SEARCH BLOG: GLOBAL WARMING
First, I love Costco. My wife spends a fortune there. Great merchandise; great prices. So, I was more than a little peeved when the latest issue of The Costco Connection magazine showed up with this cover:
Mr. Gore, in my opinion, is probably the greatest snake oil salesman of all time and the fortune he has amassed since leaving office is a testament to his silver-tongued spiel and the gullibility of his followers. This flim-flam wouldn't be so offensive if his personal life style was consistent with his message. But, as reported in News Busters...
In 2007, to a sensational reception the TCPR noted that the Gore family burned through energy at an amazing rate saying, "Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh -- guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359."Then he pushes his own investments in second-rate energy production while bad-mouthing the sources that actually work:
His statement that wind-generated electricity is competitive as a mainstream source is wrong on several counts. First, the percent of electricity generated from wind-power is minimal.
Wind-generated power is a portion of the 3.7% comprise of so-called renewables.
Year-to-date, coal-fired plants contributed 44.7 percent of the Nation’s electric power. Nuclear plants contributed 20.6 percent, while 22.3 percent was generated at natural gas-fired plants. Of the 1.1 percent generated by petroleum-fired plants, petroleum liquids represented 0.7 percent, with the remainder from petroleum coke. Conventional hydroelectric power provided 7.4 percent of the total, while other renewables (biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind) and other miscellaneous energy sources generated the remaining 3.7 percent of electric power (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Net Generation Shares by Energy Source:
Total (All Sectors), Year-to-Date through July, 2009
Secondly, what Mr. Gore conveniently neglects to mention are the significant government subsidies to get the generators purchased and installed, without which the generators would have lifetime negative payback.
Thirdly, he fails to mention the pesky fact that due to the erratic power generation of these windmills, the more traditional power plants must always be kept running to provide power to homes and businesses... and to keep the rotors of the windmills turning to prevent their shutdown [see "parasitic loads" page 3].
Meanwhile, Mr. Gore questions the viability of nuclear power which makes up fully 1/5 of the generated electricity in the U.S. and is expanding worldwide as an emissions-free source of power. Perhaps Mr. Gore should go to France and discuss his opinions with the French people and government. Certainly, the new generation of nuclear power plants will be better than the older one... most technology improves with time, but I'll take the reliability and environmental preservation of nuclear plants over the mess that wind generators are making... including killing birds and causing problems with many humans from the strobe effects.
Oh, and then there is that little problem of hooking up this wind turbine farms to the power grid.... And then there is the issue of "green jobs."
It seems the power of the windmill is more the power of a windbag.
Costco should stick to its formula for merchandising success and stay out of the quack science of politicians.