Clean Power

Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Michael Barnard


Calling Anti-Renewables Campaigners NIMBYs Is Often Inaccurate And Always Unproductive

February 24th, 2014 by  

NIMBY — Not In My Back Yard — is a nice crisp acronym and gets bandied about a lot when discussing opposition to wind energy and other renewables. But it is inadequate as a categorization of the various people fighting against broader penetration of renewables in energy grids worldwide.

More than just inaccurate, however, it’s unproductive. Calling someone a NIMBY labels and diminishes them, making them feel quite rightly as if they are not being listened to. And understanding where anti-renewable’s sentiment originates from in the person you are talking with is important to ensuring that you are addressing their actual concerns and overcoming them.

That doesn’t mean that a subset aren’t just against change near their rural properties, but this is also a universal impulse. After all, urban neighbourhood associations are fighting urban densification and change tooth-and-nail as well.

Image courtesy of Goodbye NIMBY, hello PIMBY

So, what are the categories worth considering as you are discussing renewables with someone who appears opposed to them, or who is voicing concerns? I’ve identified nine:

  1. NIMBYs
  2. True Believers
  3. Fossil Fuel Profiteers
  4. Libertarians
  5. Nuclear Advocates
  6. Anthropogenic Global Warming Deniers
  7. Misguided Environmentalists
  8. Armchair Economists
  9. Opportunists

While this categorization is useful, it is important to keep in mind that all of these people are human beings and that their opposition to or concerns about renewables is typically only a portion of their lives. They all love their families, give to charity, and are kind to stray animals. Treat them with respect even if they attack you personally, and limit your attacks to only their ideas and communications which are wrong and demonstrably so.

Note that I’m not talking about individuals who are mounting very site-specific campaigns based on valid concerns such as harm to specific endangered species, as is obvious from my comments on the proposed Ostrander Point wind farm in Ontario, but people who make broad comments across larger areas. No one really wants to put wind turbines in the middle of an endangered bird nesting area, but sometimes it takes a process of conflict to come to the best siting compromises.

1. NIMBY — Not In My Back Yard

A subset of NIMBYs are one of the most potent anti-wind energy groups in almost every jurisdiction around the world. These are well-connected, well-off urbanites with country homes. They have deep pockets and they deal with lawyers regularly. They are often fully capable of running large-scale campaigns to support their local fight to preserve their rural fantasy land.

wind NIMBYs

Image courtesy of Wind woes recounted

Local, rural working people who opposed wind energy solely on NIMBY principles do exist, but assuming that all opponents to wind energy are NIMBYs is insulting to everyone involved and ineffective as a basis for communication. In general, the local, working NIMBYs are pragmatic. They don’t want their view spoiled or their local area changed. Some may fight to the bitter end, but 95% will stop bothering if they lose early in the process and learn to live with wind farms without complaints. If NIMBYism is their primary motivation, they are usually reasonable people and amenable to having conversations. And of course the nice thing about true NIMBYs is that as soon as the specific local battle that concerns them is won or lost, they will generally lose interest, stop spreading disinformation and get on with their lives.

Examples of the more dangerous NIMBYs in the wind energy space include: Dr. Robert McMurtry (Ontario), Peter Mitchell (Australia), Kevin Elwood (Ontario) Michael Dickinson (Ontario) and Chuck Magwood (Ontario), Carmen Krogh (Ontario, retired Pharmacist and now a “wind health researcher”).

2. True believer

True believers are  people who have decided that wind turbines and other renewables truly are useless and harmful. They will believe anything which supports their world view and disbelieve anything which disagrees with it. They believe all of the negative health and wildlife impacts, and don’t believe the positive AGW avoidance and power generation values. They are usually the shock troops of anti-wind movements but many sensible people find them offputting due to their lack of reasonableness. True believers cannot be usefully engaged. They will often make the surreal claim that they are for wind energy despite the massive negative disinformation campaigns specific to wind energy they engage in.

Image courtesy of Page on

The more intelligent among them will create more and more elaborate refutations and alternative hypotheses supporting their world-view.

The less intelligent will throw out unreferenced facts that they believe support their claims. They will often claim that pro-wind people are heartless because they are ignoring health and environmental impacts. They will usually switch to another argument without acknowledging that they are changing the subject. As claims are refuted, they will become increasingly likely to attack experts’ credibility and the ‘hidden’ motivations of those they are speaking to.

Examples of anti-wind True Believers: Sarah Laurie (Australia), Jane Wilson (Ontario), Eric Rosenbloom (National Wind Watch, Vermont), Wayne Gulden (US and Ontario), the Wrightman clan (Ontario), various pseudonymous online types (Valewood, myview1872, rucio, cowcharge, vindpust), George Papadopoulos (Australia), Lorrie Gillis (Ontario), David Norman (aka Rogue Primate of Bloomfield believe it or not, Ontario), Shellie Correia (aka 1957chevShellie Correia, Ontario)

3. Fossil Fuel Profiteers

These people are amorally pragmatic. They are likely executing strategies related to AGW-denial as well. They will spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt of any kind to advance their cause. Typically, these are the most sophisticated at PR. They cannot be usefully engaged because their goals are solely spin and PR aimed at preserving their bottom line. They take advantage of true believers mercilessly.

Image courtesy Jeff Stahler

If countered, they will follow one or more of the following tactics:

  • Shift PR focus to another delaying argument.
  • Buy an expert to testify on their behalf.
  • Support more astroturf organizations.
  • Fund studies and research that ‘prove’ failure of wind and renewables and promote them heavily.
  • Attack the credibility of opponents, possibly by funding background investigations.

Examples: Heartland institute (USA), Gina Rinehart (Australia), Koch Brothers (USA), Lisa Linowes (Industrial Wind Action Group, USA), Rick Coates (Ontario)

4. Libertarian

These people are economic ideologues who believe that any market distortion is necessarily bad. If pressed, they will agree that fossil fuel subsidies must go, but will return to ‘green subsidies’ as the primary problem despite evidence to the contrary. They often have no qualms about significant exaggerations and other means in aid of their ends. They can be engaged, but only on subjects other than market distortions such as health, capacity factors etc, but they will return the subject of FIT, PTC, RET, etc rapidly.

Image courtesy of CARTOON/COLUMN: The myopic selfishness of libertarians

If countered, they are likely to drag out more and more factoids about negative impacts of market distortions. Solyndra will be mentioned in the USA even though as an R&D subsidy, it is irrelevant to deployment of existing wind energy and solar generation with PTC support; counter-examples of Tesla paying off it’s equivalent government investment years early will be ignored. Poke them a bit and they are likely to reference Ayn Rand in positive terms.

Examples: Robert Bryce (USA), James Delingpole (UK), Kevon Martis (USA), Tom Adams (Canada)

5. Nuclear Advocates

These people may or may not believe that global warming is real, but they are invested heavily in nuclear energy as the answer to almost all of our energy needs and often have a poor understanding of grid management. They tend to be smart but ignore human dynamics of problems, and have a blind spot about the effort and time required to develop nuclear engineers and maintenance workers. Their greatest challenge to renewables campaigns is that their arguments are leveraged by others who are just against wind energy, although some links have been found between anti-renewables campaigns and major nuclear producers and unions. Nuclear advocates are frequently zero-sum game thinkers, but do present a good opportunity for useful discussions of balance between low-CO2e and low-health-impact energy sources such as nuclear, wind, and solar. Some leading lights in the environmental movement are in this camp, sadly, without understanding that their efforts will not lead to social license for nuclear and that their efforts are solely being used to delay moving off of fossil fuels.

nuclear-power-plant-smileyImage courtesy of IEA Report Advises Governments to Embrace Renewables and Nuclear

If countered, the average nuclear advocate will drag out more and more factoids about nuclear energy’s value and wind power’s lack of value. They will likely reference amateur and professional studies which look good until you dig in and realize the biases. Generally they are a time suck, so avoid digging into their arguments in too much depth.

