Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mayor Bloomberg Full of Wind

It’s no surprise a politician would be for wind power. Of course, you could get all the benefits of wind, without the negatives of high cost, scenic pollution (just ask the Kennedys about windmills off Hyannis Port), unreliability and need for constantly spinning back-up power generators, and bird deaths, if you just installed nuclear power stations.

(It didn't take long for even dense Mayor Bloomberg to find out how dumb his idea was, as this article shows. These photos are courtesy The New York Daily News. Click here for more.)
Da Brooklyn Bridge

The cost would be much lower, and instead of providing only ten percent of New York’s power needs in ten years, you could supply 100%.

"When it takes to producing clean power, we're determined to make New York the No. 1 city in the nation," said Bloomberg.

Why not make it the No. I city in the world and go all nuclear? Right now Paris, France would probably be No. 1, because France generates 80% of their power needs from nuclear, which is much more environmentally friendly than wind and solar.

Skeptical? How about this example.

To generate the equivalent peak power of a small nuclear plant, solar panels require 12.5 square miles of pristine desert land. Even then, because the sun shines at varying degrees of intensity during the day, and not at all during the night, total output is only one-third of that small nuclear plant.

Or how about this example? On a 100+ F day when electricity demand was at its afternoon peak, Texas' 6000 MW of installed wind generation was supplying only 600 megawatts (MW) of power to the grid, whereas a generic nuclear power plant would produce almost double the MW using less than one percent of the land required for wind power, and would produce it much more cheaply and closer to its users, instead of a thousand miles distant.

The higher the percentage of power provided by solar and wind, the more critical the need for back-up power generation to make the grid 100% reliable. Both Mayor Bloomberg and T. Boone Pickens ignore or gloss over this inconvenient truth.

If you’re concerned about greenhouse gasses (I’m not), nuclear produces far less than wind or solar, because far less earth is disturbed during its construction, and less energy is used in its fabrication compared to wind and solar equipment.

In fact, although Mayor Bloomberg’s advocacy of these impractical schemes can be credited to typical political pandering (and monumental ignorance), the position of environmentalists is a model of unprincipled hypocrisy. At the same time they are frantic to prevent drilling in 2000 acres of mosquito-infested tundra in ANWR, they are rapturous over the prospects of solar projects covering hundreds of square miles of scenic desert, requiring enormously expensive and visually polluting transmission lines.

At the same time they vehemently oppose off-shore drilling for oil, they want far larger and more numerous wind turbines all over New York City bridges and skyscrapers, in the Hudson and East Rivers, and off the coast of Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island.

There is no rational explanation for such schizophrenia. The environmentalists’ overriding principle is to save the environment, but they can’t bring themselves to even mention the most obvious means available, nuclear power. In their mad rush to protect so-called pristine wilderness, i.e. ANWR, they have no compunctions about polluting far more scenic and fragile habitat with huge arrays of solar panels and turbines, and enormously expensive and intrusive transmission lines.

In order to pursue their anti-corporate, anti-Republican, and of course anti-Bush agendas, they are willing to sacrifice those things that just a few years ago they considered sacred: the untrod desert, vistas without visible power lines, and bridges and buildings celebrated for their pure architectural beauty.

San Franciscans recently voiced their opposition to building a higher suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge because it would detract from its esthetics. I wonder how they would vote on a suggestion to put turbines atop its towers and to cover its surfaces with solar panels?

I wish Mayor Gavin Newsom would follow Mayor Bloomberg’s lead and suggest it.

Mayor Newsom can commit adultery, blame his failings on alcoholism, use sanctuary-city polices to hide illegal alien felons from federal law, and still be considered a viable Democrat candidate for governor. However, if he messes with the Golden Gate Bridge, he’s toast.

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