Another Example of Eco-Duplicity

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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Ahh – liberal hypocrisy.

We want green energy. We want to end the scourge of carbon pollution. We want it so bad that we’ll fly all over the world in our pollution-spewing private jets to advocate and raise awareness for solar and wind.

However, when you erect those enormous wind mills, just don’t install them in our back yards. Thus is the phony environmentalist refrain. Only this time a green-weenie, eco-celebrity (by marriage) isn’t necessarily complaining of the off-shore wind farm itself. He’s whining about how unsightly the underground cables carrying the much heralded eco-electricity are.

Singer Adele’s husband, Simon Konecki, multimillionaire founder of bottled water company Life Water, has hit out, as the Brits say, against German energy company E.ON corporation for their handling of the latest British off-shore £2 billion [$2.7 billion] wind farm installation.

Konecki, who claims to stand for everything green, is not against the Rampion offshore wind farm, but rather the cables that transfer power from the farm to land. read more

The Source of Modern Liberalism

by: the Common Constitutionalist

I, yes I, the Common Constitutionalist, have discovered the source – the cause of the affliction known as liberalism, and its simpler than you might think.

The causes of modern liberalism are noise and light pollution. Allow me to explain by describing it in a way even liberals may understand – in terms of the animal kingdom. This should be easy being that many liberals are also wacky animal-rights advocates.

I’d also like to preface this by reminding you that liberals are liberals first and foremost and thus will often support knee-jerk policies to the detriment of any long-term negative effects, even to themselves.

Take for example, wind farms. You cannot be a good liberal without blindly supporting “renewable energy” such as wind. Yet every year, if not several times a year, we see a new study of the ill effects wind farms have on wildlife. read more

How’s the Weather Up There?

Wind farms could become a thing of the past if a blimp-like power generator takes off.

Altaeros Energies, a U.S wind energy company formed out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced that it has successfully generated energy from 350 feet up with an automated prototype of its airborne wind turbine (AWT).

The completed commercial version would rest at 1,000 feet, where winds are stronger and more consistent, according to Altaeros Energies.

The company reports that AWT achieved several key milestones.

It lifted a top-selling turbine to produce over twice the power at high altitude than generated at conventional tower height and landed again in an automated cycle.

The turbine was successfully transported and deployed into the air at Loring Commerce Center in Limestone, Maine, from a towable docking trailer.

Altaeros says that because its product would harness higher-altitude winds – up to five times stronger than those reached by tower turbines – it would reduce energy costs by up to 65 per cent and reduce installation time from weeks to days.

In addition, it is designed to have virtually no environmental or noise impact and to require minimal maintenance.

The Altaeros AWT will displace expensive fuel used to power diesel generators at remote industrial, military, and village sites.

In the long term, Altaeros plans to scale up the technology to reduce costs in the offshore wind market.

‘For decades, wind turbines have required cranes and huge towers to lift a few hundred feet off the ground where winds can be slow and gusty,’ explained Ben Glass, the inventor of the AWT and Altaeros Chief Executive Officer.

‘We are excited to demonstrate that modern inflatable materials can lift wind turbines into more powerful winds almost everywhere – with a platform that is cost competitive and easy to setup from a shipping container.’

The AWT uses a helium-filled, inflatable shell to ascend, with strong tethers holding it steady and sending electricity down to the ground.

Killer Turbines

From Erica Ritz of The Blaze:

Continuing to survive primarily on federal handouts and subsidies, the wind energy movement has recently come under fire. While it is typically seen as a “clean” and “eco-friendly” alternative to fossil fuels, as the bird carcasses accumulate, the movement is starting to see closer scrutiny. According to Robert Bryce of the Wall Street Journal:

Over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating some of America’s oldest wildlife-protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act.

But the Obama administration—like the Bush administration before it—has never prosecuted the wind industry despite myriad examples of widespread, unpermitted bird kills by turbines. A violation of either law can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for two years…

Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles are being killed per year by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass, about 20 miles east of Oakland, Calif. A 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks—as well as about 7,500 other birds, nearly all of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—are being killed every year by the turbines at Altamont.

…Bats are getting whacked, too. The Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates that wind turbines killed more than 10,000 bats in the state in 2010.

ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in federal court…to the deaths of 85 birds [not eagles] at its operations in several states, according to the Department of Justice. The birds were protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Exxon agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees. In July, the PacifiCorp utility of Oregon had to pay $10.5 million in fines, restitution and improvements to their equipment after 232 eagles were killed by running into power lines in Wyoming, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

That is far fewer than the estimated 10,000 birds (nearly all protected by the migratory bird law) that are being killed every year at Altamont…

Despite the deleterious effect that the windmills are having on wildlife, the wind industry is pushing to keep both its carte blanche and generous subsidies. According to Eric Glitzenstein, a Washington D.C.-based lawyer who wrote a petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “It‘s absolutely clear that there’s been a mandate from the top” not to prosecute the wind industry for violating wildlife laws. “To me,” he said, “that’s appalling public policy.”

In 2011, wind energy was the second-largest recipient of the government’s $24 billion in energy subsidies. According CNN Money, proponents say that, “while renewable technologies may be more expensive now, federal support provides a crucial market and…given time and economies of scale, renewable technologies will eventually be able to compete with fossil fuel.”