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LETTER To Telegraph

INDUTSRIAL WIND TURBINES - THE FLAWS

UNreliables – Climatism


“It is unfortunate that politicians and environmental campaigners are ignorant of the technicalities of energy supply, or wish to ignore them. MPs may have the power to change the laws of the land, but not to change the laws of physics.”

MEANWHILE, China continues to manufacture UNreliables (wind/solar) for the gullible, CO2-theory-obsessed West, using “dirty” coal as the catalyst.

LET that sink in.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

A very good letter in today’s Telegraph:

SIR – As a chartered engineer who worked in the electricity supply industry for 39 years, I despair to hear politicians like Rebecca Long-Bailey claiming that renewables will provide for most of our energy needs by 2030.

Renewable generation – solar, wind and tidal – is, by definition, non-synchronous and it is technically impossible to operate our electricity transmission system solely on non-synchronous generation. There is a real danger of system instability and consequential widespread blackouts once non-synchronous generation exceeds around 30 per cent of total generation at any one time.

The National Grid report on the recent major outage makes numerous references to the lack of inertia in the system. This resulted from insufficient large synchronous generators (nuclear, coal, gas) being connected.

Given the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the only option is to increase significantly nuclear build rapidly. Both Labour…

View original post 66 more words

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ENERGY POVERTY UPDATE : Wind & Solar Obsession Causing Skyrocketing Power Prices & Frozen Grannies

“ELDERLY people are dying in their cold homes or being rushed to hospital because they can’t afford to put the heater on.
MORE than 130 people were admitted to NSW emergency departments last winter with cold-related problems including hypothermia, a 34 per cent increase from 10 years ago.
Over the same period power prices have increased by 117 per cent.”

ENOUGH said.

WAKE-UP politicians, addicted to UNreliables to feather their ‘green’ credentials. Enough is enough. @sussanley

STOP THESE THINGS

Australia’s wind and solar obsession has driven power prices through the roof and the poor and elderly to early graves. Staying warm in the depth of winter is no longer just a matter of turning up the dial on the AC, for the poorest and most vulnerable it’s a daily battle for survival.

In the space of a decade, power prices have doubled and so too the number of households disconnected from the grid; because they can no longer afford to pay their bills.

A generation ago, Australians enjoyed the world’s cheapest power prices; thanks to its suicidal renewable energy policies, they now suffer among the highest.

That all of this was perfectly predictable, and perfectly avoidable, makes it all the more outrageous. Here’s Peta Credlin expressing just that.

‘What a joke’ that Australians are ‘too frightened to turn on appliances’
Sky news
Peta Credlin, Luke Grant and Jeremy Cordeaux

View original post 1,282 more words


UNEQUIVOCAL Evidence Of Industrial Wind Farms’ Horrific Toll On Wildlife


“REMEMBER when we paved the world with electronic waste
that chopped eagles and condors and made bats extinct
because we thought wind was natural and uranium evil?
– man that was a dark age!”
– Michael Shellenberger

“THE wind is free, but everything else costs money [and lives].” – (old sailor saying)

“IT will be interesting to see whether more research will be carried out into just how many birds are being killed by the Irish Sea wind farms. My hunch is that many people would rather keep that information under their hats. So much money invested in offshore wind means that bad publicity would be very unwelcome and it is common for critics of the industry to be ridiculed.”Jason Endfield

***

H/t @ClimateRealists

AS a cohesive and sensible society, what price are we willing to put on supposed ‘green’ energy sources that are supposedly meant to “save the planet”?

WHAT cost to our economies and to our environment are we willing to endure whilst we to-and-fro between energy reality and energy fantasy?

ENERGY and ‘keeping the lights on’ are perhaps the most fundamental requirements to, not only advancing human existence and our very survival, but also ironically (to some) promote the very health and wealth of our environment.

WHY? Because, the greatest threat to the environment is not affluence, rather, poverty.

THE border between Haiti and The Dominican Republic is a great example of this.

GUESS which country contains eco-criminals that can afford to use “dirty” fossil fuels, and which country contains nature-lovers who are dependent on natural renewable organic biomass for energy?

UN Carbon Regime Would Devastate Humanity And The Environment | Climatism

HAITI is almost 99% deforested, as they rely almost entirely on natural ‘biomass’ (wood) for domestic and industrial fuels and building materials.

ON the other side, the forests of the fossil fuel burning, eco-terrorists – The Dominican Republic – remain lush and green.

