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Legalize the Constitution
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I hate the damn things and was prompted to make this post because today we drove diagonally across Nebraska from the northeast down to North Platte. Out in the central part of the state there are two or three large wind farms, and at least one rancher pissed off enough to post a big sign out on the highway…something about “Making God’s Country Look Like Hell.” Sure seemed windy enough, but one entire wind farm wasn’t turning a blade. Power grid full? I don’t know.

They’ve ruined our view of the lights of Cheyenne from our place 12 miles outside of town. Now when we look west after dark we see red lights blinking from N - S behind that portion of Cheyenne visible to us.

You’ll read in the attached article about a successful lawsuit brought against a wind energy company for the killing of 150 bald and golden eagles, in addition to uncounted bats and migratory birds. You’ll also read about a Berkshire-Hathaway owned wind energy company threatening Madison County, Iowa (of the famous covered bridges) with a lawsuit when county supervisors voted to stop their project.

quote:
The rejections of large-scale wind projects continue. On Tuesday, county commissioners in Otoe County, Nebraska voted to impose a one-year moratorium on applications for wind projects. The vote in Otoe County is the fifth rejection in 2022. It also marks the 328th time that government entities from Maine to Hawaii have rejected or restricted wind projects since 2015. All of these rejections are documented in the Renewable Rejection Database which also includes some of the solar rejections that have occurred over the past few years.

Before going further, let me be clear: you won’t hear about these hundreds of rejections from the Sierra Club. Nor will you read about it in the New York TimesNYT -1.6% even though the resistance to the encroachment of big renewable projects is so widespread, and so many communities in New York are rejecting wind and solar projects, that the state has pushed through regulations that give Albany bureaucrats the authority to override objections of local communities and issue permits for renewable projects. Nor will you hear about the widespread resistance to renewables on National Public Radio, which as I explained in a March 7 article for Quillette, has been publishing pro-wind propaganda that is masquerading as news. Nor will you hear about it from academics at elite universities like Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Texas, who are producing elaborate net-zero models that require deploying massive amounts of wind-energy capacity.
- Robert Bryce, Forbes


Forbes Article on Rejecting Wind Farms


_______________________________________________________
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
- Lord Byron
 
Posts: 11731 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: January 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
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Don't forget, oil is renewable energy on a longer time scale.

And we'll frack, frack, frack until daddy takes the windmills away!
 
Posts: 5272 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Knowing is Half the Battle
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If I recall correctly, Iowa is the or one of the largest producers of wind electricity. There are alot of windmills west of Madison County, MidAmerican Energy wanted more, Madison County fought it hard with very onerous county regulations making it very cost prohibitive to put them in. Along with slicing bald eagles and the eyesore component, it is my understanding they are noisy near them and the blades are hard to recycle/dispose of afterwards.

When we went on out honeymoon in Hawaii in 2007 we saw some old defunct windmills on the Big Island's south point, just sitting there rusting away. That was back before wind energy was a big thing in the 48 states thanks to generous green energy tax incentives, which I think is the only thing that makes them cost effective.
 
Posts: 2327 | Location: Iowa by way of Missouri | Registered: July 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
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A horrible scenic blight on our Country. I love the Columbia Gorge country in Or. and SW Wa. Totally destroyed by them.

Not to mention made in China and the horrendous volume of natural resources it take to build and assemble each and every one.

Another stupid solution looking for a problem.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 17595 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His diet consists of black
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I know, preaching to the choir, but wind isn't that "green." The windmills (and solar) take up vast amounts of acreage (which, to be fair, wasn't being used much anyway), kill birds, and occasionally dump their lubricating oil or catch fire. Either of those require diesel-powered heavy equipment to, respectively, clean up or put out the fire. The manufacture, transportation to the site and erection of them also uses resources and pollutes.
 
Posts: 25979 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Legalize the Constitution
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quote:
The windmills (and solar) take up vast amounts of acreage (which, to be fair, wasn't being used much anyway)

BS

Define “used.”


