"Tilting at windmills: When life makes you lemonade, Kate Galbraith and the NY Times give you lemons"
“Convoys of turbine parts for windmills slow traffic and attract attention in coastal towns like Searsport, Me., on their way to western Maine” — the caption from the absurd NYT piece, “Slow, Costly and Often Dangerous Road to Wind Power.”
So here’s the news.
- We’re now the #1 producer of wind power in the world.
- Wind power is one of the few sectors of the economy still generating new construction and new jobs in this deep recession.
- Even better, a growing fraction of wind manufacturing is taking place in this country.
The NYT, however, manages to find nothing but lemons in clean energy, while making the tastiest lemonade out of the dirtiest of fossil fuels:
- Back in October, reporter Clifford Krauss wrote an essentially wrong-headed and one-sided story, “Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds” (see “Global recession? Must be time for the media’s alternative-energy backlash.”
- Then, in November, Jad Mouawad wrote a staggeringly one-sided pro-oil piece with minimal discussion of oil’s myriad negative impacts — the word “spill” never appears. It actually quoted one expert whining that ExxonMobil is “the most misunderstood company in the world” (see NYT suckered by ExxonMobil in puff piece titled “Green is for Sissies”).
- Then, in March, Matt Wald blows the “Alternative and Renewable Energy” story, quotes only industry sources, ignores efficiency and huge cost of inaction.
Finally we have Kate Galbraith’s piece, which basically contradicts Krauss’s story and which in any other newspaper would be the lamest story they ever wrote on clean energy.
If the NYT‘s coverage of energy hadn’t been so atrociously one-sided, this story of the travails of getting huge wind turbines trucked through small towns would be an interesting sidebar to the real story of the explosive growth in domestic manufacturing of wind turbine parts.
So let me ignore most of her story and excerpt the real news:
As demand for clean energy grows….
Last year 24 states opened, expanded or announced turbine manufacturing plants, according to the American Wind Energy Association. By value, about half of turbine parts are now manufactured in the United States, said Mr. Dunlop of the wind association….
The vast majority of turbine parts travel by truck, but in Texas and elsewhere, some wind companies are looking to move more turbine parts by train to save money. General Electric, a big turbine maker, says rail transport can be up to 50 percent cheaper over long distances, and the rail company Union Pacific saw its wind-related shipments more than double last year.
So as we ship less coal by train, we can ship more turbine blades. How is that for a win-win?
As the NYT desperately searches for any bad news it can publish about clean energy, perhaps it’s time for them to change their motto from “all the news that’s fit to print” to “every silver lining has a cloud.”