Newbusters jumps the shark (if that’s possible) in its attack on my truthful statement “windpower now generates more jobs in this country than coal mining.”

So I had this debate with a former Swift Boat smearer you may have heard about (see here).  And I uttered the truthful statement thatwindpower now generates more jobs in this country than coal mining.”

The popular right-wing disinformation website (yes, I know, that is redundant) Newsbusters, devoted a post to attacking me for making that statement.  But the statement is true — indeed, the source that first publicized this was business-friendly Fortune magazine, “Wind jobs outstrip coal mining.”

Now conservatives don’t like this accurate talking point or any talk of green jobs at all (see “Mything in action: Why conservatives hate green jobs“), since every card-carrying conservative knows the only way to create jobs is to cut taxes for the wealthiest 1% of Americans. That’s why they are trying to shout it down, and that’s why I am writing this post.

Newbusters could not and did not dispute the truthful claim, but only assert that they don’t like the talking point:

Now, in fairness, Romm only mentioned coal “mining.” However, even this analogy is flawed:

Note to Newsbusters:  I wasn’t making an “analogy.”  I was making a simple statement of fact.  I didn’t say the coal “industry,” as you note.  But you then go on to quote the Christian Science Monitor blog that does not argue the statement I made was flawed.  Did you even read the piece you cited?  It was critical of Fortune for using “coal industry” rather than “coal mining.”  When Fortune crossed out “industry” and wrote in “mining,” it reported that Fortune had “corrected its story.”  In your effort to refute me, you actually quoted from a source that backs me up!  Doh!

The statement is correct.  Progressives should also know that the comparison is a fair one.  Here’s why:

Coal mining is the iconic fossil fuel industry job.  Many people have a mistaken notion that there are an enormous number of coal mining jobs that might be lost because of action on clean energy and climate.  Many people also have a mistaken notion that renewables have too little market penetration to generate many jobs.  The statement corrects both of those misimpressions in one fell swoop.

Second, action on clean energy, which is what was being debated at that point, will dramatically boost jobs in windpower, but have far less of an impact on the jobs of “those who work in coal power plants.”

Why?  Because the lowest-cost strategy in the near-term and mid-term for any coal power plant faced with a requirement to reduce emissions is simply to start burning biomass — partly (i.e. cofiring) or entirely.  That’s why many major coal utilities are already doing this (see “If Obama stops dirty coal, as he must, what will replace it? Part 2: An intro to biomass cofiring” and “Southern Company embraces the only practical and affordable way to ‘capture’ emissions at a coal plant today “” run it on biomass” and the recent news story “FirstEnergy planning switch to biomass fuel at plant“).  Another key job-preserving strategy in the near- and mid-term is converting the coal plant to run on natural gas.  In the longer term, if coal with carbon capture and storage proves practical and affordable, then coal plants can keep burning coal — ideally with biomass.

So yes “windpower now generates more jobs in this country than coal mining” is a perfectly reasonable point to make and progressives should say so as long as it remains true.  Be sure not to say coal “industry.”

Now since Newbusters did not disprove my factual statement, seemed to concede I had spoken accurately, but then bizarrely and irrelevantly claimed it was a flawed analogy while citing a source that said the statement was correct, I had the following exchange with one commenter on CP (reprinted from Newsbusters with their odd commentary):

*****Update: Want to see the level of Romm’s delusion and how separated from reality he is? This was posted at Climate Progress Friday:

JohninOregon Says:
April 3rd, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Hey, Joe, you’re being dissed over at NewsBusters by Noel Sheppard, one of the most disgusting members of the denier pack: blogs/ noel-sheppard/ 2009/ 04/ 03/ global-warming-debate-morano-vs-climateprogresss-romm

Go get ’em.

[JR: I’m not sure it is worth the effort. Note that Newsbusters pretty much admits that what I was said was true — since, of course it was.]

Hey Joe: Why don’t you identify exactly WHERE I said anything you uttered on Wednesday was true?

Astounding. Absolutely astounding.

Even odder, at the top of the Newsbusters post, the author writes “Romm hysterically responds to NewsBusters.

How could anyone possibly describe these words of mine — “I’m not sure it is worth the effort. Note that Newsbusters pretty much admits that what I was said was true — since, of course it was.” — as hysterical?

Newsbusters does not even appear to have a basic grasp of the meaning of relatively common words.  They clearly don’t know what an “analogy” is.  And they clearly don’t know what “hysterically” means.