_______________________________________________________
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
- Lord Byron
 
Posts: 11731 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: January 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Waiting for Hachiko
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No wind turbines where I live, but hundreds of acres of solar farms. Instead of placing these on existing ones paces, most were installed after cutting and clearing woods.

And most promoted by county supervisors greasing some start up friends company.


美しい犬
 
Posts: 6673 | Location: Near the Metropolis of Tightsqueeze, Va | Registered: February 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Define “used.”

Prior human development. Other than isolated mining operations and a few hermits or prospectors, there wasn't much of that in, for example, the wind farm in Tehachapi Pass and the solar plants near Barstow (that one caught fire circa 2000, BTW) or Ivanpah, California. These were all open desert prior to these operations going in. Having lived there for many years, this is what I'm familiar with. Have you got a different definition?

Where I live now doesn't have enough sunshine (many days are cloudy) or wind to make power, but does have abundant hydro.
 
Posts: 25979 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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More reason to despise wind farms -

Billions of Wind Turbine Blades Built With Balsa Wood Stripped From Amazon’s Forests

Green groups are starting to rumble the fact that wind power ain’t so green, after all. Giant industrial wind turbines comprise hundreds of tonnes of steel, aluminium, plastics, copper and rare earths used in the generator’s magnets. There is also at least a tonne of gear oil and hydraulic fluid on board. And then there’s the 50-80 m long blades each weighing between 12 and 18 tonnes, each a veritable cocktail of toxic plastics, fibreglass and composite materials – all inevitably headed for landfill.

But it’s what’s inside those blades that’s now pricking the consciences of those who hitherto thought these things could do no wrong.

Stripping the Amazon basin’s forests is said to be among the threats to planetary harmony.

Over the last 20 years ago, burger chains like McDonald’s have been the target of green opprobrium and activism for clear-felling timber to make way for the cattle ranches that would produce the beef that burger munchers love. As Homer might retort: “Mmmm, cheeseburgers”.

Now, it seems the wind industry is drawing heat for much the same reason: balsa wood provides the backbone for the millions of blades currently whirling all around the world. And the Amazon – aka the lungs of the Earth – is being stripped bare to get it.

So, an utterly pointless power source, pointless because it can’t deliver power as and when it’s needed and that wouldn’t exist in the absence of massive subsidies, has an environmental footprint bigger than a trillion Big Macs! Who would have thought, hey?

What has the destruction of balsa trees in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest got to do with the wind power industry in Europe?

As the international commitment to renewable energy has grown in recent years, the increase in wind farms has triggered a huge demand for balsa wood, leaving a trail of deforestation in its wake.

Balsa wood is used in Europe, and also more intensively in China, as a component in the construction of the blades of wind turbines. Already-installed wind turbines, with blades that stretch to 80 metres, can cover an area of approximately 21,000 square metres, which is equivalent to about three football pitches. More recent wind turbine designs can incorporate blades that are up to 100-metres long that consume about 150 cubic metres of balsa wood each – equivalent to several tonnes – according to calculations attributed to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

In 2018, international demand for balsa wood increased significantly. The tropical wood is flexible and yet hard, while also being both light and resilient. Ecuador, which is the main exporter of balsa, with about 75% of the global market, is home to several large exporters, such as Plantabal S.A. in Guayaquil, which dedicates up to 10,000 hectares to growing the wood for export.

Balsa fever

The increased demand led to the deforestation of virgin balsa in the Amazon basin, in what came to be known as ‘balsa fever’. Balseros began to illegally deforest virgin balsa from the islands and banks of the Amazonian rivers in an effort to overcome the shortage of cultivated wood. This has had a terrible impact on the Indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon, in a similarly brutal way to that caused by mining and oil extraction in recent decades, and the rubber boom at the start of the 20th century.

