Guest “I couldn’t make this schist up if I was trying” by David Middleton
This Robert Bryce article in today’s Real Clear Energy feed is actually from last November… But it’s fracking hilarious!
Hawaii protests show why wind energy can’t save us from climate change
BY ROBERT BRYCE, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 11/13/19
Since mid-October, some 128 people on the island of Oahu have been arrested while protesting a wind energy project being built near the small village of Kahuku. The project is planned to include eight turbines standing 568 feet high. Many of the arrests occurred after protesters blocked trucks carrying equipment to the site. The protests continued on Nov. 1, when about 30 anti-wind protesters occupied the office of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell for three hours.
Of the many land-use conflicts that have erupted during the past decade over proposed renewable-energy projects, the protests at Kahuku are remarkable both for their duration and the number of people who have been arrested. To be sure, anti-wind protests such as the one at Kahuku don’t get the type of media coverage that is given to protests involving oil pipelines. In 2014, when about 400 people were arrested outside the White House for protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, the story was covered by Reuters, Washington Post, CNN, Politico and others. Opposition to “clean” energy doesn’t fit the dominant narrative and therefore doesn’t get the media attention given to anti-hydrocarbon protests.
Despite the lack of coverage, the protests at Kahuku are important for several reasons. First, the protests are happening in Hawaii, a state that has pledged to generate 100 percent of its electricity by 2045. Second, they are the latest example of the raging land-use conflicts over renewable-energy projects that are happening from Oahu to Iowa and Norway to Germany.
[T]he journal BioScience recently published a study signed by more than 11,000 scientists who warned … that to secure a “sustainable future, we must change how we live.” It also advocated population control, leaving “fossil fuels in the ground” and replacing them with “low-carbon renewables.”
But leaving those fuels in the ground will be difficult when so many people in so many places don’t want to live near projects that capture energy that’s above the ground. The refusal of all-renewable advocates to consider the cartoonish land requirements of their schemes and how those plans are affecting ordinary people in rural areas is perhaps the single biggest disconnect in the current energy debate. How cartoonish? Last year, two Harvard researchers found that meeting current U.S. electricity needs with wind would require covering a land area twice the size of California with wind turbines. That’s beyond Looney Tunes.
Last week, I talked to Choon James, a Kahuku resident who was arrested last month while protesting the wind project. The people of Kahuku have “said over and over that we don’t want these turbines,” she said. “I’m all for green energy. But environmental justice has to be a priority.”
Robert Bryce is the producer of a new documentary, “Juice: How Electricity Explains the World.” His sixth book, “A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations,” will be published in March. Follow him on Twitter @pwrhungry.
“I’m all for green energy. But environmental justice has to be a priority.”
I guess “environmental justice” must mean Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY).
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