Just to spell this out for Newsbusters once again, they wrote:

Now, in fairness, Romm only mentioned coal “mining.” However, even this analogy is flawed:

I say that “pretty much admits that what I said was true” but tries in a verbally mangled way to suggest the truthful statement is somehow inappropriate by citing a source that doesn’t agree with them but does agree with me.

Finally, just for the record, in a second post on me — I’m starting to get to them — they oddly assert:

Romm continually stated that Morano was making stuff up, but didn’t explain to the audience what, and didn’t back up his assertions with demonstrable facts.

Instead, Romm continued to repeat the same non sequitur, and never once explained why Morano was wrong.

Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, you can waste your time watching the debate and see how erroneous that claim was.  In the first half, I quoted from a scientist who emailed me that the Swift Boat smearer had misstated the conclusions of her study — i.e. made up stuff, in this case that the study showed the sun was the big contributor to recent warming when the study showed the exact reverse (see Scientist: “Our conclusions were misinterpreted” by Morano, CO2 “” but not the sun “” “is significantly correlated” with temperature since 1850).  Early in the second half (here), which I know Newbusters watched since it is where the wind jobs quotes comes from, I explain that the Swift Boat smearer’s claim that Inhofe supports clean technology is made up (for the underlying facts behind my assertion, see “The greenwasher from Arizona has a record as dirty as the denier from Oklahoma“).

So yes, both the Swift Boat smearer and Newbusters make stuff up.  I know you’re shocked.

And how sweet is it that Newbusters quoted my line “Swift boat smearer Marc Morano, former denier-in-chief (DIC) for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OIL)”?

If I were Newsbusters, I suppose I could now assert:

Leading conservative website labels Marc Morano a “Swift boat smearer” and a DIC!

That’s accurate by Newbuster standards, no?

64 Responses to Newbusters jumps the shark (if that’s possible) in its attack on my truthful statement “windpower now generates more jobs in this country than coal mining.”

  1. Jason says:

    The best part of this whole “wind employs more people” joke is that the most efficient form of energy on the planet (ostensibly) takes over 85,000 people to produce less than 1% of our total electricity supply.

    At the same time (comparing apples to apples), the coal industry, which provides somewhere around 125,000 direct jobs produces about 49% of our electricity.

    Which is the more efficient industry?

    This argument also brings to mind something that Clinton said … something about “hamburger flippin’ jobs”.

    [JR: As it turns out, you don’t need a lot of people to blow up a mountaintop. Not sure that is something for the industry to brag about. Then, of course, there is that little nuisance called humanity’s self-destruction, not that that would bother you. But the goal is to replace unsustainable, destructive energy sources that don’t generate a lot of jobs with renewables ones that do. Only conservatives would consider that a bad thing or a joke.]

  2. paulm says:

    I guess we will have seen this…

    Were heading for 3+dC and 2dC is much worse than we thought.
    All things must be considered now.


  3. Dana says:

    Newsbusters is such a joke of a site. It’s like Sean Hannity on crack. Nobody with half a brain would frequent such a hysterical right-wing “news” site.

    I’m with you Joe – they’re not worth the effort, but I did enjoy the post about it anyway! Always fun to see the right-wing fringe get served.

  4. Gail says:

    paulm, I LOVED this snarky comment on that story at HuffPo:

    “The science department at faux news has recommended a better solution to all this and that’s for everyone to simply leave the doors to their refrigerators and freezers open for a couple of hours every day.”

  5. Chris says:

    Watch out, the SNR is about to go through the roof.

    For the deniers: angry, non-sensical rants don’t make your case any more convincing.

    Joe: Good to see some head to head confrontation. It seems to help raise the profile of these issues and inform the uninitiated of the actual science going into ghg research.

  6. DANA Z says:

    Face and all your bark-humping friends are losing the debate. AGM is a BIG FAT LIE!! All the “go green madness” is based on a myth. You are all suckers! Fat Al G. is laughing at you while on his diesel powered house boat!!! I love it!! Gotta go now, i have a real job!!

  7. bi -- IJI says:

    I’ll just mention my global warming debate flowchart.

    It’s to be expected that the wingnuts will appoint themselves as the, um, self-appointed adjudicators of any debate. That’s why God invented post-debate polls — to make these goons irrelevant.


