Planet Gore

A Mighty Wind?

A sailor writes in to puff up wind power — which is only fair, when you think about it.

The work that you do is great, and Planet Gore is an excellent one-stop shop for energy-issue updates — but I agree with the comment that some sort of charter is needed.
I can be classified as a geeky engineer — working outside the energy industry, but with past energy experience. And I have a critical eye on the certainty of “experts” using “consensus” in place of scientific method.
But when I see critical entries in the blog about some forms of renewable energy — particularly wind power — I scratch my head.  Isn’t criticism of wind power supposed to be a left-wing, Sierra club reaction based on its “environmental impact” on migratory birds, et al.?
Wind power is sustainable and “free”, with a much lower environmental impact than the equally sustainable and “free” hydroelectric power. Both reduce our foreign-energy dependence but are primary examples of where the Greens collide with each other — pragmatic scientific greens with biologist-nutroot Sierra Club types.
So what is the conservative argument against wind power? — other than that the free-market should determine locations and not the Sierra club types.
Most of the other positions taken in the blog are on the right track with respect to government interference and a tendency to glorify unproven, unrealistic, or inefficient solutions to energy issues.  I’ll continue to follow the blog, no matter where you take it.
Very respectfully,

USN Chemical Engineer Guy

Wind is sustainable, but it’s not sustained. You can certainly have too little wind, as Iain Murray reported last week. And wind can fail on the hottest days, when you need power the most. And then, of course, sometimes you can have too much wind.  This kind of unpredictability has its cost — which means wind is not quite “free.”
The fact that they are bird Cuisinarts is certainly a factor for some green opponents, but there are other arguments against it.

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