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INDUSTRIAL wind ‘farms’ and solar panels are sold to us as “clean, green, and renewable”, under the spurious, suspicious and fashionably-globalist brand name of “sustainability“.

IF there ever was a case of “buyer beware”, then this is it.

GERMANY, the makers of BMW, Porsche and Mercedes have experimented with wind and solar ‘power’ under the banner of Energiewendefor now a decade. Energiewende, (German for energy transition) being “the planned transition by Germany to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy supply” (wiki). 

AFTER hundreds of €BILLIONS of taxpayer’s hard-earned money spent on sunshine and breezes, Germany’s Energiewende program has been exposed as a catastrophic failure, with carbon dioxide emissions higher now than in 2009, the year before massively subsidised ‘green’ energy was signed into German law.

GERMAN emissions last year were actually higher than in 2009, and have been on the rise again since 2014.

NUCLEAR power is still supplying 12% of Germany’s power. When this is finally phased out in a few years time, the country will be more reliant on fossil fuels than ever.

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GERMANY’S RECORD COAL BOOM

THE ‘green’ dream is on ice as a ‘coal frenzy’ grips Europe and unreliables lose their attraction:

With Greenpeace successfully forcing the shutdown of nuclear power, and keeping out fracking for gas, what’s left? A boom in coal. In fact, over the next two years Germany will build 10 new power plants for hard coal.  Europe is in a coal frenzy, building power plants and opening up new mines, practically every month. It might sound odd that a boom in German coal is the result of Greenpeace’s political success. –Ezra Levant, Toronto Sun, 7 January 2014

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WITH all that in mind. What is the point of an industry that can only survive on massive taxpayer funded subsidies and not on ‘sunshine and breezes’?

IN the current era of ‘man-made’ climate change theory-obsessed hysteria, it is difficult to convince our politicians and law makers that industrial wind and solar ‘power’ can NEVER supply anything more than morality and virtue to an increasingly, energy-dependant global community.

PERHAPS, quantifiable and visible evidence of the cataclysmic destruction of some of our most beloved and rare avian species can ruffle a few feathers – excuse the pun.

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STATE-SANCTIONED RARE BIRD SLAUGHTER

WIND lobbyists say that bird deaths are small compared with millions that collide with windows etc. This is a fallacy. The argument ignores affected species. If, fifty pigeons fly into windows, it has no effect on the population. But, when a breeding raptor is chopped, it represents a significant loss for the species.

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INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES : The New “Apex Predator”

TWO articles that grabbed my attention this week that should, not just interest the likes of “Extinction Rebellionist (sic)” Greta Thunberg, the RSPCA, PETA et al, and every genuine ‘environmentalist’, but, rather, should shock them into real “action” on the real environment …

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Via PA Pundits – International :

Growing Evidence Of Wind Farms’ Horrific Toll On Wildlife: This Time From India

Posted on Sun 06/23/2019 by

 

By Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. ~

Eagles, hawks, bats – these are among the most prominently cited avian wildlife regularly slaughtered by industrial-sized wind-power facilities that – thanks to taxpayer subsidies and state renewable-energy mandates — continue to spread like wildfire across rural America.

The affliction is by no means restricted to the United States, however. A new study sheds light on the carnage giant wind turbines are inflicting on wildlife in India. Researchers at the Indian Institute for Science at Bengaluru studied bird and lizard populations at three wind turbine sites in Western Ghats. They found that the mass killing of avian predators by wind turbines is having a “ripple effect” across the food chain, with lizards and small mammals adjusting to substantially reduced numbers of predators in the sky.

Wind Turbines: The New “Apex Predator”

As reported by the Daily Mail last November (and otherwise largely ignored by the media), researchers in India found almost four times fewer buzzards, hawks, and kites in areas with wind farms – a loss of about 75%. Startled by the data, scientists are now referring to wind turbines as “the new apex predator.”

In areas without wind turbines about 19 birds were spotted every three hours, while in areas with the spinning blades the number dropped to five. Fewer winged predators have been good news for the fan-throated lizard, a species found only in certain areas of the Indian Sub-Continent. The lizard is usually easy pickings for hawks, buzzards, and other birds, but with their numbers reduced by the wind turbines, the lizard’s numbers are multiplying.

“We have known from many studies that wind turbines kill birds and bats. They kill them and disrupt their movement. But we took that one step further and discovered that it affects lizards, too,” study coauthor Maria Thaker told the Daily Mail.