  8. Carlin says:

    Fat Al G! Sounds like a rapper. Dana Z, if only AGM were a big fat lie I’d kiss you. Alas, it aint. Just look around you. Does this life we’re living seem sustainable? Ask yourself that the next time you’re in a car or a plane. No need to get find your opinions elsewhere. Lucky (or unlucky) for us, we’re not debating opinion. Climate Change is a fact that will be proven right or wrong very soon.

    And once the worse effects have surrounded us, where will you be Dana Z? What will you and your fellow deniers say? When the Arctic is ice-free (perhaps this summer) and the Earth’s ecosystems have collapsed, from you and your ilk I expect a very silent spring.

  9. lgcarey says:

    I won’t be going back to Newsbusters (wow, what a zoo), but I did enjoy the unintended irony of one poster’s tag line:

    “Doubling down on stupid is not a particularly good idea.”

    Hard to argue with that, although the Republicans’ current entire strategy on energy and climate change appears to be staked exactly on “Doubling down on stupid”.

  10. JohninOregon says:

    Carlin suggests that Dana Z just “look around” to see that the life we’re living is not sustainable. Unfortunately, far-right ideology survives on the ability of its adherents to selectively view reality, filtering out whatever fails to fit. Granted, that’s probably a species-wide weakness, but for the NewsBusters crowd, it’s an art form.

  11. DANA Z says:

    I Think you’ve read “Silent Spring” one too many times. In the book, Rachel Carson bemoaned the effects DDT and acid rain. Both of which have been soundly disproven. The proper use of DDT could have vitually eliminated Malaria years ago, instead we send mosquito nets and condoms(cheap, chinese- made ones now) When I look around NORTH JERSEY where i live, i see alot of beauty and nature, if you travel just a half hour out of every city in this country you will find nature is doing just fine…REALLY. THE EARTH IS NOT COMING TO AN END THIS SUMMER, THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!! FYI, IT IS THE SECOND WEEK OF APRIL AND IT IS STILL TOO CHILLY IN T HE NORTH EAST TO PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF!! Also, part of the PROBLEM is the fact that you folks don’t want to debate (SEE THE RAPPER FAT AL G.) OR THEY CAN’T WIN THE DEBATE (SEE JOE ROMM, BUSTERS BITCHED -SLAPPED HIM TOO)

  12. DANA Z says:

    OMG, You people are such idealogues, i wanna gouge my eyes out when i read this stuff. Don’t you realize this is all just an elaborate hoax to whip you into a frenzy!! To get your votes AND MOST IMPORTANTLY TO GET YOUR MONEY VIA CAP-N-TRADE!!! Climb out of the tree stands and open your eyes, YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THIS!!!

  13. Steve Bloom says:

    Go with your impulses, Dana Z.

  14. John Hollenberg says:


    I still think the deniers will try to drown the comments section with their drivel. Keep a close eye out so we don’t have to wade through the sort of crap that is posted above by Dana Z. And keep up the great work!

  15. DANA Z says:

    Hey John H,
    Come to the dark side, Me and Dick Cheney will be waiting for you w/your favorite cocktail if you’ll just drop the Kool-Aide you’ve been drinking.
    But First goto and get the facts, then go to and see whose really pulling your strings.
    see sierra club, earth first etal.
    dana z

  16. JohninOregon says:

    Dana Z. is trying to open our eyes to an “elaborate hoax.” Let’s turn to Dr. John P. Holdren, former head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to see just who Dana’s hoaxers—or hoaxees—are:

    “The leaderships of the national academies of sciences of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Russia, China, and India, among others, are on record saying that global climate change is real, caused mainly by humans, and reason for early, concerted action.

    “This is also the overwhelming majority view among the faculty members of the earth sciences departments at every first-rank university in the world.”

    Gee, that sure is some elaborate hoax, Dana. And by the way, if you ever have reason to suspect that maybe it was YOU who got snookered, come on back and let us know. We’ll understand.

  17. Brodie says:

    DANA Z, are you familiar with Nathan Poe?

  18. Brewster says:

    Too bad it’s not possible to leave one corner of the world BAU, then stuff all the deniers/delayers/trolls like Dana Z in that sector.

    They could all come back in 20 years or so and tell us what a Paradise they live in…

  19. DanaZHaHa says:

    Dana Z, what a hoot! You know how to use your caps lock key. Now run along and gouge away. They’re not doing you any good anyway.

