Planet Gore

Left Coast Diary: ‘Where Are The Windmills?’

“Where are the windmills?” asked my son in Santa Cruz, California. They were nowhere to found in the devout Green Bible Belt of Northern California.

California likes to talk the talk, but not to walk the walk. This state has made the Prius an icon — but refuses the pain of Euro-style gas taxes. It demands a 30 percent Renewable Power Standard, but refuses to sully its gorgeous views with wind turbines.

A case in point is the San Francisco and Monterey peninsulas that border the Pacific south of the Bay Area. Home to California’s Silicon Valley rich and spectacular coastal Highway 1, it is also home to staunch NIMBYism.

We saw not one wind farm all week.

It is not that wind farm advocates haven’t tried — but their requests for siting over the years have been delayed by concerns about choking tourist-friendly Pacific views, or shredding vulture populations, or shredding eagle populations. By way of contrast, similar territory along Germany’s North Sea cost is packed with windmills. In fact, California’s Pacific Coast is a model of the utility of centralized coal power. One giant plant lights the Santa Cruz coast down to Monterey — saving thousands of acres from ugly wind farms.

Californians aren’t as European as they think.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

Most Popular

PC Culture

John Oliver’s Micro-Trolling

John Oliver is sometimes classified as a political satirist, but what he really seems to fancy is nonsensical trolling. Remember his big idea for taking down Donald Trump two years ago? It was a lengthy segment making fun of an ancestral name, Drumpf, that might have been changed to Trump as far back as the 17th ... Read More
White House

The Anti-Trump Effort Backfires

No one following the Russian-collusion and related dramas should be in any doubt about the steady flow of the balance of damaging evidence away from Trump and on to his accusers. It is clear that the hierarchy of the FBI and analogues in the Justice Department and intelligence services, horrified at the thought ... Read More
PC Culture

The Confederate Mind

Senator Elizabeth Warren has doubled down on her insistence that she is Native American. The New One-Drop Fixation In her past incarnations, she probably used that yarn in hopes of helping her win a law professorship at Harvard, which touted her as the law school’s first indigenous-American professor (and ... Read More

The Truth Hurts at Penn Law

One of the chief criticisms of affirmative action is that it devalues credentials that minorities could otherwise use to distinguish themselves. If college admissions were purely merit-based, employers would have no reason to discount an impressive degree just because it is held by a black or Hispanic applicant. ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Social-Media Panic

‘Make no mistake: 2016 will never happen again.” Historians are not always reliable predictors of the future, but Niall Ferguson’s analysis of how Silicon Valley and the center-Left would react to the successive and surprise victories of Brexit and Donald Trump is proving correct. Conservatives and ... Read More
White House

The Real Collusion Story

Barack Obama keeps a close watch on his emotions. “I loved Spock,” he wrote in February 2015 in a presidential statement eulogizing Leonard Nimoy. Growing up in Hawaii, the young man who would later be called “No-Drama Obama” felt a special affinity for the Vulcan first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. ... Read More