“Every time a top predator is removed or added, unexpected effect trickle through the ecosystem,” she added. “What is actually happening here is that wind turbines are akin to adding a top predator to the ecosystem.”

The study, which was published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, compared populations of raptors and lizards on a plateau that has had a wind farm on it for about 20 years to an adjacent valley that has no turbines.

“Humankind’s Most Pervasive Influence on the Natural World”

A recent study by an international team of scientists found the decline of apex predators is” arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world.”

None of this is of any real concern to green groups, such as the World Wildlife Fund, who parrot the party line that the real threat to wildlife is “climate change,” not industrial-scale wind facilities and giant solar arrays they have been supporting for decades.

While India has made great strides in electrification in recent years, much still needs to be done. According to official data, “only 1,417 of India’s 18,452 villages or 7.3% of the total, have 100% household connectivity, and about 31% are still in the dark,” Forbes reported last year.

India’s future should not be dependent on interment, unreliable, unaffordable, and, as we now know, environmentally destructive wind power.

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D. is a senior policy analyst with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).

Read more excellent articles at CFACT  http://www.cfact.org/

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Via @ClimateRealists and Jason Endfield :

Isle Of Man Seabird Populations Plummet As Wind Farms Overwhelm The Irish Sea

21/6/2019

Herring Gulls are down 82%, European Shag down 51%, Razorbills down 55%. The list goes on….
* The world’s biggest offshore wind farm is just a few miles away.
* Isn’t there a conspicuous connection?

The Isle Of Man wildlife charity Manx Birdlife has reported a shocking 40% decline in the populations of many species of sea birds around the island’s coast.
The worrying figures emerged following a comprehensive census that took place over two years. Whatever the reason for the sharp decline of the birds, it illustrates that something has gone very wrong.
I’ve noted with interest that this unprecedented drop in populations, of several of the island’s maritime species, coincides with the proliferation of wind farms in the Irish Sea – something which has worried me during the past few years, as I have witnessed the frenzied development of the wind industry in the waters off the western coasts of England and Wales.

World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm just a few miles away….
We know that offshore turbines kill birds and bats, though it is almost impossible to estimate the number of casualties because there are no retrievable carcasses to count at sea….
It is also highly likely that wind farms adversely affect many marine mammals.
The world’s largest offshore wind farm is now in operation off the Cumbrian coast at Walney, just 40 miles or so from the Isle of Man, and, with the news that nearby bird populations are in free-fall, we must seriously ask whether the huge turbines might be killing more birds than we ever anticipated.
The Isle of Man study was, ironically, partly supported by the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm Project. How paradoxical would it be to find that the project itself, with its giant 640 feet turbines, was responsible for the plummeting numbers of sea birds.
The report is full of depressing statistics. Herring Gulls are down 82%, European Shag down 51%, Razorbills down 55%. The list goes on.

Marine Protected Areas “may not necessarily be major barrier to new projects…”
I’ve been increasingly concerned at the feverish pace of industrial offshore wind farm development in this country and especially in the Irish Sea. Such a high density of turbines in a confined area – an area renowned for its wildlife – has been watched with dismay by many environmentalists, especially since large parts of the sea have been designated Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s), supposedly limiting the scale of industrial development in precious areas that provide important habitat for so many species.
Alas, development has been allowed in vast parts of the sea that fall just outside the protected zones – and there have even been hints that the MPA’s themselves may not be off limit for future wind farm expansion.  Last year, a
report carried out for the Welsh government suggested that “this protection may not necessarily be a major barrier to new projects” – which sounds shockingly irresponsible to me.

Isle of Man plans might seriously threaten birds’ survival
Though the Isle Of Man currently has none of its own offshore wind farms, their government is reportedly close to approving industrial wind development off the island’s coast as early as next year. Such plans might seriously threaten the survival of species already struggling to cope with the industrialisation of their habitat.
Wind energy companies might flaunt their green ideologies for all to see – but their industry nevertheless hides a grim reality. Their ‘green’ energy kills wildlife.

