08 July 2005

Clean Air and Wind Power Get the Kiss of Death

Two of the major tenets of the environmental movement were given the kiss of death recently. The kiss was not dissimilar from what Vito Agueci gave Joseph Valachi in 1961 in that no one saw it coming. For years, the enviros have been preaching the benefits of reducing air pollution and harnessing power from the wind. Two pretty good ideas right? We all enjoy clean air and wind is free.

So we thought.

So we have been told all these years. Well, it appears we have all been wrong.
Reducing pollution levels in the air could lead to much higher levels of global warming, researchers have warned.

Reducing aerosols - small particles and droplets in the air produced by cars, chemical emissions and smoke - would allow more of the sun's heat to enter the atmosphere.

This would speed up the warming process, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Care for more?

Another well-known cog in the wheel-o-green is the constant banter for the development and use of alternative forms of energy.

If Pacific Gas & Electric would build more hydroelectric facilities, we wouldn't be so dependent on fossil fuels.

If General Motors would build a hydrogen fuel cell, we wouldn'’t be so dependent on fossil fuels.

If more energy producers embraced wind power, we wouldn't be so dependent on fossil fuels.

If we weren't so dependent on fossil fuels, we wouldn't be in Iraq. Sorry, different topic.

The energy producers listened and for the past few decades, so-called wind farms have sprouted up all across the surface of our nation. One of the earliest windolectric facilities I can remember is on top of Altamont Pass in Alameda County, California. Altamont Pass seemed as if it were destined for use as a wind farm as it is located at the divide between the San Francisco bay area and California'’s great central valley. On days when the valley gets hot, as it has been doing for the past week, ambient air from the bay tries to fill the areas depleted by the rising hot air in the valley. The result is a strong westerly breeze that rushes across the top of Altamont Pass, through thousands of turbine generators and into the valley where the hot breeze hits my house and causes my PG&E bill to soar like a Lanius ludovicianus.

The Heartland Institute opines...
Giant wind turbines at Altamont Pass, California, are illegally killing more than 1,000 birds of prey each year, according to a lawsuit filed January 12 by the Center for Biological Diversity. The suit demands an injunction halting operation of the turbines until and unless protective measures are taken and highlights increasing concerns regarding a power source long hailed as environmentally friendly by environmental activist groups.

"“Altamont has become a death zone for eagles and other magnificent and imperiled birds of prey"” said Jeff Miller, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity. "Birds come into the pass to hunt and get chopped up by the blades."

Owners of the wind turbines assert they have gone to great measures to protect birds from being sliced up by the turbine blades, but the technology simply does not exist to generate wind power without sacrificing an immense number of birds each year.

"“It'’s so unfair to say we have not been actively trying to do anything," said Steve Stengel, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light Company, which owns many of the turbines. "“We’ve done everything from installing perch guards to painting rotor blades."

Miller, however, was skeptical wind power generators are doing all they can to ameliorate bird deaths.

"“We'’re asking the judge to throw the book at them,"” said Miller. "“We'’re not suggesting they're going to be shut down. We are suggesting turbine owners out there need to take some measures to reduce bird kill, and that they come up with some adequate mitigation or compensation."

Once again, the antagonists just lob grenades at the issue and offer no attempt to provide a solution.

What'’ll they think of next… Reducing air pollution is bad or something like that?

Open Post Thanks to The Mudville Gazette.

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