Examples: Willem Post (USA), James Lovelock (sadly, UK), Barry Brook (Australia), Eric Jelinski (Ontario), Robert Cywinski (UK, and a member of the sub-group of thorium nuclear advocates), David MacKay (USA)

6. Anthropogenic Global Warming Denier

These people for their own reasons ignore the scientific consensus around global warming and man’s contribution to it. They tend to focus on carbon reduction aspects of renewables to exclusion of other factors and deny the value proposition on that measure alone. While the majority of mainstream religions embrace the science of global warming and consider stewardship of our earth an important element, it’s worth noting that there is a small subset of evangelical Christians who believe and preach the opposite; unfortunately, it appears as if Canada’s Prime Minister Harper is among them.

Powell-Science-Pie-ChartImage courtesy of Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility – In One Pie Chart

This is another area where the behaviour of the intelligent varies from the less intelligent in the crowd. The smarter ones will throw out more and more spurious studies and factoids. They’ll point to very narrowly cherry-picked time series ignoring larger times series. They’ll pretend that there isn’t a scientific consensus. The less intelligent, of course, will get belligerent and hostile.

Examples (I recommend following the links, as in many cases the references are fascinating in the depth of connections with the fossil fuels industry): Tory Aardvark (USA), Lord Monckton (UK and increasingly WW with his swastika-laden slide deck), Steve Milloy (Fox News, Junk Science, USA), Pat Michaels (Cato Institute, USA), Sen James Inhofe (Republican, USA), Christopher Booker (Sunday Telegraph, UK)

7. Misguided Environmentalists

Pretty much every major bird, wildlife and environmental organization in the world — AudobonDavid Suzuki FoundationUnited Nations Environment ProgramWorld Nature OrganizationWorld Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)Birdlife InternationalRoyal Society for Protection of BirdsGreenpeaceAmerican Bird Conservancy — is strongly supportive of wind energy. They recognize that global warming, fossil fuel pollution, and habitat destruction are the major population concerns for wildlife. They engage productively around broader scale guidelines for wind farm siting and in specific siting tribunals where endangered species are potentially at risk to minimize potential harm to species at risk.

That said, there are a subset of environmentalists who can’t see the forest for the trees, for whom any animal’s or bird’s death is one too many. Wind farms visibly harm birds that they can see, therefore wind farms must be stopped. Their inability to gain perspective means that they typically believe a lot of other a-factual disinformation about wind energy as well, as they don’t have the capability or will to assess the evidence. It’s quite likely that many of them simply don’t care about the quality of anti-wind arguments, as they merely want ammunition for their shotgun arguments.

The list of major, credible and dedicated organizations supporting wind energy makes it clear that this small subset are very much a tiny minority of environmentalists.

Because they are often motivated by deep emotional connections to animals, the majority of these people are completely impervious to reason and referenced arguments on this subject.

Examples: Jim Wiegand (California, STEI), Mark Duchamp (Europe, STEI), Chris Clarke (journalist / naturalist who will publish any story about negative impacts of renewables on wild life, but none of the balancing stories), Henri Garand (Ontario)

8. Armchair economists

This group of people tend to overlap with Libertarians and pro-nuclear advocates, but have a distinct core. They believe, despite the clear evidence of 250,000 wind turbines generating electricity today, each worth on average $3 million USD to manufacture and erect, each requiring a business case that had to satisfy a great swath of private sector Chief Financial Officers and investors, that they somehow have a magic formula which proves wind energy isn’t economically viable in reality. Typically, they have little to no formal training in economics, but come to it from other disciplines, often engineering and physics for some reason.

In general, there’s a greater congregation in Europe, where Libertarian ideology is not as strongly expressed.

Examples: C le Pair (Holland), more TBD

9. Opportunists

This category of people see a brass ring. They look for ways to capitalize on the conflict for personal gain. They are in the minority, but some have gained prominence. There are two categories of opportunists, the short-term gain con artist and the long-term opportunists.

opportunist anti wind activistShort cons include attempting to claim that tar paper shacks with mold problems have been made uninhabitable by wind farm noise, or attempting to extort money out of wind farm developers or leaseholders to avoid ‘problems’.  (Both of these are documented behaviours near wind farms, but once again, this is not common nor should it be assumed that anyone claiming issues is an opportunist.)

Long-term gain opportunists include a subset of anti-wind energy politicians and ‘professionals’ who are exploiting those concerned in return for consulting fees, noise studies and fees to testify at hearings. To repeat, a majority of politicians and professionals who are opposed to wind energy are sincere if misguided, but there are many who are content to exploit fear and negativity for ongoing political or fiscal gain.

Examples of long-term opportunists: Nina Pierpont (Wind Turbine Syndrome, USA), Senator Nick Xenophon (Australia), Carl V. Philips (epidemiologist, various locations), Vic Fedeli and Lisa Thompson (Ontario Opposition members of Parliament), John Laforet (politician wannabe, Ontario), Eric Gillespie (lawyer filing spurious lawsuits in Ontario and losing ten so far), David Mortimer (Australia, works fibreglass, survived Vietnam and regular firing of 4.5″ naval guns, but blames wind turbines for health impacts), Neil Stollznow (PR flack, Australia), Rodd Pahl (PR flack, Australia), Stephen Ambrose (anti-wind testifying acoustician and author, USA), Peter Quinn (Australian lawyer), Tom Tanton (US AGW denier and front man)

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About the Author

For the past several years Michael has been analyzing and publishing reports and articles on decarbonization technologies, business models and policies. His pieces on electrical generation transformation and electrification of transportation have been published in CleanTechnica, Newsweek, Slate, Forbes, Huffington Post, Quartz, RenewEconomy, RenewablesInternational and Gizmag, as well as included in textbooks. Third-party articles on his analyses and interviews with Mike have been published in dozens of news sites globally and have reached #1 on Reddit Science. Much of his work originates on, where Mike has been a Top Writer annually since 2012. He also has published a climate-fiction novel, Guangzhou Future Tense.

  • disqus_tObYqppPWg

    No worry, Mike Barnard, windweasel at large, has been “castrated”, so to speak. He will not be pushing his lies and propaganda, any more. You are a nasty lying little troll, Mikey. You got what you deserved!

  • ecopolitidae

    Wind Energy True Believers.
    (1) People whose paychecks derive from the industry (,
    (2) Self-described renewable energy “experts” who deny legitimate siting, scale, noise and density impact concerns,
    (2) Pseudo “environmentalists” who don’t know how to spell Audubon.

    • A Real Libertarian

      “Wind Energy True Believers.
      (1) People whose paychecks derive from the industry.
      (2) Self-described renewable energy “experts” who deny legitimate siting, scale, noise and density impact concerns,
      (2) Pseudo “environmentalists” who don’t know how to spell Audubon.”

      4. People who can do basic math.

  • danny

    Breaking news! If you care about nature, you are a misinformed loser. Yep, Junior here has made his decision. Don’t try to think, Mike will do it for you. Do you have a better location for solar energy that will preserve a wild tortoise population? No, you are a NIMBY, a Nazi, an opportunist, a libertarian, a liberal, a conservative, an atheist, a Christian, wait a minute! That’s everyone! If you don’t agree with mikey here, you may as well go run into the ocean and die!

  • Ernie Moniz

    It is a bit scary that the retard who put this article together may actually have a driver’s license!

  • country Hick

    well I know you don’t know what your talking about! I have to listen to fing turbine noise in my house so I do. It make your ears pop for one thing, it’s very distracting, makes it hard to concentrate, keeps me from sleeping many nights. I believe the vibration is what has caused my thyroid to go from low to high. We are stuck because who will buy our house?

