The Environmental Disaster of “Green” Energy

Paul Driessen has an excellent piece at Watts Up With That? He discusses the pernicious “sue and settle” practice that left-wing activists and government agencies are pursuing, and argues for venuing climate-related litigation in the federal courts.

But I want to focus on his comments on the environmental evils of “green” technologies:

he litigants and courts will also encounter the bitter reality that the “fundamental transformation” they so earnestly seek means covering the planet with wind turbines, solar panels, transmission lines … and the quarries and mines to build them. America already lacks sufficient EV charging stations and step-up and step-down transformers for new homes and a functional grid. Millions more will be needed in short order to reach Net Zero – which means thousands of new mines, quarries, processing plants and factories.

Toyota Motor Corp. calculates that “more than 300 new lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite mines are needed to meet the expected battery demand by 2035.” That’s essentially just for new EVs, and getting them approved and developed would likely take decades. A US energy transformation – to say nothing of a global transformation – would require thousands of mines, and thousands of processing facilities.

The process of converting cobalt, lithium, aluminum, iron, rare earths, manganese, nickel and other ores into high-end metals is fossil-fuel-intensive, greenhouse-gas-emitting and dirty. “Reaching the nickel means cutting down swaths of rainforest,” the Wall Street Journal notes. “Refining it … involves extreme heat and high pressure, producing waste slurry that’s hard to dispose of.” Using little children to mine cobalt and processing rare earth elements involve legendary ecological and human rights abuses.

Worse, all this is only the beginning of the planetary desecration. We’re talking millions of onshore and offshore wind turbines, billions of solar panels, hundreds of thousands of miles of new transmission lines, billions of half-ton battery modules – and all that goes into making them. We’ll have to replace fertilizers for crops and feed stocks for thousands of products, by planting millions more acres in food and fuel crops, destroying more wildlife habitats. Turbine blades chop millions of birds and bats from the sky every year. Offshore turbines disorient whales and dolphins, causing many to beach themselves and die.

Then we’ll have to bury the broken, worn-out and obsolete panels, turbine blades and other equipment. The world has already installed some 100,000 wind turbines and 2.5 billion solar panels. In whose backyards will the landfills go for all this trash – and the massive lakes for the waste slurries?

There is nothing clean, green, renewable, sustainable or climate-friendly about any of this.

All true. Within the next month or two, my organization’s energy team will release a major report on the environmental evils of wind and solar energy. It is a point that can’t be made often enough.

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