Wind Industry Crisis Spreads: German & Australian Environmentalists Turn Against Pointless & Destructive Wind Power

The inevitable backlash against wind power started in Germany and it’s spreading, fast. The fact that chaotically intermittent wind power can’t be delivered as and when power consumers need it means the wanton destruction of pristine wilderness, bucolic landscapes, rural communities, and millions of birds and bats (including plenty of species on the brink of extinction) is pretty hard to justify.

Even the most delusional eco-zealots are struggling. And, apparently, cognitive dissonance has lost its ability to overcome their niggling internal doubts.

In Australia, Dr Bob Brown, former leader of the Australian Greens, was one of the first to break ranks when a few of these things were threatened for the remote North-West of his home State, Tasmania: Hyper-Hypocrites: Greens Love Wind Power – In Your Backyard – But Never In Theirs

In Germany, real environmentalists are mounting a well-oiled revolt against the destruction of forests – the natural habitat of apex predators, like the endangered Red Kite. Environmentalists are also furious at the fact that Kites, Eagles and dozens of threatened bat species are being sliced and diced with impunity across Europe. Rural residents, driven mad in their homes or driven out of them by practically incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound have taken their cases to law seeking injunctions and damages.

The result being is that new wind farm construction in Germany has ground to a halt.

There is a kind of irony in the fact that environmentalists have turned out to be the wind industry’s nemesis, given that the entire subsidy-soaked scam once traded on its ‘holier than thou’ environmental credentials.

Not all rabid environmentalists are human hating socialists, ready to send you back to the Dark Ages. Some are equally keen to save the planet and to see that everybody gets the chance to take a hot shower and drink cold beer, as well.

Michael Shellenberger is what happens when environmentalism meets common sense.

Michael, rated as one of America’s top greens, is just as eager as his counterparts are to save the planet. But he has absolutely no time for the cult-like adoration amongst his peers for heavily subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind and solar. Instead, Shellenberger promotes nuclear power with a passion.

Here’s Michael being interviewed on Sky, spelling out the beginning of the end for subsidised wind power.

Renewable sector facing a ‘crisis’
Sky News
Michael Shellenberger on Outsiders
18 August 2019

Countries pioneering renewable energy are facing a ‘crisis in energy production’, according to environmentalist Michael Shellenberger.

Mr Shellenberger said the most overt example is Germany, where despite renewable energy providing more electricity than coal or nuclear in the European nation, the sector is rapidly losing jobs and facing local opposition.

The pro-nuclear author said countries with a high concentration of renewables, like Germany, are struggling with the cost of energy because wind turbines and solar panels are not able to power modern economies.

Mr Shellenberger told Sky News “if you want environmental quality, you need an efficient grid,” which is something renewables cannot provide.
Sky News

 

Transcript

Rowan Dean: Let’s go to Mike Shellenberger. He’s been on Outsiders before. He is, of course, the founder of Environmental Progress. He’s an environmentalist, a scientist and an author and we’re delighted to have him again to talk to us about renewables, about nuclear energy, and give us some actual facts and science on what is the madness of the climate change religion. Welcome back to Outsiders, Mike Shellenberger. How are you Mike?

Michael Shellenberger:  Good. Thanks for having me.

Rowan Dean:  Good to see you again, mate. Now listen, you’ve been writing quite a lot recently, particularly about nuclear energy. Suddenly, since we last spoke last, a few months ago, that debate has heated up here in Australia with certain politicians saying, “Well, hang on, maybe we should be looking at this.” So, tell us just briefly where we are at the moment with renewables in Europe? And what you think, what’s happening in Australia?

Michael Shellenberger: Well, renewables are running into a crisis situation in the countries that were the first to pioneer the use of them. So, what we’ve seen in both Germany and California is a problem of both too much solar and wind electricity when we don’t need it, not enough when we do need it. The German wind industry’s actually in a crisis right now. They’ve lost about 24,000 jobs over the last year or so. Only one-third of the new wind auctions were actually sold to bidders. And the reason is, is because there are lawsuits and local opposition that are blocking new transmission lines and wind farms because they’re having such a negative environmental impact, particularly on a really spectacular bird species, the European red kite.

And it’s a similar situation in California and it’s actually happening in Australia as well. There’s actually two endangered Australian birds that are threatened by wind farms right now. So, this is one of the great ironies is that those of us that have dedicated our lives to protecting the natural environment, find ourselves opposing the expansion of a technology that was supposedly good for the environment but has turned out to have some of the biggest negative ecological impacts.

Rowan Dean: Talk us through those, particularly the larger birds and the threat to them. The environmentalists in Australia and the lefties have all gone, “Oh, no, no. The odd occasional bird maybe,” but they’ve dismissed it. We’ve heard all sorts of figures about what is at stake with birdlife. Talk to us about the threat of windmills.

Michael Shellenberger: Well, this is really quite scandalous. I was an advocate for wind turbines for many years and I told myself, I repeated the propaganda that I had heard, which is that “Oh well, house cats kill more birds, or more birds fly into buildings.” That’s just false. Cats might kill robins and sparrows and jays, but the big spectacular high conservation value birds, the birds that are endangered or threatened, the ones that take many years to reproduce, those birds don’t get killed by house cats. Eagles kill house cats, as it actually turns out.

And you have two species of endangered birds actually, in Australia. We’re doing a report on this, it should come out in the fall, but the orange-belly parrot and the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle are both threatened by wind farms, and it’s major green leaders in Australia, major environmental activists that are raising these concerns. And, once again though, our concerns are being dismissed by this big lie, which is that house cats are somehow some major threat to eagles or even parrots. It’s quite ridiculous.