Money Vs Wildlife…
Speaking about the alarming drop in bird populations, managing director of Manx Birdlife, Neil Morris, suggested that “there are a number of causes for these declines and the solutions, such as protecting nesting sites, restoring food chains and mitigating climate change, will be challenging.”
It will be interesting to see whether more research will be carried out into just how many birds are being killed by the Irish Sea wind farms. My hunch is that many people would rather keep that information under their hats. So much money invested in offshore wind means that bad publicity would be very unwelcome and it is common for critics of the industry to be ridiculed.
It seems likely that vast swathes of our coastal seas are likely to be further industrialised by the wind giants – even if it is at the expense of wildlife.

photo-1548337138-e87d889cc369

Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash

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CONCLUSION

ONE of the great falsehoods and dangerous myths pushed by reckless global warming climate change zealots and the mainstream media is that ‘renewable energy’ – wind and solar – is “clean, green and renewable”.

‘RENEWABLES’ are neither “clean, green, or renewable”. In fact, they are pure embodiments of fossil fuel technology, with oil and “dirty” coal derivatives required for :

SEE :

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SEE also :

Read the rest of this entry »


KILLING THE EARTH TO ‘SAVE’ IT : Rainforest Trees Cut Down To Make Way For Industrial Wind Turbines


“IF this had have been a transmission line connecting a coal power station,
 these far left brainwashed climate change believing nutters,
would have been there in their thousands.”
John Clarkson

***

H/t @JohnClarksonGSM  @MRobertsQLD

IN the good old days of ‘Greenism’, genuine environmentalists rallied against the wanton destruction of pristine flora and fauna.

IN the twisted age of Global Warming Climate Change hysteria, real environmentalists are failing us in the face of a global religion that has allowed the development of supposed ‘planet-saving’ ‘renewables‘ that wilfully destroy forests, animals and pristine environments. 

IN the latest example of ‘Green’ eco-hypocrisy, 200 year-old rainforest trees have been cleared to make way for wind ‘farm’ transmission lines in Tasmania’s Tarkine.

THE obvious question is a simple one: Where are the @Greens or @Greenpeace or @GretaThunberg when pristine landscapes and old-growth rainforests are being destroyed to satisfy the whims and superstitions of Global Warming Climate Change catastrophists and EU elites?

 exposes the latest eco-hypocrisy that seems to haunt consistently the globalist climate change do-gooders…

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Old-growth trees cut down for windfarm transmission corridor

TASMANIA CORRESPONDENT

 

Rainforest trees 200 years old have been cleared to make way for a wind farm transmission line in Tasmania’s Tarkine, prompting claims of green “hypocrisy”.

Myrtle and sassafras trees were among those felled along a 10.5km corridor widened for transmission lines associated with the $280 million, 112 megawatt wind farm at Granville Harbour, in Tasmania’s remote northwest.

Special species timber advocate Andrew Denman, who discovered the felled trees, said it raised concerns about environmental impacts, wastage of high-value timber and wind power’s “green” credentials.

He estimated that some of the felled trees, highly valued in specialty timber production, were 200 years old, given they typically grow at 0.3cm a year and were 60cm in diameter.

With more wind farms planned for Tasmania, including another in the northwest requiring a 170km transmission line, he believed any further clearing, if it must occur, should be co-ordinated to ensure timber was not wasted. “With much of the special timbers in short supply … there could have been a more co-ordinated effort in utilising it to make sure that timber was going to a sawmiller in a timely manner so it could be processed and not wasted,” said Mr Denman, a boatbuilder.

While not critical of the wind farm proponent, whom he did not doubt had complied with regulatory requirements, he understood clearing for electricity infrastructure was exempt from the Forest Practices Code, which seeks to mitigate impacts on keys species.

He believed it was hypocritical of the Greens to oppose “sustainable” harvesting of rainforest timbers while backing the Granville Harbour wind farm and, by implication, associated logging of such trees. “An old-growth tree is an old-growth tree,” Mr Denman said. “Why is it acceptable to cut it down for a transmission line but not acceptable to cut it down sustainably and regenerate that area and put it to good use?”

A Greens spokeswoman said while the party was a “strong supporter of renewable energy”, it “consistently opposed logging or clearing within reserves”.

The wind farm’s website says the transmission line, providing power to the grid at the Reece Dam, was being handled by state-owned TasNetworks.

A spokeswoman for project developer Granville Harbour Operations said it required all works to comply with approvals. “These impose clear procedures and requirements on us and our contractors to mitigate and manage environmental impacts, including impacts to native vegetation,” she said.

TasNetworks said its widening of an existing transmission corridor was “considered optimal”. “It reduced the extent of clearing required to connect the wind farm to the electricity distribution network,” a spokesman said.

