Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wind Power is Fake

Wow. Even I think this guy is being mean.

Frau Merkel has announced that Germany is going to phase out nuclear power, simply because of the Japanese tsunami. Well, that is like basing water-collection policies in Rhineland-Westphalia on the monsoon cycle of Borneo. As I was saying last week, the Germans have a powerfully emotional attachment to everything that is "green", and an energy policy based on renewables will usually win German hearts. But it will not protect the owners of those hearts from frostbite and death due to exposure, for wind can often be not so much a Renewable as an Unusable, and also an Unpredictable, an Unstorable, and -- normally when it's very cold -- an Unmovable.

We have pointed out a number of times here that wind power is just a fake, feel good thing (unless you are a Kennedy, and want turbines to be somewhere else, to bother the little people, instead of your august Kennedyness).

But you have taken this to a whole new level. Well done, sir.


Tom said...

Great column, but few will hear of it.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., our politics dictates that our green energy shall be destroyed by wind.

agricultural investments said...

As a Brit, I am "pleased" to report that our Government has a "plan" to line our entire coastal regions with giant wind warms. 100 billion pounds in subsidies later, we'll see how that plays out.

E. said...

While everyone is free to question the strategic benefits of pushing energy from wind, there are ever so many reasons to ignore this article instead of endorsing it.

main points of complaint would be:
a) comparison ALL askew. While the rain in Borneo may of may not be of any consequence for the rain in Germany, an atomic power plant is liable to go down in pretty much the same way everywhere. I cannot see how this would not be a valid concern, what with Tschernobyl still quite vivid in the German memory.
b) if you think that icy cold and (likewise icy) wind cannot coexist, you have never been to Brandenburg in the dead of Winter.

Jody said...

atomic power plant is liable to go down in pretty much the same way everywhere.

Indeed, it's not for nothing that Germany is known as the land of tsunamis.

E. said...

I was more thinking about the core meltdown than the outer cause, thank you for being so literalminded. We all know that there was no Tsunami in Tschernobyl and-surprise-the power plant still somehow miraculously managed to get broken. If you say that Germans surely build better reactors than that, you may look towards three-mile-island, and oops-still no Tsunami. Problem with valves etc...

Michael said...

Three Mile Island was an operator error. The whole zero-death crisis would have been avoided if they had left it alone and left the plant fix itself.

And yes, we are saying the soviets built a poor nuclear power plant. I have never heard anyone doubt that historic fact before.

E. said...

Well, according to the very well-written German Wikipedia Article on the topic both

a) the accident was not solely due to errors when operating the systems


b) it seeems that there were boths cases of death and illness resulting from the accident for which compensation was paid and apparently there is an increased cancer rate in the area where the radioactive stuff was blown post-event (all backed up by articles and other sources, in case someone cares to check). Claiming that it was a zero-death crisis because people did not drop dead on the spot is quite a bit of wilful ignorance, because that is a bit much to ask even when dealing with high radiation, like it takes an awful lot fry you on the spot, literally, but considerably less to kill you more or less slowly.

Maybe to get back to the point of my point: I was originally trying to express the opinion that atomic power plants can never be considered 100% safe, with the results of misfunction disproportionally severe, so if Fukushima has served as a reminder of that, and the German government in a reaction to growing pressure from the population decides to retire its power plants earlier than planned, I hardly see it as a reason for scorn and wilful misinterpretation of events. Certainly noone in Germany thought their power plants were gooing to malfunction because of a tsunami.

Michael said...

E, I don't mean to be rude, but were you Wiki-shopping until you found one that will back your pre-existing claim. The GERMAN wiki on an American disaster? Shenanigans!

The English "Three Mile Island accident health effects" wiki article says its controversial to claim there was any health impact from the incident, and at worst the issue was small.

You are trying to use science the way a drunk uses a streetlight - for support, not illumination.

E. said...

I do not mean to be rude either, but I read the German Wiki article first simply because I AM German. It seems more transparent and well-researched than the American one (w.r.t. to quotations, citations, backing up, and the bulk of those sources are American ones). Frankly I wonder if it is worth my time discussing with you if you refute an article simply because it touches on an American topic and the article is not written in English. And I guess it is not, because in the end you get insulting.