Carteret County. We hope that is bunk!

Some Newport Town officials are reported to have attended the Wilmington meeting held by DENR. Someone reported they were dismayed at DENR’s support of the wind development company to the detriment to the Town of Newport and citizens of Carteret County. The Town of Newport plans to hold a meeting soon to discuss the project. As details emerge, we will keep you advised. The Town of Newport is also developing a local ordinance for projects such as this wind farm project that will need your review and input. Some have suggested that the Carteret County Commissioners via the County Planning Board need to develop strict standards for the county for these projects.

Below are some emails that have been circulated if you want to dig into the details of the project and the history a bit more. Continue reading

HB 298 will test GOP leadership


Beaufort Observer (April 28, 2013) — Depending on how this week’s action plays out, the story of HB 298 (The Affordable and Reliable Energy Act) may be the most significant thing to come out of the 2013 session. That’s a pretty far reaching statement, but consider this.

Many Republicans ran for office on a platform of putting a stop to “business as usual” wherein Big Money interests controlled what happened in the Legislature. But at this point in time, a small group of Republicans in the House have killed HB 298 by voting against it in committee. But a substantial majority of Republicans is said to favor the bill. Thus, what is set up is a real test of the Republican leadership in both the House and Senate. Continue reading

Update on NC H298, Affordable and Reliable Energy Act

This is a progress report on the NC H298 bill: Affordable and Reliable Energy Act. 

Yesterday (Wednesday) there was a Commerce Committee hearing on this bill. It was well-attended, and there were numerous inputs. At the end, the committee voted to pass the bill. There are now three committees left to be dealt with, but it was generally acknowledged that the Commerce one would be the most difficult.
For those who did not attend, here is a video of that Commerce Committee hearing.
The next hearing for H298 is scheduled to be the House Environment Committee. I have not yet heard about the schedule for the Environmental Committee. Right now that Committee has 12 other bills already on the docket to review, so it’s hard to say when H298 will come up. My guess, though, is that it will be expedited. An official place where the schedule will appear is here.
To be prepared for all options, I wrote this report as a comprehensive, eye-opening Environmental Assessment of H298.
In it I provide some rarely reported information — like the problematic consequences of Rare Earth Elements (each turbine uses some 4000 pounds of REEs!). Few people are aware that one investigation concluded that wind turbine manufacture produces more radioactive waste material than results from the operation of a comparable nuclear facility!
There is also a superior new NC map by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (US F&WS), showing how almost all of the NC wind “suitable” locations are environmentally problematic. On top of that I superimposed the low-level flight paths of three major NC air bases. The result is that there is essentially zero “suitable” NC land left.
I also listed the annual agricultural cost due to turbine bat deaths for each NC county — which just on their own usually exceed the unguaranteed promises made by wind developers. Etc…
I think that you will find this document to be a wealth of information, so please pass it on to other interested citizens.
Please let me know any questions on any of this — or any suggestions you have for improvements.
There are now over a dozen organizations actively supporting H298 and we would appreciate your help.
john droz, jr.

Wind Energy Survey

Please consider taking a few minutes to fill out this survey about wind energy. It is confidential. If you have any questions, please email Darryl Read (not me) at darrylread@bigpond.com.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


If you’d like some background, here is the story of this effort, as he told me over 25+ correspondences:




My name is Darryl Read and I am a fourth year psychology honors student at the University of New England in Australia. My research project now involves surveying citizens near proposed or established wind developments, worldwide.


My interest in this area of research began after speaking with rural residents living in Crookwell, New South Wales (NSW), which has the oldest wind project in Australia. The conversations enabled me to gain an understanding of the range of issues surrounding wind developments. Following those talks I began to read wind articles in the media. It became clear that most of these stories failed to identify the issues and genuine concerns of the residents. After delving deeper (e.g. your EnergyPresentation.Info), I am now getting a better understanding of the enormity of the issues facing citizens who are proximate to wind developments.