TASMANIA CORRESPONDENT
Matthew Denholm is a multi-award winning journalist with 25 years’ experience. For the past decade, he has been Tasmania correspondent for The Australian, and has previously worked for a variety of newspaper an…

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SEE also :

RELATED :

ENEGRY POVERTY Related :

STATE Of The Climate Report :

IPCC Extreme Weather Report 2018 SR15 :

EXTREME WEATHER Related :

TEMPERATURE Related :

ORIGINS Of The Global Warming Scam :

•••

THE Climatism Tip Jar – Pls Help Keep The Good Fight Alive!

(Climate sceptics/rationalists still waitin’ for that “big oil” cheque to arrive in the mail!)

Help us to hit back against the bombardment of climate lies costing our communities, economies and livelihoods far, far too much.

Thanks to all those who have donated. Your support and faith in Climatism is highly motivating and greatly appreciated!

Citizen journalists can’t rely on mastheads, rather private donations and honest content. Every pledge helps!

Click link for more info…

Thank You! Jamie.

Donate with PayPal

•••


DRACONIAN CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA : Back To The Medieval Green World


Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the
equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun
.”
– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University/Royal Society fellow

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

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GEOLOGIST Viv Forbes on what life would look like under the eco-totalitarian control of ‘zero-emissions’ zealots…

CAREFUL what you wish for!

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MAY 10, 2019

via Friends of Science Calgary

Greens dream of a zero-emissions world without coal, oil and natural gas. They need to think what they wish for.

First there would be no mass production of steel without coke from coking coal to remove oxygen from iron ore. People could cut trees in forests for charcoal to produce pig iron and crude steels, but forests would soon be exhausted. Coal saved the forests from this fate.

We could produce gold and silver without using mineral hydro-carbons and with ingenuity we could probably produce unrefined copper, lead and tin and alloys like brass and bronze. But making large quantities of nuclear fuels, cement, aluminium, refined metals, plastics, nylons, synthetics, petro-chemicals and poly pipes would be impossible.

Making wind turbines and solar panels would also be impossible without fossil fuels. A wind turbine needs lots of steel plus concrete, carbon fibre and glass polymers as well as many other refined metals – copper, aluminium, rare earths, zinc and molybdenum. Solar panels and batteries need high-purity ingredients – silicon, lead, lithium, nickel, cadmium, zinc, silver, manganese and graphite – all hard to make in backyard charcoal-fired furnaces. Transporting, erecting and maintaining wind and solar farms plus their roads and transmission lines needs many pieces of diesel-powered machinery.

Every machine on earth needs hydro-carbons for engine oil, gear oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, hydraulic oil and grease. We could of course use oils from, seals, beeswax and whales for lubrication – the discovery of petroleum saved the whales from this fate.

Roads would be a challenge without oil-based bitumen. The Romans made pretty good roads out of cobble-stones (this would ease unemployment). But hard labour would not sit well with aging baby-boomers or electronic-era Millenniums.

Cars, railways, motor launches, aeroplanes, I-Phones, TV and cat-scans would be out. Horses, oxen, sulkies, wooden rowing boats, sailing ships, herbal medicine and semaphore would have a huge revival. Some wood-burning steam tractors may still work and wood-gas generators may replace petrol in some old cars.

This is the return to the “zero-emissions” world that Green extremists have planned for us.

But modern life cannot not be supported by a pre-coal/oil economy. Without reliable electricity and diesel-powered farm machinery and transport trucks, cities are un-sustainable. In Green-topia 90% of us people will need to go.

But Greens should not expect us to go quietly.

(Climatism bolds and links)

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MORE Viv Forbes :

SEE also : 

ENEGRY POVERTY Related :

STATE Of The Climate Report :

IPCC Extreme Weather Report 2018 SR15 :

EXTREME WEATHER Related :

TEMPERATURE Related :

ORIGINS Of The Global Warming Scam :

•••

THE Climatism Tip Jar – Pls Help Keep The Good Fight Alive!

(Climate sceptics/rationalists still waitin’ for that “big oil” cheque to arrive in the mail!)

Help us to hit back against the bombardment of climate lies costing our communities, economies and livelihoods far, far too much.

Thanks to all those who have donated. Your support and faith in Climatism is highly motivating and greatly appreciated!

Citizen journalists can’t rely on mastheads, rather private donations and honest content. Every pledge helps!

