In case anyone missed Mark Jacobson’s performance on David Letterman last month, extolling the virtues of “wind, water, solar,” it is here.
Of special note: Jacobson explaining the plans that his team at Stanford have come up with to make New York state 100-percent renewables powered. This will, Jacobson explained, require 15,000 turbines, 12,700 of them off Long Island. Mark’s an old school chum, whom I correspond with from our different sides of the climate fence from time to time. I asked him if he’d consulted with anyone in the maritime trades, or any recreational fishermen, or any biologists about the impact that almost 13,000 turbines just off Long Island might have. His answer: No.
Mark said that the bulk of in-shore New York waters would become “exclusion zones.” The impact on maritime interests would be significant. The effect on the views of the Atlantic from Long Island beaches and towns would be considerable as well.
I’ll go out on a limb and guess that no group of impacted animals will understand these zones up to the moment that they fly or swim into them at their peril. Mark is clearly sincere in his insistence that converting the entire U.S. economy to green power will not generate higher energy bills for anyone. This is surprising, because he’s pretty good at math. It’s particularly surprising, given the skyrocketing energy bills in the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, and Germany, all countries that have ramped up wind and solar power production in the last decade.
New York’s 15,000 turbines are just a tiny piece of a “50-state plan” under development at Stanford.
I asked Mark as well whether he could envision Stanford itself becoming an exemplar of sustainability to the 100-percent level with wind and solar, owning as it does thousands of acres of foothills running up to Skyline Boulevard in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Stanford campus. His answer was that Stanford was not well-situated to harvest wind.
Premature conversion to renewables is killing people already, due to the increased prices that it carries, and cold-weather mortality. That animals are heavily impacted by wind and solar only makes the entire enterprise that much more of a grave mistake.