In the beginning my study was designed to gain an understanding of the structure and strength of both positive and negative attitudes toward wind energy developments. The initial plan was for the survey to be distributed throughout the renewable energy precincts in NSW. Following the launch of the questionnaire earlier this month, the study has caught the attention of various pro-wind organizations and individuals who have attempted to discredit the study. Supporters of the wind industry have also been pushing to prevent the study continuing. To make a long story short, when I presented the questionnaire, the renewable energy coordinators and representatives from the Clean Energy Council (CEC) informed me that they would not support the project because they felt that the study was focusing on the negative aspects of wind energy. (This was probably subconsciously due to my meeting real citizens and listening to their concerns.)


When I began the project I had no idea that the issues were so politically motivated. In my view it appears that wind proponents (government, business, and academia) are not prepared to accept any criticism of wind energy. The issues these people had with the questionnaire relate to the questions regarding the possible impacts of wind developments, like property values, noise, environmental impacts, psychological impacts, etc. Despite significant resistance I have decided to continue with the study, and very much appreciate your passing it on to your network of good people.


Anyway, due to these developments, my research is now a completely independent project, not funded by the government agencies who support wind energy. This has the advantage that I now have more freedom, as the research is not restricted to achieve a particular outcome. In brief, the aim of my study is now to investigate the range of issues surrounding wind developments, and to provide an unvarnished account of citizens’ attitudes toward wind developments. A number of people I had contacted had expressed their personal stories of how these industrial projects have negatively impacted their lives. I believe I have a duty to tell the citizen’s side of the story and expose the practices of governments, which appear to be driven by political vs scientific agendas.


The first aim of the current study is to investigate the attitudes, perceived levels of stress and potential impact on mental health experienced by residents who live in close proximity to wind developments. As a consequence of the differing stages of wind turbine development, it is anticipated that mental health outcomes may be more negatively impacted with progressively more development.


The second aim of the study is to identify the factors which contribute toward oppositional behavior. The various negative impacts of wind projects such as perceived influence on property values, effects on surrounding environment, wildlife, effects of noise etc., will be analyzed. Further testing of variables such as place attachment, time perspective, environmental concerns will be conducted to investigate their influence on oppositional behavior.


In some media there have been suggestions that those who oppose developments are motivated by factors other than the shortcomings of wind energy. For example, It has been reported that those who oppose wind energy are not concerned by environmental problems, the lifestyles of future generations, or so-called global warming. I believe that such findings are used to discredit the genuine concerns residents have toward developments. It is anticipated that the mediation analyses (see below) will dismiss the myths, and put the focus back on the some of the legitimate reasons residents oppose developments, like noise, psychological impacts, etc. Above all, I want to highlight the fact that those who oppose developments are not psychologically unstable or driven by political interests. Their concerns are real and hopefully my study will highlight this.


To enable the findings of my research to be taken seriously the study will require at least 300 participants, but the more the better. Residents who live near existing or proposed wind projects across the world are invited to participate in the study. When completing the survey please click the arrow at the bottom of each page to move to the next. If you have any questions in relation to the questionnaire or if you have any comments you believe may assist the research, please email me at darrylread@bigpond.com. Please feel pass on the survey link to other residents who are near to wind developments.


Thank you VERY MUCH for your time and interest.


Darryl Read



For those who would like some additional technical explanation of my plans:


When I initially began research in this area, like most people I was unaware of the limited capacity of the turbines to produce electricity. It appears that they have become symbols of governments which will do anything to be seen as combating “climate change.” My research in this area will continue over the coming years at PhD level. My PhD will be a comprehensive analysis which will investigate factors such as the inefficiency of the turbines. Unfortunately the current questionnaire does not fully address the scientific deficiency of wind energy.


