Monday, November 5, 2012

The Trouble With Wind Farms

Do you love renewable energy, like wind and solar?

Do you despise fossil fuels, those dirty, disgusting polluting horrors?

Have you been so totally seduced by the clean, green energy mantra that you have never really considered the side-effects of all those magnificent wind farms?

Well, it’s time to wake up your rational faculties and examine the issue in more depth.

Now, the date has been crunched and the results are in. Living near these clean energy monstrosities will make you sick, mentally and physically.

Andrew Gilligan reports in The London Telegraph:

American and British researchers compared two groups of residents in the US state of Maine. One group lived within a mile of a wind farm and the second group did not.

Both sets of people were demographically and socially similar, but the researchers found major differences in the quality of sleep the two groups enjoyed.

The findings provide the clearest evidence yet to support long-standing complaints from people living near turbines that the sound from their rotating blades disrupts sleep patterns and causes stress-related conditions.

Specifically, the survey showed:

More than a quarter of participants in the group living near the turbines said they had been medically diagnosed with depression or anxiety since the wind farm started. None of the participants in the group further away reported such problems.

Each person was also asked if they had been prescribed sleeping pills. More than a quarter of those living near the wind farm said they had. Less than a tenth of those living further away had been prescribed sleeping pills.

According to the researchers, the study, in the journal Noise and Health, is the first to show clear relationships between wind farms and “important clinical indicators of health, including sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and mental health”.

Surely, environmentalists did not know that wind farms would harm human beings. They did not know that these monstrosities would produce an avian holocaust. They did not know that wind farms only work when the wind is up, and therefore do not produce very much energy.

Now they do know, and we will see whether their passion for renewable energy trumps their concern for the quality of human life.


By The Sword said...

...because inhaling toxic exhaust fumes are just so much better for us.

n.n said...

The principal problems with current photovoltaic technology and windmills forevermore is that they are low-density energy converters and cannot be reasonably isolated from the environment, which precludes them from consideration as primary energy producers.

They are also not strictly renewable, since the materials required for their operation are finitely accessible.

A further problem, for people who care about the environment and human health, is that the recovery and processing of materials required for their operation leaves environmental and human devastation in its wake. It may perhaps be mitigated in a nation where the environment and human rights are protected (at significant additional expense); but, in places like China, they are not, and the consequences are undeniable and detrimental.

Then there is a concern that windmills cause the death of several hundred thousand birds and bats.

Neither solar panels nor windmills can be considered to be "green" in the prevailing marketing sense. They are harmful to both the environment and people during development and in actual use. They are not strictly renewable and their productivity is limited by their operational environment.

Anyway, the out-of-sight and out-of-mind policies of contemporary environmentalists is strictly a failure by design. If there are other side-effects, including those mentioned in this post, then it only serves to confirm the limited utility of these technologies.

They do not fulfill the needs of a developing economy and they do not preserve the health and wellbeing of either the environment or people. Their utility is reserved to local or supplemental use.

Sam L. said...

"Now they do know, and we will see whether their passion for renewable energy trumps their concern for the quality of human life."

Aaaaaaannnnnnnnd...they don't.

They hate dams, too.

Anonymous said...

They're Malthusians. It always comes back to the core concept that human beings are a problem. Too many human beings is an even bigger problem. Actually, the biggest problem with their philosophy is that they never volunteer to take themselves out of the equation. There are no mass suicides to protect the environment. No, no... that's for other people. Have you seen how environmentalist types look at a woman with more than 2-3 children? Hell hath no fury... And they want us all in a Prius, Volt or Leaf. Have you noticed you cannot transport a large family in such automobiles? Again, look at the disgust on the face of the environmentalist when this is pointed out. Yet they will not yield in their quest to have us in small cars "like they have in Europe and Japan." So you tell me what the real problem is... the vehicle or its occupant? I suggest it is the latter, which is why -- at the core -- they are all Malthusians.

And "By The Sword," no one is saying that fossil fuel exhaust is better for us. What Stuart is pointing out here is that environmental fantasies taken on religious faith, according to the oldest Lefty trick in the book: you can get something for nothing. It just magic appears if we can harness the power of the ether! What we are saying is that you cannot get something for (or from) nothing. It's a trade-off, and the environmentalists try to tell us that "renewable" and "sustainable" forms of energy are a free lunch. There is no free lunch.


By The Sword said...

Sam L.,

You are right, there is no free lunch. But a windmill that can harness wind energy for 'x' number of months without maintenance or service, versus fossil fuels that need to be drilled for, refined, transported from the drilling site, to the refinery and to the vending site (costing fuel to transport), then run through an engine that needs lubrication (more petroleum) and spare parts that must be manufactured by a process that presumably uses still more fuel, would be much more efficient no?

I would also like to recognize that my earlier comment was snarky, I should have made my point more clearly.

Still more efficient would be solar panels, but there seems to be a lot of obfuscation from officials on solar energy. If most people used solar power to augment their energy needs we could cut down on our reliance on foreign oil. If we don't need foreign oil, then we don't need Arabs, and we can stop all this ridiculous meddling in the middle east.