We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, April 1. 2009
The Democrats have long had one-party control in California, aided by their radical environmentalist cohorts, and give us a good look at our national future.
They defeated an oil company's attempt to drill for oil off of Santa Barbara using slant drilling from shore, not an offshore platform. Their rationale was that it would 'only slow the switch to renewables.' Nobody had the nerve or knowledge to question “what renewables?”
They refuse to allow any more nuclear power here, so at the present time Los Angeles gets 50% of its electrical power from coal.
An earlier attempt to reduce vehicle emissions with MTBE in gasoline resulted in a lot of contamination of water supplies.
Now they are even considering banning the sale of black vehicles in California because they more energy to cool their interiors: Click here: California’s Plan to Reduce Emissions...
Meanwhile, funniest of all, Sen. Feinstein is pushing legislation to prevent the development of both solar arrays and wind turbines in the Mojave Desert. Click here: Watchdog Politics Examiner: Sen. Feinstein says no wind turbines in nearby desert
High desert photo by Gwynnie last week:
Meanwhile, one hundred miles northwest, is the great Tehachapi wind farm, about which a blog in – of all places – Germany has the following notation:
There you have it folks – even the Sierra Club appreciates hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (the West’s equivalent to the Appalachian Trail) and looking at this vast wind farm. (However, the skeptic will note that the foregoing appreciation may not be the opinion of Diane’s desert tortoises or cactus gardens).
Nevertheless, visitors to the premier desert recreation area of Palm Springs, whether of human, animal or Hollywood origin, pass directly through California’s second largest wind farm area, the perpetually windy San Gorgonio Pass, and do so with no objection. Indeed, as we passed through the Pass last week, we experienced a sense of awe and respect for the pioneers of wind power. This area’s 3,500 wind turbines produce enough power for 350,000 people.
Now, folks, remember we said that 50% of the electricity in Los Angeles is produced by burning COAL! 800,000 acres of wind power would provide power for 3,500,000 homes.
However, unless someone who uses reason rather than pure emotion can communicate this concept to Senator Diane, wind power is a dead issue in the United States.
Oh, did I mention that she also wants the desert to be a no-go zone for solar power?
San Gorgonio Pass Windmills:
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Senator Feinstein: “I’m a strong supporter of renewable energy and clean technology--but it is critical that these projects are built on suitable lands."
I wonder if the good Senator would agree with me that "suitable land" could be found at the site of her mansion in San Francisco.
If Diane were to prevail that there is no such thing as "suitable land" and Teddy were to prevail that there is no such thing as suitable ocean, let's just ask Big Al and The Greenies to forbear from using products that consume (or were manufactured using products) that consume hydro-carbon energy.
We already have a bill in Congress creating mandatory Volunteer Youth Service - why can't we have one creating mandatory Volunteer Hydrocarbon Forbearance for Sierra Club members and their ilk?
BLM manages 15.2 million acres of public lands in California.
Conserving 800,000 acres from the blarney of solar panels and wind turbines is a conservatively conservationist stand.
Conservationists should be supportive, me thinks.
Fair enough, but do they really want any energy at all for the little people?
Yall might flesh out the "we" in that question for me.
Senator Feinstein's reason on this issue, as I understand it, is such development violates the spirit of what conservationists intended when they donated they land.
Me thinks, she generally supports the blarney of renewables, or as she calls them; "clean, electricity-generating technologies, such as wind or solar".
Here in New Mexico, what is to be the largest solar plant on the continent is to be built starting in 2010 on 250-acres of private land to provde equivalent energy for 9000 homes.
There is plenty of BLM and private lands remaining in California to keep the looney renewable cabal building for decades.
I wager, coal, nuclear, natural gas and hydro-power will be producing the majority of electricity for California's little people for decades to come.
Conserving 800,000 out of 15,200,000 would be a great idea, but is a wrong calculation. The choice presented here is whether to preserve (a) 14,400,000 acres or (b) 15,200,000 acres orut of 15,200,000.
Or do you thinks we should put windmills on the remaining 14,400,000 and conserve 800,000?
I'd rather see a nuke plant on 50 acres than a zillion windmills on 800,000.
The land Senator Feinstein is proposing to conserve is about half-million acres.
However, she is definitely amongst the renewable cabal.