However, I have received multiple emails from residents (an others are welcome to send me their experiences). I will incorporate their views into the discussions section of the current study. Although somewhat limited, the variables I have decided to use will still provide very interesting outcomes. Above all it will shine a spotlight on the multiple concerns residents have and the barriers which they face. My research in this area has only just begun and I am learning everyday.


After I get a sufficient number of responses, a number of mediation analyses will be performed to identify the various factors which determine oppositional behavior. For example, place attachment, time perspective, and environmental concerns will be used to test the relationships between attitudes and oppositional behavior. Within the literature there have been suggestions that an underlying factor motivating oppositional behavior are their attitudes toward climate change, that is, lack of belief is contributing to the opposition. If the survey evidence warrants it, I will dismiss this myth and provide evidence that those who oppose developments have been psychologically affected by the presence of the turbines and that their concerns are real and need to be investigated further.


To assess the perceived levels of stress and potential impact on mental health experienced by residents who live in close proximity to wind projects, a multiple regression analysis will be conducted. The Dependent Variable (DV) will be the data collected from the Depression and Stress Scales (DASS 21), and the Independent Variables (IVs) will be the proximity to developments. As mentioned before, the main analyses will involve the testing of mediators such as place attachment, time perspective, environmental concerns, belief in climate change, and their relationship between attitudes toward wind developments and oppositional behavior. If I am able to recruit over 300 participants I will perform a statistical technique known as Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The benefits of using this technique as opposed to a simple mediation analysis is that it can analyze the causal processes which can be modeled pictorially to enable a clearer conceptualization of the various relationships.

On Energy, Massachusetts Tilts At Windmills

The following is from an article that appeared at the online Investors Business Daily, HERE, on February 24/2012.  It has been slightly edited for brevity.

In the United States, abundant supplies of environmentally friendly and reliable natural gas are to be found in the vast resources locked up in the Outer Continental Shelf, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska and in the vast shale formations that bless the nation.  A nationwide boom in natural gas production is set to fuel nearly 900,000 jobs and add roughly $1,000 to annual household budgets by 2015, according to a study by HIS Global Insight, a Denver energy research firm.  It is estimated that we have at least a 100-year supply of the relatively cheap, cleanest-burning fossil fuel.

To the 36 states that, like Massachusetts, have embraced what are called renewable portfolio standards, they will continue pursuing green energy sources despite their heavy subsidies, uneven and unreliable capacity, and the simple fact that you cannot store wind energy for when the wind is not blowing.

After decades of subsidies, wind provides only 1% of our electricity compared with 49% for coal, 22% for natural gas, 19% for nuclear power and 7% for hydroelectric.  Wind turbines generally operate at only 20% efficiency compared with 85% for coal, gas and nuclear power plants.

With the Green Communities Act of 2008, the Massachusetts state legislature enacted a clean energy mandate requiring that 20% of Massachusetts’ power come from renewable sources by 2025. A prime source of Bay State wind power is to come from the Cape Wind project, an offshore wind farm that was controversial because it threatened to block the ocean view of the 1% ensconced on the shores of Nantucket Sound.

Governor Deval Patrick saw an opportunity to help meet that goal with the proposed merger of two local utilities, NStar and Northeast Utilities of Connecticut.  His administration approved the deal on the conditions that the new utility company must purchase 27.5% of the output of Cape Wind, freeze its rates for the next four years, and distribute a one-time rebate of $21 million to customers.

That rebate turns out to be a one-time check of $13 per capita. Construction on Cape Wind has not yet begun, so a four-year freeze on electricity prices will lapse by the time NStar starts purchasing that 27.5% of Cape Wind power.

As Peter Wilson notes in the American Thinker, Cape Wind has already signed an agreement with another utility, National Grid, to sell electricity for 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh), with a 3.5% increase every year over the next 15 years. This wind power therefore starts out at more than double the average Massachusetts rate of 8 cents per kwh.

