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01 October 2010 @ 10:19 pm
The Wonders of Wind Energy  
Ben Lieberman of the CEI is writing a series of articles at MasterResource, the topic being "green" energy.
Is Windpower the Ethanol of Electricity? (Part I: Economics). (Link)
Is Windpower the Ethanol of Electricity? (Part II: Environmental Issues). (Link)

Part I examined the true costs of ethanol and windpower to find that both were highly uneconomic compared to their alternatives. Both government-dependent fuels are also inferior products, making a straight comparative cost comparison misleading.
The environmental characteristics of both ethanol and windpower are also problematic compared to their more energy-dense, consumer-preferred alternatives.

The response from Joe Boone is worth repeating:
Jon Boone { 10.01.10 at 9:53 am }

I have no interest whatsoever in any energy business. I’m a long time environmentalist, a retired academic, who seeks honest power policy, maintaining the electricity goals of high reliability, affordability, and security–since these standards of electricity have greatly improved human productivity and quality of life. Wind is an ancient, largely discarded technology wholly inimical to such goals; it was resurrected by Enron in the US to sell tax sheltering, and is sustained by multinational energy corporations using the Enron model.
As an environmentalist, I believe we must be better custodians of land and water. In terms of economic efficiency and improved ecosystems, producing the most power in the smallest space at a scale affordable by all is what present and future enterprise should ensure.
Given its sprawling footprint (and dysfunctional production), wind is also inimical to rational goals for the environment. Battery storage for its volatile production is not an anyone’s near horizon–and hasn’t been for a century. Erecting hundreds of thousands of wind turbines, at great cost in dollars, and to the grid and environment, in the misplaced hope such storage will emerge, is not acceptable.
Building a smart grid so that variables like wind can be a player seems ghastly. The transportation equivalent would be building a smarter highway system to accommodate a huge number of drunk drivers, giving them their own highways and a dedicated ambulance service.
Wind belongs in no one’s power portfolio, since it provides no modern power quality. It will, among other things, make its companion generation much more inefficient. Nuclear needs wind much less than a fish needs a bicycle; such a pairing is ridiculous, for nuclear could provide electricity for all needs without producing virtually any greenhouse gas emissions. Wind would only make it more inefficient–but with a capital cost equivalent to nuclear’s.
Solar is a terrible idea at industrial scale, for many of the same reasons as wind; its fuel is far too dilute to be converted into modern power quality. It can be used at local levels to achieve some good. Future solar technologies will become standard, I think, for residential and commercial housing, highway signalment and other transportation appurtenances, and a range of lighting applications.
Humanity continues to decarbonize its power production. We’re much better at this than we were 150 years ago, when burning wood was our ace in the hole. The world will depend upon coal for many decades, using natural gas as a bridge until we come to our senses about nuclear. Meanwhile, we should ban most forms of mountaintop removal coal extraction and insist upon cleaning up existing coal farms. Doing the latter would do more good by itself than covering the landscape with wind turbines. With over over 35,000 windscrapers extant in North American, there is not a shred of empirical evidence that we use less fossil fuels or emit less CO2 as a consequence.

Also worth noting is the vanishing confidence in the future of wind energy. The following reports were noted by Junk Science:
Investors disillusioned with climate change investments, says survey
Investors shun green energy
Analysis: Big losses at Asia green funds spark move to safety
Perhaps because -
UK renewable energy production falls for second time in 2010
A High-Risk Energy Boom Sweeps Across North America
(If current projections turn out to be accurate, there would be enough oil and gas to power the United States for at least another century.)
The Cure for the Wind Disease (UK and Europe's "unconventional" gas reserves, mostly shale)
Cooling has the highest probability for the foreseeable future:
Multidecadal Tendencies in Enso and Global Temperatures Related to Multidecadal Oscillations

Joseph D’Aleo and Dr. Don Easterbrook 
Abstract: Perlwitz etal (2009) used computer model suites to contend that the 2008 North American cooling was naturally induced as a result of the continent’s sensitivity to widespread cooling of the tropical (La Nina) and northeastern Pacific sea surface temperatures. But they concluded from their models that warming is likely to resume in coming years and that climate is unlikely to embark upon a prolonged period of cooling. We here show how their models fail to recognize the multidecadal behavior of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Basin, which determines the frequency of El Ninos and La Ninas and suggests that the cooling will likely continue for several decades. We show how this will be reinforced with a multidecadal shift in the Atlantic.
Whilst -
Energy Leaders Blame Oil and Gas Subsidies for Weak Prospects
I suggest cancelling all subsidies. I wonder which between oil, gas and wind would survive? Rhetorical question.

Talking of level playing fields, Icecap selected an article by Paul Chesser, "Big Green CEOs Earn More Than Climate ‘Deniers’ "

Other items of interest
A New Hurricane Record?
[...] Even with the caveats, the US has had a remarkable streak of luck with respect to hurricanes -- or maybe, it's climate change! ;-) (Roger Pielke Jr.)

Lawrence Solomon: UK Becomes a Denier Nation
His take on the Royal Society's begrudged retraction of its deceit.

The reason for the lies about the climate and CO2?
International Cap-and-Trade Taxation: U.S. Beware!
There again, in the US CO2 credits go for 5 cents a tonne...

The excellent Daily Bayonet's Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Sep.30th 2010 is well worth reading.
 
2010 Pakistan Floods: Climate Change or Natural Variability? (Icecap, pdf)

Sea Level Rise Due To Groundwater Extraction

Global Acidification: The Next EU Bought-And-Paid-For Science Hoax

Ocean Acidification and the CO2-Propaganda

Icecap advises: See Climate Theater with a collection of the best climate skeptic films and documentaries here. See additonal scientific youtubes here.

Examining Trenberth’s ‘The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later’ statement (WUWT)
(Also see wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/06/the-global-warming-hypothesis-and-ocean-heat/ )

Correlating Temperature With CO2 (Real Science)

Are We Really Over-Populated?
No. But we may be underfed if the misanthropic alarmists don't allow CO2 to double and increase crop yields by an average 12%.