Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Climate Classroom Wall: use this image to help your pupils get windfarms in perspective
A nuclear industry expert and publisher has had enough of the 'heartwarming images of wind farms' so widely promoted in response to the conjecture that humans are having a dramatic effect on the climate system, and to the political and financial opportunities this conjecture has provided thanks in large part to spin and propaganda. She is Andrea Jennetta, described on her blog as 'the owner and president of International Nuclear Associates, Inc., the publisher of Fuel Cycle Week. She has 25 years working in the nuclear fuel cycle.' (hat tip: http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2013/05/01/where-do-wind-turbines-come-from/)
'Environmentalists love wind turbines, right? They’re so healthy and good for the environment, so pretty, innocent, clean. Environmentalists love peddling heartwarming images of wind farms basking under sunny blue skies and nestled in the bucolic embrace of verdant hills. People picnic under them, children skip and shout for joy at the sight of them!
But what environmentalists don’t show you is how wind turbines are made. So I will. Here goes: wind turbines are predominantly made of steel, and steel is predominantly made of iron. Manufacturing wind turbines requires extensive mining of iron ore, which means mountains and valleys get ripped to shreds. Not to mention all the other metals such as copper, nickel and titanium that have to be dug out of ground to build every wind turbine displayed in those heartwarming images.
How do you feel about those pretty wind turbines now? Are they still clean? Are they still green? Are they still heartwarming and bucolic? Hardly. (I could also show you images of carbon-spewing cement factories that produce the cement bases for offshore wind turbines, or steel factories that actually turn iron ore into steel but I’ll save that for another occasion.)
My point isn’t that iron mining is dangerous, toxic or a threat to human civilization. My point is that when anti-uranium zealots bemoan the evils of mining and then make genuflections to a wind turbine, they’re not being straight with you. The fact is that pretty much everything we use in modern life — including every form of renewable energy you can think of — requires the extensive mining of raw materials from the earth. And mining isn’t pretty. But that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe or a threat to your existence. That’s why we have science, technology and smart engineers.'
Note added 29 May 2013 More illustrations of the impact of windfarms : 'In reality, wind energy may well be the least sustainable and least eco-friendly of all electricity options. Its shortcomings are legion, but the biggest ones can be grouped into eight categories.'