These are crazy times. A pandemic led to national quarantine; to self-induced recession; to riot, arson, and looting; to a contested election; and to a riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In response, are we focusing solely on upping the daily vaccination rate? Getting the country back to work? Opening the schools as the virus attenuates? Ensuring safety in the streets?
Or are we descending into a sort of madness?
Cabin-feverish Americans are poised to get out of their homes to travel, eat out and socialize as never before.
Meanwhile, the United States will have to start paying down nearly $30 trillion in debt. But we seem more fixated on raising rather than reducing that astronomical obligation.
We are told man-made, worldwide climate change – as in the now-discarded term “global warming” – can best be addressed by massive dislocations in the U.S. economy.
Americans should pause and examine the utter disaster that unfolded recently in Texas and its environs.
Parts of the American Southwest were covered in ice and snow for days. Nighttime temperatures crashed to near zero in some places.
The state, under pressure, had been transitioning from its near-limitless and cheap reservoirs of natural gas and other fossil fuels to generating power through wind and solar.
But what happens to millions of Texans when wind turbines freeze up while storm clouds extinguish solar power?
We are witnessing the answer in oil- and gas-rich but energy-poor Texas that is all but shut down.
Millions are shivering without electricity and affordable heating. Some may die or become ill by this self-induced disaster — one fueled by man-made ideological rigidity.
Texas’ use of natural gas in power generation has helped the United States curb carbon emissions. Ignoring it for unreliable wind and solar alternatives was bound to have catastrophic consequences whenever a politically incorrect nature did not follow the global warming script.
While wind turbines can add needed megawatts to the power grid, they failed the recent test of reliability. The problem, however, is deeper than just a failure to operate under severe winter conditions that occur each year in the U.S..
In an article by Christine Favocci, published February 15, 2021 in The Western Journal, she wrote this about the fact that wind turbines actually drain power from the power grid in severe weather:
The conservative think tank Center of the American Experiment has revealed that wind turbines in Minnesota and North Dakota built by Minnesota Power, Otter Tail Power and Xcel Energy will not only stop producing electricity but may also start consuming it.
In order to prevent damage to the motor, the turbines are heated to keep the components and their fluids from freezing. During the 2019 polar vortex, that safeguard drew 2 megawatts from the power grid.
Even for solar panels, which actually perform better in colder temperatures, the problem of ice and snow blocking out the light with no efficient way to clear each panel could render them useless.
During outbreaks of severe winter weather, wind turbines can actually use up needed electrical power just to keep them operational for future use.
When one considers the energy needed to create the parts for the windmills, transport them to the location, and establish a foundation for them, it’s quite likely that a wind turbine requires more energy to produce and put in operation than it will ever produce in its entire lifetime of twenty years.
Mark P. Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a McCormick School of Engineering Faculty Fellow at Northwestern University, provides the following details of what id needed for one wind turbine:
48 tons of reinforcing steel bar
538 tons of concrete requiring 53 trucks to deliver it to the site
The clearing of 1,650 tons of topsoil
8 truckloads to deliver the turbine components[i]
To put one windmill in operation requires 900 tons of material as well as a considerable amount of fossil fuel for the trucks to bring all the materials and components to the site. The processes of making the steel and the concrete for the windmill also emit a great amount of carbon dioxide.[ii]
Mark P. Mills in his article, What’s Wrong with Wind and Solar, said this about the usefulness of windfarms to provide energy, “Building a single 100-megawatt windfarm, which can power 75,000 homes requires some 30,000 tons of iron ore and 50,000 tons of concrete, as well as 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics for the huge blades.”[iii] Are not fossil fuels used in the production of plastics?
Once in operation, the windmill’s gearbox requires sixty gallons of oil in order to remain operational and someone must change the oil on a periodic basis. Once in place, each windmill remains dependent on fossil fuel requiring six hundred to one thousand gallons of oil each and every year.