Wind power is least damaging of energy technologies
There are so many things wrong with the op-ed “Fight Big Wind Now!” (Dec. 5-11 issue) that it’s difficult to begin, but I’ll try.
For one, the opening paragraph states, “damage to the web of life” — yet wind power is the LEAST damaging of current technologies, only possible positive exceptions being direct and passive solar! Nationwide, natural gas production peaked years ago, so it increasingly requires “fracking” to harvest, which is horrendously detrimental to water tables, human beings and the environment. Oil production, even more so, and that’s before it’s burned in your vehicle and put back into the air — and don’t get me started on coal-burning power plants or oil from tar sands, both of which are complete environmental disasters (for example, in Illinois alone, 1,500 pounds of toxic mercury are released yearly into the air, lakes, streams and land via coal-burning power plants).
For “conventional technologies,” that leaves us only one: Nuclear. But, sorry, conventional nuclear is SO detrimental and dangerous that much of its cost is due to the fact that utilities must provide their own capital budgets and insurance underwriting — why? Because NO ONE ON WALL STREET would ever touch such a risky investment, and has not to date, so don’t expect them to in the future — it will be ratepayers footing the entire bill.
That leaves the energy field wide open for, among others, the following “green” (relatively speaking) technologies: Wind. Solar. Hydrogen. Fusion (not “fission”!). Wave. Geothermal.
I have an idea: Let’s END all state and federal subsidies for the polluting, disease-producing, literally planet-killing coal, gas and oil industries — that should save U.S. taxpayers between $5 and $15 billion per year, adjusted. That would be a start.
From the Dec. 12-18, 2012, issue