  20. DANA Z says:

    hey john,
    Please remember that these countries have nothing but their own interests in mind, THEY WILL DO NOTHING… KYOTO WAS A EPIC FAILURE, THEY WANT THE US TO BE IN THE SAME SOCIALIST PIT THAT THEY ARE IN, TRUST ME THE GRASS IS NOT GREENER ON THEIr SIDE! They want a piece of Americas economy via the U.N.

    if nothing else it will bore you to death
    DANA Z

  21. DanaZHaHa says:

    More caps. Just doesn’t get it….

  22. DANA Z says:

    yes brodie,
    and i’m claiming poe’s law on john h & brewster, they are the parody of funamentalism.
    and as usual when leftie lib types cannot hold-up their side of an argument, they pull a john stewart or a daivid letterman and deflect the argument by making fun of the fact that I USE MY CAP LOCK TO MAKE A POINT instaed of debating facts and theory.
    DANA Z

  23. DanaZHaHa says:

    Your caps lock key doesn’t make a point. Never did. Never will. It proves the weakness in your position.

  24. J4zonian says:

    It may help those undecided, to point out that

    1. despite a massive accumulation of subsidies over the last century plus, dwarfing cumulative wind power subsidies by a factor of perhaps billions, coal energy costs roughly as much as wind energy now.
    2. despite these past subsidies and massive continuing subsidies coal mining supplies fewer jobs than wind energy, and soon (at current growth rates of wind) the entire coal industry will supply fewer jobs than wind.
    3. The fact that for each dollar of energy cost, and for each dollar of subsidy coal produces fewer jobs not only means coal is not a good investment in times of high unemployment, it means coal is more capital-intensive than wind. At times like this, when we have much labor and little capital to invest, wind fits our economic needs and coal doesn’t. That’s 2 strikes against coal and we haven’t even mentioned the important one.
    4. The fact that coal use is destroying civilization and the biosphere, while wind will not, means they’re 2 different products. The exact cost of each is irrelevant, as the cost difference between a used Yugo and a new Bentley is unimportant to those who can afford either. We are a fabulously wealthy society; like the Bentley buyer, we can afford to buy a better product. When the used Yugo and the new Bentley cost about the same, would anyone but an idiot choose the Yugo?

  25. Gail says:

    I apologize to all on behalf of New Jersey.

  26. Pangolin says:

    Wind power produces more jobs than coal mining for power that costs approximately the same. Coal mining, apart from greenhouse gas emissions, is a well known and proven source of atmospheric mercury and sulfur pollutants as wells as releases of thorium and uranium.

    This should be a no brainer. Divert every dollar of subsidy or tax break headed in coals direction to the installation of wind power and transmission line upgrades. If path A provides more jobs and less health care costs than path B and can replace path B for the same money you take path B.

    Which is why Republicans and certain zombie Democrats support “clean coal.” They have sold out.

    b.t.w.-Dana Z- “IS NOT!!” postings on a science forum just make you look like a child. Please desist.

  27. DANA Z says:

    HI Gail,
    you think our taxes in nj are too high now, just wait til cap-n-trade sends your electric bill thru the roof. It will also make all petro-chemical products sky rocket; everything you consume will be virtually cost prohibitive, say good-bye to weekends in LBI. God i hope Corzine gets the boot!

  28. Brewster says:

    “I USE MY CAP LOCK TO MAKE A POINT instaed of debating facts and theory.”
    DANA Z

    That was my impression as well…

  29. DANA Z says:

    j4zonizn IS FORGETTING ABUOT THE NIMBY (oops i used caps) situation popping up all around the country i.e. Kennedy and i believe BOXER most notably. Hey I’m for it all, what ever it takes to break free of foreign dependancy, i just despise the fact that the arguments are based on a lie.
    OH yeah…keep an eye out on that T Boone Pickens guy…what he really is after is the massive water shed in western Texas.

  30. DANA Z says:

    Brewster, don’t be so snarky…you got my point

  31. Aley says:

    OK, I’ve never posted on this site before but I love reading it and I love the generally well-informed comments. This new spate of denier posts is very irritating but I suggest to all that the most helpful thing everyone can do is IGNORE THEM! We know Joe will deal with them in due time and responding to them just encourages them (internet trolling 101). If we pretend they weren’t there they will get bored and leave soon enough. On the other hand any new readers who are well-meaning but perhaps uninformed (i.e. exactly the kind of people we should be trying to reach) will be turned off by the constant back-and-forth (regardless of who is right) and give up on this site very quickly. So let’s give ’em something worth reading instead!

