Hello Tim, your message was forwarded to me by a concerned citizen regarding Industrial Wind Energy projects being slated for his area.
Tim you are worried about Peak oil like many of us “50 somethings” because you forget your history; the older sorts you refer to, lived through the oil crisis of the 70’s therefore are very familiar with the idea that oil will run out. Your thinking is also not taking into consideration that oil has very little to do with electrical generation in Ontario. (less then. 7% of Ontario’s electrical generation).
I agree that there is no silver bullet and that is why we must make sure the choices we take are ones that will firstly protect people from harms way. You may think this is selfish because in your mind past generations decisions never focused on good old mother earth, however if policies right across our great country focused on people, we would see pieces of legislation that protected our environment simply because people need safe, and healthy communities in which to live. In other words a safe healthy community is a reflection of a well protected and healthy environment. (i.e. clean water, and air, protected land bases for healthy green spaces to enjoy and grow our food etc)
Your idea that wind is only a part of the solution is misleading at best. Wind provides no capacity value–specified, dispatchable, steady power on demand. It only provides the grid with sporadic bursts of energy, not energy commensurate with modern power expectations. Modern power vastly improves productivity and moves us forward. Wind reduces it. Trading wind for nuclear, or coal, or natural gas, or hydro is akin to trading Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Sandy Koufax, and Willy Mays for a third string high school first baseman who made the team because of his father’s contributions to the alumni fund.(i.e. Big Wind aligning themselves into a cozy relationship with gov’t for the end purpose of making money at your and my expense, not based on the idea of saving the world from GHG emissions)
Pretending that zero capacity wind technology is an answer to building a responsive supply to meet new demand is, energy-wise, incredibly stupid. We need more wind projects like a prom queen needs acne.
You should also realize that no where in Europe has wind been able to reduce the demand for coal generation. In Germany, who has the largest influx of wind onto their grid, the requirement for 26 new coal generating plants in order to meet demand and in large part to help respond to wind’s intermittent nature, has already been put in place. You may also think that Europe is enchanted with wind. I would suggest the following site www.epaw.org to see how Europeans are fed up with wind energy.
Instead of debating what energy source is better over another, we should be asking questions such as – does industrial wind make economic sense when compared to other options, and what is the environmental cost (including health) of this? In other words, the Ontario taxpayer should be aware what is the full cost per tonne of CO2 saved by wind energy (or by any source of energy).
Ontario taxpayers must also rely on the dispassionate, comprehensive and scientific adjudication of industry technical claims, by those who are employed to serve ONLY the public interest. This is particularly important when businesses like Big Wind not only desire enormous public financial support, but also when the stakes (i.e. Global Warming) reportedly involve our very survival as a species. I would suggest the following as required reading http://www.withouthotair.com/
Here is Young Tim’s response. He has obviously been listening to the David Suzuki school of “people are all maggots feasting on mother earth’s flesh and bones” I’ve imbedded a few comments for comic relief.
Interesting reply and I’m really not sure where to start, you do seem somewhat educated on the issues which is helpful in me explaining how things really work to you. Really big of Tim to admit that I seem somewhat educated when all I see are spelling and poor sentence structure throughout his email.
Your older generation viewpoint is much like my parents, they’ve seen and heard all the fear mongering before such as WWI and WWII and the energy crisis of the 70’s etc and the good guys always previal so you’ve seen these cycles before in society. Again I”m going to get strait to the point with you again as you’re missing a key point, WE ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF OIL AND COAL IN 50 YEARS OR SO. THis is not a debatable issue, it will happen. This is going to have a huge impact on society and suburbia as we know it. Too bad Tim doesn’t know that North America has least 200 years worth of coal and wordwide reports say 400 years
As best I can figure you are in bed with big oil/coal (if only it could be that easy and I could be making money from this rather than spending all this time getting berated by yound pups like our Timbit here) or else just extremely niave. You are correct that the current versions of wind power are not perfect suffering from fluctuations and inefficients however again this is how cycles in society work. Would you compare a modern car with the Model T, would you compare the first computers with todays? All you are doing is being a very good critic with out offering solutions. Too bad he doesn’t want to accept the solution which I’m advocating, don’t put the silly things up)
Your comment “Instead of debating what energy source is better over another, we should be asking questions such as – does industrial wind make economic sense when compared to other options, and what is the environmental cost (including health) of this? ” is a bunch of political jibberish. Colette don’t give me vague statements, what other energy source?!?!? The current main energy sources in society are wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, coal and oil. Pick one, tell me what is the route for society to go based on your expert cynical education? He doesn’t realize that I am saying pick all of the them and by the way wind is not a main energy source = <3% of Ontario’s demand even after installing 5000MW
Here are a few movies I think you should watch: An Incovinient Truth, The 11th hour, Crude Impact, and Who killed the Electric Car. If you spend the time to watch these movies I think you and I could then have a more product conversation. Oh Goodie! I get to watch movies now rather than read and use my brain in active thinking.