Wilson calculates that the 3.5% increase compounded annually means that at the end of the 15 years, National Grid customers will be paying 31.3 cents per kwh, around four times the current rate.  Meanwhile, natural gas prices have plummeted from near $5 per million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu) last summer to around $2.60 per MMBtu.

According to the Energy Department, the energy equivalent of $3 natural gas is $18 per barrel oil. Natural gas would seem to be the obvious choice, not wind.

A 2008 report by the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration reported that in 2007 while the average subsidy per megawatt hour for all energy sources was $1.65, the subsidy for wind and solar was about $24 per megawatt hour.

Daniel Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research, said in an interview with Cybercast News Service that “without government subsidies or mandates, none of these energy sources exist, they just simply won’t. … These energy sources are not as efficient as the sources of energy that the marketplace has picked and the consumers have picked to run the country.”

Massachusetts’ energy answer, like ours, is not to be found blowin’ in the wind.

And as the article also says, the “tilting at windmills continues”.  For proof, the reader is referred to the proposed Mill Pond wind turbine farm proposed for Carteret County, NC, by Texas-based Torch Energy.

Workshop – "The Truth About Wind Power on the Coasts of North Carolina"

The John Locke Foundation
Cordially invites you to

A wind power workshop

with our presenters

Daren Bakst, Esq., John Droz, Jr, David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D

– Daren Bakst, Esq.– Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies John Locke Foundation

John Droz, Jr.– Fellow American Tradition Institute

David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.– Director of the George Mason Environmental Law Clinic Director of the Environmental Law Center at the American Tradition Institute

“The Truth About Wind Power on the Coasts of North Carolina”


Monday, December 05, 2011
7:00 PM

Burney Ballroom A, University of North Carolina, Wilmington Wilmington, NC

Price: The event is free and open to the public

The Truth About Wind Power on the Coasts of North Carolina

Environmental pressure groups, the “Big Wind” industry, and self-interested state bodies are going around the state trying to sell the public on the idea of allowing wind power plants along North Carolina’s coast.

This workshop will present an alternative view of wind power and what it would mean to North Carolina’s coastal communities. Participants will learn about wind power in general, including its intermittency problems, high costs, limited value and its environmental and economic impact. Myths will be countered, including why wind power would not play any meaningful role in energy security.


Mr. Bakst, a licensed attorney, is Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies for the John Locke Foundation. In this position, he analyzes and presents on a wide range of issues, including on energy and the environment. His expertise has been featured in many media outlets, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and AOL News. Mr. Bakst serves as Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Federalist Society and as a member of the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Mr. Droz serves as a fellow at the American Tradition Institute and recently was selected to serve on the board of NC-20, which advocates on behalf of North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties. He serves as the scientific advisor for NC-20. Mr. Droz is a physicist, having worked for companies such as GE. For over 30 years, Mr. Droz has been an environmental activist and been a participating member of many environmental organizations (e.g. Sierra Club, Committee to Protect the Adirondacks).

Dr. Schnare is Director of the Environmental Law Center at the American Tradition Institute, Director of the George Mason Environmental Law Clinic and Director of the Center for Environmental Stewardship at the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Formerly a senior attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Enforcement, he has served as a trial lawyer with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, on the staff of the Senate Appropriates Committee and as the nation’s Senior Regulatory Economist
with the U.S. Office of Advocacy for Small Business.

Additional information can be found at:



Electrical Energy: Sound Science or Lobbyist

At this link, EnergyPresentation.Info

you will find a thorough explanation on why Wind Energy is not what proponents claim it to be. Energy alternatives must be selected using sound science using the Scientific Method. Alternative or renewable energy proponents use emotion to sell their product. Remember the adage “Buyer Beware.” The adage certaianly applies when it comes to renewable energy.

