Extreme Temperature Diary-April 5, 19th, 2019/ Trump Really Blows…Fake News On Windmills

Friday April 5th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Trump Really Blows… Fake News On Wind Energy

I had a little fun with today’s main topic tittle not knowing to laugh or cry due to recent comments Trump made about wind energy. Today I am posting the brutally wrong comments, which are borderline insane that even a grade school kid can see right through. Here are a couple of tweets with linked articles that my climate change friends have made on Trump’s windmill assertions:

Let’s quote from the Newsweek article as written by Dr. Mann:

Unlike President Trump’s inability to pronounce the word “origins,” his recurring anti-wind bloviating isn’t a sign of mental decline. Sure, it is stupid and wrong to say the sound of wind causes cancer (just who is the “alarmist” by the way?) or reduces real estate values (it doesn’t.) But it’s also dangerous. This and other anti-science campaigns like the ones against vaccinations and evolution are not just silly ignorance. They’re weaponized stupidity.

Trump’s tirades aren’t reflective of any deeply held belief or well-informed opinion, but instead appear to be informed by, and in service of, Big Oil’s anti-wind propaganda. For decades fossil fuel companies have attacked clean and renewable competition, from working to block local wind power installations to fighting state policies promoting wind. Key to that effort is spreading myths about wind power’s potential as well as its progress, which our Fox News President predictably regurgitates.

For example, take Trump’s bizarre recurring joke were he pretends to be someone who watches a lot of television (ok—no need to suspend disbelief on that part,) but has to turn it off when the wind isn’t blowing. Trump’s own Department of Energy debunks that ridiculous reliability argument (hi, batteries!) along with other energy myths. Wind power kills less birds than other forms of energy, it poses no human health threat, and it is increasingly more competitive than fossil fuels.

The sad irony of Trump’s weaponized stupidity is that it hurts the rural communities and red states who are benefiting “bigly” from wind power. For example, on November 9, 2016, the very day Trump was elected President, the Omaha World-Herald published a story about how “wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland.”

In 2017, wind farm developers were paying ranchers and farmers some $267 million to lease their farmland for wind turbines. And what’s more, all 10 of the top wind-powered congressional districts elected Republicans, while the five states that derived over a quarter of their power from wind were the Trump strongholds of Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota.

It’s not just money saved—it’s also money earned. In 2017, there were over 150,000 people employed in the rural midwest doing wind and other renewable energy and efficiency work. More, in most of the states, than employed by fossil fuels. Nationally, Trump’s “beautiful coal” employs only half as many people as wind’s 107,000 jobs.

And like all those red states, the Department of Defense has similarly been benefiting from more than a thousand renewable energy projects as of 2015. By 2017, the largest military base in the U.S. got nearly half its electricity from renewables. Fort Hood’s $2.5 million a year in savings translates to more than $150 million over 30 years of wind and solar power use.

Unlike President Trump’s inability to pronounce the word “origins,” his recurring anti-wind bloviating isn’t a sign of mental decline. Sure, it is stupid and wrong to say the sound of wind causes cancer (just who is the “alarmist” by the way?) or reduces real estate values (it doesn’t.) But it’s also dangerous. This and other anti-science campaigns like the ones against vaccinations and evolution are not just silly ignorance. They’re weaponized stupidity.

Trump’s tirades aren’t reflective of any deeply held belief or well-informed opinion, but instead appear to be informed by, and in service of, Big Oil’s anti-wind propaganda. For decades fossil fuel companies have attacked clean and renewable competition, from working to block local wind power installations to fighting state policies promoting wind. Key to that effort is spreading myths about wind power’s potential as well as its progress, which our Fox News President predictably regurgitates.

For example, take Trump’s bizarre recurring joke were he pretends to be someone who watches a lot of television (ok—no need to suspend disbelief on that part,) but has to turn it off when the wind isn’t blowing. Trump’s own Department of Energy debunks that ridiculous reliability argument (hi, batteries!) along with other energy myths. Wind power kills less birds than other forms of energy, it poses no human health threat, and it is increasingly more competitive than fossil fuels.

It’s not just money saved—it’s also money earned. In 2017, there were over 150,000 people employed in the rural midwest doing wind and other renewable energy and efficiency work. More, in most of the states, than employed by fossil fuels. Nationally, Trump’s “beautiful coal” employs only half as many people as wind’s 107,000 jobs.

And like all those red states, the Department of Defense has similarly been benefiting from more than a thousand renewable energy projects as of 2015. By 2017, the largest military base in the U.S. got nearly half its electricity from renewables. Fort Hood’s $2.5 million a year in savings translates to more than $150 million over 30 years of wind and solar power use.

And it seems that might be who’s running Trump’s mouth, too. We can do better than this, America.

Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State University. His most recent book, with Tom Toles, is The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy (Columbia University Press, 2016).

Here are my own two cents: I sense some desperation coming from coal and oil interests trying to prop up industries that are beginning to fail as wind power has proven to be cheaper, cleaner, better for the environment, and much more efficient than coal fired plants. Only Trump’s ravenous political base is being taken in by Trump’s lies, particularly the ridiculous notion that wind turbines cause cancer. Anyway, people living in both rural and urban communities will be voting with their pocketbooks and not be swayed by anyone saying empty words, even if they do come from the President.

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Here is some more climate and weather news from Friday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”

One thought on “Extreme Temperature Diary-April 5, 19th, 2019/ Trump Really Blows…Fake News On Windmills

  1. In the early 1980s I came up with the world’s first self-funding near-zero CO2 plan, no major economy had adopted such a plan as yet. To summarize:

    A 10 kilometre deep lined and capped water well can convert all power stations to clean energy, a cut of 30% in CO2 emissions. A 20% cut would come from electrification of all vehicles. 41% would come from coating all buildings in Starlite. Aircraft and Ships could halve emissions by using fuel mixed with water using an ultrasonic dibber. Aircraft account for 6% of CO2, while shipping accounts for 4.5%, so another 5.25% can be saved. The total savings would then be 96.25%. Improving soil using biochar would then cut CO2 in the atmosphere by locking it in the ground.

    It can all be paid for by eliminating mental illness using the Kadir-Buxton Method.

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