  • Mona

    Oh my…tsk, tsk, tsk. The opposition doesn’t base any arguments on science? The truth is that wind energy sucks. There’s a reason farmers switched to RECs. Btw, wind takes the cake on subsidies – the energy they produce should be free. Oh, and they’re not “green”.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Oh, Mona.

      Not another of you folks. Please take your drivel elsewhere.

  • Tom

    And all this time I thought NIMBY meant Next it Might be You

  • Rick Kargaard

    It doesn’t seem logical to oppose wind power per se (unless you own a coal fired power plant). However individual projects need to be open to scrutiny, just as any other development should be.
    Strong objection to other forms of energy is likely also counter productive.
    Let,s spend the time and energy on encouraging cleaner alternatives, rather than making enemies by trying to force our own ideals down other people,s throats.

  • Rob Lewis

    Ahem. Speaking of NIMBYs, did you catch Chris Hayes’ report last night about the CEO of Exxon/Mobil, Rex Tillerson, joining with his rich neighbors in a lawsuit to prevent the construction of a water tower for a fracking operation near his estate? Priceless. No hypocrisy there!

  • Hans

    Notes on the NIMBYs:

    – Very often these are city people who moved to the country.
    – The way wind energy is supported in the US and the UK means that only large coorporations can develop wind parks. The way in which such companies sometimes behave can understandably cause bad blood. The funny thing is that companies like Eon and RWE Make big bucks from the inefficient UK support system, and at the same time fight against wind energy in Germany. The feed-in tariff system in Germany is not only more efficient, but also opens the market for local investors, farmers and community owned wind parks, causing different dynamics. Of course there also NIMBYs in Germany, but I do not sense this hatred, that oozes from anti-wind energy groups in the UK.

    • And not to forget Denmark, which recently confirmed its goal to reach 50% wind power by 2020 (I won’t be surprised if they hit that target sooner). That would never be possible without the population supporting it. Same model of support as Germany.

      • IICCinc

        Denmark (215)

        National Association of Neighbors Fighting Wind Turbines — comprised of 200 associations of smaller anti-wind farm groups formed across Denmark

        Alliancen mod kæmpevindmøller ved Kostervig


        Foreningen til Lammefjordens Beskyttelse

        Landsforeningen Bedre Miljø

        Naboer Til Vindmoller

        Nej til møller på Stevns

        Preserve Our Coastal Environment

        Rolig Nu

        Stop Kalvebod

        Stop Mosemøllerne

        Tjørnebygruppen Lolland

        Vinddebat – borgere mod vindmøller i Kærende

        Vindmøller Med Omtanke

        Vi siger nej – “We say no to the giant wind turbines”

  • Ronald Brakels

    …and meanwhile in the Australian state of Victoria 25,000 breathing masks have been distributed to help residents cope with smoke from a coal mine fire:

    • but did they give masks to the birds?

      • Ronald Brakels

        Crikey mate! Of course we gave flippin’ masks to the sheilas. We’re not bloody sexist.

  • No matter how much I look at this, I come to the same conclusion over and over again: the opposition against wind power is mainly tribalism. The wind developer is an invading tribe, and must be resisted.

    Nothing special going on here, it is simply who we humans are. People will campaign against any such a perceived invasion: a factory, mine, railroad, shopping mall, pipeline, you name it. Sometimes there is a good reason, sometimes not. But mostly that is of secondary importance.

    The internet is full of tribes too. Pro-nuclear, anti-solar, pro-wind, anti-gmo, pro-this, anti-that whatever. And they all try to combat each other with any ammunition they can lay their hands on. All is fair in love and war they say.

    And saying anything else than considering myself to be a member of the pro-renewables tribe would be hypocrisy.

    So, how to make sense of it all?

    In this case, opponents of wind power generally claim adverse health effects. But is that just ammunition or a real and significant problem? The best tool available to us emotional and subjective humans to distinguish between the two is science. If someone knows anything better, please say so.

    So is it too much to ask for just a handful of peer reviewed articles in a reputable medical journal? Maybe 0.1% of the literature that exists on the link between smoking and lung cancer? Does that sound unreasonable?

    • hmm, great comment.

      & i’d say i have tried extremely hard to base my own opinions on the available science. but always harder to evaluate yourself objectively than others objectively.

  • Mary

    A list of the people who have most effectively challenged the Wall Street-fossil fuel backed industry: wind. Citizens looking for support would do well to check in with someone mentioned here.

    • Are you trying to say that the wind industry has been one of the best at challenging the fossil fuel industry? And that we should learn something from this successful, transformative industry? If so, i agree!

      • Mary

        The wind industry has transformed nothing. Two biggies: First Wind and Next Era. FW is Saudi Aramco. Next Era’s wind division is what is left of Enron. Wind doesn’t replace coal or gas and we don’t use oil to generate electricity so mentioning oil is silly. Wind requires back up from other sources, namely coal and gas though we use hydro and Denmark overwhelmingly uses hydro. The landscape is transformed and the 47% loss of raptor abundance and extirpation of bats from agricultural landscapes by turbines, while certainly “transformational”, is hardly helpful. All this under the guise of addressing climate change – which is something wind turbines do not do. Sad that so many naive and gullible people would believe that Wall Street/industry would come up with a way to address anything outside of raising their profit margins.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Mary, when you open with a falsehood you certainly aren’t going to make any points after that.

          • Mary

            Still think the Emperor’s new clothes are grand, eh Bob. You haven’t followed First Wind to Saudi Aramco have you? Haven’t seen the Enron Wind documents on a utilities docket and read of the sale following that scandal? Did you read the recent IRS press release about “double dipping” going on? The wind industry has transformed nothing, unless you count raising rates, altering landscapes via continuing sprawl…. My personal favorite is the Westwood document also on a wind docket where they flat out state this is Permitted for POLITICAL reasons and Perceptions = Reality. You keep your perceptions, Bob. Clearly that works well for you. Reality may not be as cozy or nice but that’s where important issues like climate change need to be addressed.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Give it rest, Mary.

            Wind is firmly established as a major player in our route away from fossil fuels.

            You’ve lost.

          • Mary

            Right. That’s why they’re building a new gas peaking plant to provide stability to the grid where wind is being constructed. That’s why Germany had to build 27 coal fired plants…..because they’re obsolete and we’re moving “away” from fossil fuels. Apparently not as quickly as industry is moving away from Germany. The pendulum toward sane, informed, science-based initiatives will swing away from the nutters who gather to worship wind. You’ll stand there like Disney’s (Madagascar) King Julien who is astounded that sacrificing Melman to the volcano gods did not release the water into their drought ridden land – “I dont understand. The science was so sound.” Perception does not equal reality Bob. But who know, perhaps with a happy thought and some pixie dust you would be to fly.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “The pendulum toward sane, informed, science-based initiatives will swing away from the nutters who gather to worship wind.”

            No it won’t.

            Because it turns out that calling something “sane, informed [and] science-based” doesn’t actually make it so.

            Who saw that coming, huh?

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, Mary, you simply lie.

            You’ve been told before that Germany’s new coal plants have nothing at all to do with renewables. Germany decided years ago to replace less efficient coal plants with more efficient plants. Once the new plants are completed and the old ones shut Germany will be burning significantly less coal than previously.

          • David Osmond

            Germany are not building 27 coal power stations. All but about 10 have been cancelled. Those 10 comprise 11.5 GW of power. At the same time, Germany is in the process of closing 18 GW of coal generation.

            Germany has had a one-off increase in coal generation in the last year as a result of current high gas prices and low coal prices. This is against a long trend of decreasing coal and CO2 emissions, 25% down from 1990.


  • Feral cats and buildings kill many, many more birds than wind turbines.