    In the mean time, keep up the good work folks.

  32. Steve says:

    (regardless of who is right)

    I think that pretty well sums it up. The believers; believe, who is “right” doesn’t matter.

  33. DanaZHaHa says:

    Aley, I disagree. I think it’s high time somebody stands up for the facts. How does being silent in the face of lies supposed to make the liars stop? Future generations will scorn your silence.

  34. John Hollenberg says:

    A good place to start for readers new to the subject (aside from Joe’s generally outstanding posts) is “The Discovery of Global Warming”:

    This gives a good overview of how the problem of Global Warming was discovered.

  35. DanaZHaHa says:

    Fred, I recommend the ‘Most Popular Posts’ section near the top of this entry for the facts you seek. Lots of good pier reviewed science there. Joe’s book is excellent too.

  36. John Hollenberg says:

    > The level of discourse on this website stunningly stupid. It is a fact free zone over here.

    Yes, ever since Joe got some press on Newsbusters, there has been a lot of idiocy in the comments section. However, look at comments from a few weeks ago or longer and you will see many well-reasoned, cogent arguments about how we can best address this problem. Or, stick around for a few weeks, and when the “debaters” leave we can return to focusing on the solid science Joe presents.

  37. DanaZHaHa says:


    You talk about ‘the most recent scientific test’, the you go on to cite the long ago debunked CO2 lag? Go read Joe’s book. He’s been there, done that.

    And Joe does have a wedge with nuclear power in it. (You didn’t read that before you posted, now did you…)

  38. John Hollenberg says:


    You may have a mistaken idea about the purpose of the blog. It isn’t to debate whether global warming is occurring. You can do that elsewhere, if you like. The science is solid enough that the focus is on what to do about the problem. The National Academies of Science of multiple countries including the U.S., and the IPCC report of 2007 (likely watered down as Joe points out, since all countries have to sign off on it) all agree the problem is real, and needs to be addressed urgently. Some states (e.g., California) are starting to implement policies that will help to curb CO2 release.

    If you want the facts, read the last 6 months of posts Joe has made. That will give you a pretty good education, and many are linked to peer-reviewed articles, or to official government reports (even from the Bush administration), or to the scientific reports of well-respected researchers.

  39. Gail says:

    DanaZ, I do not think our taxes in NJ are too high. It’s a great privilege to live here, and the cost of living here reflects that.

    I also do not think that addressing climate change will be more costly than not taking steps to stop it, because it’s going to be unimaginably expensive to mitigate the disasters that will otherwise ensue.

    Further, you are wrong about our state being unaffected. Go outside and take an inventory of the shrubs and trees. Seriously. Go look at them, don’t just drive by them in your bigass Hummer on the way to watch your teevee. The vegetation is mortally damaged because it cannot adapt to warmer winters. Evergreen and coniferous trees, shrubs of all varieties, and even vines like ivy and groundcover like pachysandra either don’t go dormant or break dormancy too early – either way, they basically freeze and explode when we get a cold snap.

    Furthermore, the soil moisture content is too low for their survival. It’s warmer, and drier, and almost snow-free.

    Think what this means for our state (and others). A total ecosystem collapse. No place for birds to nest. No more peaches and apples.

    I would be happy to give you a tour and point out the evidence if you can’t find it on your own.

  40. justathot says:

    Dana Z…………………..You go girl! Come on over to NB. Your intelligence is wasted on this site.

  41. justathot says:

    Oh …….my bad! Maybe I should have said You go guy!……..Either way, I’ll be looking for you at Busters.

  42. justathot says:

    Hey Aley,
    Future generations will scorn your silence.

    Future generations? Algore’s doomsday clock only leaves us 6+yrs and the earth will be pfffffft. Better crank up the propaganda a notch there, you’re runnin out of time.

  43. doug says:

    I don’t get the obsession denialists have with Al Gore.

  44. Gail says:

    oh god, I have an enormous urge for a cigarette.

    Joe, stop the trolls, pleeze!!!!

    [JR: I’ll do what I can.]

  45. bi -- IJI says:

    Hey, didn’t I say that the wingnuts will try to appoint themselves as the adjudicators of the Romm vs. Morano debate?


