Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Looking Behind the Curtain - Local Protests Against Wind Turbines

I've been seeing a lot of Qanonsense type material about turbine windmills in Montcalm county.
So, I looked at some of their screeds, and one particularly stood out - a 32 bullet point collection of flat-earth worthy "negative" material that ended by answering my question - Who's funding this garbage? - the use of "Citizens United" in their name doesn't help their cause, much, either.



Their website links to "material" from a "free market energy" website in case you want to catch up on the latest plops from climate change deniers, too.

This called for a road trip to Shepherd (where a fair amount of new wind turbines have been installed), just a quick pop south of Mt. Pleasant, to listen in on the "horrible noise" from the windmills and observe "all the flicker" they generate.

We were about 100 yards from one, we got out of the car, leaned in, listened, and... we heard nothing but gentle whooshing, mostly blotted out by traffic noise, passing vehicles... and likely any snowmobiles that could come through the landscape.
We also looked for stacks of dead eagles and bats. Sorry. Nothing there.

Flickering? Well, an understanding of planetary motion and some basic trigonometry would lead to the understanding that if there are any shadows, those shadows move with the rotation of the planet, and are lengthened/shortened by the angle of the sun... but that's science, and these folks cannot be bothered.

29 January, 2021, near Shepherd, Michigan

To sum up - "Citizen's United," "oil and nuclear sponsorship" and "climate change deniers" = credibility of zippo and nada to the eyes and mind of this little pharmacist.
These elegant, majestic generators are proof of being in the 21st century, and not in an era where we're fretful of TV making us blind, electricity spilling from outlets to kill us, or waltzes leading to feverish orgies. (Although I didn't see anything in the handouts about tablets, cellphones, and computer screens being a problem for vision or headaches...)

Hope the sponsors are sending checks to the folks mindlessly reposting their material - otherwise, they're just a bunch of chumps.

A FOLLOW UP CONSIDERATION FROM FEBRUARY 21:
The coal connection to the misinformation campaign can connect its dottiness to some other bits of information gleaned from the Greenville Daily News on 20 February:

Consumers' energy has gone from using 27 coal-fueled power plants in 2010 to 12 today. They plan to be coal-free by 2040. DTE is shooting for 2050 to become coal-free, but is working to accelerate the process (peer pressure among corporations, just like junior high).

Also, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is looking to drop state emissions by 28% by 2035, using 1990 as a baseline. The intent is to achieve carbon "neutrality" state-wide by 2060.

In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy the view to the future along US-127 from Ithaca to Mt. Pleasant.

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