American Elephants


It’s Getting Very Strange Out There! by The Elephant's Child
February 25, 2021, 9:35 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

From Weasel Zippers: “The Biden Energy Department Allegedly Blocked Texas From Increasing Power Generation Because it Would Violate Green Energy Policy” Texas asked to temporarily lift regulations on energy output to avoid disaster. Biden’s DOE refused to help because of “green energy standards.”

From FEE (The foundation for Economic Education) 10 Crazy Examples of Unrelated Waste and Partisan Kick-Backs in New ‘COVID’ Bill Starts out with $1 Billion for “Racial Justice” for Farmers. and $50 million for ‘Environmental Justice’ Grants, and $112 Million for California Transit Project (Covid?) $10 Million for Native American Language Preservation and goes on from there.

Here’s Stephen Miller on how Biden’s Immigration reform bill will impact the economy and jobs.

It’s getting very strange out there. On February 22, two members of Congress (D) sent a letter to the CEOs of companies like AT&T to question their use of information from Fox News, suggesting that Fox contributed to a growing distrust of public health measures necessary to crush the pandemic. They suggested that Fox News has long been a misinformation rumor mill and conspiracy theory disseminator. I find this appalling. The Congress people in question were Anna G. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both California Democrats. But really! This is highly improper, and it is not in the job assignment of members of the House to decide where the American people may get their news. Perhaps it would surprise these two to learn that Republicans don’t necessarily agree with Democrats, and that is not a bad thing. We will hope to show them the errors of their ways.

We have moved from town criers to newspapers to radio to television to the internet and each move changed America. Today we are in the age of “fact-checkers”, ordinary people who have claimed the authority to ban people from speaking, including the President of the United States and the nation of Australia. The picture above is of Texas in the midst of a climate disaster, unable to get proper assistance because of the federal government’s current illusions about “green energy” or windmills and solar power, which simply do not work. That seems to me to be pretty clear evidence that we need more and better information, and a lot fewer “fact checkers.”



Save the Birds, Kill the Wind Farms! by The Elephant's Child

For years, the wind industry has had a license to kill migratory birds and birds of prey like this magnificent  golden eagle.  Not an official license, but nobody was really paying attention. Now there are some serious organizations taking a hard look at bird deaths.  About 70 golden eagles are killed every year by turbines at California’s Altamont Pass.

Now some 77 organizations — led by the American Bird Conservancy, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the Endangered Species Coalition and many chapters of the Audubon Society — are petitioning the Fish and Wildlife  Service to tighten the rules for siting, permitting and operation of large-scale wind projects. It’s about time.

According to Robert Bryce, writing in the Wall Street Journal, over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating America’s wildlife protections laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act — some of America’s oldest wildlife protection laws.

Somehow the Wind industry has managed to escape notice even though references to wind farms as “Bird Cuisinarts” are common. Neither the Obama administration nor the Bush administration has ever been prosecuted in spite of vast examples of widespread bird kills by turbines.

Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles are being killed per year by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass, about 20 miles east of Oakland, Calif. A 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks—as well as about 7,500 other birds, nearly all of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—are being killed every year by the turbines at Altamont.

The Pine Tree facility is believed by the Fish and Wildlife Service to be killing 1,595 birds a year, or about 12 birds per megawatt of installed capacity each year.

Bats are also getting whacked. The Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates the wind turbines have killed more than 10,000 bats in 2010.

Environmental groups are getting involved and bringing suit, especially involving the siting of wind farms in locations they don’t like. There have been enormous consequences accompanying government subsidized wind farms.  Farmers did not expect the noise and wind shadow and despair of being able to use their homes. The bird slaughter is serious and has consequences all down the food chain. The absence of prosecution for projects which are clearly breaking the law suggests bribes and corruption.  There are always consequences.

Riding roughshod over everyone’s objections to build inefficient costly wind farms will have consequences as well — perhaps in the next election?



Another Rant About Wind Energy! by The Elephant's Child

On a hot day, and there have been quite a few of late, particularly on the East Coast,  Con Edison officials were preparing for the highest demand for power for New York City that they had ever had to supply.

The temperature was expected to reach triple digits across the city by the afternoon.  The Con Edison forecast was for 13,450 megawatts, a surge they claimed — with their fingers crossed — that they were prepared for.

Elsewhere in the country, the world’s largest wind farm is the Roscoe Wind Complex in Texas.  It covers 100,000 acres, has more than 625 turbines, and at full capacity generates 781.5 megawatts of power. [Note that wind farms do not achieve “capacity”].

So all a green-energy economy for New York City would need to run on wind, is a wind farm about the size of Delaware. [Note that there’s not much wind during hot spells — one reason why it’s so hot].

Wind farms always talk about their “capacity,” which means what the turbines could produce if and when the wind is blowing at just the right speed, which is at best, occasional.  Texas has a glut of wind companies, but a lack of transmission lines.  But there also must be 24/7 backup by conventional power plants for all the times when there is no wind blowing.

A wind farm the size of Delaware.  Imagine!  Sigh.



The Wayward Wind is a Restless Wind, and a Reckless Idea. by The Elephant's Child

I have been dubious for some time about the potential for wind energy and solar power. Both receive large government subsidies, and in other countries (Denmark, Japan) when the subsidies end, everything shuts down.  I’m a great believer in free markets.  When something shows great potential, the money flows in because of the possibility of large profits.  This is called Capitalism, the name that Karl Marx gave to the workings of the free market.

Wind energy is pushed enthusiastically by the Democrats, who want oil to be gone, ended, over,  and lately it has been pushed by T. Boone Pickens, Texas oil man.  I’ve considered some of the aspects of alternative sources of energy here, here and here.

Here is a short video that clarifies the case for — or against — wind power:

From what I have read elsewhere, wind generates electricity even less than the 30% of the time given here. 15% to 12% is more common.  With all the enthusiasm for wind, because it is clean, it is hard to get an accurate read.




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