Wind Energy Resources

Get the facts on Wind Energy and Renewable Energy. Here are some resource links to get the truth about wind and renewable energy via John Droz, jr.:


Some recent energy articles of interest —
One of my most important documents, What Not To Say, has been updated (especially the PS part): <<http://www.northnet.org/brvmug/WindPower/WhatNotToSay.pdf>>.
This is a VERY significant story that gives us hope that sensibility and science may yet prevail: <<http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11226/1167245-454.stm>>.
One of the main strategies of non-science lobbyists is to justify their self-serving promotions (e.g. wind energy) as producing jobs. It should come as no surprise that “renewable” energy forces are proposing to congress to cut gas, oil and nuclear subsidies‚ but not any for renewables <<http://www.energybiz.com/article/11/08/partisans-joining-forces-cut-energy-subsidies>>.
Here are three recent articles that put the job claims into a more accurate perspective:
2) “Feeding the Masses on Unicorn Ribs” is a wonderfully insightful story about green jobs, etc <<http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/08/19/feeding-the-masses-on-unicorn-ribs/>>.
3) “The Dirty Secret Behind Clean Jobs” <<http://cascadepolicy.org/pdf/pub/CleanJobsReport8.22.11.pdf>>.
Beyond the site fight: can communities reclaim the right to say “no”? <<http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/the-right-to-say-no>>.
A fine anergy article by attorney Dave Schnare, directed to our presidential candidates: <<http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/16/campaign-advice-for-all-of-the-abovers/>>.
A new article about wind energy performance in Illinois (that applies almost everywhere) <<http://www.continentalecon.com/publications/nge/2011.9.pdf>>.
“Eco-Fads: Feel-Good Policies Replace Science” Although this is not about wind energy, the same situation exists there:
A Carnegie Mellon study on shale gas <<http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/08/new_shale_study_refutes_cornel.html>>. On a related mater the US government revised their estimate of shale gas available, and now project it to be some 40 times higher than before <<http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-24/business/29922377_1_shale-drilling-marcellus-shale-natural-gas>>.
GE’s laser advances in nuclear fuel is an informative article <<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/science/earth/21laser.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1>>.
Some recent global warming articles of interest —
US presidential candidate expresses skepticism about global warming <<http://news.yahoo.com/perry-says-doesnt-believe-global-warming-143259373.html.>>
A new (major) example of how politics adversely influences scientific research <<http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=975f250d-ca5d-4f40-b687-a1672ed1f684>>.
A CERN particle-physics study that may reveal that solar radiation is a major cause of global warming <<http://climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=537>>.
A fine article discussing the fallacies of the “97% consensus” about AGW <<http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/08/30/rick-perry-neednt-sweat-his-global-warming-skepticism/>>.
An intriguing exchange about the health benefits of global warming mitigation <<http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/8/29/health-co-benefits.html>>.
A worthwhile film: The Great Global Warming Swindle <<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaTJJCPYhlk&hd=1>>.
Some other recent articles of general interest —
A superior , must read article, about our education system — which explains a lot about what is happening with wind energy and the like <<http://thenewamerican.com/culture/education/8617-mainstreaming-progressive-education-a-scheme-hidden-in-plain-sight>>.
This is a remarkable piece. It is a story about unnecessary spending in the US armed services — written by a high ranking (now a General) career soldier, who I happen to know <<http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,86755,00.html>>.
Please pass this information on to other open-minded, science-oriented people. If anyone would like to be added to or removed from the email list, please let me know.
Thank you for your support.
john droz jr.,
physicist & environmental advocate
Fellow: American Tradition Institute (<<http://www.atinstitute.org/>>)

Our least sustainable energy option

By Paul Driessen — President Obama and a chorus of environmentalists, politicians, corporate executives and bureaucrats are perennially bullish on wind power as the bellwether of our “clean energy economy of the future.”

In reality, wind energy may well be the least sustainable and least eco-friendly of all electricity options. Its shortcomings are legion, but the biggest ones can be grouped into eight categories.