Click link for more info…

Thank You! Jamie.

Donate with PayPal

•••


NOW That We Know Renewables Can’t ‘Save The Planet’, Are We Really Going To Stand By And Let Them Destroy It?


“REMEMBER when we paved the world with electronic waste
that chopped eagles and condors and made bats extinct
because we thought wind was natural and uranium evil?

– man that was a dark age!”
– Michael Shellenberger

***

ONE of the great falsehoods and dangerous myths pushed by reckless global warming climate change zealots and the mainstream media is that ‘renewable energy’ – wind and solar – is “clean, green and renewable”.

‘RENEWABLES’ are neither “clean, green, or renewable”. In fact, they are pure embodiments of fossil fuel technology, with oil and coal derivatives required for :

SEE : WHAT I See When I See a Wind Turbine | Climatism

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LAND INTENSITY

WIND and solar power are incredibly land intensive owing to the inherent low-energy density of their electrons. And, the small fact that the sun only shines and the wind only blows 10-40% of the time.

HOW much land and how many wind turbines would be needed just to supply the planets ‘new’ demand for energy?

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

WIND TURBINES Are Neither Clean Nor Green And They Provide Zero Global Energy | Climatism

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NATURE LOVERS?

IF Greens love nature, why aren’t they more concerned about carpeting pristine landscapes with industrial wind turbines?

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“SAVING THE PLANET”

IF ‘Greens’ were serious about “Saving The Planet”, they would be embracing (CO2-free) nuclear energy.

THE fact that they are not, says a lot about today’s New Green Climate Warrior – concerned more about totalitarian power and control than tangible care of the physical environment.

IMHO, ‘Climate Change’ has absolutely nothing to do with the environment or “Saving The Planet”. If it did, every global warming climate change bedwetter would be castigating China for unlimited emissions until 2030.

CLIMATE CHANGE activism has everything to do with economic, political and cultural power and control.

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NUCLEAR POWER

THIS brilliant piece from (old-school) environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has been touring social and mainstream media in a big way, and rightly so, but wanted to pin it here for Climatism followers to enjoy and hopefully share with friends, family and their local energy/environment representative!

From Quillette :

Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet

When I was a boy, my parents would sometimes take my sister and me camping in the desert. A lot of people think deserts are empty, but my parents taught us to see the wildlife all around us, including hawks, eagles, and tortoises.

After college, I moved to California to work on environmental campaigns. I helped save the state’s last ancient redwood forest and blocked a proposed radioactive waste repository set for the desert.

In 2002, shortly after I turned 30, I decided I wanted to dedicate myself to addressing climate change. I was worried that global warming would end up destroying many of the natural environments that people had worked so hard to protect.

I thought the solutions were pretty straightforward: solar panels on every roof, electric cars in every driveway, etc. The main obstacles, I believed, were political. And so I helped organize a coalition of America’s largest labor unions and environmental groups. Our proposal was for a $300 billion dollar investment in renewables. We would not only prevent climate change but also create millions of new jobs in a fast-growing high-tech sector.

Our efforts paid off in 2007 when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced our vision. Between 2009–15, the U.S. invested $150 billion dollars in renewables and other forms of clean tech. But right away we ran into trouble.

The first was around land use. Electricity from solar roofs costs about twice as much as electricity from solar farms, but solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land. That, along with the fact that solar and wind farms require long new transmissions lines, threatened local communities, and conservationists trying to preserve wildlife, particularly birds.

Another challenge was the intermittent nature of solar and wind energies. When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, you have to quickly be able to ramp up another source of energy.

Happily, there were a lot of people working on solutions. One solution was to convert California’s dams into big batteries. The idea was that, when the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, you could pump water uphill, store it for later, and then run it over the turbines to make electricity when you needed it.

Other problems didn’t seem like such a big deal, on closer examination. For example, after I learned that house cats kill billions of birds every year it put into perspective the nearly one million birds killed by wind turbines.

It seemed to me that most, if not all, of the problems from scaling up solar and wind energies could be solved through more technological innovation.

But, as the years went by, the problems persisted and in some cases grew worse. For example, California is a world leader when it comes to renewables but we haven’t converted our dams into batteries, partly for geographic reasons. You need the right kind of dam and reservoirs, and even then it’s an expensive retrofit.

A bigger problem is that there are many other uses for the water that accumulates behind dams, namely irrigation and cities. And because the water in our rivers and reservoirs is scarce and unreliable, the water from dams for those other purposes is becoming ever-more precious.

