This is one of those weeks where we have to pass out hors d’oeuvres-style mini-green weenies on toothpicks, like they surely serve at receptions at the French embassy. (Quelle horreur!)
Start with all the breaking wind of the windmill enthusiasts: a study from the University of North Carolina published recently in Environmental Research Letters finds that “the power capacity of large-scale wind farms may have been significantly overestimated.” The green energy wind talkers have long claimed that wind farms can produce a net of 2 to 4 watts per square meter of land, but this study estimates that the true figure is closer to 1 watt per square meter. This is pathetic; it means to equal the power output of a small coal or gas-fired plant (say, 500 megawatts), you’d require a land area of nearly 300 square miles. And if the wind stops blowing—or blows too hard—it wouldn’t matter how much land you cover with these wind-breakers.
Small wonder that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is once again warning that the high cost of subsidized green energy is a serious problem, as the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
Germany urgently needs to scale back its financial support for the development of renewable energy to contain the spiralling costs of its move to a low-carbon economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.
Addressing an energy conference in Berlin, Ms. Merkel called for reducing government spending on energy like wind and solar power to keep Germany economically competitive.
She said this should take priority over reforming the European Union’s trading scheme for industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, a cornerstone of the bloc’s effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The scheme has floundered amid low carbon prices.
That last little squeak you hear is Germany throwing in the towel on the EU’s claimate policy agenda. Then there’s this killer chart from The Economist, which tells the story better than 1,000 words:
Meanwhile, the anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) crowd has attempted to put one over on us, with a supposedly “major new peer-reviewed study” showing that GMO corn and soya were harming pigs. British environmental writer Mark Lynas, who changed his mind about GMOs not long ago, is all over this charade. Put it this way: to call the study “junk science” is an insult to junk dealers and junkyards everywhere. Lynas reminds us of the emphatic statement about GMOs from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):
“The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe. The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.”
So, remind me again what environmentalists are always telling us about how we should defer to scientific authority on every other issue?
In a related story, the center-left folks at Slate.com have delivered an always well-deserved smackdown of Robert F. Kennedy Jr for his dangerously ignorant views on vaccinations. But no one ever asks the obvious question: if this guy’s named were Robert F. Smith instead of Kennedy, would anyone pay one second’s attention to anything he has to say? He really appears to have been self-lobotomized at times.
Now pass the cocktail weenies.