In 2019, the extension of a road in the Pastaza province bordering Peru through Indigenous Shuar and Achuar territory to link the community of Copataza to the western city of Puyo, caused controversy among the Achuar people.

For the most part, locals perceived the road, which was built without waiting for full Indigenous consensus, more as a threat of extractivism and deforestation than as a contribution to the potential development of their community. But it advanced like a syringe through the jungle, reaching its destination in November of that year.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the ambitious European Green Pact in Brussels. The pact, among other things, aimed to reverse climate change by promoting the progressive replacement of fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming through the production of greenhouse gases, with cleaner energy sources.

As a result of the 2019 pact, the financial outlook for renewables, including wind power, boosted the number of wind farm construction projects in Europe, and added to China’s wind rush. In December 2020, President Xi Jinping declared that China would increase its installed wind and solar power capacity to more than 1,200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, a five-fold increase from the current 243GW.

The triggering of ‘balsa fever’ has had devastating consequences for Ecuador’s Indigenous Amazonian communities. The story soon moved from the local media to the international press. And in January this year, The Economist published an article pointing out the problems that the irregular extraction of balsa for wind turbine blades had caused in Ecuador, highlighting the negative impact on the Waorani Indigenous people, based within the Yasuní National Park.

In September, when democraciaAbierta visited the Achuar indigenous territory, travelling down the Pastaza River, one of the areas most affected by balsa fever, we found that the territory’s balsa had already been completely deforested and that the balseros, in their determination to obtain more wood, had moved onto the Peruvian Amazon.

Rising prices due to supply shortages created an incentive to accelerate search for less environmentally damaging materials

The consequences of this rush have been especially destructive for local communities. In June, the Indigenous leaders of the Achuar Nationality of Ecuador (NAE), reacted by declaring that they would not allow the deforestation of balsa wood in their territory. “Don’t make any investment, even if you cut down balsa you won’t be able to extract it, it won’t be sold,” they posted on Facebook.

But it was a futile declaration, which came too late.

In the Sharamentsa community, for example, which has embraced energy innovation by hosting a solar-powered canoe project, and which had actively resisted opening its islands to loggers, one of its leaders finally bowed to pressure – agreeing to the selling of the community’s balsa. It’s a decision that has caused pain, rejection and division among families and has had consequences for the ecosystem of the islands and for the river itself.

The balseros bring alcohol, drugs and prostitution, and pollute the extraction sites with plastics, cans, machinery, gasoline and oil spills. They abandon used chains from their chainsaws. They eat the turtles and chase away the parrots, toucans and other birds that feed on the flowers of the balsa trees. The breakdown of ecosystems by illegal deforestation has profound impacts on the balance of local flora and fauna, which will never recover.

Given the devastating social and ecological impacts of using balsa wood for wind power, it is urgent that the global turbine industry implements strict measures to trace the origin of the balsa wood it uses, to stop the large-scale reliance on this precious natural resource, and to prevent market pressure from leading to unplanned and illegal deforestation.

Alternatives that are less socially and environmentally damaging need to be relied on instead. Rising prices that followed supply shortages have created a powerful incentive to accelerate this process. According to The Economist, the price of balsa doubled from mid-2019 to mid-2020. In 2019, Ecuador exported $219m worth of balsa wood, up 30% from the previous record in 2015. In the first 11 months of 2020, it exported $784m worth.

In fact, alternative materials have been incorporated into the initial production stage of the blades since at least 2014, and have gone into full production after significant supply problems occurred in 2020, including materials such as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), a low-density foam generated from plastic bottles. Consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie has forecast that the proportion of PET use “will increase from 20% in 2018 to more than 55% by 2023, while demand for balsa will remain stable”.

