Ian Plimer is an Australian geologist, professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne, professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide, and the director of multiple mineral exploration and mining companies. He has published numerous scientific papers, 7 books and is one of the co-editors of Encyclopedia of Geology.
Ian also manages to draw plenty heat for his attack on global warming hysteria. What impresses STT is that, unlike his interlocutors, Ian Plimer’s grasp on the facts goes back some 4.6 billion years, as long as this orb has been lapping the Sun, rather than the last Tweet that popped up five minutes ago.
Ian managed to infuriate the wind and sunshine cult with his last book ‘Not for Greens’. And, no doubt, his latest effort will do just the same.
Ian’s latest work, ‘The Climate Change Delusion and The Great Electricity Ripoff’ has just been released and is available from Connorcourt Publishing by clicking here.
Here’s the publisher’s blurb:
How did one of the world’s largest exporters of coal, gas and uranium end up with unreliable and expensive energy? Massive subsidies for renewable energy, gaming of the electricity market and government mandates have closed coal-fired generators that previously provided cheap reliable electricity.
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther objected to indulgences. Today indulgences are sought as subsidies from consumers for renewable energy generators in the name of the environmental religion.
It has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming and the recent massive increases in emissions produced no warming.
This book shows that renewable energy creates massive environmental damage and much of the generously-funded climate science is underpinned by fraud. The end result is high electricity prices.
However, there is a simple solution to the suicidal energy policy created by pandering to green hysteria that gave us ruinable energy.
This is a book that those battling the greatest fraud of all time will purchase in multiples: copies for friends and family, even more copies to drop on the desks of journalists, politicians, planning authorities, for their educative benefit, and, just for fun, lobbed at the goons who people the wind industry.
Rollicking over 450 pages, Ian collects a raft of facts, data and details on the greatest government backed scam of all time: mandated and subsidised wind and solar power.
Here’s an extract (minus footnotes) from his chapter on the great wind power fraud:
Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote saw wind mills as evil giants fit only for destruction. I do also but for different reason.
Not one country in the world is powered by wind energy. Wind power provides too much power one minute and not enough the next.
Windmills may have been first used by the Persians in 500 to 900 AD, they were used by the Chinese from about 1200 AD and the Old World is littered with ruins of wind mills. When more reliable sources of water and power were available, wind mills fell into disuse. Wind power reached its zenith 400 years ago. Centuries ago, wind was used for pumping water and grinding grain and these processes did not have to be undertaken all the time. Wind energy was replaced by steam generated from burning coal. Since then, the increasing energy requirements, energy density, inefficiency and unreliability made wind power more and more expensive. Small windmills pump water in isolated areas for stock. They are slowly being replaced by diesel- or solar-driven pumps. For hundreds of years, industrial wind mills have been useless. They still are.
Despite massive subsidies for competing energy such as wind and solar, coal producers and coal-fired electricity generators are not subsidised and face punitive regulatory barriers and massive environmental and legal costs just to establish an employment-creating business. It is only by mandating and subsidising increasing proportions of electricity consumption from the highest cost renewable sources, thereby driving up electricity prices, that governments have made cheap coal-fired energy more expensive and comparable in price to wind energy. A false market has been created and you are paying for this with your electricity bill.
The International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends show that wind provided 0.46% of global energy in 2014 with solar and tide combined provided 0.35%. The rest of the energy is solid, gaseous and liquid fuels which do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry. If we round the wind contribution of total global energy to the nearest whole number, it is 0%. Why do we even bother?
Wind energy damages the environment, health and prosperity. Wind power is:
- Unstable and erratic. This, of course, is the bleeding obvious. It is only in parts of Antarctica that the wind blows constantly. Elsewhere in the world, the wind does not blow constantly. When it blows, it is erratic and it may not blow for days. In periods of high wind, the grid becomes overloaded or the turbines have to be shut down to avoid mechanical damage. German wind turbines put out a miserable 18% of their installed rated capacity. Wind companies claim that their turbines will power thousands of households but fail to state that this can only be achieved when the wind velocity is incessant and at a constant velocity. The wind companies such as AGL feed the public with fraud.
- Wind turbines are expensive. The return on investment takes many years, even in places where the wind blows often (e.g. coastal areas, offshore, hill tops). Unless there are generous long-term subsidies paid by consumers and taxpayers, wind projects are poor investments. Because wind projects use subsidies and not wind to generate income, generated electricity is expensive. Governments have been totally commercially naïve and electricity prices have skyrocketed because there is a mandatory feed-in of wind energy.
- Excess wind power is very difficult to store. We are a very long way away from being able to store large amounts of electricity. Large batteries are expensive, short-lived, heavy and can be a fire hazard. Pumping water to a higher dam is hopelessly inefficient as is the conversion of water to hydrogen using electricity.
- Destruction of the environment. Turbines are in rural, scenic and forest areas. Plants and animals lose their habitats and there needs to be land clearing for the turbines and new access roads. Environmentalists complain about land clearing yet are happy to destroy the environment for wind industrial complexes. Wind industrial complexes require orders of magnitude more land than coal-fired or nuclear power stations.
- Birds and bats are slaughtered. Each year millions of birds, especially raptors, and bats are killed worldwide by turbine blades. If environmentalists were really concerned about saving the planet, they would first try to save unnecessary slaughter of wildlife. If killing on such a scale was done by another industry, there would be uproar.
- Flying ice. In winter at high latitudes, ice builds up on blades and is later thrown as projectiles. This danger to people and property has been totally ignored by environmentalists.
- Aesthetics. Huge towers, spinning blades and land clearing are a blight on the landscape. Many turbines are on the tops of hills. Environmental objections to many projects is often on aesthetic grounds, except for bird- and bat-chomping wind towers. The proximity of these ugly monstrosities to urban areas lowers property values.
- Health. Wind turbines produce flickering light and infrasound which can have a profound effect on some people. Infrasound, low frequency sound below the human threshold of hearing, is used as a military weapon because the inner ear pressure pulses is disorienting. Long term exposure damages health. If any other industry besides the wind industry damaged human health, environmentalists would be up in arms. If wind turbines are safe, I see no reason why they can’t be in the middle of cities in order to avoid voltage drop with long-distance transmission.
- Increased carbon dioxide emissions. Wind industrial complexes emit monstrous amount of carbon dioxide in their construction and maintenance. Furthermore, carbon dioxide emitting coal-fired power stations need to be operating for when the wind does not blow.
- Toxic pollution. Wind turbine blades cannot be recycled. Land fill and incineration emit toxic chemicals into the environment. If a factory emitted such toxins, it would be closed.
The mantra given by greens is that wind power is non-polluting and free. Not so. Processing of the rare-earth minerals mined at Bayan Obo in China has left a huge toxic, radioactive waste pile that affects the locals but is unseen by those that promote wind power. Neodymium-samarium magnets are used in the turbine.
Low frequency noise, possibly as low as 8 Hz, derives from spinning blades on a wind power station. This has physical and psychological effects on humans and it is not known what effects low frequency noise has on animals. However, mammals feel distress, confusion and fear from the unheard infrasound in the roar of the big cats. These medical effects of noise from wind turbines at this stage are difficult to quantify, medical research is at an early stage, further work is needed but reports from residents living near wind turbines suggest serious unresolved problems resulting from low frequency infrasound.
The wind power companies and green activists are only too well aware of the effects low frequency noise on human health. Green left activists are very vocal about what can’t be seen (e.g. radiation) but are hypocritically silent about what can’t be heard. Inaudible sound maybe can’t be heard but can be felt.
Wind generating facilities cannot exist without fossil fuels. The energy density of wind is very low. If all of the electricity requirements of the USA were to be from wind, then an area the size of Italy would be required. The resources that a wind turbine uses just don’t seem to get mentioned by the green left promoters.
Wind power provides electricity intermittently regardless of demand, cannot provide electricity when it is needed (i.e. peak demand times) and a spinning reserve of coal- and gas-fired plants need to keep operating and releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere whether the wind blows or not.
Large wind turbines need to extract energy from the grid to start and when the turbine is not spinning it still requires energy for the controls, lights, communications, sensors, metering, data collection, oil heating, pumps, coolers and gearbox filtering systems. This comes from the grid and is provided by burning coal. The bottom line is that wind turbines cannot be built, operated or maintained without using fossil fuels.
No, the bottom line is that Ian Plimer’s latest book is a must have for anyone even vaguely interested in energy policy and how and why it has been hijacked by a band of ideologically driven lunatics. So, why not do yourself a favour, and snap up a dozen copies today?