Land. As American humorist and philosopher Will Rogers observed, “They ain’t making any more of it.” Wind turbine installations impact vast amounts of land, far more than traditional power plants.

Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear plant generates 3,750 megwatts of electricity from a 4,000-acre site. The 600-MW John Turk ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant in Arkansas covers part of 2,900 acres; two 600-MW coal-fired units in India use just 600 acres. Gas-fired units like Calpine’s 560-MW Fox Energy Center in Wisconsin require several hundred acres. All generate reliable power 90-95 percent of the year.

By contrast, the 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind installation (355 turbines) spans 50,000 acres of farm country along Indiana’s I-65 corridor. The 782-MW Roscoe project in Texas (627 turbines) sprawls across 100,000 acres. Oregon’s Shepherds Flat project (338 gigantic 2.5 MW turbines) covers nearly 80,000 wildlife and scenic acres along the Columbia River Gorge, for a “rated capacity” of 845 MW.

The Chokecherry-Sierra Madre project will blanket some 320,000 acres of sage grouse habitat and BLM land in Wyoming with 1,000 monstrous 3-MW turbines, to generate zero to 3,000 MW of intermittent power. That’s eight times the size of Washington, DC, to get an average annual output one-fourth of what Palo Verde generates 90 percent of the time. But C-SM has already received preliminary approval from BLM.

To replace just 20 percent of the United States’ 995,000 MW of total installed generating capacity, we would need to blanket an area the size of Kansas with wind turbines, and then add nearly a thousand 600-MW gas-fired backup generators … and thousands of miles of new high voltage transmission lines.

Raw materials. Wind turbine installations require vast amounts of steel, copper, rare earth metals, fiberglass, concrete, rebar and other materials for the turbines, towers and bases.

A single 1.7 MW wind turbine, like 315 of the Fowler Ridge units, involves some 365 tons of materials for the turbine assembly and tower, plus nearly 1100 tons of concrete and rebar for the foundation. Bigger units require substantially more materials. Grand total for the entire Fowler wind installation: some 515,000 tons; for Roscoe, 752,000 tons; for Shepherds Flat, 575,000 tons; for Chokecherry, perhaps 2,000,000 tons. Offshore installations need far more raw materials.

To all that must be added millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete and rebar for thousands of miles of transmission lines — and still more for mostly gas-fired generators to back up every megawatt of wind power and generate electricity the 17 hours of each average day that the wind doesn’t blow.

Money. Taxpayers and consumers must provide perpetual subsidies to prop up wind projects, which cannot survive without steady infusions of cash via feed-in tariffs, tax breaks and direct payments.

Transmission lines cost $1.0 million to $2.5 million per mile. Landowners get $5,000+ per turbine, plus royalties on all energy produced from the turbine, plus payments for every foot of access road and transmission lines. However, taxpayers pay more, while the landowners’ neighbors suffer property devaluation, scenic disruption, noise, health problems and interference with crop spraying, but no monetary compensation. Direct federal wind energy subsidies to help cover this totaled $5 billion in FY 2010; state support added billions more; still more billions were added to consumers’ electric bills.

The Other People’s Money well is running dry. The “manmade catastrophic climate change” thesis behind the wind energy campaign is in shambles. Voters and consumers are understandably fed up.

Energy. Mining, quarrying, drilling, milling, refining, smelting and manufacturing operations make the production of metals, concrete, fiberglass and resins, turbines, and heavy equipment to do all of the above very energy-intensive. Ditto for transporting and installing turbines, towers, backups and transmission lines. That takes real energy: abundant, reliable, affordable — not what comes from wind turbines.

In fact, it probably requires more energy to manufacture, haul and install these monstrous Cuisinarts of the air and their transmission systems than they will generate in their lifetimes. However, no cradle-to-grave analysis has ever been conducted, for the energy inputs or pollution outputs. We need one now.

