Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Science/Technology | Tags: Energy, Michael Bloomberg, NYC, Solar, Wind
The mayor of New York City, like far too many other politicians, is determined to save his constituents from themselves. First he banned smoking, then he banned transfats, now he wants to save the Big Apple from the evils of petroleum by mounting windmills and solar panels atop New York’s bridges, landmarks and skyscrapers. Imagine the Chrysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge with giant pinwheels on top.
Now, I have nothing against wind power. Really. The wind contains energy; by all means let’s harness it. But the benefits it can provide are seriously limited, while the costs are extravagant. But Bloomberg and the Democrats are giving us yet another fine lesson in the dangers of the “do something disease.”
You’d think we would have finally learned our lesson with the biofuel disaster. In their rush to “do something” about global warming, our politicians, by giving farmers money to grow crops for gas tanks rather than dinner tables, caused skyrocketing food prices and contributed mightily to a world-wide food crisis. “Doing something” because it sounds good, can be an enormous waste of time and taxpayer money — or far worse — when it isn’t thought through.
Wind turbines take a fairly healthy amount of wind to move, they are enormous, and, some (like Ted kennedy and John Kerry) argue, unsightly. Solar panels require sunshine, and lots of it. Both need to be spread out over large areas to provide any significant energy benefit at all. But most importantly they also both require back up.
The problem with sun and wind is that they are not constant. Energy needs, by and large, are. And there are no batteries on the electrical grid. If the wind stops blowing, or the sun goes behind a cloud, that’s it! Blackout! So more reliable energy plants (ie: coal, oil, and natural gas) must be running at all times anyway to ensure a steady supply. And it is because they require constant back up, that wind and solar will never be able to account for more than a small portion of our energy needs.
Keep all that in mind, before indulging Bloomberg and the Democrats in their latest billion-dollar “do-something” boondoggles.
Update: Back to the Future? The times reminds us that New York had wind mills 400 years ago when it was New Amsterdam. And one has been on the city seal ever since. Do you think they found something more efficient?
Up-update: Architects and Engineers scoff at Mayor’s proposal.
Up-up-update: Apparently this is one green proposal that was a bridge too far for even the liberal media.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing off his suggestion to put windmills on city bridges and rooftops after newspapers mocked the idea with photo illustrations of turbines on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.
“There are aesthetic considerations,” Bloomberg said. “Number two, I have absolutely no idea whether that makes any sense from a scientific, from a practical point of view.” [emphasis mine]
You don’t say!
Keep this in mind when Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats start making their energy proposals next month.
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