    Pollution kills thousands of times more birds than wind turbines. Plastic bags and bits and scraps kill many many more birds than wind turbines.

    Climate change is killing dozens if not hundreds of species of birds, fer cryin’ out loud.

    • IICCinc

      Right. Cat kills eagle. Got it.

      • Ronald Brakels

        If that eagle killed the cat, it’s pretty dumb to eat it on the road, don’t you think? Much more likely the kitty was killed by a car and that’s what kills a lot more birds than wind turbines do. Do you know what kills a lot of eagles in Australia? Trucks. Wedge tailed eagles eat roadkill kangaroos until they’re completely stuffed and then along comes a semi-trailer barrelling down the highway at 110 kilometers an hour on account of how they’ve got a schedule to keep. The wedgie takes off but doesn’t get enough height or distance on account of how much its eaten and gets killed. Sometimes they manage to get to windshield distance and smash into the truck cab and burst, showering the driver with rotten kangaroo, maggots, and wedge tail eagle and the driver might have to continue on like that for hundreds of kilometers until he comes to a town with a hose, or at least a water source and a bucket. If you want to stop birds from bursting, ban the car.

        • IICCinc

          You will want to keep your argument handy the next time there is an oil spill and a hundred ducks die. Since trucks kill ducks, BP should not be prosecuted. Nice to see enviros talking sense for a change!

          Shall we dance?

          • Ronald Brakels

            Would you be so kind as to tell me in your own words what my argument is, IICCinc? I’d be interested to know. Also, I don’t do videos. I am in Australia and apparently fibre optic is of the Devil here. If copper was good enough for Alexander Bell it’s good enough for us.

          • sault

            Two wrongs don’t make a right, but trying to get your polluter shill / true believer brain to understand that is a lost cause.

        • If you kill a bird with your car, people will ask you if it damaged your car…

      • Wind turbines kill *several *orders of magnitude *fewer* animals than do smoke stacks, mountaintop removal, fracking, nuclear waste, climate change, ocean acidification, oil refineries, oil spills.

        Your ‘concern’ for dead birds is admirable, but your inconsistency reveals that you are not being honest.

        • IICCinc

          If your position is that wind and solar can permanently retire all thermal generation worldwide, could you please tell me by when and at what price? Remember: we are in a climate crisis. Thus speed of deployment counts. 5 years? 10? 100?

          Secondly, could you me tell the price per unit of emissions avoided with your renewables-only solution versus replacing all fossil generation with nuclear?

          And finally, what would the retail price of electricity be when your solution is finally implemented?

          Those questions appear to me to be the critical ones.

          It is your proposal. Could you give me the facts so that I can perform a cost/benefit analysis?

          • What ever it costs to switch to renewables, it will be far less than the status quo. Renewable energy can easily cover all our energy needs – and because it is distributed all over, this removes the need to have a military to defend it, and it removes the control that big capital has over our current energy supply. That is also a big reason that nuclear is a terrible way to go. That and the fact that we have no idea what to do with nuclear waste.

            If a 14 year old boy can build a working wind turbine based solely on a picture, then I think renewable energy is the easiest thing we have to do to address climate change.

            After we switch 100% to renewable energy *then* the harder work begins. Water supply, food supply, ocean rise, etc. will all be a much longer term challenge.

          • IICCinc

            “What ever it costs to switch to renewables, it will be far less than the status quo.”

            Then show me the numbers to support your contention.


            The Stern Review.

            “This Review has assessed a wide range of evidence on the impacts of climate change and on the economic costs, and has used a number of different techniques to assess costs and risks. From all of these perspectives, the evidence gathered by the Review leads to a simple conclusion: the benefits of strong and early action far outweigh the economic costs of not acting.”

          • Yes, it is possible. And it will happen.


            “We conclude that we can build a global energy system by 2050 which sources 95% of its energy from sustainable sources following an ambitious, but feasible pathway.”

          • IICCinc

            James Hansen is not nearly as optimistic: “Fossil fuels provide more than 85% of the world’s energy. One misconception discussed below concerns the fallacy that renewable energy is rapidly supplanting conventional energy. Total non-hydro renewables today offset only about one year’s growth of energy use.” (p. 2)

            “In the United States bringing sun and wind to large scale requires time to get public approval (around the entire nation) and time to build new electric grids to take the power from its hotspots to where it is needed. It also requires development of energy storage technologies to deal with intermittent energy sources. Without energy storage, it is likely that renewables will be combined with gas burning….” (p. 13)

            “Yes, a few scientists assert that renewables alone are sufficient, a position that gets applause. As for me, I would prefer to stick to science and tend my orchard.” (p. 15)

          • A Real Libertarian

            What source are you citing?

            James Hansen has no clue what he’s talking about when it comes to energy production.

            Nuclear power is a fossil fuel for the simple reason it leeches resources from actual, works-in-real-life solutions.

          • IICCinc

            Wind energy uses 27 times the steel compared to nuke over a 60 year lifecyle. What does that make wind?

            And wind is almost fully dependent upon gas generation. What does that make wind?

            Consider GE’s statement to the Obama administration:

            “Energy generation from renewable sources like wind and solar have zero emissions and very low variable cost of generation. However, if flexible generation assets, such as gas turbines, are not available, these renewable technologies will not be deployed. In other words, gas turbines are an essential component of renewable energy sources’ ability to penetrate the market. Failure of renewable energy source deployment will result in increased CO2 emissions. Any CO2 emission limitations that EPA establishes in this rulemaking, therefore, must consider the important role of gas turbine technologies in reducing system-
            wide emissions. Emission limitations that discourage the use of these technologies will adversely impact reliability, renewable deployment, and emissions.”

            No gas, no wind, at least in RTOs with limited hydro.

          • sault

            “And wind is almost fully dependent upon gas generation.”

            This is totally bogus! See here:


            It has become an article of popular faith that building wind farms also involves constructing fossil-fuelled power stations for back‑up when the weather is calm. As a result, some opponents go on to say, wind turbines do little or nothing to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
            Now the National Grid has studied what actually happens in practice, with explosive, if surprising, results. Between April 2011 and September 2012 – its head of energy strategy, Richard Smith, told the Hay Festival – wind produced some 23,700 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power. Only 22GWh of power from fossil fuels was needed to fill the gaps when the wind didn’t blow. That’s less than a thousandth of the turbines’ output – and, as it happens, less than a tenth of what was needed to back up conventional power stations.
            It proved to be much the same with emissions. Wind saved nearly 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over that 18 months; standby burning of fossil fuels only reduced this by 8,800 tonnes, or 0.081 per cent.
            Not surprisingly, given these figures, no new fossil‑fuel power station has been built to provide back‑up for wind farms, and none is in prospect.”


            Or here:

            Recent studies show that wind energy integration costs are almost always below $12/MWh—and often below $5/MWh—for wind power capacity penetrations of up to or even exceeding 40% of the peak load of the system in which the wind power is delivered. The increase in balancing reserves with increased wind penetration is projected, in most cases, to be below 15% of the nameplate capacity of wind power and typically considerably less than this figure, particularly in studies that use intra-hour scheduling. Moreover, a number of strategies that can help to ease the integration of increasing amounts of wind energy—including the use of larger balancing areas, the use of wind forecasts, and intra-hour scheduling—are being implemented by grid operators across the United States.


            Take your nuclear fanboy nonsense to some other site because only FACTS are allowed to stand here!

          • IICCinc

            You need to chat with AWEA and CanWEA then:

            “A combination of a large amount of renewable energy, combined with
            flexible natural gas plants and demand-response and efficiency, can ensure that
            our electric system has sufficient energy, capacity, and flexibility, and
            operates reliably and cost-effectively. The marketplace is already pointing in
            the direction…..gas and wind power have accounted for nearly 90% of all new U.S. generating


            CanWEA: “…..we, in Ontario, will soon be forced to make a choice with respect to future electricity investment: renewable power partnered with
            natural gas, or new and refurbished nuclear power. ”

            [Wouldn’t emissions rise in this plan?]


            You cannot replace high capacity value conventional generators with intermittent generators of low capacity value. That is a fact.

            And you are confusing balancing and backup. If there is surplus generation in an existing ISO then there is no need to add more conventional generation with the addition of surplus wind capacity. But if you close 22,000MW of coal capacity by 2018 in PJM you will never fill that gap with wind alone.

            And consider GE again:

            “Simple cycle gas turbines are critical to grid stability by supporting highly volatile, intra-day or minute-to-minute peaking scenarios, resulting from errors in forecasting, integration of an increased amount of zero emissions renewables, and unanticipated events resulting from loss in generation or load. In addition, these gas turbines are used to maintain the quality of electricity generation

            Page 14 of 28

            through voltage, frequency regulation, and backup generation which are used to meet stringent North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Independent System Operator (ISO) guidelines. GE has continually invested in technology improvement to reduce the carbon footprint by achieving best-in-class efficiencies. Utilization of these simple cycle gas turbines enhances the reliability of the electric grid, promotes the integration of an increased amount of renewables, and reduces the total amount of CO2 emissions generated by the replacement of low efficiency assets with higher efficiency, natural gas burning gas turbines.”

            Sadly, pairing wind with CT results in more emissions than CCGT alone.

            There are my facts. High penetrations of wind energy require the grid to have ample flexible generation to both ramp up and down quickly to balance wind’s variable output.

          • how much has Denmark used natural gas to get to its world-leading wind market share?

            frankly, i think it’s a shame that AWEA & CanWEA use this messaging. they have aligned with the nat gas industry in messaging for political reasons. same with SEIA. but the “great need” for natural gas is bull.


          • A Real Libertarian

            What source are you citing for these claims?

            What source were you citing for your James Hansen claims?

          • IICCinc

            SH=heesh….cut, paste, google. Not hard.

          • A Real Libertarian
          • Bob_Wallace

            When people are banned from a site they are expected to stay away.

            Not to rejoin under another identity.

            Your act has gotten very, very old.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The amount of steel used for wind production is not a relevant issue. Whatever the amount, the cost of wind production is a fraction of the cost of nuclear.

            The steel used in wind can be recycled. The steel in nuclear has to “cool down” for about 60 years prior to being secured in a hazardous waste site.
            Your claim that wind is dependent on natural gas is false.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Hansen has demonstrated a lack of knowledge about renewables.

          • IICCinc

            Precisely where?

          • Bob_Wallace

            In his statement that only nuclear can replace fossil fuels.

          • Bob_Wallace

            When? Something greater than 20 years. The long end depends on how badly climate change scares us.

            Wind and solar can get us there quicker than nuclear, if that’s your concern.

            How much? A mix of wind, solar and storage will cost less than nuclear. And will likely cost us less than we pay today for electricity.

            Why don’t you take the readily available costs and do your analysis?

            Onshore wind has been selling for 4 cents per kWh. Add back in the subsidy and call it 6.

            Solar is selling for 5c in the SW. Add back in the subsidy and the average for the lower 48 would be around 8 cents.

            Storage runs from around 5c for pump-up, to 8 for flow, to 10 for grid storage batteries.

            Nuclear, based on the lowest bid the UK could obtain, is about 16c. Don’t forget that a large amount of storage is needed to make nuclear work for anything more than low off-peak supply.

          • plenty of studies here showing renewables can do it, and cheaper than nukes:

  • IICCinc

    “They can be engaged, but only on subjects other than market distortions such as health, capacity factors etc, but they will return the subject of FIT, PTC, RET, etc rapidly.”

    Examples: Robert Bryce (USA), James Delingpole (UK), Kevon Martis (USA), Tom Adams (Canada)

    Thanks for the shout-out Mike. For the record I will debate you on any facet of energy policy you desire in person and in a public forum.

    I would post in my own name but Zach has blocked me like you have on your website.

    If you have nothing to fear, why do you hide?

    Kevon Martis

    • You’re very welcome Kevon. For the record, you and your tiny group of antis and your green plastic bag costumes aren’t worth debating. You are right to be grateful I gave you any attention at all in this list.

      Thanks for calling me a bigot on Twitter too. Classy as always. That kind of line must work well with the clients for your handyman business.

      I don’t hide, Kevon, I just ignore you. There’s a difference.

      • IICCinc

        I will stoop to debate you. Return the favor!

        Why not show the world how little I know?

        It would be easy for one as smart as you, don’t you think?

    • I haven’t blocked you. But someone else who’s tired of correcting myths and has no interest in misinforming people might have.

  • JamesWimberley

    David MacKay is British not American. You are unfair in labelling him as a one-dimensional nuclear advocate – he’s reached the position that Britain (specifically, the case does not generalise) needs new nuclear capacity because of its high population density and energy demand, strong NIMBY opposition to rural renewable developments, and low insolation, I think he’s wrong, but you can learn a lot by engaging with his arguments.

    British opposition to onshore wind is curiously strong. I drove the other day from Brighton to London, and did not see a single wind turbine.

    • Russell

      I learnt things from his book, and he makes good points about land area needed for bio-fuels and the total potential energy in things like tidal energy which doesn’t seem to be enough to provide a substantial amount of energy for mankind. That is important when deciding where R&D effort should go. As a consequence I would always favor R&D into solar/wind and even nuke over say hyrdo/tidal/wave/geothermal etc because they can scale to meet our energy challenges. Yes tech for turning weeds into fuel is useful but cheap and efficient solar+battery will have far more impact.

      • A Real Libertarian

        “As a consequence I would always favor R&D into solar/wind and even nuke over say hyrdo/tidal/wave/geothermal etc because they can scale to meet our energy challenges.”

        Enhanced geothermal has a lot of potential.

        • Russell

          Do you have some references to show it can provide the Tera Watts needed in a sustainable manner? The major criticism I have heard of geothermal from MacKay is that rock is a very poor conductor of heat and if you drill a hole and start extracting heat, then the rock cools down and you soon have to drill another hole etc just like fossil fuels. Of course there are natural springs etc that work because they more the heat but not enough to power the world with.

          Is there a credible reason to believe the cost can come down enough? I mean you will always need to drill holes using very mature (oil/gas) tech, which probably can’t be improved much now. Other renewables which have seen massive cost declines because there has been massive tech and systems/scale improvements.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I assume you’re talking about dry rock/enhanced geothermal?

            My understanding is that the ‘cool down’ period for a set of holes can range from 10 to 50 years. And that the heat will recover in about the same amount of time.

            That means that after the cool down it should be possible to move the hardware to a new set of holes and then return to the original wells later. Flippity-flop.

          • Russell

            Yes dry rock. A lot easier when there is already water down there, but thats not common enough to power the world. Don’t suppose there is much data on cool down periods as it hasn’t been around for 10-50 years? Watch this space I suppose, I’m still skeptical but some good demos could change things.

          • sault

            No, a geothermal plant simply drills enough extraction wells in order to give it enough heat flux to run steady-state at its designed output. Having a plant idle for 10 – 50 years (plus having diminishing output over the previous 10 – 50 years) is the wrong way to do it.

          • I’d rather do a six months on/six months off flippity-flop to (partly) counter the seasonal effect on solar.

          • Geothermal might not scale as wind and solar do, but combined with biomass, it will be very welcome for balancing.

    • MacKay was a late addition as he’s being referenced by anti-renewable campaigns. As the material says, one of the bigger threats from pro-nuclear analysts is that their analyses get lifted and shifted. I’ll review this regardless. Thanks for pointing it out.

