Does wind power generation really make sense?

by Claire Hoy  Orangeville Citizen  . . . . All of which brings us to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his lead attack dog George Smitherman, the deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure, who propose to pour countless billions of your tax dollars into wind power, a technology which has already been shown to be essentially inefficient and extremely costly, and, even if you believe the hysteria around the state of our air quality – contrary to the growing body of evidence that the dangers are being deliberately overblown – wind power is not a viable solution to anything other than an expensive make-work project for the few industries who will benefit from building these ugly behemoths.

For decades now, one of the most common depictions in cartoons has been the hapless lost soul lugging around a placard declaring that “The End Is Near.”

It has been a useful metaphor, of course, usually aimed at conservative-leaning religious people, all the better to portray them as nutbars who believe that the general decline of moral and religious values has doomed the earth to imminent demise.

Since fair is fair, or should be at least, isn’t it time these same critics turned their attention to that popular new gang of end-is-nearers, i.e. the global warming zealots who believe that the last days are upon us, not because of a moral decline, but because of industrializations pollutants?

To cite noted American author Naomi Wolf – writing about another subject to be sure – she says, “pain is real when you get other people to believe in it. If no believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria.” Hence we see the quixotic Green Party leader Elizabeth May in the newspapers this week claiming that “we have hours” left to prevent a climate disaster. Hours? Who knew?

As is common practice, incidentally, she also blamed George Bush for the U.S. refusal to sign on to the Kyoto Accord – an accord which even those who signed it came to realize was stupid and fatally flawed – when in fact Bill Clinton was president at the time. But hey, when you’re out to save the planet, facts don’t matter. Just ask Al Gore about that. His famous propaganda screed about “inconvenient truths,” actually promotes as many outright untruths as it does expose truths.

But we digress.

As Wolf pointed out, the key to turning anything into an industry – and the climate industry has become a major player around the world – is to make people actually believe that the situation is so dire that anything claiming to fight it trumps the critics – or, as the global warmers so tastelessly say, “the deniers” (as if criticizing climate hysteria is equivalent to denying the Holocaust, for heaven’s sake.)

All of which brings us to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his lead attack dog George Smitherman, the deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure, who propose to pour countless billions of your tax dollars into wind power, a technology which has already been shown to be essentially inefficient and extremely costly, and, even if you believe the hysteria around the state of our air quality – contrary to the growing body of evidence that the dangers are being deliberately overblown – wind power is not a viable solution to anything other than an expensive make-work project for the few industries who will benefit from building these ugly behemoths.

Smitherman himself recently praised the province’s Green Energy Act – the main part of which is ruining the countryside with mammoth wind turbines and shutting down the public’s historic right to have a say in the process – claiming it will create 50,000 new jobs over the next three years.

Nonsense. Worse, it’s cruel nonsense. It’s a number – much like the climate industry does consistently – just pulled out of the air, rather than one based on experience.

In Denmark, which has more wind powered turbines than any other country – generating 19 per cent of its electricity – the Danish Federation of Industries has already declared that, “Windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.”

Why? Well, because the wind doesn’t always blow – except from the mouths of politicians – they require backup. In Denmark, that has meant 50 per cent more coal-generated electricity and, despite promises there (and at Queen’s Park) that wind power will mean fewer fossil-fuel power plants, that country has yet to close a single plant. Worse – since the reason they are promoted is to cut back pollution and carbon dioxide emissions – Denmark experienced a rise in those things of 36 per cent in 2006.

Worst of all – and the part the politicians don’t really want you to know – is what it will cost you to turn on your lights. Denmark’s electrical generation costs, because it depends so much on wind, are the highest in Europe at 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. That compares to the current cost of 6 cents in Ontario, and going to wind would clearly mean at least a doubling of energy costs for you, a cost which might even be acceptable if there was any evidence that the project would clean up the environment. But, alas, it won’t.

If nothing else, McGuinty and Smitherman could at least study the situation before setting us off down a multi-billion-dollar road to reliance on an unproven and so-far unreliable form of energy.

But then, why ask the public? What do they know, eh?

Clearly not much, since they did elect these yahoos.