Wind Farms and Ice Ages

I am not an avid greenie, nor particularly knowledgeable on the subject but I am surprisingly environmentally friendly. I am unsure about global warming in that we have had the Medieval Warm Period and the subsequent Little Ice Age. Also I am unclear how the proper Ice Ages fit in or the suggestions that during the time of the dinosaurs the earth was much warmer. The whole thing may be cyclical and much more complex than we imagine. I also just remember the panic about a new ice age in the late 1970s (though the enclosed link seems to rubbish the theory: there is an excellent conspiracy theory loony typed report in favour of it here). However, things like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth are a bit worrying. Of course as a fundamentalist I could fall back on Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Some fundamentalists (mainly American) seem to think that destroying the world would be great as that would bring on the rapture. However, disappointed as I am to spoil any illusions some may have of me; I do not regard this as an acceptable reason to have no interest in the environment and am more into the concept of us being stewards of creation eg Genesis 2:15 “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

As such I am quite into green things (this is helped by my pathological meanness). We have all economy bulbs, I used to cycle everywhere when I worked in Belfast, and I will not use the car to go to local shops: stuff like that. Elenwe would like new expensive cars but a combination of greenness, laziness, poverty and meanness keeps such evils away. So although I would not like to admit it I am actually a bit green (in an orange kind of a way). Unfortunately sometimes green things seem mutually exclusive.

The row about wind farms in Scotland is an extremely interesting case in point. I have been to Lewis and it is a very nice place (though it makes Fermanagh look dry and the North Coast windless). A wind farm there would harness lots of most useful environmentally friendly energy. However, it would spoil a beautiful wilderness and bird sanctuary and the locals (excellent Calvinists in the main) appear mixed in their opinions with the majority of the council in favour but also a great many objections,a substantial number of which are from locals. This debate is typical of the dilemmas which are faced in environmental issues at least to those of us who are non experts and we could have our own version if the plan to have a wind farm off the North Coast ever resurfaces. What do other proper environmental types (as opposed to fundamentalist TUVish green types) think?

  • Pete Baker
  • Turgon

    Pete,
    I am inclined to largely agree. Nuclear power seems in reality unrelated to When the Wind Blows

  • Pete Baker

    Yes Turgon,

    But it’s not unrelated to a discussion on sources of power and the environment.

  • Turgon

    Sorry Pete you misunderstand; I meant no ill by that, I agree 100% with you. What I meant was that indeed a combination of stuff like wind power and nuclear is the way forward as well as traditional fuels.

    I meant to point out the foolishness of environmentalists attacking nuclear all the time because of some specious association with nuclear bombs, hence the link.

    One thing I always notice is that in actual fact nuclear power stations are often pretty remote locations and do not adversely affect the environment. The nuclear power station at Transwenyd (spelt wrong I am sure) in North Wales is a good example.

    It is too late for me to post in a logical fashion, I am off to bed.

    Regards

  • joeCanuck

    I would use the same argument with the deniers that you might use with an athiest, Turgon.
    If you’re right, so what; but if you’re wrong…..

  • Pete Baker

    It is late, Turgon, and I’m being a bit abrupt in my comments. My apologies.

    “What I meant was that indeed a combination of stuff like wind power and nuclear is the way forward as well as traditional fuels.”

    I do understand, and agree, with that view-point.

    My criticism is that it was not reflected in the original post.

  • pauljames

    Always the apologist Turgon, but then lets play quotation tennis with Genesis 1:28 “God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” A verse which fundamentalists have used for centuries to justify their abuse of our environment. This has reached its apogee in the rise of Dominionism which seeks to impose Christian nationalism in America. For a wake up call read Chris Hedges “American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America.”

  • Danny O’Connor

    Better safe than sorry?Nuclear is not safe.

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve worked in Nuclear Power for 25 years, Danny. It’s incredibly safe.

  • Wilde Rover

    “there is an excellent conspiracy theory loony typed report”

    “Of course as a fundamentalist I could fall back on Genesis 8:22”

    Oh sweet irony, you make battling through the day worth it.