      • IICCinc

        How about James Hansen’s latest:

        “The largest portion of renewable energy cost is often hidden, e.g. by RPS and feed-in tariffs, in which the costs are passed on to all utility customers. Such added costs are bearable if the renewable portion of electricity is small, but, as in a Ponzi scheme, there is danger that the system won’t work as the subsidized portion of the scheme
        grows larger.”

        • Bob_Wallace

          Hansen should stick to climate science. He clearly doesn’t understand energy issues.

          Nuclear and fossil fuels have massively larger “hidden costs”/external costs than do renewables.

          We’ve pumped many, many more dollars of direct subsidy into nuclear that renewables have received. And most of the renewable money has gone to biofuel (large corporate corn farms).

          Take away everyone’s subsidy. Make everyone pay all their external costs.
          Do that and we’d be closing coal and nuclear as fast as we could bring replacement renewables on line.

          Hansen’s talking crap.

          • sault

            Plus, repeal the Price Anderson Act that forces the federal government to pick up the nuclear industry’s liability insurance tab and you’d see all those reactors close YESTERDAY!

  • Russell

    I don’t think David MacKay is anti-wind. And he also is British not from the USA. His book was written before Fukushima, when wind/solar were much more expensive than they are now, floating wind turbines didn’t exist, UK and everyone else wasn’t building renewables with the speed they are now and wind hadn’t overtaken nuclear in electricity production in the most nuke capable country in the world, China. In the light of recent developments he may have something different to say.

    • Johnny Storm

      You had better adjust your wind vs. nuke numbers for capacity factors.

      • Who doesn’t? That is common practice.

        • Johnny Storm

          Russell didn’t. Hence the comment.

          • A Real Libertarian


          • Russell

            That kind of exponential graph is why technologists, VC’s support wind/solar + plus they can scale to power the world many times over.

      • sault

        Even taking into account capacity factors, wind power generates about as much if not more electricity than the country’s nuclear reactors. China has 16.7GW of nuclear capacity on-line and AT LEAST 76GW of wind power (at the end of 2012, so they may have close to 100GW now…) China’s low-end estimate for capacity factor is 20%, so yes, wind power generates at least as much and probably more than nuclear power in China. And China is where this whole “nuclear rebirth” was supposed to be centered, but things aren’t looking too good for Team Fission right now…

        • Johnny Storm

          And combined they struggle to reach 4% of net generation.

          But interestingly the world was 100% renewables not so long ago:

          • Russell

            By another measure the world is still >99% renewable powered. Add up the energy needed to grow crops to feed 7 billion people that comes from the sun (to say nothing of the sun hitting the sea to grow creatures that our fish eventually eat) and you will find it is far in excess of the 15TW or so usually counted as our energy needs.

            That perspective really doesn’t work with the “solar takes too much land” argument if you consider crops making energy to power humans then we use some massive amount of land area to achieve that, a very inefficient way of turning solar energy into chemical energy by that perspective. We use half of the worlds land based photosynthesis according to some estimates. MacKay talks about using country sized areas to power ourself with renewables, well we have been doing that soon after the dawn of agriculture.

          • In a single day, enough of the sun’s energy strikes the earth to power ALL human needs for ~27 years.

          • Rick Kargaard

            There is plenty of land that is practically useless for agriculture but well suited for wind or solar. However the grid typically does not reach a lot of it. Our entire infrastructure needs to be upgraded.

          • Don’t forget rooftop solar. Zero land needed, zero transmission lines. Consumption close to generation.

          • Rick Kargaard

            Generation at the point of consumption is the perfect solution. We are rapidly approaching a tech point that will make this possible.

          • What will help this even more is the advent of cheap batteries. Various companies are now bringing innovative products to market that will reduce the cost of battery storage, making a 24/7 solar powered home a reality in sunny regions (= most of the US). Not that it is necessary or desirable. We have a grid, why not use it?

            Storage and grid will be seen as interchangeable. The grid can take the function of storage (as solar home owners now do) and storage can be an alternative for increasing transmission capacity.

          • No, they don’t struggle, renewables are growing fast, especially solar. But the current fossil generation capacity was built out over more than two centuries. And now you want all replaced in how many years? 10? 15?

      • Russell

        I had, and specifically said electricity PRODUCTION not capacity. Yes many people do make that mistake and it is annoying. However if you had investigated you would have found the claim to be true.

    • Russell, thanks. He is being cited regularly by anti-wind campaigners for his pro-nuclear analyses. I’m very willing to believe that he is a sensible human being, but his published work and the people who reference it warranted inclusion as a late addition. I’ll review this point.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Didn’t MacKay make some very bad claims about the amount of land used for wind production? I know that Robert Bryce tried to say that turbines take many, many acres and it seems MacKay did the same.

        • Yeah, he suggested (off the top of my head) that all of Wales would have to be covered in wind turbines to power half the cars. Now how did he produce that kind of nonsense?

          1. By first suggesting 1 kWh of electricity = 1 kWh of petrol. So an electric car (how else do you want to power cars on wind energy) needs about 1.2 kWh of electricity to move 1 km. An overestimate of at least 5x

          2. By suggesting the every Briton (man, woman, child, baby, blind, etc) travels 50 km per day. In reality it is about 15 km per day (maybe miles, doesn’t change the argument). An overestimate of 3x.

          Total overestimation: 15x

          Totally shoddy work, the suggestion is very clear. The whole premise of that book is to suggest renewable energy is hopeless and the only answer is nuclear.

        • Another nice one is how he builds up the consumption stack to a staggering 200 kWh per person per day, suggesting (nearly) all has to be provided in the form of electricity. Then loudly proclaiming this is impossible and then, a few chapters later talking about how electricity is different, more efficient. But the suggestion has already been firmly planted in the mind of the reader.

          And then the real kicker: the chapter about nuclear comes AFTER that, so he can picture a nuclear UK against a much more reasonable 20 kWh per person per day (current British electricity consumption).

          All very cunning, and misleading.

          • sault

            I remember another BS anti-wind “study” that tried to claim there wasn’t enough pressure differential across the surface area of the wind farms to power more than 5% of world energy needs. That sure was a doozy! They failed to realize that wind turbines have a vanishingly small effect on regional air pressure and that these pressure differentials are built up over continent or ocean-wide scales, NOT just over the geographical area of the wind farm. I wish I would have saved the link because the logical knots the writers of the paper twisted themselves into were hilarious!

  • Johnny Storm

    Anti-wind people aren’t NIMBYS. They are victims of anti-coal, anti-gas and anti-nuclear NIIMBYS.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Anti-wind people come in various flavors. Some are clearly NIMBYs.

      • Tom

        And many are actually power generation engineers with many years of actual experience

        • Bob_Wallace

          Have you ever noticed how some people quit learning once they’re out of school and entrenched in their profession?

          • Tom

            And some people never learn period.

    • The literature describing the health effects of fossil fuels is vast, tens of thousands of papers describing respiratory problems, heart diseases, cancer, climate change, acid rain, habitat destruction. The literature covering negative health and environmental effects of wind power is so far non-existent.

      So you better come up with something better than your constant self-victimisation. It is becoming a bit pathetic.

      • IICCinc

        Wouldn’t CCGT fix the health impacts you allege? It is Hg free and essentially PM2.5 free. And it is dispatchable and cheap. If the coal impacts are as drastic as you say, we should build gas generation immediately. That would eliminate virtually all the alleged health impacts from Hg and PM2.5 emissions. Then, because we would be saving trillions per year in health impacts, we can take the savings and build nuclear the world round, thus eliminating CO2 emissions from generation as well. That is like free energy when you apply the health savings to the nuclear account. Isn’t that reasonable?

