Wind power generation has been talked about for a longtime in Michigan and over the past several years Michigan’s wind power capacity has been growing. Environmental groups across the state tout wind power as a clean and efficient form of alternative energy while advocates claim that the potential for wind energy is such that it could meet the state’s power needs. Over the past few years, there’s been discussion of wind farms on Lake Michigan, the construction of new wind farms (with at least 288 total turbines), and ongoing plans for more.
Wind power is viewed favorably by many—backers claim it creates jobs, creates “clean” electricity, will help reduce consumption of “dirty” fuels, and is essentially harmless. However, as with most technological fixes touted by “green energy” advocates and those seeking technological solutions to delay the climate crisis, such techno-fixes will not stop climate change. It’s just another false solution that attempts to allow us to continue living high-consumption lifestyles based on a system of violence. As long as we remained committed to an industrial production dependent on the devastation of the Earth, we’ll continue on our present course.
In recent months, there have been a series of new studies outlining why wind power is a sham. Summaries from the group Root Force report:
- A study published in Nature Climate Change in September found that although hypothetically there is enough power in the earth’s winds to sustain current levels of energy consumption, in practice you could never harvest enough energy from wind to affect the climate.
- Another study, published in Nature last month, found that wind farms being constructed in Scotland actually lead to a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions because they destroy peat that traps carbon.
- A study published last month in the journal Environmental Research Letters conducted a further analysis on the effects of wind turbine drag and found that as the numbers of farms increase, they slow the speed of wind patterns thereby reducing power generation potential.
- Another study has just concluded that large wind turbines constructed offshore may snap like matches when hit by medium-size waves.
Hopefully, opposition to wind power in Michigan will grow beyond what it’s been thus far—mainly discussions of property values and aesthetics—and towards a more comprehensive critique.