Is Green Energy Bad for the Environment?
Two recent and largely ignored news stores are raising the prospect that so called “green energy” might actually be bad for the environment. To make matters worse policy makers seem to be ignoring the important conclusions these articles point to when they discuss alternatives to windmills and solar such as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR).
Both wind mills and some solar energy projects kill large numbers of birds including some endangered species such as eagles, the well-respected American publication High Country News reported. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System which uses mirrors to heat water to run an electric turbine in California’s Mohave Desert literally burned up hundreds of birds.
The birds seeing reflections from the mirrors at the solar plant flew down to them and got fried by concentrated beams of heat or solar flux generated by the mirrors. The birds were flying down to the mirrors because they mistook the reflections for water.
The worst part of Ivanpah which uses 1950s technology is its cost. The United States Department of Energy gave the company $1.6 billion in construction loans backed by the taxpayers’ dollars. Just imagine what Andrea Rossi, Brillouin or hot fusion researchers such as MIT’s Dennis Whyte could do with $1.6 billion and they would not kill any birds. To make matters worse, Alphabet, the company formerly known as Google; invested $168 million in the project probably to get a tax write off.
Wind turbines kill even more birds and bats to boot. In fact, wind power kills so many birds that experts disagree on the numbers, most researchers place the death toll at 1.5 million birds and bats. An environmental group called Save the Eagles claims the real number is around 15 million birds and bats a year. Many of these birds are from endangered species.
Wind turbines could be killing so many bats that they are causing the population of the flying rodents to decline, Smithsonian magazine claimed. That could be really bad because bats eat insects and control their population. This could mean higher food prices because there will be more pests eating the crops.
Nor is it just wildlife some efforts to combat global warming by reducing green house gases could be causing sea ice to melt. Over at E-Cat World our friend Frank Acland noted that a paper published in the scientific journal Geophysical Letters claimed that reductions in sulfur dioxide one of the pollutants in fossil fuel coincided with increased melting of ice in the Arctic Sea.
If true that could be bad, because melting sea ice could raise ocean levels leading to catastrophic flooding in some coastal areas. This could create some real problems because the world is abandoning fossil fuels at a dizzying rate.
In Britain, Her Majesty’s government is planning to close all of that nation’s coal-fired power plants by 2015, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd announced. Instead Britain will rely upon natural gas, wind and nuclear power to make its electricity. That’s a major shift, because Rudd is part of a very conservative government that of David Cameron.
Obviously this is good news for alternative power sources because Britain will now have a strong incentive to invest in next generation energy solutions. One just hopes these will include LENR and hot fusion.
It is also clear that we need to rethink green energy now. Its costs and potential side effects could be far greater than we were told.