An added problem for the blades is their recyclability. The first generation of wind turbines are starting to reach the end of their lifespan, meaning approximately 14,000 wind blades will be dismantled in Europe by 2023, according to Ramón González-Drigo, professor in strength of materials and structural engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Spain. “Currently, between 85 and 90% of the total mass of wind generators can be recycled,” González-Drigo told democraciaAbierta. “But the blades represent a challenge due to the composite materials that make them up and whose recycling requires very specific processes.”

For all these reasons, the change of technology is urgent, although the damage to communities and the ecosystem has already been done.

Pressure on rural populations

The socio-environmental impact of wind farms does not end with the issue of massive deforestation of Amazonian balsa. Many of the regions in Europe that host these wind farms are experiencing serious socio-economic and environmental disruption from ever-larger wind turbines.

Wind farms require constant wind conditions in relatively unpopulated territories, where opposition from local populations is weak. This is the case of the Matarraña region, in the Spanish province of Teruel, where several wind farm projects are already in the final appeals phase and are very likely to be installed soon.

Many among the local population feel powerless to prevent the arrival of these million-euro investments that cause dire impacts on fauna, flora, landscape and social cohesion. “Here we have a debate between the need for renewable energy, where wind farms have a clear role, and the need to preserve the territory, the landscape. This doesn’t sit well,” said Eduard Susanna, a rural tourism business owner and olive oil producer based in Calaceite, in Matarraña.

Wind power contributed 21.9% of the electricity consumed in Spain last year. Its increased share in the energy mix has fed the upward pressure on electricity prices, which have soared to levels never seen before in Europe.

This pressure is felt by Spanish communities near wind farms, which perceive wind power companies “as a very strong aggression”, according to Esperanza Miravete, a geography and history teacher from Valjunquera, a town of 338 inhabitants in the same region of Matarraña. “The same aggressions are taking place in [the less populated rural regions of] ‘empty Spain’,” Miravete said. “There is no figure of landscape protection, there is no natural park or anything that can stop an industrial implantation here.”

Wind energy has already become a key aspect of global strategy and is set for further expansion in the coming years. But there are downsides to this boom. The deforestation pressure on balsa has been brutal for the Amazonian Indigenous people of Ecuador, while the pressure on regions in Europe to host new wind farms brings with it conflict.

END


__________
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal labotomy."
 
Posts: 3175 | Location: Lehigh Valley, PA | Registered: March 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They are getting ready to build them offshore here. You will be able to see them from the beach. A lot of environmental groups are trying to stop them. Our town that has a closed down nuclear power plant that will now be used to make the connection to the grid.


Living the Dream
 
Posts: 3882 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: December 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by egregore:
I know, preaching to the choir, but wind isn't that "green." The windmills (and solar) take up vast amounts of acreage (which, to be fair, wasn't being used much anyway), kill birds, and occasionally dump their lubricating oil or catch fire. Either of those require diesel-powered heavy equipment to, respectively, clean up or put out the fire. The manufacture, transportation to the site and erection of them also uses resources and pollutes.


The American Wind Energy Association says it takes about 230 tons of steel, more than a thousand tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic blades to make a single wind turbine; all with a life-cycle of around 20 years.

To produce half the world’s electricity from wind, we will need about 3 million more turbines. Three million turbines at 230 tons of steel each equals about 690 million tons of steel from about 1 billion tons of iron ore. Then, in about 20 years another billion tons of iron ore. At what point do we exhaust the Earth’s supply of mineable iron ore?
 
Posts: 3170 | Registered: January 25, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They are getting ready to build them offshore here. You will be able to see them from the beach. A lot of environmental groups are trying to stop them. Our town that has a closed down nuclear power plant that will now be used to make the connection to the grid.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Marthas Vineyard??? Teddy Kennedy stopped this last time. Said it would ruin his view of the ocean.
 
Posts: 13967 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We'll just have to cut back our electricity usage. Maybe just have it on a few hours a day, or implement some kind of rationing or credit system. (I'm being a little sarcastic here, but not entirely. If things continue to go as they are, this isn't that farfetched.)
quote:
At what point do we exhaust the Earth’s supply of mineable iron ore?
 
