Beware Big Wind


Greetings all — just back from ten days on Martha’s Vineyard, and ready to report back to my fellow earthlings. Aside from Obama bumper stickers, what I mostly saw around the Vineyard was the following sign:

Cape Wind is the massive wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound. The windmills will spoil a lot of oceanfront views and so the otherwise uber-liberal residents of the Cape and Islands have united in a classic NIMBY protest.

Personally, I think Cape Wind is a massive white elephant. But I still find myself cheering for it, because I so dearly want the liberals to live with the consequences of their nonsensical promotion of “alternative” energy.

Just take a look at the website for the “Save Our Sound” organization: it’s hilarious to see liberals tie themselves up in knots to justify their opposition to Cape Wind. The organization objects that the windmills aren’t economically viable and it decries the “special privileges” being granted to the wind industry by state and federal government. So far, so good. But then, under the heading “Alternatives to Cape Wind” the organization promotes solar, geothermal, and even windmills — as long as they’re someplace else (no, I’m not kidding). No mention of oil, gas, or nuclear.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor

    Adam, the appeal of “alternative energy” among leftists is described by a downward sloping function, which is roughly quantified by reference to Savage’s Law:

    The political attractiveness of any power generating technology is inversely proportional to its readiness for large-scale commercial deployment.

    The Left’s is a philosophy of less.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Podcaster

    The leftist light

    is not that bright

    And no matter how it dim be;

    The windmills reek

    You’re up that creek

    That’s known as the river NIMBY.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member

    Need more energy? Forget Redbull… Try wearing

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Contributor

    The economics of ‘somewhere else’ are pretty fascinating, I dorkily admit. For instance: why not a market for undesirable power sources — and the waste they produce? There’s no question that lots of remote areas in this country and others are better suited for ungainly windmills or nuclear plants. People (on the left) worry that the NIMBY principle will cause the worst off or the least powerful to put up with nuisance, ill health, degradation, desolation, or even devastation. But we know that nuclear power can be done right (merci, France), and the only thing windmills harm is the view. The worst off are more likely to be made better off by hosting power plants — including alternative ones — that others will pay to put elsewhere. So why not let everyone wind up (pardon the pun) better off?

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive

    As per long standing tradition I re-post:

    E = mc2 (‘C’ squared) vs E = mv2 (‘v’ squared) where c = 186,000 miles per second and v = 80 to 90 miles per hour topped out. So in the future my guess is that most of the world’s eneregy is not going to come from a wind mill.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member

    Any of these things work OK if you have decent, cheap, and efficient storage technologies. Right now we are rushing the process and wasting huge sums of money better spent on other things (even other energy approaches).

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Editor

    If you drive from my house in an eastward direction towards, say, Texas, most of the spaces you pass are empty, barren desert. In other words, perfect places for shiny, new nuke plants.

    We’ve got plenty of space to build power plants, but we’re still using a decades-old grid. Why is it we always spend tax money on useless (or harmful) stuff, like farm subsidies and Muslim outreach initiatives, instead of stuff we can use, like cool new national power grids.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Contributor

    Very true, Rob. And as James points out there are communities that would welcome a power plant. There was an economist out there (can’t remember who) talking about the creation of a PIMBY culture (Please in My Back Yard), where people would be incentivized to favor otherwise ugly but beneficial things. The proposals (things like a home purchase rebate for buying a house that looks over the nuke plant) don’t strike me as very consistent with conservative principles. But then “energy policy” in general tends not to be very conservative.

    • #8

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