  46. suckers.
    Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy.
    The liberal Democrat Teresa Heinz.
    University of California, Berkeley.
    The radical Left university.

    You got the memo!

    ‘Commie’ is so old school.

  47. jorleh says:

    Denier idiots have come, this dirty mob is here as everywhere. Homo idioticus like rats, everywhere.

    I recommend not to take any notice of these zombies.

  48. DG says:

    I know I’m late to this, but, really? (paraphrasing:) DDT could have eliminated malaria, but instead we send mosquito nets and…condoms. I mean, seriously? Dana is against the entire history of environmental action, just because it’s environmental action.

    Malaria, mutated after years of neglect into a STI.

  49. bi -- IJI says:


    Ooh, a concern troll. ‘I’m all for clean energy, but I’m going to peddle the same old bogus climate inactivist talking points so that you can see how balanced I am!’


  50. John Mashey says:

    Sandra: re: Al Gores ice data

    Please see Skeptical Science, which has a nice list of wrong arguments.

    Each has a page that explains the problem for the general audience, with references to *peer-reviewed science in good journals* and otehr pages consistent with the real science.

    The “CO2 lags temperature” meme is #11, or this web page.

    Basically, what you stated with confident certainty is simply wrong, and in fact, the effect was *predicted* in a famous 1990 paper by Lorius, Jim Hansen et al, a decade before the ice-core records confirmed it. Via Google Scholar, that paper has 142 citations (a lot!)

    I certainly wish Gore had said a few more sentences to explain this, but I sympathize with the difficulty of time limits.

    Also, consider reading several books by serious climate scientists, well-written for the general audience. My favorites (from library or about $15 apiece on Amazon, about 200 pages each):

    David Archer, “The Long Thaw”, 2008. (Archer is a carbon cycle expert).

    William Ruddiman, “Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum”, 2005.

    A coherent knowledge base, like this provide, will really help you in sorting out the nonsense that floats around. You ought to think carefully about your trust in sources that gave you this misinformation. Just our of curiosity, could you say which they were?

    Really, you do not want to be claiming that because forest fires start naturally, that no arson exists. Firefighters are familiar with both.

  51. Chris S says:

    After reading that I should “check out the science” at Icecap I went & had a look.

    What a laughable collection of cherrypicked research & ad hominem attack.

    I wonder how forward these websites will be in publicising themselves when the lawsuits start coming in?

  52. heckrulz says:

    Damn…..Noel Sheppard slams your site hard today….

    [JR: Wouldn’t call it “hard.” Maybe “lamely.”]

  53. Greg N says:

    Is there any way of excluding the boring denier trolls, but keeping the funny ones?

    Maybe a system based on the CAPS ratio per post?

  54. Robert says:

    As an aside, note that to support his claim Noel has to use definition 6 from Random House in dictionary dot com.

    However, merriam-webster shows :
    1 : a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions 2 : behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess

    A rather more acceptable, in modern day English, definition.

    Gee, all the way to 6 to find support….. that’s objective.

    NB tends to do that kind of selectivity in their documentation and support of arguments.

    Also, it is worth asking your local reference librarian about the fundamental philosophical between the various dictionaries. Sort of like asking a scientist about types of resources.

  55. Monty Miller says:

    RE: Newsbusters is such a joke of a site. It’s like Sean Hannity on crack.

    Funny coming from a guy who frequents this site…

  56. Bob Wallace says:

    Monty – I’d say that “real environmentalists” consider nuclear energy.

    Nuclear energy is better than burning fossil fuels for electricity/transportation. But it has to be weighed against other ways to solve our problems.

    At this point in time nuclear falls second to wind and solar. Nuclear is expensive, takes a long time to bring to the grid, and brings with it dangers not created by other potential solutions.

    We have limited funds and a need to reduce our fossil fuel use as rapidly as possible. Spending our money on new nuclear will get us less power in the long run and mean a delay of decades before we see significant CO2 decreases.

    (Your “by far the cleanest and safest” assertion is factually incorrect.)

  57. Monty Miller says:

    Thanks, Bob. But, many in Europe would disagree. They get cheaper and cleaner energy from nuclear than we get from coal, here. Also, nuclear energy is definitely safer for the birds. Ted Kennedy would agree with that.

    And, it is certainly safer and cleaner than coal — although clean coal technology is developing rapidly.

