• Just the facts
    January 19,2013
     

    Just the facts

    There he goes again. Paul Burns, director of VPIRG, recently implied that industrial wind turbines can replace base load power plants. He and Chris (“dirty coal”) Kilian, frontman for the Conservation Law Foundation, are routinely disingenuous in their assertions about wind.

    Nowhere on this planet has wind eliminated nuclear or fossil power plants. Yet they repeat the implication constantly in much the same way that corporations sell products or right-wing focus groups disinform.

    With the entry of a number of state senators and Vermont Electric Co-op into the discussion, one would expect a more reasoned discussion based on factual data. For the Legislature to get it right, it need only ask one question of the corporate wind advocates, “Where is your evidence?” They have none. VPIRG forgot to do the research.

    This is their typical argument: Global warming is at hand; carbon dioxide from human activity is the culprit; we must decrease carbon dioxide; therefore we must invest billions in corporate wind energy.

    While the premises are supported by science, the conclusion of that argument requires a leap of faith. There simply are no conclusive, measured data that support that claim. CLF’s “expert testimony” for the Lowell Public Service Board hearings used that argument with no data, none, nothing. And the Public Service Board swallowed it whole. Crucial scientific discovery was reduced to philosophical (political) posturing.

    This conversation is not a question on global warming, it is a question of the efficacy of wind turbines in reducing carbon dioxide. The advocates strive to distract the public with anxiety and fear, while the realists are suggesting a rational, local approach. For instance, using our scarce resources to insulate Vermont homes instead of gifting foreign-owned wind corporations would not only be more effective at reducing carbon but would produce jobs and retain capital and revenue in the state economy. It doesn’t get any simpler.

    Wind advocates treat this discussion as if it were religion and we, the blasphemers. Instead of producing evidence, Burns, Shumlin, et al. resort to vilifying the blasphemers as “NIMBYs,” “zealots,” “cavemen,” “woodchucks,” “losers.”

    If we allow them to direct the debate with invective, we will equal the North Carolina Legislature in ignorance when it tried to legislate global warming out of existence. How about sticking with reality, boys? I’m suggesting a new mantra for the Legislature, “Just the facts, please.”

    Peter Romans

    Greensboro

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