A Free-Market Energy Blog

Wimp Power: Some Quotations from Wind's Critics

By -- June 21, 2012

Energy and environmental issues need to be addressed using logic and scientific thinking, not emotion, wishes, and depiction.  On a realistic basis, industrial wind energy fails to deliver the goods. By this I mean that windpower:

1) Is not a technically sound solution to provide us electricity, or to meaningfully reduce global warming, and

2) Is not an economically viable source of energy on its own, and

3) Is not environmentally responsible

When you take away the wind lobbyists’ fast-talking shenanigans, their con comes down to these two things: They are telling us what we want to hear, and we’re not really verifying the truth of what they’re saying.

The intellectual conjurers have a clever one-two marketing campaign. First we’re told that the planet is facing imminent catastrophe. And then a salesman comes to our community with a solution! The spiel is that we can do something consequential to help prevent this global disaster — and we can create jobs doing it, and make some easy money in the process.

What a deal!

Wind magicians go into a rural community and carefully cultivate the idea that anything coming from them is found money. The trick is that it’s not coming from them at all, as it’s entirely paid by taxpayers and ratepayers.

Quotations from the Trenches

Realistic assessment is needed in the PR arena.  To this end, different bloggers at MasterResource provided some analogies to describe what wind power really is compared to consumer-chosen, market-proven energy.

“Wind energy can be likened to the wayward child. It’s unavailable when needed, shows up when unexpected, and when it does arrive it often behaves erratically. As a result, wind cannot be relied on as a primary fuel source.”

     – Lisa Linowes, Industrial Wind Action

“Even if windpower was cheaper (it is not), this energy source remains inferior. Consider a car for sale that has a trick motor. Wind’s intermittency is the equivalent of not knowing if your car will start or will perform on the road.”

     – Rob Bradley, Institute for Energy Research

“Wind energy resembles a marginal, government-subsidized ‘worker’, who sporadically shows up, usually at night, in a 24-hour convenience store, and promptly starts rearranging the displays at random, causing extra work for the other employees to maintain the store’s attractiveness to customers, which raises the cost of operating the business, i.e., higher prices for goods and services, smaller wage increases, less profit and less taxes for governments.”

     – Willem Post, project manager and energy consulting engineer

“Requiring wind energy on the grid is somewhat like placing mentally-deficient, a.k.a. special-education students, into a regular class. The extra catering detracts from the learning experience of all.”

     – Willem Post, project manager and energy consulting engineer

“Modern society has advanced through a process of constantly improving efficiency and productivity. Wind power takes us backwards in every category of productivity. How futuristic is a modern energy source that is twice the cost and half the value of its competitors?”

     – Tom Tanton, T 2 & Associates

“Wind energy, providing energy and no reliable capacity, is akin to two-day-old beer with no foam.”

     – Tom Tanton, T 2 & Associates

“Windpower is not David to coal’s Goliath; rather, wind is David to coal’s Bathsheba.”

     – Jon Boone, Environmentalist and Documentary Producer

“Modern power is a time machine, not for moving back and forward in time, but rather expanding the time in which we can do other things. Archaic power vastly decreases the time available to do other work. Wind can only provide ancient power.”

     – Jon Boone, Environmentalist and Documentary Producer

“The truth is that wind can only be a minor ingredient in a much larger fuel mix—but much like a fly in soup, which provides, like wind, problematic nutritional value. You could eat it, but why?”

     – Jon Boone, Environmentalist and Documentary Producer

“Wind power, promoted as a panacea, is really the new environmental blight. It kills on land, at sea, and in the air. There is No Safe Place for Industrial Wind.”

     – Sherri Lange, North American Platform Against Wind Power

Re wind energy’s dilutedness: “Its like trying to boil a pot of water with matches: not enough energy or power!!”

    – Dr. Mike Fox (40 years in the energy and nuclear fields)

In response to wind lobbyists incessant unsupported claims that more subsidies for them will create jobs:

“There is nothing – no program, no hobby, no vice, no crime — that does not ‘create jobs’. Tsunamis, computer viruses and shooting convenience store clerks all ‘create jobs’. So that claim misses the plot; it applies to all so is an argument in favor of none. Instead of an argument on the merits, it is an admission that one has no such arguments.” 
– Chris Horner, Competitive Enterprise Institute

And don’t forget that renewables are not our energy future but our (best-forgotten) energy past:

“Renewable energies once had a 100% market share, corresponding to mankind’s energy poverty era.”

     – Rob Bradley, Institute for Energy Research


  1. Paul Lindsey  

    Wind & solar are often acclaimed as the best method to combat CO2 production and global warming. If fighting AGW is your goal, then nuclear is the best answer. Using wind & solar is akin to trying to drive a railroad spike with a jeweler’s hammer.


  2. rbradley  


    I often wonder why Left enviros did not go all-in with nuclear if they really thought that CO2 was a threat to civilization. This leads me to wonder what their real motivation was/is.


  3. John Droz, Jr.: Wimp Power: Some Quotations from Wind’s Critics | JunkScience.com  

    […] MasterResource Share this:PrintEmailMoreStumbleUponTwitterFacebookDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in baseload energy, Clean energy, Development and tagged energy subsidies, government subsidies, solar power, Wind power. Bookmark the permalink. ← Robert Bradley Jr.: New Oil & Gas Talent Needed: Students, Retirees Take Note (industry needs freed renewable-energy talent too) […]


  4. tomwys  

    “Wind magicians go into a rural community and carefully cultivate the idea that anything coming from them is found money. The trick is that it’s not coming from them at all, as it’s entirely paid by taxpayers and ratepayers.”

    A masterful quote, John D!

    Heavy lobbying by politically well-connected GE and Siemens ( largest worldwide producers of Wind Turbines and associated paraphernalia ) in Europe and the US, have reaped mega benefits from this “trick” – an appropriate description, as thats what hookers call them too!

    Wind has its best shot where Hydro (and only Hydro) is available, as bringing “reserve” power into the grid when the wind dies down, does not involve too much waste startup and drop down energy losses. Of course, the European wind sites in NL, DK, & Germany are for the most part, flat as a pancake and nearby Hydro is unavailable.

    Similarly, without tax subsidies, West Texas and southern CA wind sites have no Hydro stopgap available either. As EPA does not classify (incredibly) clean Hydro as “renewable,” guess what is NOT being developed at any useful scale in the US!

    The inmates and subsidized zookeepers are running the asylum these days, and trying to use their babbling to persuade YOU of their sanity!


  5. Billy  

    “The intellectual conjurers have a clever one-two marketing campaign. First we’re told that the planet is facing imminent catastrophe. And then a salesman comes to our community with a solution!”

    Sounds like the plot to a movie, oh wait it was — “The Music Man” 1957


  6. Mike  

    “…shooting convenience store clerks all ‘create jobs’…” I am using this one


  7. justintempler  

    We know wind turbines cause problems for radar, we know advocates want to locate wind turbines offshore, we know that to integrate wind we will need a smart grid which will in turn become dependent on wind.

    Now imagine the National Security nightmares we’ve just created.


  8. Power Engineer  

    The transmission alone for large scale wind development is often more than the all-in cost of electricity from modern gas turbine plants. eg greater than 6 cents/kWh


  9. Don Koza  

    I never could understand why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to cut down large swaths of trees from ridgelines in order to “plant” windmills that seldom turn in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions. And then they go and bury the power lines because they think they may blight the scenery. Perhaps wind-power developers should be charged the same level of offsets for permanently cutting down the trees that miners and industrialists are charged for intruding into wetlands.
    — Energy Professional


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