Posts: 25979 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Legalize the Constitution
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quote:
Originally posted by egregore:
quote:
Define “used.”

Prior human development. Other than isolated mining operations and a few hermits or prospectors, there wasn't much of that in, for example, the wind farm in Tehachapi Pass and the solar plants near Barstow (that one caught fire circa 2000, BTW) or Ivanpah, California. These were all open desert prior to these operations going in. Having lived there for many years, this is what I'm familiar with. Have you got a different definition?

I was responding to your comment that the land the wind turbines (and solar panels) are located on “wasn’t used much anyway.” A piece of land doesn’t need to be developed by humans in order to provide a benefit to me, or society. I’ll say no more, but your idea of useful is not mine.


_______________________________________________________
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
- Lord Byron
 
Posts: 11731 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: January 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
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what about the hundreds of years of Natural gas available to generate electricity for generations.

If the global elitist would fuck off there would be no worry about having enough clean energy for electricity for hundreds of years.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 17595 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There's a scenic area in Oklahoma that a lot of people go to vacation in and its been ruined by the nearby windmills.
I passed through there a few years ago and I was shocked that they put them there. Its a hilly area, not even the flat prairie land where they usually put the eye sores.


No one's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.- Mark Twain
 
Posts: 3259 | Location: TX | Registered: October 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ZSMICHAEL:
quote:
They are getting ready to build them offshore here. You will be able to see them from the beach. A lot of environmental groups are trying to stop them. Our town that has a closed down nuclear power plant that will now be used to make the connection to the grid.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Marthas Vineyard??? Teddy Kennedy stopped this last time. Said it would ruin his view of the ocean.




No, off the coast of New Jersey. In my area, they will be off the barrier Islands (Long Beach Island, and Seaside Heights). The northern part of the state is all Democrats. Right now they control most of the state. Lucky for me, our area in south Jersey is Republican. But the Democrats control the Senate so we get screwed by them every time. We didn't get a say on the turbine farms.


Living the Dream
 
Posts: 3882 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: December 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I can't tell if I'm
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I'll have to admit that I was for 'Wind Farms' in the beginning as I thought it would be a wise use of the wind that literally blows everyday around here. Then I began seeing the wind turbines starting to pop up in clusters, not so much in my state, but next door in Minnesota not 50 miles away, everywhere you looked was a wind turbine sticking up! And like another poster mentioned, the majority of them were not running.

This is wide open country around here so it is ideal for the wind to move without obstruction hence the wind turbines, but because it is so wide open the turbines can be seen for miles causing a visual blight on the surrounding country.


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Posts: 1881 | Location: South Dakota-pheasant country | Registered: June 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by egregore:
quote:
Define “used.”

Prior human development. Other than isolated mining operations and a few hermits or prospectors, there wasn't much of that in, for example, the wind farm in Tehachapi Pass and the solar plants near Barstow (that one caught fire circa 2000, BTW) or Ivanpah, California. These were all open desert prior to these operations going in. Having lived there for many years, this is what I'm familiar with. Have you got a different definition?

Where I live now doesn't have enough sunshine (many days are cloudy) or wind to make power, but does have abundant hydro.


Off-topic, but my wife grew up in Tehachapi
Used to be the largest wind farm in the US. The mountains were covered in the smaller turbines.
Last time we were out there, they were slowly removing the smaller units & replacing 3-4 with 1 bigger unit.

Thinking more local, we drove out to Waco a couple weeks ago & passed a few batches of windmills.
Seeing some idle as others were going, made me wonder why they don't engineer these to be able to turn into the wing for optimal power generation?




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 11706 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Driving across the country I see them as a scar on the landscape. Some day they will be a monument to human folly. Somebody is being bribed to make all that happen


CMSGT USAF (Retired)
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Posts: 4267 | Location: Florida Panhandle | Registered: September 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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