        • sault

          “allege” nothing! There’s TONS of scientific proof of the dangers of coal power if you bother to look:

          Gas is displacing coal a great deal in the US. However, this is IN SPITE of zero cost accounting for the negative externalities of coal pollution and the climate change caused by its CO2 emissions. And sorry, but nuclear power proved to be an expensive waste of time when the industry imploded in the 1980’s. You want to throw MORE money and time down that rabbit hole when we have perfectly good solar and wind power sources instead???

          • IICCinc

            If you are anti-coal, anti-nuclear and anti-gas you are pro-darkness. Not everyone can live a subsistence lifestyle on off grid solar and wood stoves.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “If you are anti-coal, anti-nuclear and anti-gas you are pro-darkness.”

            What is so bad about the dark?

            It’s where the important stuff happens, were where ideas are conceived, where the foundation of progress is laid.

            While the people in the light can avoid making difficult decisions and be applauded for it, the ones in the dark must build a better world with no thanks and much derision.

            But that’s the thing, when you’re in the dark your eyes open as wide as they can, because you need to see everything, while in the light your eyes shut themselves to avoid seeing.

            You might want to think about that…

            “Not everyone can live a subsistence lifestyle on off grid solar and wood stoves.”

            Again with the “Only coal or nukes allowed! Only coal or nukes allowed!”

          • Bob_Wallace

            “If you are anti-coal, anti-nuclear and anti-gas you are pro-darkness. ”

            Look, that’s a major pile of crap.

            You can either add something positive to discussions or you can go away. Foolishness like that has no place here.

  • Rick Kargaard

    Gee, Next let’s classify your opponents by sex, race, religion, political leanings, education, their ability to write or get their point across, or waist size.
    You don’t have the moral high ground here.
    Everyone of these so called classifications have valid points which need to be addressed with logic and patience instead of religious ardor.
    In specific cases their logic might be better than yours

    • Valewood

      I notice that Mr. Barnard conveniently sidesteps the fact that the majority of people who are against 500 to 600 foot tall industrial machines are the very people who have to live with the noise, infrasound, ground vibrations and shadow flicker.

      They’re not nimbys, opportunists or misguided. They are the ones who have had their quality of life and sometimes health destroyed by an uncaring wind industry whose only concern is how much money can be made off of these things.

      They are the ones who have had to abandon their homes to go live someplace away from this assault on their lives. I know many such families. They can’t sell their homes because no one wants that kind of headache in their lives.

      On the rare occasion the wind company will buy the property at a huge loss to the homeowner. Other times, the owners have to continue paying the mortgage on their original homes, while paying rent on a secondary ‘refuge’ property.

      But then, Mr. Barnard wouldn’t have any knowledge of any of these things. He lives in Singapore and doesn’t have an industrial wind turbine any where near his home.

      • Rick Kargaard

        Yes, any development that strongly impacts someone needs to demonstrate that it is clearly in the public interest, AND must make adequate compensation to those affected.

      • “who are against 500 to 600 foot tall industrial machines”

        That is the only honest argument. They spoil the view. Everyone has his own taste in these matters and everyone has a right to oppose wind turbines for whatever reason.

        But this doesn’t automatically mean that ‘whatever reason’ is always true.

        For example:

        “with the noise, infrasound, ground vibrations and shadow flicker”

        Believe it if you will, but don’t expect the world to believe it with you because you hate wind turbines.

        Setback rules all over the world usually require at least a few 100 or even more than 1000 m of distance between a turbine and the nearest house. No ill health effects have ever been proven from any of the things you mention.

        On the contrary, it has been shown that other sources of noise, infrasound or ground vibrations are much more common and louder in the built-up environment where people live, work and recreate every day. And people never complain about those!

        At a reasonable distance, the woosh of a wind turbine cannot be heard above the noise of the wind through a tree, the infrasound of your own heart is multiple times louder and the ground vibrations less than a person walking by.

        • Valewood

          When you have lived it and your friends and neighbours have lived it, then I will gladly listen to your argument. Until then, you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

          For every report sponsored by the wind industry saying that there are no problems, there is another one done by independent researchers who say there is.

          Not everyone is affected by wind turbines. No one ever said they have negative impacts on everyone, just the same as some people can’t ride a roller coaster without getting sick, or some people get car sick, while others don’t.

          The fact of the matter is that negative impacts have been reported around the world, wherever these giant machines have been placed to close to homes.

          • “The fact of the matter is that negative impacts have been reported around the world, wherever these giant machines have been placed to close to homes.”

            If you tell people over and over again that they will be sick if those turbines are put in place, then that is exactly what will happen to a number of people. The power of suggestion is well documented and recognition of this is the basis of all medical research (double blind).

            For example:

            “Infrasound levels at houses adjacent to wind farms (Locations 8 and 9) are no higher than those at houses located a considerable distance from wind farms (Locations 10 and 11). For example, the outdoor infrasound levels at Location 8 are significantly lower than those at Location 11, despite the house being located much closer to operational wind turbines (1.5 kilometres compared to 30 kilometres). “

            When all serious research on this subject comes up empty, you can not simply dismiss it by saying the research is ‘sponsored’, That is not an argument. You’ll have to do better than that.

            Do you have a link to the neutral research you claim exists on the subject? I am looking for something peer reviewed and published in a respectable medical journal.

          • Johnny Storm

            “If you tell people over and over again that they will be sick if those turbines are put in place, then that is exactly what will happen to a number of people. The power of suggestion is well documented and recognition of this is the basis of all medical research (double blind).”

            Then how do you explain these leaseholders’ lawsuit in Texas?


            Does the power of suggestion defeat the power of the checkbook? They obviously didn’t believe any “anti-wind” campaigners when they signed the lease. Were there any even active there?

          • sault

            “Then how do you explain these leaseholders’ lawsuit in Texas?”
            People will try to maximize their gain in any situation, and when you throw lawyers into the mix, things get downright stoopid.

          • Johnny Storm

            “People will try to maximize their gain in any situation, and when you throw lawyers into the mix, things get downright stoopid [sic].”

            You mean like the wind lobby/AWEA?

          • sault

            For every report sponsored by the wind industry saying that there are no problems, there is another one done by FOSSIL FUEL COMPANY SHILLS who say there is.

          • Johnny Storm

            Ever look at the board of the AWEA? Big Fossil and Big Nuke ARE big wind:

          • sault

            You’ve got to be kidding me! Who on that page is “Big Fossil” or “Big Nuke”???

          • Johnny Storm

            Really? EON? AEP? NextEra? Iberdrola?

            The feeling you are experiencing is called cognitive dissonance.

          • sault

            LOL…Look at the definition of “True Believer” again:

            “The more intelligent among them will create more and more elaborate refutations and alternative hypotheses supporting their world-view.

            The less intelligent will throw out unreferenced facts that they believe support their claims. They will often claim that pro-wind people are heartless because they are ignoring health and environmental impacts. They will usually switch to another argument without acknowledging that they are changing the subject. As claims are refuted, they will become increasingly likely to attack experts’ credibility and the ‘hidden’ motivations of those they are speaking to.”

        • Rick Kargaard

          I don’t like huge wind turbines obstructing views, either. I also don’t like the look of transmission towers or overhead power lines. I would sooner see a society where all our energy needs are provided at home or at manufacturing sites. I don’t, however see this as possible anytime soon. I am willing to live with some disruption of my perfect world in order to enjoy the comforts provided by industry and technology.

      • Professor Chapman has just published an assessment of the abandoned homes factoid. He doesn’t find any meat, just grease and gristle.

        Virtually every court case in five countries where wind energy and health has been tested has found no basis to claims. One odd outlier included dental damage.

        All of these folks seem happy to live among wind farms.

