Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wind follies

  • Wind isn’t an energy solution, it’s a visual placebo to make hippies feel better about themselves. 
This was such a delightful quote that I had to post both it and the original comment which points out that during the current cold snap in the UK the existing wind turbines had to be heated to prevent them from seizing: not only did the windmills not contribute any power, they drew power during the peak cold period.

The continued failing of wind power in every jurisdiction should be sufficient for any sane policy analyst to reject the imposition (sorry, progressive introduction) of feed in tariffs to subsidize such "green" energy follies elsewhere. Sadly the high price of wind and solar is still being foisted onto the public by governments caught in their thrall to an ideology that is neither progressive, green nor sustainable.

If we accept as a policy constraint that the future is indeed difficult to forecast, we should at least also accept experience and observed data as a basis for the revision of policy and as a corollary to assertive claims of dystopian certainty.

Furthermore, the science is rarely definitive and always subservient to the ideology:

  • ...climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy-based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models. (Here and here)

We should also pay more attention to where and from whom, such dystopian claims originate.  For every stupid idea, there usually is a stupid, vain and privileged proponent. And, often, they are published. 

Moreover, we should also be wary of the assertive authority that peer review is used to invoke:
  • If peer review is to be thought of primarily as a quality assurance method, then sadly we have lots of evidence of its failures.
  • We have little or no evidence that peer review 'works,' but we have lots of evidence of its downside.

We get the government we elect. And governments embrace policy options they consider the public will condone.  
  • Stupid is as stupid does. Forrest Gump

  • People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. Kierkegaard