    As for that report, poor Prince Philip. He really is just misunderstood.

    “If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”

    Prince Philip

    “Overpopulation: Just Enough Of Me, Too Many Of You,”

    P.J. O’Rourke

  • Steaming

    Turgon: two points that might help with your scepticism. First, reported warm periods and little ice ages in northern Europe are not global warming or cooling. There is some evidence that there were similar periods of warming and cooling in the southern hemisphere but they don’t coincide with the periods in the northern hemisphere.

    Second, we’re experiencing a period of global warming that has already brought global average temperatures higher than at any point certainly in several tens of thousands of years or even perhaps in several hundreds of thousands of years. So, we’re already way beyond any cycle of warming and cooling along the lines you describe it.

    On dinasours and ice ages close to the poles, again, northern Europe is not the world. Lots of the planet has been ice-free during ice ages.

    The New Scientist magazine reviews the primary evidence refuting the myths you mention as well as many others here.

    In order to not believe the scientific evidence at this stage, you pretty much have to believe that there is a (for some reason) conspiracy of lies involving 99% of the scientific community on the issue. All relevant areas of scientific research have – from their various perspectives – arrived at the same conclusion at this stage. The problem exists.

  • willowfield

    The problem exists.

    Indeed, but even if you don’t believe it, we’re running out of fossil fuels anyway which means we need to cut back and to develop alternative sources of energy – and do it soon otherwise we’re heading to economic disaster.

    Turgon – it is my impression that many fundamentalists (including the “pastors”) are quite conspicuous about their wealth – driving huge cars and living in large houses, etc. Is it the case that they believe that their wealth is God-given as a reward for their holiness?

  • Turgon, you may be pleased to know that

    TURGON ELENWE is an anagram of NEW GREEN LOUT 🙂

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Steaming: “Second, we’re experiencing a period of global warming that has already brought global average temperatures higher than at any point certainly in several tens of thousands of years or even perhaps in several hundreds of thousands of years.”

    And this conclusion is based upon precisely what, Steaming? The actual records are good for a bare century or two, with the rest being something on the order of a WAG, unless, of course, you can tell me what the temperature was 20,000 years ago from last Tuesday.

    I also find it interesting that Mars and Jupiter are having a period warming, despite the utter lack of SUV’s, factories and, y’know, a population…

    As for the current collection of chicken-littles, the inverse arguments were being made some fourty years ago (wheezes about the icing over of the almost clear NW passage then, as opposed to the current reverse — wheezing about the clearing of the formerly iced-over NW Passage now). Likewise, the loudest political opposition to continued fossil fuel usage are the same collection of yahoos who block cleaner alternatives — the Kennedy clan and the Cape Cod wind farm, f’r’instance — those damned wind-turbines might block their yachting lanes. Likewise, the Greenies, if taken en masse, don’t like *any* energy alternatives — wind-power changing the behavior of / harm the birdies, atomic power is too dangerous, bio-mass is actually worse and cuts into food supplies, etc.

    Steaming: “In order to not believe the scientific evidence at this stage, you pretty much have to believe that there is a (for some reason) conspiracy of lies involving 99% of the scientific community on the issue.”

    Actually, there is a consensus of ~90% of scientists, which, definitionally, means it is not yet science. Likewise, I seem to recall that the “conventional wisdom” in the scientific world does not always have the best track-record.

    Lastly, even if we agree that the globe is warming, that does nothing to confirm that this change is the result of man-made contributions, which are a kopek’s worth, compared to such natural sources as volcanoes.

  • aquifer

    Nuclear is too dear, even when it is not dangerous for ever.

    Carbon Dioxide is a climate changing gas in the lab. Releasing megatonnes of it into the atmosphere may be a big bad hairy arsed experiment, but it is still an experiment.

    We have loads of wind, why wouldn’t we use it?

  • joeCanuck

    For starters, Aquifier, wind power costs 10x the cost of producing electricity from nuclear. So much for nuclear being too dear.
    Then there’s the inconvenient fact that the wind only blows continually in places like sluggerland.
    Did I mention that people want the windmills to be in someone else’s backyard?