Me thinks, there is plenty of land for the looney renewable folks to build on until kingdom come.
My preference for my state is not renewables but coal.
Coal plants are the cheapest to build and maintain for the energy produced.
Maybe, this will be of value;
Dem politicians and their allies will put us into a corner where nothing can be built except natural gas plants, while existing coal plants are gradually shut down. Nat gas-generated electricity is already more expensive than that generated from coal, and the increasing consumption of gas will soon drive prices much higher.
wind power and its subsidies favour only the power companies...nuclear or clean coal is the only valid choice.
I'm with you, BD, on nuclear power plants. France gets 70% of its electrical power from nuclear generating plants. Other European countries are similar users of nuclear power. Only the U.S. of all the major powers is afraid to use nuclear power -- all because of a power mishap more than 50 years ago which injured no one and caused no spillage of nuclear fuel into the surrounding area. This is still the majoir bugaboo the 'greenies' use to argue against nuclear. America has 104 nuclear generating plants, a pitifully small number. And if Pelosi and her minions have their way, we'll never have any more.
Doesn't this depress you folks? It does me.
Marianne, you are right about the silliness of the national response to the Three Mile Island incident. However, it was less than 30 years ago.
I grew up and went to High School in Tehachapi. (T-hatch-ah-pee). I still have family there and visit on occasion.
The wind farms (a very misleading term) are ugly. The destruction of what was once beautiful country is sad.
I would much rather see one, two or more nuclear plants in the area than the hillsides covered with windmills, roads and erosion.
I'm with you Rick. Thirty years a truck driver, fifteen of those years, '88-'03, coast to coast. Probably spent a third of the time in CA. Been all over CA. I'm not an extremist or hysteric but I always thought it was a rape of the landscape. It's real nice out there by Palm Springs too, isn't it? Anyone who kind of thinks windmills are a cool idea needs to take I-10 East out of San Bernardino to Indio. You might change your mind.
Geoff and Rick ... First, Geoff, I'm sorry about the mistake in dating of the Three Mile Island mishap. My time stamps are running together as I approach my 81st birthday. Thanks for the correction.
Rick... I agree about nuclear. One thing I don't like about fields of wind turbines is that they shred migrating flocks of birds. Another drawback is that they only produce electricity when the wind blows. Just like solar panels only produce electricity when the sun shines, no matter how much the renewable energy people pout about it. Even in Texas, the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow all the time.
Water power is more dependable, since it produces energy whether it's sunny or cloudy, day or night. But we are not a nation of great waterfalls and raging rivers, except occasionally like in springtime in North Dakota. Geothermal is great if you live in New Zealand or Scandinavia. But we don't. So, as you say, nuclear-powered power plants are a neat, efficient and safe solution. If the politicians keep trying to shut down domestic drilling for oil and gas both onshore and offshore. And if Bambi Obama carries out his campaign promise to bankrupt the coal industry.
From Environmental Effects of Wind-Energy Projects.
QUOTE Having said the above, we provide here estimates summarized by Erickson et al. (2005) and estimates reported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS 2002a). Those sources emphasize the uncertainty in the estimates, but the numbers are so large that they are not obscured even by the uncertainty. Collisions with buildings kill 97 to 976 million birds annually; collisions with high-tension lines kill at least 130 million birds, perhaps more than 1 billion; collisions with communications towers kill between 4 and 5 million based on “conservative estimates,” but could be as high as 50 million; cars may kill 80 million birds per year; and collisions with wind turbines killed an estimated 20,000 to 37,000 birds.Some useful information.
2003, with all but 9,200 of those deaths occurring in California. Toxic chemicals, including pesticides, kill more than 72 million birds each year, while domestic cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of songbirds and other species each year. Erickson et al. (2005) estimate that total cumulative bird mortality in the United States “may easily approach 1 billion birds per year.”
Clearly, bird deaths caused by wind turbines are a minute fraction of the total anthropogenic bird deaths—less than 0.003% in 2003 based on the estimates of Erickson et al. (2005). However, the committee re-emphasizes the importance of local and temporal factors in evaluating the effects of wind turbines on bird populations, including a consideration of local geography, seasonal bird abundances, and the species at risk. In addition, it is necessary to consider the possible cumulative bird deaths that can be expected if the use of wind energy increases according to recent projections.: