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Posts from January 2010

PR’ing Industrial Wind: Government and Media versus Common Sense

By Jon Boone -- January 30, 2010

The New York Times dutifully featured this week two media events primed to gin up public—and Congressional—support for industrial wind technology.

The first was a “study” by the Department of Energy and authored primarily by David Corbus of the National Renewable Energy Lab. It claims that, for a startup cost of around $100 billion public dollars, “wind could displace coal and natural gas for 20 to 30 percent of the electricity used in the eastern two-thirds of the United States by 2024.” Corbus acknowledged that such an enterprise would require substantial grid modification but said the $100 billion was “really, really small compared to other costs,” which the Times failed to identify.

A few days later, the paper of record ballyhooed the annual report of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which touted the growth of wind last year and projected that the country would soon get 2 percent of its electricity from wind energy.

IPCC “Consensus”—Warning: Use at Your Own Risk

By Chip Knappenberger -- January 29, 2010

The findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are often held up as representing “the consensus of scientists”—a pretty grandiose and presumptuous claim. And one that in recent days, weeks, and months, has been unraveling. So too, therefore, must all of the secondary assessments that are based on the IPCC findings—the most notable of which is the EPA’s Endangerment Finding—that “greenhouse gases taken in combination endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

Recent events have shown, rather embarrassingly, that the IPCC is not “the” consensus of scientists, but rather the opinions of a few scientists (in some cases as few as one) in various subject areas whose consensus among themselves is then kludged together by the designers of the IPCC final product who a priori know what they want the ultimate outcome to be (that greenhouse gases are leading to dangerous climate change and need to be restricted).

Big Wind: How Many Households Served, What Emissions Reduction? (Part 2)

By Kent Hawkins and Donald Hertzmark -- January 28, 2010

Press reports in the Financial Times and other news outlets describe a wind project in Oregon with 338 machines of 2.5 MW each, giving a total capacity of 845 MW. The project sponsors claim that they will provide enough energy to serve 235,000 households and reduce CO2 output by 1.5 million tonnes annually.

Part I demonstrated that the served-household claims is fanciful. In reality, no more than 49,000 households could be “supplied”, and these with only a minimal degree of assurance. Indeed, the wind project is more costly than a diesel backup scheme that would actually be capable of supplying reliable power to several hundred thousand households. The wind project is also three times more costly than a replacement of just 211 MW of older coal capacity with new technology that would provide a similar reduction in emissions, while supplying firm power to the NW Power Pool’s customers.

Big Wind: How Many Households Served, What Emissions Reduction? (A Case Study, Part 1 of 2)

By Kent Hawkins and Donald Hertzmark -- January 27, 2010

Dear U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Why Attempt to Resuscitate a Brain Dead Climate Bill?

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 26, 2010

“The Great Climate Debate” at Rice University: The Science is NOT Settled (Richard Lindzen and Gerald North to Revisit the IPCC ‘Consensus’)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 25, 2010

Bootleggers and Baptists Tackle (Carbon) Prohibition

By Jerry Taylor -- January 23, 2010

Climategate Is Still Relevant (Alarmism discredited in public policy debate)

By Drew Thornley -- January 22, 2010

Peter Lang on Australian Windpower: High Costs, Low Emission Reduction

By Kent Hawkins -- January 21, 2010

“Cap-and-Trade” Is Dead–Will the “Federal Renewables Mandate” Be Next? (An “environmental tea party” may be brewing against industrial windpower)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 20, 2010