Health. Whereas environmentalists garner scary headlines over wildly speculative claims about health dangers from hydraulic fracturing (to extract abundant natural gas for wind turbine backup generators), they ignore and dismiss a growing body of evidence that wind turbines cause significant health problems.

Principal health issues are associated with noise — not just annoying audible noise, but inaudible, low-frequency “infrasound” that causes headache, dizziness, “deep nervous fatigue” and symptoms akin to seasickness. “Wind turbine syndrome” also includes irritability, depression, and concentration and sleep problems. Others include “shadow flicker” or “strobe effect” from whirling blades, which can trigger seizures in epileptics, “vibroacoustic” effects on the heart and lungs, and non-lethal harm to animals. Serious lung, heart, cancer and other problems have been documented from rare earth mining, smelting and manufacturing in China, under its less rigorous health, workplace and environmental regulations.

To date, however, very few health assessments have been required or conducted prior to permit approval, even for major wind turbine installations. Perhaps the trial lawyers’ guild could redress that oversight.

Environment. Raptors, bats and other beautiful flying creatures continue to be sliced and diced by wind turbines. Thankfully, the Bureau of Land Management has included an “avian radar system” to track the slaughter within its 500-square-mile Chokecherry region — and banned mining among the turbines.

Wind turbines are supposed to reduce pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. But because backup generators must repeatedly surge to full power and back to standby, as wind speed rises and falls, they operate inefficiently, use more fuel and emit more — much like cars forced to stop repeatedly on freeways.

Jobs. The myth of “green jobs” is hitting the brick wall of reality. While the turbines are installed in the USA and EU, far more numerous mining and manufacturing jobs are in China, where they are hardly “green.” As Spanish and Scottish analysts have documented, the “green” installer and maintenance jobs cost up to $750,000 apiece — and kill 2.2 to 3.7 traditional jobs for every “eco-friendly” job created.

Electricity costs and reliability. Even huge subsidies cannot cure wind power’s biggest defects: its electricity costs far more than coal, gas or nuclear alternatives — and its intermittent nature wreaks havoc on power grids and consumers. The problem is worst on hot summer afternoons, when demand is highest and breezes are minimal. Unable to compete against cheap Chinese and Indian electricity and labor, energy-intensive industries increasingly face the prospect of sending operations and jobs overseas. Bayer Chemical’s warning that it may have to close its German facilities is just the tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to wind, Nat King Cole might have sung: “Unsustainable that’s what you are, unsustainable though near or far. Unsustainable in every way, and forever more that’s how you’ll stay.” Maybe not forever, but certainly for the foreseeable future, especially compared to increasingly abundant natural gas.

So take a hint from Spoon’s lively tune and “cut out the middleman.” Forge a direct relationship with energy you can afford, energy that works nearly 24/7/365, energy that causes the least ecological damage and is far more sustainable than wind power: the hydrocarbon, hydroelectric and nuclear power that have sustained our society and brought unprecedented health, prosperity and living standards to billions.

Then help the planet’s least fortunate people to do likewise.


Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

Wind Power in Mass.

The Falmouth Experience: Life Under The Blades

March 7, 2011 | 7:29 AM | By Jess Bidgood

Encouraged by the Patrick Administration’s goal to expand wind power, communities across the commonwealth are considering or constructing wind turbines. In the town of Falmouth, some residents say a turbine installed last year has changed their lives  — and not for the better. This week, WGBH’s Sean Corcoran takes us to Falmouth to explore all sides of the issue in a special series, The Falmouth Experience: The Trouble with One Town’s Turbine.

In his kitchen table at his Falmouth home, Neil Anderson holds the calendar where he and his wife record their daily reactions to the wind turbine located nearby. (Jess Bidgood/WGBH)Jess Bidgood/WGBH 

In his kitchen table at his Falmouth home, Neil Anderson holds the calendar where he and his wife record their daily reactions to the wind turbine located nearby.