Rita Panahi: I wanted to ask you about Germany and France, the different approaches they’ve taken in terms of nuclear and renewables. Talk us through that because there’s an enormous figure that Germany is going to be spending upwards of 580 billion by 2020, and yet their energy prices are soaring.

Michael Shellenberger:  That’s right. I always say that all you need to learn about energy and the environment you can learn from Germany and France and it’s an important case study because it covers many decades.

So, just one statistic, Germany spends almost twice as much for electricity that produces 10 times more carbon pollution than French electricity. The Germans have seen their electricity prices rise 50% over the last decade. And, like you said, Germany will spend $580 billion by 2025 on renewables and will need to spend another three to $4 trillion to get solar and wind to 100%. And people think that Germany is mostly renewables, it’s actually only 35% renewables, up from just 7% 10 years ago, and they’re running into huge challenges. The biggest are the environmental and economic ones but you can see it’s a brilliant case study because Germany has been phasing out nuclear, trying to do renewables. France has stayed with nuclear at 75% of its electricity mix, and here they’re actually the world climate leader and the world environmental leader and they’re doing it with nuclear power.

James Morrow: But Mike, one of the things that you’ve written about, I think, very eloquently, and belled the cat, so to speak, or not the house cat that’s killing the Eagles, but just cats, in general, is that for the environmental movement, actually, the economics don’t matter. And in some ways ideologically, the idea that the power prices are going to go up and that a consumer lifestyle is harder to achieve is actually a feature, not a bug. Can you talk to us a bit about that deep green ideology?

Michael Shellenberger: Well, yeah. You hear it all the time. I travel all around the world, I interview small farmers in the poorest countries in the world, and I’ve never heard any of them say that “We all consume too much,” or, “There’s too many people.”

But here, in my hometown of Berkeley, or when I travel to rich parts of Europe or Australia or New Zealand, I hear it all the time. People say, “The rest of the world can’t live like us and there’s something wrong with our lifestyle.” I find it really disturbing because it’s often claimed like, “Oh well, we all do our part.” But, of course, the people that are saying it fly around the world in jet aeroplanes, they go to conferences to complain about other people becoming prosperous.

And so, I think that really what it’s about is, it’s about actually trying to keep other people down. This is what it’s been about since the 40s and 50s. All of that concern about others, too many people, that was always directed at poor people, non-whites in poor and developing countries. And you see it now, they’re using climate change to basically deny poor countries modern energy. It started with hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants but now they’re seeking to deny poor countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, the basics of oil and gas, coal; all the ways in which we have achieved this amazing standard of living you see people trying to stop other people from having that standard of living in poor countries.

Rita Panahi: We’ve got that happening right here. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the Adani mine where the coal is destined for India, and the environmentalists want to stop a project that’s going to help impoverished Indians have a better standard of living. It seems incredible.

Michael Shellenberger:  Well yeah, and you know it’s not really what it’s about because they also all oppose nuclear power, so if you really cared about climate change you would be a huge advocate of nuclear power. Most of the great climate scientists of the world are actually the biggest advocates of nuclear power. And so, I think that really gives light to the concern that people profess for climate change. And, of course, we see it over time. First, they said, “Oh, well we’re concerned about resource depletion.” Now they say, “We’re concerned about climate change,” but at the end of the day, what they’re advocating is that people stay poor in poor countries and that we increase the cost of energy and reduce our standard of living in rich ones.

Rowan Dean:   Mike, just very quickly, before we go, you’ve basically put the light on the whole battery revolution idea. And our former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was always banging on about batteries. You don’t think they’re feasible. Tell us?

Michael Shellenberger:  Yeah, it’s incredibly expensive, first of all, and all we can do with these batteries is save electricity for a few minutes. If you were to have a grid that ran on solar and wind, you’d have to save electricity for literally weeks and months because that’s how much time you have to save it. And it’s really quite inefficient and un-environmental.

What is so great about electricity is that you’re always balancing supply and demand. This idea of backing up and storing lots and lots of electricity just requires huge amounts of natural resources and all sorts of environmental destruction. So people, if you want environmental quality, you need an efficient grid, and that means a grid with as little storage as needed.
Sky News

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  2. Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira will be giving a presentation at the University of Waterloo in Ontario on September 12th, on LFN and infrasound and the harm to humans from sources, including industrial wind turbines. This harm is cumulative and irreversible.

  3. Rosemary Howe says:

    I’m pro nuclear. (Perhaps thorium eventually).

    I’m being told it will take 30+ years to establish a sufficient number of nuclear power stations in Australia at enormous cost.

    I’ve asked the question – if the climate situation is so dire/cataclysmic, akin to the onset of WWIII, why are we concerning ourselves with expense? Surely, in order to save the planet World governments should be pulling out all the stops and rapidly establishing nuclear power stations regardless of costs?

    Please can you point me to robust reports on establishing nuclear energy here in Australia, including timing.

  4. It is becoming clear to me that renewables should only ever have been a small boutique part of the grid. They are an idea that has been half thought through. It is reckless to keep on building them. Who needs terrorism, or a military foe, when our own Victorian Labor government is running such an effective campaign to sabotage the Eastern Grid.

    SKY News Australia is doing an amazing job; “Outsiders” is compelling viewing. I don’t know where Rowan Dean gets his energy; clearly he doesn’t live near a wind farm!

    I have become impatient with ABC TV News, and their constant avoidance of the other side of the debate. They seem to be reporting the past. However, ABC Local Radio occasionally prove to be the exception to the rule.

    But for how much longer?

    ABC TV have largely forgotten the outer suburbs, regional and rural Australia.

    Thank goodness for Midsomer Murders!

    But even this is becoming more PC with every episode, ever since producer Brian True-May left.

  5. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.press.

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