Without large-scale ways to back-up solar energy California has had to block electricity coming from solar farms when it’s extremely sunny, or pay neighboring states to take it from us so we can avoid blowing-out our grid.

Despite what you’ve heard, there is no “battery revolution” on the way, for well-understood technical and economic reasons.

As for house cats, they don’t kill big, rare, threatened birds. What house cats kill are small, common birds, like sparrows, robins and jays. What kills big, threatened, and endangered birds—birds that could go extinct—like hawks, eagles, owls, and condors, are wind turbines.

In fact, wind turbines are the most serious new threat to important bird species to emerge in decades. The rapidly spinning turbines act like an apex predator which big birds never evolved to deal with.

Solar farms have similarly large ecological impacts. Building a solar farm is a lot like building any other kind of farm. You have to clear the whole area of wildlife.

In order to build one of the biggest solar farms in California the developers hired biologists to pull threatened desert tortoises from their burrows, put them on the back of pickup trucks, transport them, and cage them in pens where many ended up dying.

As we were learning of these impacts, it gradually dawned on me that there was no amount of technological innovation that could solve the fundamental problem with renewables.

You can make solar panels cheaper and wind turbines bigger, but you can’t make the sun shine more regularly or the wind blow more reliably. I came to understand the environmental implications of the physics of energy. In order to produce significant amounts of electricity from weak energy flows, you just have spread them over enormous areas. In other words, the trouble with renewables isn’t fundamentally technical—it’s natural.

Dealing with energy sources that are inherently unreliable, and require large amounts of land, comes at a high economic cost.

There’s been a lot of publicity about how solar panels and wind turbines have come down in cost. But those one-time cost savings from making them in big Chinese factories have been outweighed by the high cost of dealing with their unreliability.

Consider California. Between 2011–17 the cost of solar panels declined about 75 percent, and yet our electricity prices rose five times more than they did in the rest of the U.S. It’s the same story in Germany, the world leader in solar and wind energy. Its electricity prices increased 50 percent between 2006–17, as it scaled up renewables.

I used to think that dealing with climate change was going to be expensive. But I could no longer believe this after looking at Germany and France.

Germany’s carbon emissions have been flat since 2009, despite an investment of $580 billion by 2025 in a renewables-heavy electrical grid, a 50 percent rise in electricity cost.

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Meanwhile, France produces one-tenth the carbon emissions per unit of electricity as Germany and pays little more than half for its electricity. How? Through nuclear power.

Then, under pressure from Germany, France spent $33 billion on renewables, over the last decade. What was the result? A rise in the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and higher electricity prices, too.

What about all the headlines about expensive nuclear and cheap solar and wind? They are largely an illusion resulting from the fact that 70 to 80 percent of the costs of building nuclear plants are up-front, whereas the costs given for solar and wind don’t include the high cost of transmission lines, new dams, or other forms of battery.

It’s reasonable to ask whether nuclear power is safe, and what happens with its waste.

It turns out that scientists have studied the health and safety of different energy sources since the 1960s. Every major study, including a recent one by the British medical journal Lancet, finds the same thing: nuclear is the safest way to make reliable electricity.

Strange as it sounds, nuclear power plants are so safe for the same reason nuclear weapons are so dangerous. The uranium used as fuel in power plants and as material for bombs can create one million times more heat per its mass than its fossil fuel and gunpowder equivalents.

It’s not so much about the fuel as the process. We release more energy breaking atoms than breaking chemical bonds. What’s special about uranium atoms is that they are easy to split.

Because nuclear plants produce heat without fire, they emit no air pollution in the form of smoke. By contrast, the smoke from burning fossil fuels and biomass results in the premature deaths of seven million people per year, according to the World Health Organization.

Even during the worst accidents, nuclear plants release small amounts of radioactive particulate matter from the tiny quantities of uranium atoms split apart to make heat.

Over an 80-year lifespan, fewer than 200 people will die from the radiation from the worst nuclear accident, Chernobyl, and zero will die from the small amounts of radiant particulate matter that escaped from Fukushima.

As a result, the climate scientist James Hanson and a colleague found that nuclear plants have actually saved nearly two million lives to date that would have been lost to air pollution.

Thanks to its energy density, nuclear plants require far less land than renewables. Even in sunny California, a solar farm requires 450 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a nuclear plant.

