Nobody I Know Voted for Nixon

From a NY Times review of  "The Goode Family" via Tom Nelson:

But the show feels aggressively off-zeitgeist, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-'90s when it was still possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed. But who really thinks of wind power "” an allusion to which is a running visual gag in the show "” as mindless, left-wing nonsense anymore?

My apparently not reasonable and informed climate site is here.  Wind strikes me as the very embodiment of the typical leftish program -- it is very expensive, it makes people feel really good about themselves for supporting it, and it does almost nothing to achieve its stated goals.   To the latter point, wind can produce a lot of power, but it typically does little to reduce fossil fuel emissions as its unpredictability and variablity require a hot bockup that is still likely producing CO2.  As a result, the experience in the two largest wind users in the world - Germany and Denmark - is that huge investments in wind yield little or no reduction in emissions.


  1. Nobrainer:

    I've said it before in your comments, I'll say it again; I think you're seriously miscalculating the fuel required and emissions released due to wind-required backups.

  2. morganovich:

    as a long time watcher and participant in silicon valley, i can tell you with a great deal of certainty: the green bubble is deflating.

    just as the wild promises of the .coms foundered upon the rocks of needing to deliver, so is the green boom dying as a result of projects actually being implemented. it's easy to talk about how you would have made the play while sitting on the bench, but once coach puts you in, you better catch the ball.

    predictably, the NYT (among many others) who have been such green boosters will fight a strong rearguard action to try to keep the game alive, but to hear them describe themselves as a better judge of the current zeitgeist than mike judge is laughable.

    judge is getting onto a cresting wave of failure to deliver for our greenies. they had a great run making promises and claims, but failure to deliver upon them will wipe out the bubble and its place in societal consciousness, just as it did in dotcom.

    then, the models that actually work will emerge from the wreckage and go on to likely do interesting things (just as dotcom did). this is always the cycle with technology bubbles: overpromise and overfund, implode as you fail to deliver, brutal Darwinian selection, and the emergence of those models and idea that actually work.

    it will be complicated this time around by immense governmental interference in the selection process, but the cycle will occur nonetheless. it may also drive some interesting political changes as the public gets a look at what the price tags on these initiatives actually are. it's easy to be for something abstract, but when they come to you for funding, people tend to become much more selective...

  3. Evil Red Scandi:

    After reading the review, I'm not 100% sure Mr. New York Times Television Critic understood these people were being mocked.

  4. realist gun nut:

    The big problem with wind power is that the power delivered goes with the cube of the wind speed.

    Thus, if you are expecting, say 80% of the max wind speed a turbine is rated for, but it drops to half of that, eg, 40%, you are only getting around 10% of the power you need (12.5% but who is counting). However, you have to build the thing to withstand 100% of the max you plan on, and to shut down when it goes over. If you are only getting 20% of your max, your power delivered is 1/64 of what you based your calculations on.

    If you have abundant stored water or hydro, you can cover over the losses from wind power, otherwise you need to run all your other generating equipment at 10-20% over demand to allow you to bring other generating capacity on-line when wind drops its guts. During peak times you might need to run at 50% over demand.

  5. stan:

    I love the Pauline Kael reference. So appropriate. Typical unsophisticated provincial.

    I know it would just infuriate an "urbane" New Yorker to hear it, but NY liberals (along with their cousins in SF) are the most provincial thinkers in America. You will find more political diversity in a Baptist church in rural Mississippi.

  6. James H:

    "If you have abundant stored water or hydro, you can cover over the losses from wind power,"

    In the UK, they have such water storage, but it can only make up the gap for several hours. Meanwhile, they have days on end across wide regions with windspeeds too low to generate.

  7. Ask Alice:

    Wind is unreliable. Grid managers hate the hell out of wind because it makes their jobs 10 times harder. Ireland and Denmark have tried and tried and been unable to make wind dependable.

  8. James H:

    I guess that Denmark doesn't even try to use their windpower, even though they have the largest windfarm. It's too unreliable for them, so they sell the power to the Netherlands or something.