The irony of the February 17, 2021 Bitterroot Star front page article “Valley group working for cleaner energy” was not lost on me. While Texas was suffering through severe cold caused by nature and power deficiencies caused by the increasing government mandated and subsidized reliance on “clean energy”, people died. This, by chance, was the week that the Bitterroot Star happened to publish the fact that there is a self-proclaimed “local” group pushing for Montana to adopt these same deadly technologies to supply our power. Due to my previous experience with “local groups”, I am naturally suspicious of exactly how local their funding and organizers truly are.
I am not a paid advocate of any kind. Nor am I a self-proclaimed expert on energy production. I am simply a critical thinker who pays attention to what is happening around me. Here are a few facts that have stuck in my head after confirming what I had heard on various news reports and the like:
Wind turbine blades last between 10 to 20 years. Anyone that has witnessed these monsters rolling down the highway on their way to wherever should be concerned about this. My reason for concern was when I confirmed their construction; FIBERGLASS. Fiberglass does not decompose. While I am aware of the concerns by some about the landmass being dedicated to wind farms, I hear nothing about the landmass that will need to be dedicated to store 100% of these huge blades that require replacement at least every 20 years! Ironic!
Solar Panels, even the best and most expensive ones, have a similar life span, 10 to 20 years. Of course, the most expensive ones are not the most purchased or deployed ones for obvious reasons. The cheaper the panel, the shorter the life. Where do expired solar panels end up? Yep, same place as the turbine blades, BUT solar panels are not made up of just fiberglass. Most of these panels contain one of the most potent greenhouse gas in existence, sulphur hexafluoride, as well as carcinogenic chemicals like cadmium, lead and cadmium VI, along with rare-earth minerals. Ironic!
We as concerned citizens, lovers of nature and respecters of wildlife, have allowed for riparian zones and migration corridors for our feathered and four-footed friends. It has been highly documented, though subsequently buried, that some of the most devastating impacts of “wind farms” is on these highly treasured resources. In areas where birds-of-prey are prevalent, deaths caused by the spinning blades are at species devastating numbers. In addition, historic and critical migration routes of everything from bear, antelope, elk to bison have been documented to be interrupted by wind farms. The why is being studied, but the leading hypotheses are (or I should say were) A) The constant, monotonous motion or B) The inaudible to humans, high and low pitched hums emitted by these huge monstrosities. These studies, in spite of documenting more devastating impacts of wildlife than any other human activity, have been defunded. Effectively ending all further research into the full impact on wildlife by this “clean energy”. Ironic!
Then there’s the batteries. Yes batteries are required to “store the energy created in the few hours when wind and solar are capable of production”. These batteries are not as simple as your car battery, and are much more toxic. These batteries are HUGE containers of concentrated rare earth minerals and a wide variety of deadly toxins. The contents of the energy storage units are most often mined in open pit mines, by forced labor, in countries who are exempt of environmental restrictions that would prohibit such mines here in the United States. Ironic!
Countries that do allow these mines are also the main producers of the innards of the generators powered by the wind-turbine blades along with the vast majority of the solar panels sold in the U.S. Not coincidentally, these same countries are excited to “assist” the U.S. in achieving the goal of “Green Energy”. So much so, in fact, that the Chinese Communist Government has recently purchased TENS OF THOUSANDS of acres in Texas alone to facilitate the installation of Chinese made “GREEN” products they are more than happy to provide at a cost. Ironic!
The power grid is NOT like your extension cord. With an extension cord, you plug it in when you need it and unplug it when you’re done. In order for the grid to supply your extension cord when you need it, that power must be balanced between supply and demand. Technology has been developed to provide a cushion, if you will, within this balance to compensate for peak demand periods. In the case of Texas, when the engineers were designing this “balance” they made the mistake of attributing too much reliability upon their solar and wind supplies. When these resources failed, a fatal flaw in the overall design was exposed. The same has happened too frequently in California (rolling blackouts). The flaw is this: While solar and wind are viable, they are NOT reliable. Therefore, the capacity of the ENTIRE grid MUST BE backed up by reliable sources of traditional power such as coal, hydro, nuclear and natural gas. You may have heard, but probably not, that Texas narrowly avoided a MONTHS LONG CATASTROPHIC grid failure due to the lack in the ability to provide 100% backup power for their grid. You see, when the balance in the grid is compromised, the first thing to fail are the substations. Currently, the transformers and capacitors deployed in U.S. substations are all manufactured in specialized factories overseas. These factories build on an as-ordered basis. Lead times for items are months long. Minor issues? What if it was one of your loved ones who died during this power fiasco because their dialysis machine lost power? Not just ironic!
These are just a few of the Ironies I have documented and confirmed concerning this new “local” push for so-called “Clean Energy”. If you think this is just a minor glitch in the bridge we must cross to become self-reliant and energy independent, I must remind you that until January 20th, 2021 the United States was 100% energy independent for the first time in our history. It may also be a good time to point out that multiple Natural Gas deposits have recently been documented inside of our borders, where each deposit is large enough to supply all our needs, even at record setting economic growth, for over 300 years. I find this Golden Calf of “Clean Energy” whose primary goal is to reduce greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide which we all exhale and every plant on earth requires to survive nothing less than IRONIC!