Your right the wind lobby and industry is getting powerfull but better them than big oil. The negative downsides to big wind are a lot less (noise, NIMBY neighbours, inefficiencies) then big oil (climate change, rape of developing nations, heavy political influencing regardless of societies long term interests, and I could go on). Too bad he doesn’t realize that Big Wind is the same thing as Big Oil. Epcor, Enbridge, Suncor, ring a bell.
Talking about safe societies, tranquility, healthy green spaces is nice to wish for but again your education in this area is lacking. Have you taken a look at the worlds current population and furthur predictions? Let me help you out here then, we are currently at 6.5B with projections of 9B by about 2050. There are tooo many people in this world, we are currently consuming about 1.5 worth or earths resoures right now and that is going up, we are running out of space. So does this mean to hec! with the green spaces because our populations is growing (which by the way has stabilized worldwide) And what about this 1.5, When I was in school that factor should be making us work in the negative by now. How many kids do you have, are you a vegetarian? Look in the mirror before you keep trying to stop progress for cleaner, albiet slightly flawed energy.
Sorry to be so harsh but your hitting a nerve. That’s nice, he apoligizes, so I guess it’s all right now.
Here is a response to young Tim bits from another concerned resident.
Some good words from a retired teacher.
Young Mr. Tim is way out on his facts. Yes someday there may not be any oil or coal. That is some great distance in the future. Hundreds of years. First oil. The cheap stuff may be getting used up in a few generations. That leaves oil shales, sands and hard to get at deposits as primary source material. Remember the club of Rome? We should have been out of oil by now according to their 1970’s ideas. But oil can be created from other sources including algae and coal. As for coal, the quantities are immense and located in many places and would last beyond any projections we could sensibly make. The coal can be changed into oil as well.
From my perspective the problem is not the supply, it is the contamination that results from the use of the oil and coal. It has been proven in trials that carbon and sulphur can be cleaned out of the burning of coal and either stored or better yet used to create oil from algae. This adds to the cost of burning the coal so any second level financial capture will reduce the costs. Considering the size of the coal lobby in the USA I would expect to see a lot of action on this front in the next 10 years in the sequestration and capture of the pollutants. Coal will be cheap but the processing will add large costs.
In 1946 the post war oil short Germans put cylinders filled with manure on their cars so they could capture the methane and burn it to make the car go short distances. In WW2 the Japanese used pine sap to make fuel for their one way Zero planes. In 1900 horse manure was a major problem on the streets of large cities….that’s no longer a pollution problem.
As for global warming, a couple of good volcanic eruptions or extended sun spots will cool us down. Man’s contribution on this front is measurable but just barely. I knew from my studies in the 1960s that the turn of the century would be warmer in Toronto. That was from extrapolations of the data we already had on the cycles.
The real short term issue is the fact that oil will go up in cost and all else will have to adjust. An argument put forward by I think Rubin(?) is the higher costs will force us away from globalization. (Your World is About to get a lot Smaller ). So the issue of future cost is as large as carbon contamination . Mr. Tim should further his research into the nuances involved. Yes the world will end when the sun begins to expand as a dying star in several billion years. I have trouble fretting about that. Oil and coal supplies could eventually be consumed but synthetics can also be manufactured. I have trouble fretting about that as well. Supply is not the issue. Cost and contamination are valid issues. Pass this along to your friend who is anxious about not having gas.
John of Curries
Tim, Tim, Tim…
Tim, (re: your response to Colette McLean) You are the one who’s incredibly naive. YOU need to wake up and see that big wind and big oil are basically the same. It’s the most powerful corporations in the world (mostly traditional energy companies) who are simply taking advantage of huge tax shelters provided by generating renewable energy – it’s NOT that they suddenly want to save the planet. Big wind is a folly. It rapes not only developing countries but ALL countries who employ it. The portion of Denmark that’s covered in turbines is not a very pretty place. And their co2 emissions have RISEN to levels they would have if the machines weren’t even there. Big wind RUINS local environments and fragile ecosystems – for no gain – except to the corporations who are able to avoid paying millions in taxes because of it. And wind is NOT one of the main sources of energy in the world, as you claim – thank God. Though the industry is pushing hard, I believe that as more massive turbines go up, the evidence that it’s a joke will become increasingly apparent, and it’s proponents will never reach their lofty goals, in spite of misled cheerleaders like you. Commercial wind power mocks true environmentalism around the globe. It’s an industry built on misconceptions and should be taken completely off the table when considering serious alternatives to invest our precious time and resources in, but instead, because of political pressure and lobbyists who actually participate in the crafting of legislation that supports their own industry, it’s at the top of the list. The notion that wind is ‘an important piece in the energy puzzle’ is contrived. The truth is there’s no place it really fits, given it’s inability to generate dispatchable electricity. Grandiose ideas like the ‘Pickens Plan’ would see thousands of massive wind towers cover much of the midwest and proclaim to be about the ‘common good’ – but because of the aforementioned tax advantages, it would be Mr. Pickens himself benefiting the most by far.
Our decision-makers and their advisors must stop pandering to special interests and start making a genuine effort to understand the basics of the many options out there and the distinct differences between them. Wise choices will ensure sustainability and environmental stewardship, not degradation. Wind power won’t stabilize soaring energy costs, cool a warming planet, or reduce the use of foreign oil. It won’t even provide reliable electricity. What it WILL do is enrich a select few and distract the rest of us from our goals of finding truly legitimate solutions that will ultimately make a positive and meaningful difference.
You want to be real steward of the planet, Tim? Then take your blinders off and wise-up.
I am no expert. We know nothing about each other. I do hold a seat on the ASME National Energy Policy Committee, and there is consiensus there about wind’s limited value and high cost. There is also consensus about various fossil resources.
Here are some comments to your e-mail to Collette I hope you will find helpful:
– There is a difference between fear mongering and healthy, scientific scrutiny.
– We are not going to run out of coal in 50 years. Maybe 500 years, but I doubt it.
– Every prediction in the past that we are almost out of crude oil has been met with new technology to find and extract more. So much so that the price of oil has dropped steadily in relation to incomes for almost the entire last half of the 20th century and to date! Chicken Littling about oil and coal are a poor use of your mental faculties.
– Name calling, conspiracy fears and the like make you look even more ridiculous. Collette is no more “in bed with big oil” than you are in bed with the devil. Nor is she naive. You know that. What she is, is connected with a network of energy technology realists. People who believe generation technologies must be fully evaluated and proven to have measurable net benefits that justify their costs before being welcomed into our regional grids – grids who -until political pressures and inducements mounted – dispatched generation on a lowest price basis. Low energy prices are the life blood of modern civilization. If you are against humanity and prosperity, that’s another matter.
– Collette has no obligation to offer solutions. I believe Collette feels NOT deploying wind is part of a solution to avoid wasting money. That should be enough.
– Collette’s comments about economic, environmental and technical aspects of wind is FAR from political jibberish. Your comment there is so far off the mark, I think I’ll stop writing to you now.
I think you do not understand the scientific method and are driven by irrational fears. I can’t help you with that.
I have read a few comments that you have shared with some “older” folks about your take on Wind and Global Warming and Al Gore etc.
I realize being a younger version of the old “fogies” you write to that you have a perspective reflective of the present and future versus the past. I respect your perspective and everyone should be able to voice an opinion. Where I question your logic is that you haven’t gone far enough in your research……..when you mention Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore it is obvious you only saw one side of a debate that now rages world wide!
The UN has scared the crap out of the world with it’s Global Warming tripe along with guys like Suzuki screaming nightly about how the world is Doomed!
Please do more research before you accept the fact that Wind and Green and Sustainable is the way to go……………and don’t throw your hands up in the air saying oil will run out in 50 years…….and the sky is falling. I worked in the Tar Sands for Suncor and there is more oil there than anywhere in the world at present and there is no finite end to oil for at least your lifetime and then your children’s and possibly longer.
You are quoting other “madmen’s” rants and I would suggest that a longer time looking at both sides of this argument may open your mind even further…………….
Just today the American Chamber of Commerce is putting on trial the Global Warming nuts in Congress of the United States for quoting nonsensical statements and causing havoc for millions of citizens by pushing for a cap and trade act that will basically bankrupt the planet……………it’s happening right here in Ontario and if you don’t believe me go to: http://ontariotruth.wordpress.com
That’s enough time with you now…….I have other important research to do so I can inform my granddaughter what vile disgusting plans our politicians and Green Energy Industrialsits have in store for her.
By the way …I’m a real old Fogie!
Here are some more profound words from another concerned resident in Manitoba (again over 50)
Unfortunately it’s the education system that is failing here. John Taylor Gatto has an excellent book: “Dumbing us Down” There was a time when elders were respected and their experience was valued. Even in the animal world – elephants for example rely on the matriarchs of their society in difficult times. Today it’s mass media and movies that lead our society. Get with the times Colette, today we have an abundant supply of movies that can get you up to speed with reality. Last year I wrote a letter to CBC after they slammed the “older” generation for getting us in the situation we are today. I wrote how in the 70’s our family laughed about my grandma saving plastic bags, saving the bath water for her vegetable garden, household appliances that were 50+ years old, etc. Later when things got better she moved to a nicer place that had air conditioning but she wouldn’t use it because it cost too much. Goods came by train – slow but incredibly energy efficient …. today most of the rail lines are torn out and freight goes by quick + incredibly energy inefficient trucks. The list went on – CBC did not reply to my letter. Today too many youth consume boxed food, shop in big box stores, prefabricated entertainment and education with out a foundation. I ask young people if they know about what science says about the place we live – just the basics – they don’t have a clue. Why do we have the type of soil we have? they don’t know what was here before? they don’t know… but if you watch al gore’s movie you’ll know all the really important stuff. Todd