FALMOUTH, Mass. — Standing on his home’s porch, Neil Anderson points through the thicket of trees in his front yard and across Blacksmith Shop Road towards one of his closest neighbors: A wind turbine.

“Right now we are 1,320 feet, which is one-quarter mile south of Wind One, which is Falmouth’s first wind turbine. It’s been online since April. And we’ve been trying to get it stopped since April,” Anderson says.

Wind One, as the turbine is officially called, is owned by the town of Falmouth and is located at the town’s wastewater treatment plant, where it stands 262 feet tall to the turbine’s hub. That’s about 10 feet taller than the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. The blades extend just shy of 400 feet, which is about half the height of the John Hancock Building in Boston.

Wind 1 stands 262 feet tall in Falmouth. As many as 50 residents of the town have complained of the health effects the turbine's noise and shadows have had on their lives.Jess Bidgood/WGBH 

Wind 1 stands 262 feet tall in Falmouth. As many as 50 residents of the town have complained of the health effects the turbine’s noise and shadows have had on their lives.

When it was installed last spring, Anderson didn’t think Wind One would cause a problem. For 35 years, he’s owned and operated a passive solar company on Cape Cod.

The energy conservationist in Anderson considered wind power a good principle. He wasn’t alone — before the turbine switched on, Falmouth residents almost universally welcomed Wind One as a symbol of renewable energy and a way to keep taxes down.

“I was proud looking at it from this viewpoint — until it started turning,” Anderson said.

But now, as many as 50 people are complaining about the turbine and the noise it makes at different speeds. A dozen families are retaining a lawyer for that reason.

“It is dangerous. Headaches. Loss of sleep. And the ringing in my ears never goes away. I could look at it all day, and it does not bother me. It’s quite majestic — but it’s way too close,” Anderson said.

Neighbors say this isn’t a debate about a turbine ruining their view, and their goal is not compensation. Some just want it turned off at night.

But Anderson can’t compromise. “This house has been my hobby, my investment, and we love it out here. We will move if we have to. Because we cannot live with (the turbine). No, we cannot,” Anderson said.

Wind One is expected to save the town about $375,000 a year in electricity. Heather Harper, Falmouth’s acting town manager, says Falmouth owes about $5 million on the 1.65-megawatt turbine.

Harper said one of the challenges of running the turbine is that the type of sound some neighbors complain about — that low-level pulse — isn’t regulated by the state. “The times I have been there I do not experience the impact of the effect that the neighbors have expressed that they’ve experienced. But I do believe that they are experiencing something that is very real to them,” Harper said.

Neil Anderson and his wife keep a log of how the turbine affects them. It shows nights of disrupted sleeping, headaches, and even mood-swings.Jess Bidgood/WGBH 

Neil Anderson and his wife keep a log of how the turbine affects them. It shows nights of disrupted sleeping, headaches, and even mood-swings.

David McGlinchey is with the non-partisan Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Plymouth, which provides science-based information to policy makers. McGlinchey says that while Wind One has generated complaints, other turbines of similar size, including a 1.8-megawatt turbine in Hull, have been mostly well-received.

“The existing peer-reviewed studies suggest that there are no health effects associated with the sound and noise from wind turbines,” McGlinchey said. “That being said, people clearly experience symptoms. People have headaches, people have their sleep disturbed, people are not living well next to them in some situations. In some situations they are. So, both sides are right.”

Wind advocates say Falmouth’s experience has made it nearly impossible to get other turbines approved on Cape Cod, and potentially across the state. Last week, Falmouth’s selectmen acknowledged the issue and agreed to turn off the turbine when wind speeds exceed 23 miles per hour.

It’s unclear how much relief this will bring or how long it will last, since selectmen said more permanent mitigation efforts still must be negotiated.

One looming concern of neighbors is a second turbine, one of the same size and make that has gone up not far from the first. Falmouth’s Wind Two is scheduled to be turned on sometime this spring.

More from this series: