Wind Power Lunacy – Tea Party Nation

Wind Power Lunacy – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Can you love nature when it is covered with wind turbines? Or solar panels?

Putting aside the scientific, engineering, and economic idiocy behind the use of wind turbines and solar panels to generate less than three percent of the electricity used nationwide—or that, if the wind is not blowing and the sun not shining, electrical energy must be supplied by back-up traditional coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants.

My personal objection to wind power is the sheer ugliness of these devices. The notion of covering hillsides and plains with them is an offence to the land—to the nature Greens profess to love—and to the many thousands of birds they slaughter every year.

I can’t prove it, but I suspect that the only reason we have any wind energy, i.e. windmills and solar panels, anywhere in the U.S. is a combination of the huge propaganda power of the Greens, bribery, the stupidity and chicanery of politicians, and the gullibility of people who actually believe that wind—which does not blow all the time—is a rational source of power generation.

Suffice to say, the wind power industry would not exist without state government mandates for its use, federal tax credits, and the deafening silence of environmentalists who want to save every species on Earth with the exception of the wind turbine’s slaughter of a million of eagles, hawks, geese, bats, and other flying creatures every year.

The cliché is that great minds think alike and recently there have been a spate of editorials and commentaries, all coincidently written by colleagues of mine. One of them is Dr. Jay Lehr, the science director of The Heartland Institute, for which I am a policy advisor along with others with far more impressive credentials than my own as a longtime science and business writer. On June 17, The Wall Street Journal published Dr. Lehr’s commentary, “The Rationale for Wind Power Won’t Fly.”

“After decades of federal subsidies—almost $24 billion according to a recent estimate by former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm—nowhere in the United States, or anywhere else, has an array of wind turbines replaced a single conventional power plant.” Dr. Lehr inferentially raises the question of why any nation would spend that kind of money without receiving sufficient and equivalent electrical power. It is a very good question.

As Dr. Lehr noted, “It’s known to everybody in the industry that a wind turbine will generate electricity 30% of the time—but it’s impossible to predict when that time will be.” There are about 24,000 of these hideous machines according to the American Wind Energy Association and, given their lobbying, that number could double in the next decade. They will still not produce sufficient electricity—let alone predictable and constant electricity—for a small city.

Neither wind nor solar power will provide sufficient electrical energy. This begs the question why they even exist.

The short answer is that wind and solar have been sold to the public (which pays more for the electricity they produce) as not producing “greenhouse gas emissions” that are blamed for a global warming which is not happening, but the main gas, carbon dioxide, is vital to all life on Earth, being the “food” for all plant life, much of which we consume as crops such as wheat, corn, and rice. As a demonstration of the idiocy and hypocrisy of environmentalists, huge quantities of corn are, by government mandate, converted to ethanol—moonshine—that must be added to gasoline.

Another colleague, Rich Kozlovich, has a commentary in circulation that asks why the “Precautionary Principle” that is beloved by the Greens is not applied to wind turbines. Rich quoted another colleague of mine, CFACT’s Paul Driessen, “The Precautionary Principle insists that no new technology should be permitted until it can be shown that it will pose no threat to human health or the environment.” If fully applied, humanity would be denied another medication, chemical, or technological innovation.

“The hard reality is that the green movement does not care about facts, wildlife or humans,” says Kozlovich, “and logical consistency is totally alien to them…Green elites ‘know’ what is best for all of humanity,”

I doubt he will get the plaudits and recognition he deserves, but Dr. John Droz, Jr., a physicist, has devoted his knowledge to providing the best collection of scientific date available regarding the futility and stupidity of wind power. Dr. Droz has a website where you can learn the FACTS about wind power or you can Google his name to find his many excellent articles on the subject.

I have cited some of those facts, as has Dr. Lehr, Paul Driessen, and Rich Kozlovich, but it does not take an advanced degree in physics or any other science to grasp why constructing thousands of wind turbines to produce a miniscule amount of electricity has been one of the most idiotic enterprises to emerge from the vast global warming/climate change hoax.

Instead, we live in a nation whose president insists that climate change is the greatest threat to mankind and who is devoting the powers of government to shut down coal-fired plants, deter exploration and extraction of energy reserves on lands owned by the federal government, delaying the construction of a new pipeline, and the construction of new nuclear facilities. One of his suggestions for power generation is algae, pond scum.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

A Carbon Tax Would Destroy America – Tea Party Nation

A Carbon Tax Would Destroy America – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

If you want to know what a carbon tax on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would do to America you need only look at the destruction of industry and business in Australia, along with the soaring costs for energy use it imposes on anyone there.

“The carbon tax is contributing to a record number of firms going to the wall with thousands of employees being laid off and companies forced to close factories that have stood for generations”, Steve Lewis and Phil Jacob reported in a March 18 issue of The Daily Telegraph, a leading Australian newspaper.

“Soaring energy bills caused by the government’s climate change scheme have been called ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ by company executives and corporate rescue doctors who are trying to save ailing firms.”

The passage of a carbon tax in America would have the exact same results and it remains a top priority for the White House and Democrats in Congress who see it as a bonanza in new funding for the government.

As Paul Driessen says in a Townhall.com commentary, “More rational analysis reveals that dreams of growth are nothing more than dangerous tax revenue hallucinations. They would bring intense pain for no climate or economic gain.”

Too many Americans still believe that CO2 is causing global warming, but CO2 plays no role in climate change and is barely 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. More to the point, there is no warming and hasn’t been for the last seventeen years as the Earth is in a natural cooling cycle that has prolonged the advent of spring with severe snow storms throughout the nation.

There is no scientific justification for such a tax, but those advocating it don’t care about the science. They care about raising revenue for an ever-growing government to spend and waste.

Driessen points out that “Hydrocarbons (coal, oil, and natural gas) provide over 83% of all the energy that powers America. A carbon tax would put a hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat, and do. It would put the federal government in control of, not just one-sixth of the economy, as under Obamacare, but 100% of our economy and lives. It would make the United States increasingly less productive, less competitive globally, less able to provide opportunities for our children.”

The case for a carbon tax simply doesn’t exist, but there are powerful forces in Congress and the support of the White House to impose such a tax. The power of the environmental movement and its long history of lies about the climate, primarily the global warming hoax, cannot be dismissed or ignored.

In Australia, “The Australian Securities & Investments Commission reports there were 10,632 company collapses for the 12 months to March 1—averaging 886 a month—with the number of firms being placed in administration more than 12 percent higher than during the global financial crisis.” It represents “a record high…led by widespread failures in manufacturing and construction, which accounted for almost one-fifth of collapses.”

Greg Evans, the chief economic economist for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that “It defies logic to adopt a policy which even the Treasury acknowledges will lower our standards of living and be harmful to national productivity.” Adding to Australia’s struggling companies, the carbon tax and one on mining were showing up as “sovereign issues” in discussions with foreign investors.” Who would want to invest in Australia if these two taxes were destroying the economic strength of the nation?

Politics in Australia is no less a battleground than here in America. Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who introduced the carbon tax, just beat back a bid by her Labor Party’s dissidents to reinstall former leader Kevin Rudd who lost to her in 2010 and 2012. Much of the opposition to her comes from the harm being inflicted by the carbon and mining taxes.

Marlo Lewis is a senior fellow in energy and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. During the 2012 campaign, he described a carbon tax as “political poison for the Republican Party.” Mitt Romney opposed it, but ‘the big attraction of carbon taxes these days is not as a global warming policy but as a revenue enhancer. In both parties, deficit hawks and big spenders (often the same individuals) are flailing for ways to boost federal revenue.”

That is precisely the problem afflicting a nation whose Congress and President could not find a reason to cut anything from the federal budget. The result was the “sequestration” that imposed cuts neither party could agree upon.

In a Fox News article, “Here comes Team Obama’s carbon tax”. Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment and author of “Democracy Denied” reported that “The Treasury Department’s Office of Environment and Energy has finally begun to turn over documents about its preparations for a carbon tax in response to transparency warrior Chris Horner’s Freedom of Information Act request. The documents provide solid evidence that the Obama administration and its allies in Congress have every intention of implementing a carbon tax if we fail to stop them.”

President Obama’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is on record wanting to double or triple the cost of energy, much as his predecessor wanted.

A carbon tax, if enacted, would totally undermine a nation that has a debt climbing toward $17 trillion and millions unemployed in an economy that is struggling to inch its way out of the depths of the financial crisis.

If you wanted to destroy America, you could do it with a carbon tax. Australia is reeling from the cost to its economy and the higher energy costs its people are paying. We don’t want that here.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Time to End the Wind Power Tax Credit – Tea Party Nation

Time to End the Wind Power Tax Credit – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Like so much else that involves the absurd “renewable energy” scam—wind, solar power and ethanol—the public remains largely in the dark about its actual costs. They come straight out of their pockets in the form of higher costs for electricity and, in the cast of ethanol, lost mileage and engine damage.

At the end of this year, unless Congress does something spectacularly stupid—always a possibility—the Wing Production Tax Credit (PTC) will expire. If extended for just one more year, it will cost $12 billion. If wind energy was (1) reliable and (2) economical, one could make a case for it, but it is the very opposite.

Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, says “The wind industry claims a PTC extension will create 37,000 jobs. At a $12 billion price tag, that’s $327,000 taxpayer dollars for every job. But even with the PTC, the industry lost 10,000 jobs between 2009 and 2010, a 12% drop.”

Another way the wind industry has stayed in business, but not in the competitive sense of other industries, has been renewable energy mandates that require state utilities to purchase wind powered electricity generation. Many states have opted out of such mandates as they realized the cost to consumers.

The wind industry in America, according to Pyle, has cost taxpayers $20 billion over the past two decades “and, today, the PTC is so lavish that wind producers are actually paying the electricity grid to take their power, just so they can collect more taxpayer money.”

All the economic advances America has made have been the result of the discovery and utilization of energy generation from oil, natural gas, and coal. If you want to harm America in the most fundamental way, you would attack these sources of energy and that is exactly what the Obama administration has been doing since it took power. For decades coal represented fifty percent of all the electricity used, but incessant attacks by the Environmental Protection Agency, using clean air regulations, has reduced this significantly.

The reality is that 94% of all electricity generated in America comes from traditional sources, coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power. America is home to century’s worth of inexpensive coal, is the largest producer of natural gas, and invented nuclear power.

The absolute least sensible way to generate electricity is wind power, followed closely by solar power. Since the wind does not blow all the time or with sufficient ability to turn the blades of the huge turbines, it would seem obvious that wind is a moronic way to produce electricity, but that has not kept those reaping taxpayer tax credits and benefitting from mandates for its use from lining their pockets.

It is a curiosity of the debate over wind power that its impact on bird and bat species is rarely, if ever, discussed or reported. In a recent article, Paul Driessen noted that “The impact of mandated, subsidized and ‘production tax credited’ industrial wind facilities on eagles, whooping cranes, bads, and other value species is horrendous, ecologically devastating, intolerable—and growing. In fact, it is infinitely worse than the widely quoted figure of 440,000 birds per year…the actual USA death toll is 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year!”

The expert I turn to for information about wind power is John Droz, Jr., a physicist and a leading activist against its use whose website is worth visiting.

Wind power doesn’t meet any of the major criteria for the generation of electricity. Droz points out that it only produces about 30% of the power it allegedly can or should produce. This is because “it takes over one thousand times the amount of land for wind power” that a single nuclear power plant produces. Moreover, that land has to be located far from the cities and suburbs that need to access its power.

Is wind power reliable or even predictable? Compared to traditional power generators, it doesn’t come close compared to the standards set for them. Indeed, “when power is really needed,” notes Droz, such as hot summer afternoons, “wind is usually on vacation.” It most certainly cannot be depended upon to dispatch power to the grid on demand, nor can it supply power reliably to meet a 24/7 demand.

Along with the Wind Protection Tax Credit, the industry is subsidized far more than any conventional power source, Cost per megawatt-hour, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, is subsidized to the tune of $23 per megawatt-hour. Compare that with coal that receives 44 cents! Natural gas at 25 cents! Hydroelectric at 67 cents, and nuclear power at $1.59.

The advocates of wind power are the same charlatans who keep shouting about carbon dioxide (CO2) as the cause of global warming—and now “climate change—when CO2 plays no role whatever in causing or changing the climate. It is also touted as being environmentally beneficial, but tell that to the thousands of bird and bat species the wind turbines kill every year.

Allowing the PTC to expire at the end of the year will not mark the end of wind power, but it will surely make it even less competitive in the years ahead and, like other nations that bought into this fairy tale, those dependent on it are going to suffer some dire consequences, particularly as the current cooling cycle the Earth has been in for the last sixteen years deepens.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

 

DRIESSEN: Government eyes crippling climate-control measures – Washington Times

DRIESSEN: Government eyes crippling climate-control measures – Washington Times.

Raising energy costs will stifle economy, kill jobs

By Paul Driessen

carbontaxThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to unleash its first wave of carbon-dioxide regulations. Some members of Congress want to tax hydrocarbon use and carbon-dioxide emissions. Moreover, United Nations climate alarmists are trying to devise a new treaty to regulate energy use at the international level. Even one of these government actions would send shock waves through the economy. If all three are imposed (or worse, imposed in conjunction with Obamacare and other tax increases on job and wealth creators) the impacts will be devastating.

This climate crisis threatens our energy use, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare. The actions are being justified by assertions that they will stabilize the Earth’s climate, prevent global-warming disasters and raise hundreds of billions of dollars to cover “essential” government spending.

Our planet’s climate has never been stable and never will be. Despite rising carbon-dioxide levels, average global temperatures have not risen for 16 years. There is no empirical evidence to support assertions and computer models that claim carbon dioxide drives climate change or to suggest that greenhouse gases have supplanted the complex natural forces that have produced big and little ice ages, floods and droughts, and stormy and quiescent periods throughout Earth’s history.

These inconvenient truths are irrelevant to anti-hydrocarbon campaigners, who are using “dangerous man-made climate change” as the best pretext yet devised to control energy use and economies. They simply hypothesize, model and assert that every observed weather phenomenon is due to human carbon-dioxide emissions. Whether it’s warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more ice or less, more storms or fewer storms, “It’s exactly what we predicted,” climate alarmists say.

This is not science. It is political science, rooted in an ideological loathing of fossil fuels, economic growth and humanity itself.

youlie2The consequences for average workers and families will be dire.

These actions are intended to increase the cost of the hydrocarbon energy that powers our economy. Yet raising the cost of transportation fuels, electricity, lighting, heating and air conditioning will raise the price of food, materials and equipment. This will severely impact the bottom line for factories, utilities, offices, farms, shops, airlines, shippers, hospitals, schools, churches, charities and government offices. The poorest families may get rebates for their increased energy costs, but institutions will not. They will be forced to reduce wages, hours and benefits, hire fewer full-time employees, lay off people, outsource operations to countries where energy costs are lower or even close their doors.

Taxes paid by companies and employees will dwindle. Instead of paying taxes, newly jobless workers will collect unemployment and welfare benefits from shrinking government coffers. Charities will have much less money, even if deductions for donations remain in the U.S. tax code.

Unemployment will bring reduced nutrition, increased stress and higher rates of heart attack and stroke, spousal and child abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide and premature death. The social, economic and health care costs will further “fundamentally transform” America, as President Obama says he is determined to do.

Even if Congress legislates carbon taxes, nothing suggests that EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will refrain from imposing EPA’s anti-hydrocarbon rules on top of them or that the White House and Senate will reject any new U.N. treaty. There is no hint that the Interior Department will cease using the Endangered Species Act and other laws to shut down oil and gas drilling while ignoring the growing slaughter of eagles and whooping cranes by wind turbines. The Energy and Defense departments, the EPA and Congress are unlikely to stop spending more in borrowed funds to subsidize corn ethanol and Navy biofuel schemes.

These anti-hydrocarbon policies also mean the U.S. Treasury will be deprived of hundreds of billions of dollars in lease bonuses, royalties, taxes and other revenues that it would realize from the development of our nation’s vast oil, natural gas and coal deposits. Instead, the United States will be forced to pay billions more for imported oil, often from unethical, environmentally reckless countries.

New hydrocarbon energy restrictions and “green” energy demands will deprive developing-nation families and communities of abundant, reliable, affordable energy; obstruct economic and human rights progress; and keep entire nations impoverished. They will kill millions more from lung infections (from burning wood and dung), intestinal diseases (from contaminated water), malnutrition and diseases of poverty and eco-imperialism.

Those countries will receive far less foreign aid from increasingly cash-strapped Western nations. Little good will come of the Green Climate Fund cash the United Nation says industrialized nations should transfer to kleptocratic rulers in poor countries as reparations for supposedly causing climate change.

For every nation, this coerced energy and economic deprivation will make it increasingly difficult to adapt to future climate changes that nature inevitably will bring our way. So much for the modern era. Mankind ought to have the wealth and technology to adapt far more easily than our ancestors were able to do.

Climate alarmists are doing everything in their power to avoid discussing these issues and to vilify anyone who brings them up. However, we need to have this debate, and we need to have it now — especially in Congress and our state legislatures — before destructive decisions are imposed on us and our children.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” (Merril Press, 2012).

 

DRIESSEN: The coming environmental battlegrounds – Washington Times

DRIESSEN: The coming environmental battlegrounds – Washington Times.

Green agenda threatens economic future

By Paul Driessen

Subsidized pressure and propaganda: Billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies continue to flow each year to bureaucratic zealots, environmentalist pressure groups, universities and other organizations. These dollars fund junk science, strained justifications for indefensible rules, more pressure to regulate for increasingly diminished returns, and outright propaganda.

Federal and state legislators need to hold investigative hearings, demand accountability, cut bloated agency budgets that enable such expenditures, and question why tax-exempt activist groups should receive taxpayer money funneled through government agencies.

America can continue paying billions in subsidies annually to prop up “green” technologies and agenda-driven science, or we can generate tens of billions a year in royalties and taxes, create millions of jobs and rejuvenate our economy through hydrocarbons, nuclear power and common-sense regulations.

Will President Obama, Democrats and executive branch agencies be receptive to bipartisan approaches — to institutionalizing all-of-the-above energy decisions that make scientific, economic, environmental and technological sense? Or will they be even more entrenched, knowing the White House can act via executive decree if Congress does nothing?

The answer will determine whether the United States becomes an economic powerhouse once again or an enormous Greece. Blessed with more oil, gas and coal than almost any other nation on earth, we must not refuse to develop these resources.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” (Merril Press, 2012).