September 30, 2005

The wind energy way

Like the Republican gangsters (and their Democratic molls) that have taken over our government, Greenpeace appears to believe that an effective way to silence the opposition is to throw out so many lies and non sequiturs that a concise response is impossible.

A staffer from Greenpeace's Washington office, Hallie Caplan, has been firing off letters to local newspapers where wind power battles are being fought. One of them appeared Wednesday in the Caledonian-Record of St. Johnsbury, Vt., beginning, "I am so excited about the windmill that will be erected this week."

As far as I know, there is no "windmill" erection planned in the area.

Then she gushes that "wind energy could supply 20 percent of the U.S.'s electricity from non-renewable hydro sources by 2020."

What is "non-renewable hydro"? Hydropower is generally considered a renewable source. Perhaps she meant "non-hydro renewables" but got jumbled in her excitement about the nonexisting new turbine. (Although the same phrase appears in a letter by her in Tuesday's Miller (S.D.) Press.)

If she meant hydro, then 20% of its 2002 contribution to our electricity is only 1.3%. For this she advocates industrializing Vermont's mountaintops? This is essential to combatting greenhouse gas emissions -- displacing nonpolluting hydro and causing new ecosystem damage?

If she meant non-hydro renewables, it's even more pathetic: 20% of that contribution is less than 0.5% of our electricity.

Despite this weak start, the letter goes on with the usual exaggerated claims of wind's potential, lumps it with other renewables, implies that it does not require 200 acres for every megawatt of output, lumps it with efficiency programs, insists we will save money (Greenpeace the cheap-energy advocate!), and even closes with the promise that the destruction of health and the environment by dirty energy sources "would be eliminated." (Actually Caplan specifies "health care" as one of the externalities to be eliminated, again making response difficult.)

In a similar letter in Monday's Greenfield (Mass.) Recorder, Caplan says, "The wind industry will provide a valuable source of highly skilled manufacturing jobs at a time when outsourcing has become a household word and a serious threat to people across the country." Apparently she hasn't heard about the turbine parts coming to this country from Vietnam, China, Brazil, Mexico, and Korea.

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