        • Tom

          Professor Chapman – good grief Mike ,now you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          • Professor Chapman is simply one of the most respected researchers working in public health today. For his research and efforts related to smoking cessation and gun control, Professor Chapman was inducted into the Australian Order in 2013 and made an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK. This is in addition to his innumerable public, world-wide honours prior to 2013 from organizations such as the World Health Organization, the National Heart Foundation of Australia, the American Cancer Society and many others, and his tenured position and leadership roles in the School of Public Health of the University of Sydney. He is regularly invited to speak at conferences and universities world wide on matters related to public health.

            Hardly bottom of the barrel, more like cream of the crop.


          • A Real Libertarian

            Well there you have it.

            Professor Chapman claims wind power is safe.

            But he also claims that cigarettes are bad for you and letting violent psychotics posses assault rifles is wrong.

          • Tom

            WOW – Wikipedia eh? I’m impressed , NOT.

          • You do understand what Wikipedia is and how it works, right? Just go to the page and follow the sources if you want all the sources.

  • Marie McNamara

    Why haven’t you addressed the lies and bad behavior of wind developers in rural communities? Why are you demonizing those who justly oppose such vile behavior? Lies to landowners. Lies about existing environmental hurdles never addressed. Lies to families about contracts. Those with their eyes wide open can see this as a land take-over and an epic subisidy money-making scheme. You did not address industry lies. Your mountain of research still results in an article that falls short, therefore no journalism award for truthful reporting.

    • Shelley

      Thanks Marie for pointing this out this sort of bad behavior that is seldom addressed to those who are unaware. The AWA Goodhue/New Era wind proposal was definitely an example of developers willing to spin tales rather than tell facts. They lied to land owners, threatened residents with lawsuits. Used helicopters to haze residents homes & frightened livestock. Used helicopters to observe farmers property & turned them in with false charges to the local Animal Board of Health. A landowner who did not cooperate had charges of harassment brought against him that would be dropped in exchange for full access to his land. Sounded like extortion to me.
      The lies started from the beginning when the site permit described the area as having no riparian habitat and only 13 ducks seen during migration in the Mississippi flyway. The project was National Wind then with Westwood Professional Services writing the reports for the site permit. The lies extended to the MN PUC with unapproved ownership changes that went unreported. It went from National Wind to T.Boone Pickens to a co. from India & then to Peter Mastic. The avian & bat protection plan rejected by the MN PUC was a compilation of fabrications that first accused residents of Eagle Baiting which they claimed explained the high eagle concentration in the area rather than being truthful and acknowledging the eagles where there all the time. My personal opinion is that they never expected to be exposed and felt safe in turning in false information.
      Since then I have seen similar claims from all over the country & world. I believe bad behavior is rampant.

      • ecopolitidae

        I’m a huge advocate for appropriately scaled and sited solar and wind (ideally locally owned in the built environment). I’ve seen remote industrial solar and wind project proponents repeatedly lie and manipulate data to get their projects permitted. Agencies rarely if ever enforce promised “mitigation”. They are no different from fossil fuel and mining developers, indeed they are often the same developers and Wall Street investors (BP, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, et al).

    • Bob_Wallace

      Is there a category for the anti-wind campaigner?

      The sort of person who believes every bad thing they hear about wind and refuses to listen to facts?

      It turns out that many of the anti-wind claims when checked turn out to be bogus but that doesn’t stop the anti-wind campaigner from continuing to make them.

      For example, in Australia the anti-wind group was claiming that people were abandoning their homes due to wind farm noise. One of them claimed to have a list of 20 families who had simply left their homes empty and moved away.

      When pushed for the list only one name was produced. Upon checking it was found that the individual had complained early on while the wind farm was being built and the wind farm bought their house. People who lived in the same neighborhood reported that the turbines did not create bothersome noise.

      You’ll still see claims that wind farms are causing people to abandon their homes.

      Interestingly we’ve seen people register and comment under multiple names (sock puppeting) on this site as they spread their anti-wind misinformation.

      • Johnny Storm

        Why would they need to do that? Do you ban dissent here?

        • Ronald Brakels

          I think there’s just a policy against eye poop.

          • Johnny Storm

            Is that your phrase for dissent?

          • sault

            No, that’s the phrase for eye poop.

          • Johnny Storm

            Care to share the definitions of both so an objective reader can know the difference?

          • sault

            If you have verifiable evidence that these problems actually exist, then it isn’t eye poop. If all you do is just levy a bunch of accusations without any evidence to support them, then it IS eye poop…or trolling…or shilling…etc. Take your pick.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Well, a definition of dissent is: “The holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held.” And seeing as being anti-wind is now the position of the Australian Federal Government, several State Governments, the powerful coal industry, and many incumbent generators, then I guess that here being anti-wind would be the opposite of dissent, wouldn’t it? It does dovetail nicely with what those in power want.

            As for eye poop, I’m confident you don’t need help figuring that one out. After all, you are on the internet. But if you really want I can give you some examples.

          • Johnny Storm

            You now place yourself in the minority so that you can paint yourself as a dissenting voice globally yet the question was clearly a local reference to the cleantechnica site. Interesting logical leap.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Thank you.

        • They were commenting under different names at essentially the same time, trying to make it look like a “group” of people were agreeing.

        • Bob_Wallace

          We have community standards. They’re linked somewhere on the page. Dissent is not a reason for banning.

    • This article was clearly focused on people who oppose wind energy. That was the topic under study.

  • I missed one category: the technology alarmist.

    This is the type that will run around preaching hell and doom to our society because the grid will collapse from all these intermittent sources that are never able to generate enough energy anyway. They will usually veer off into meaningless statistics to prove they’re right. They are convinced that the current state of the technology in renewables is an endpoint and no progress is possible anymore. Central to their standpoint is that a switch to renewables is a a step backwards and that we will suffer endless blackouts and end up living in caves.

    They are ‘true believers’ of another kind. True believers in the One And Only System. The One And Only System was there when they were born and they were taught that the One And Only System was good. The suggestion of replacing the One And Only System is blasphemy, and will lead to us to a technological Sodom and Gomorrah,

  • Johnny Storm

    Charts and lists like this can be tremendously helpful for the cause of renewable energy and has a long historical precedent:

    “The use of stereotyped conceptions of Jews as lecherous old men seducing young Aryan women, of dirty Jewish butchers, unscrupulous Jewish lawyers, hard-hearted Jewish landlords, rich Jewish business men and their wives ignoring the poverty around them, all combined to create a hate-filled image of Jews. In one of these comic books, after providing such “evidence” of the despicable nature of Jews, three conclusions are provided: kicking their children out of German schools, prohibiting them from using public facilities, like parks, and then expelling them from the country. Those “reasonable” consequences that Nazis should create for Jews foreshadows the more sinister ones of putting them all in ghettoes, then transporting them to concentration camps, and finally enacting the “final solution” of attempting mass genocide of the entire Jewish population.”

    • “Mommy, mommy, help! They’re calling me a NIMBY!”

      “Oh, never mind my sweet Johnny, just call them a Nazi. That’ll shut them up”


      “And don’t forget to wipe your nose!”

    • Sooo…. everyone who classifies things or types of people is a Nazi?

      • sault

        There’s a reason they call it Godwin’s “Law”…

      • A Real Libertarian
      • Johnny Storm

        If you classify them as a type in order to denigrate their opinion then you are using a similarly dehumanizing tactic.


        transitive verb ˈster-ē-ə-ˌtīp,ˈstir-

        : to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same

        • A Real Libertarian

          Well, you’re classifying us as con men, so you’re a Meta-Nazi.

          And I’m calling you a meta-Nazi, so I’m a double Meta-Nazi.

    • Hans

      I wanted to write a comment about by renewable energy opponents calling renewable energy proponent names much worse than NIMBY. But you made my intended comment superfluous.

      By the way, according to your reasoning all people working in marketing, all social scientists and psychologists are nazis, since they too categorise people in groups.

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