    How many people have died in the last 50 years because of nuclear energy disasters?

    Wind farms also take up hundreds of square miles, which can seriously alter the environment in the area.

    I’m all for wind energy as a part of the solution — in places where it is practical, but it is certainly not going to make a big difference. The disadvantages outweigh the advantages…in my humble opinion.

  58. Monty Miller says:

    Besides, nothing we do here will convince the Chinese or Indians, so it is all for not anyway. We need a big breakthrough — it’s not wind.

    Maybe, the answers lie in that giant ball of fire in the sky ??

  59. Bob Wallace says:

    Let’s see…

    Bird kills in wind farms just isn’t a problem. It was with the first big farm at Altamont, but we learned a lot of lessons there. Now the annual kill per turbine is less than one. Less than your house windows, most likely. I know kills per turbine are way lower than bird kills by my house windows.

    Clean coal, burning coal without releasing carbon into the atmosphere is not developing rapidly. It’s a very much unsolved problem.

    How many people died because of nuclear energy disasters? We could start with Chernobyl….

    India and China are installing both wind and solar at a very high rate. To think that they are lagging behind the rest of the world is to be very uninformed.

    China is becoming a very major player in the world of renewables with both manufacturing and installation. India has some big wind farms up and running. Both countries (and a lot of other Asian countries) are doing a lot more with solar water heating than we are here in the West.

    Wind farms take up very, very little land. While the overall farm area can be significant, the towers themselves have very small footprints and the area around them is still usable for crops or grazing.

    Additionally there is little to no altering of the environment by wind farms. There can be some drying of the soil underneath the turbines due to increased turbulence, but that’s about it.

    Europe gets a fair amount of its electricity from nuclear. But that power is only cheap because the plants were built before the price of building nuclear skyrocketed. If you look at what Europe is doing now for new power you will find solar and wind being installed.

    Europe is working on a plan for a unified “super grid” which will tie the continent together with North Africa. Look for a lot of solar from North Africa, wind from the upper coastal areas, and hydro storage in the north to be the big future players, not new nuclear.

    One thing you did get right – it’s that big ball of fire in the sky. The Sun gives us many more times the power we need to power our stuff. And it powers the wind which is also available at many times more than we need.

    We’re just starting to understand how to power our needs with combinations of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, biogas, tidal, and wave power with a bit of storage to back it up. More and more it looks like these are going to be the cleanest, safest and least expensive ways to power our future.

  60. bi -- IJI says:

    Guys, guys, guys. Nuclear energy is Patriotic™. That’s all you need to know.

    You see a nuclear plant, and what do you think of? Yes, the Haliaeetus leucocephalus — the national eagle of America! Wind turbines remind you of, what, some no-name village in the Netherlands?

    It’s clear. Nuclear energy wins hands down. It’s Patriotic™. If America switches to any energy source that doesn’t go KA-BOOM!!! then the terrorists will have won.


  61. Bob Wallace says:

    Thanks bi, I get it now.

    Just call me a fiscally-responsible, regulated-free market supporting, common sense-attempting, non-religious fanatic fundamental communist I suppose.

    Or I could be a fascist rather than communist. Those labels seem to be interchangeable these days in winger insult-land.

    I seem to no longer qualify to be an American.

  62. Bob Wallace says:

    Vangel, I suppose you just post without reading?

    Coal mining vs. wind.

    You had to only read the first couple of lines of this post.

    “windpower now generates more jobs in this country than coal mining.”

    Isn’t that really amazing in that coal is a huge mature industry and wind still in its infancy? Don’t you find that incredibly encouraging since it suggests that we can provide good quality jobs for thousands and thousands of Americans as we build out the industry?

    What right-thinking true American can’t get behind that?

    And please back up your “such a high cost” statement with some actual, verifiable numbers. I doesn’t smell right….

  63. James of Melbourne says:

    Dana Z

    I’m with you!

    Its like Matrix Reloaded on this site. There’s two realities. The respondents to this blog and the blogger himself have been programmed to see reality as Fat Al describes it. They’re hooked into some sort of self justifying system. They can’t see the reality of the AGW scam because they are not actually part of reality.

    Keep up the responses to the AGW bed wetters [to borrow a very apt phrase from Monckton].


    James from Melbourne

  64. bi -- IJI says:

    James of Melbourne gets his “reality” from a cheesy movie. Accidental irony?