Jan. 28, 2015 |
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I voted no because I don't want to spoil pristine environments like the Flint & Smoky Hills. However, I am in favor of wind power if it is located in disturbed environments.
No, it's not non-polluting and it doesn't provide power that replaces other sources.
The wording for your poll is misleading. Each and every one of us Kansans is responsible for 64,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year, according to the latest figures available from 2003 compiled by the Associated Press. Kansas belches out 80 million metric tons per year which makes us one of the worst polluting states in the U.S. Renewable resources such as wind and solar generate less than 1% or about 426,000 megawatt hours. This spring, a National Research Council panel report noted that wind farms could generate up to 7 percent of U.S. electricity in 15 years. That's "up to" 7% in 2022 which is a far cry from the Governor's mandate of 20% by 2020. That simply won't happen. If we want green energy, we have to look beyond inefficient wind turbines for it.
"Each and every one of us Kansans is responsible for 64,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year, according to the latest figures available from 2003 compiled by the Associated Press. Kansas belches out 80 million metric tons per year which makes us one of the worst polluting states in the U.S."
No--the questions were phrased badly. Industrial-scale wind plants are energy-expensive to create (see James Kunstler's book The Long Emergency for a description of the dependence on fossil fuels of industrial-scale "alternatives") and they are land-expensive and often environmentally & socially destructive. They must be sited carefully or they do more harm than good. And the good they can do is pretty minor: when tied to the grid, wind plants must partner with conventional energy sources, so they're not really an "alternative"; in fact, giant turbines don't have a very good track record of providing electricity when needed (check out Denmark's latest report on their wind industry: After sacrificing most of their greenspace, Denmark was able to produce wind energy equal to 20% of its energy use--but because it was produced at the wrong times, the wind energy was not usable. Therefore, only 6% of the energy Denmark used was actually from wind). And here in Kansas, industrial wind turbines are a direct threat to native prairies which DO have a very good track record: Our native prairies have been feeding humans sustainably for ten thousand years. Every wildlife agency in Kansas says protect native prairie by siting turbines elsewhere. The questions in this poll ignored the question of native prairies. But what else is knew: Our culture has been worshipping technology at the expense of locality for a long, long time.
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