A Free-Market Energy Blog

“Wind Energy Isn’t a Breeze” (Slate looks critically at industrial wind)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 28, 2017

“When they try to express concerns [about wind turbines], farmers often face an accusation from those living far away: that they are climate change deniers….. [Q]uestioning wind energy means that ‘people will associate you with Republicans or with the Trump campaign, anti-environment, [but] nothing could be further from the truth.'”

– Leah McBride Mensching, “Wind Energy Isn’t a Breeze.” Slate, August 24, 2017.

“If this Slate article is followed by more such pieces, there will be no way to contain the civil war within the environmental movement between the grass roots and Washington, DC. One can only hope that what should have happened years ago can happen now.” (post below)

Many in the free-market movement, as well as at the environmental grassroots, have been all but amazed at the ability of Washington’s, “green” establishment to smooth over the problems of an energy source that is very land-intensive, remote, and hard-material heavy compared to the energy dense alternatives—from natural gas to nuclear power.

Industrial wind turbines at scale are hardly distributed generation like a solar panel or array of panels. They are technological monstrosities, from a small-is-beautiful, ecological perspective.

But two characteristics of industrial wind that are normally considered bad may not be bad to the forced energy transformationists (FET). Wind turbines generate more expensive power—and generate it far less reliably than consumer-chosen alternatives. But to the FETs, prices need to be higher. And any reliability issues can be solved by … making electricity more expensive still.

Slate Article

Leah McBride Mensching’s “Wind Energy Isn’t a Breeze” speaks for itself. Some pertinent excerpts follow:

“Farmers near wind turbines face (sometimes literal) headaches.”

“A turbine doesn’t affect just the few acres surrounding it—it has an impact on the entire farm it sits on, as well as neighboring farms.”

“Building and maintaining a turbine requires heavy equipment that damages tiles under fields, which affects drainage in surrounding fields. Drainage problems can hurt crop yields and even stop a farmer from being able to plant in the first place.”

“A turbine also makes it more difficult, or sometimes impossible, for crop dusters to fly over fields around it in order to spray pesticides that protect their crops.”

“Farmers also have concerns about their own safety, and the safety of the people they hire. Reports of turbines catching fire and throwing ice, even blades breaking off, cause farmers to worry.”

“There are also issues of shadow flicker and the noise turbines can make, which aren’t just annoying—they can even make people feel sick. (There isn’t yet much research on the potential health effects of living near wind farms, and some suggest “wind turbine syndrome” might be psychogenic—though that wouldn’t mean people aren’t experiencing real symptoms.)”


Big Media has protected industrial wind by not exposing the micro harms to those in its vicinity. For if wind power loses its halo, the supply-side strategy of the FETs crumbles. And without a viable supply-side strategy (hydro and nuclear are out), the climate alarmists are dressed up with nowhere to go.

If this Slate article is followed by more such pieces, there will be no way to contain the civil war within the environmental movement between the grass roots and Washington, DC. One can only hope that what should have happened years ago can happen now.



  1. Gerry Lloyd  

    They have been popping up all over Cornwall and the nay-sayers are simply regarded as nimby’s (not in my back yard)ers.


  2. Jon Boone  

    The penchant of cityfolk to exploit rural landscapes for fun and profit has a long history. Any incivility is excused by an appeal to the common good; those sacrificed on the altar of the commonweal are expected to endure as good soldiers in the cause: those who complain therefore are not just bad citizens: they are at the core treasonous.

    As long as people think wind does good, nothing really will change. Statements like the following encourage people to believe wind does good, even if the cost is higher: “Wind turbines generate more expensive power—and generate it far less reliably than consumer-chosen alternatives. But to the FETs, prices need to be higher. And any reliability issues can be solved by … making electricity more expensive still.”

    Bullshit. Wind turbines CANNOT generate modern power. What they do produce is NEVER reliable. And it is a sicklied o’er canard that throwing more money at this antediluvian technology will “solve” the “reliability issues.”

    As a producer of electricity, wind sucks. It blows as a producer of income enhancement via tax avoidance. It is the latter which provides the “technology” with its only viable existence in a modern world.

    Let’s stop with the econoprattle and get real.


  3. Zealdave  

    Wind turbines also affect bird migration, insects and pollen proliferation patterns, they creates micro climate with the land warming around them and absorb energy from the wind which alters wind patterns. Photovoltaic cells require rare earth metals, can not work at night and have no way of storing excessive energy except for batteries and we do not want to go there . I still think hydrogen is the future. It can be stored for energy production when hydrogen production is low. Wind and Solar advocates claim it has a high production cost but once you get real about wind and photovoltaic cells energy production then it is similar or even better currently. I have read a number of articles lately with some very encouraging low coast hydrogen production techniques involving dissimilar elements and a new solar technique. I believe if hydrogen had had even the fund from the subsides that wind and solar have had, let alone the grants then if would be well down on its energy production costs,


  4. Willem Post  

    I made a comment, but it was not posted.

    If there are too many URLs, please let me know, or override the restriction.


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