by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the American Spectator
Renewables are now blaming their shortcomings on the problems they’re intended to fix.
If we continue to burn coal to generate electricity, we might destroy the Earth’s capacity to support life. If we switch to natural gas, then fracking might poison the water and set our faucets on fire. Biomass sounds good, but burning it also releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Hydroelectric power requires dams, which destroy fish habitat. Solar panels take up too much space, and are too expensive to power a nation.
That leaves wind power, one of today’s favorites. But as we know, wind turbines chop up eagles and bats and migratory birds. Some people say the noise causes bizarre health problems. And now, there is another reason even wind may not work. Two new studies claim that man-made global warming is actually causing the wind to diminish significantly in some areas.
As one reporter wrote, wind energy is supposed to help fight climate change, but “climate change is fighting back.” Both studies conclude that estimates of wind energy’s potential may be flawed, because our use of energy is reducing the wind itself. As one of the authors put it, “Assessments of wind energy resource are usually based on today’s climate, rather than taking into account that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue to modify the global atmospheric circulation.”