Energy-dense nuclear requires far less in the way of materials, and produces far less in the way of waste compared to energy-dilute solar and wind.

A single Coke cans worth of uranium provides all of the energy that the most gluttonous American or Australian lifestyle requires. At the end of the process, the high-level radioactive waste that nuclear plants produce is the very same Coke can of (used) uranium fuel. The reason nuclear is the best energy from an environmental perspective is because it produces so little waste and none enters the environment as pollution.

All of the waste fuel from 45 years of the Swiss nuclear program can fit, in canisters, on a basketball court-like wearhouse, where like all spent nuclear fuel, it has never hurt a fly.

By contrast, solar panels require 17 times more materials in the form of cement, glass, concrete, and steel than do nuclear plants, and create over 200 times more waste.

We tend to think of solar panels as clean, but the truth is that there is no plan anywhere to deal with solar panels at the end of their 20 to 25 year lifespan.

Experts fear solar panels will be shipped, along with other forms of electronic waste, to be disassembled—or, more often, smashed with hammers—by poor communities in Africa and Asia, whose residents will be exposed the dust from toxic including lead, cadmium, and chromium.

Wherever I travel in the world I ask ordinary people what they think about nuclear and renewable energies. After saying they know next to nothing, they admit that nuclear is strong and renewables are weak. Their intuitions are correct. What most of us get wrong—understandably — is that weak energies are safer.

But aren’t renewables safer? The answer is no. Wind turbines, surprisingly, kill more people than nuclear plants.

In other words, the energy density of the fuel determines its environmental and health impacts. Spreading more mines and more equipment over larger areas of land is going to have larger environmental and human safety impacts.

It’s true that you can stand next to a solar panel without much harm while if you stand next to a nuclear reactor at full power you’ll die.

But when it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike.

Our intuitive sense that sunlight is dilute sometimes shows up in films. That’s why nobody was shocked when the recent remake of the dystopian sci-fi flick, “Blade Runner,” opened with a dystopian scene of California’s deserts paved with solar farms identical to the one that decimated desert tortoises.

Over the last several hundred years, human beings have been moving away from what matter-dense fuels towards energy-dense ones. First we move from renewable fuels like wood, dung, and windmills, and towards the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas, and eventually to uranium.

Energy progress is overwhelmingly positive for people and nature. As we stop using wood for fuel we allow grasslands and forests to grow back, and the wildlife to return.

As we stop burning wood and dung in our homes, we no longer must breathe toxic indoor smoke. And as we move from fossil fuels to uranium we clear the outdoor air of pollution, and reduce how much we’ll heat up the planet.

Nuclear plants are thus a revolutionary technology—a grand historical break from fossil fuels as significant as the industrial transition from wood to fossil fuels before it.

The problem with nuclear is that it is unpopular, a victim of a 50 year-longconcerted effort by fossil fuel, renewable energy, anti-nuclear weapons campaigners, and misanthropic environmentalists to ban the technology.

In response, the nuclear industry suffers battered wife syndrome, and constantly apologizes for its best attributes, from its waste to its safety.

Lately, the nuclear industry has promoted the idea that, in order to deal with climate change, “we need a mix of clean energy sources,” including solar, wind and nuclear. It was something I used to believe, and say, in part because it’s what people want to hear. The problem is that it’s not true.

France shows that moving from mostly nuclear electricity to a mix of nuclear and renewables results in more carbon emissions, due to using more natural gas, and higher prices, to the unreliability of solar and wind.

Oil and gas investors know this, which is why they made a political alliance with renewables companies, and why oil and gas companies have been spending millions of dollars on advertisements promoting solar, and funneling millions of dollars to said environmental groups to provide public relations cover.

What is to be done? The most important thing is for scientists and conservationists to start telling the truth about renewables and nuclear, and the relationship between energy density and environmental impact.

Bat scientists recently warned that wind turbines are on the verge of making one species, the Hoary bat, a migratory bat species, go extinct.

Another scientist who worked to build that gigantic solar farm in the California desert told High Country News, “Everybody knows that translocation of desert tortoises doesn’t work. When you’re walking in front of a bulldozer, crying, and moving animals, and cacti out of the way, it’s hard to think that the project is a good idea.”

I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from a naturalistic fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions.

Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” and president of Environmental Progress, an independent research and policy organization. Follow him on Twitter @ShellenbergerMD

Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet – Quillette

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