Windfall

Via Althouse, since I’ve been on a plane all day and currently have the intellectual capacity of a TSA agent.

I’m not going to pretend this documentary is fair. And I’m sure the Left will find it was funded by the Koch Brothers or something. But I do know that we have looked at wind power with a thousandth of the skepticism with which we’ve looked at, say, nuclear. There is a downside to wind power; there are greedy money-grubbing corporations involved; and — as we’ve seen with this Administration — green energy involves lots of influence-peddling and corruption.

I’m not saying wind power isn’t part of our future. I am saying that the issues raised in the trailer (and presumably the documentary) need to be part of the discussion. There are reasons we turned our backs on wind power a couple of centuries ago.

  1. Here’s an interesting comparison of various types of alt energy taking into account 10 factors (abundance, difficulty of building/operating, intermittentcy, how good each is for electricity, heat or transport, etc.) http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/02/the-alternative-energy-matrix/

    On a scale of 1 to 10, wind scores a 3, solar a 5, and oil/gas 8 (no 10′s; 8 is the highest). The main problem with oil and gas (in this guy’s mind at least) is their lack of abundance. It’s interesting to note that he doesn’t dock any points for carbon emissions. Not sure if he disregards climate change hype entirely, or is just more concerned with the immediate problem of oil supply not keeping up with demand.

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  2. AGW needs to be part of the discussion, but it’s part, not the end-all, be-all. It’s a cost and NO energy is without some cost, some damage to the environment or some consequence. As it is in economics, so it is it in physics: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    There is no way we will ever discover new sources of energy with a hamstrung economy. Keeping the engine of civilization going is the priority.

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  3. Sounds like a Shelbyville type of idea….

    Wind farms are a bust – the power generated is too inconsistent and too little to be economically worthwhile.

    The only way to make wind power work is to force the wind to happen, which is simple to do but hideously expensive.

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  4. The only way to make wind power work is to force the wind to happen, which is simple to do but hideously expensive.

    Portable windmills and laws mandatinjg politicians always have a minimum number of these mills around them when they speak?

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  5. Well, that’s one way to take advantage of hot air…

    1) Build an open tube that is a few hundred miles long, a couple hundred feet across and runs from sea level to someplace around Denver. The difference in air pressure will generate massive winds inside the tube. You create pinchpoints create higher wind velocities and install turbines.

    2) This one has already been done. You build a massive stack that is a few hundred feet high and surround it with a greenhouse for several miles in all directions. When the sun heats up the air underneath the greenhouse it creates winds that go up and out the stack. You install turbines in the stack. Drawback is that it requires sunlight to operate, but you do get to do some farming underneath it.

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  6. And I’m sure the Left will find it was funded by the Koch Brothers or something.

    Haven’t researched this beyond your posting, but my guess is it’s left funded. Wind power is a growing business. Growing enough to generate profits for some. Once that happens the “clean energy” source that was yesterday’s darling becomes the new evil. Same thing happened with ethanol once big agriculture got their subsidies. Profit is by far is what they consider the worst pollution. The bigger wind energy gets the more hated it will be, and some new darling will pop up. The new darling will be the talk of the “green” movement for years until you know what happens.

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  7. Im surprised some radial lefty hasn’t came out against windmills, do to the fact that birds, bats and other airborne varmints get killed by the blades….oh and massive wind farms disrupt the climate/weather downrange, and slowly slowly slows the planets rotation..

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  8. Im surprised some radial lefty hasn’t came out against windmills, do to the fact that birds, bats and other airborne varmints get killed by the blades….

    Ted Kennedy (MHBIH) and his brood came out against any windmills that would spoil their views. They had no problem putting them in other people’s backyards, just not near their mansions or in the ocean where they go cavort on their yachts.

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  9. I’ve read that wind farms create low frequency sound that isn’t detected on decibel meters (it’s too low pitched to register on the meters despite the volume) and hence isn’t accounted for by noise regulations that wind farms have to abide by otherwise. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want one of these things anywhere near me. If we’re down to wind farms, fuck it, let’s just move back into caves.

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