DR. Tarbox

DR. Tarbox



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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Energy Fiasco?

Carbon Limits, Yes; Energy Subsidies, No

Wind and biofuel could become the next subprime mortgage fiasco.

Wall Street Journal

There isn't much doubt that Congress and incoming President Barack Obama will try to impose some kind of limits on carbon emissions. The Republicans, girding in opposition, are denouncing global warming as a fraud, and claiming that either a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system will impose an unacceptable burden on the economy. More....


Anonymous said...

I am in hopes that you are sending all of these opinions you are printing to Washington. Even though that is all they are is, opinion, they seem to have a great influence on some of the poor folks in Potter County who can't seem to decifer fact from opinion.

Some of us are still waiting for the actual FACTS here in Potter County, but think all the opinions should be sent on to Washington so that they can see what all of those who do not want CHANGE in the next four years are basing that on.

Wonder who searches the world wide internet all day every day and is only capable of coming up with one "opinion" to be printed as NEWS for Potter County, PA readers.

Is this journalism? We deserve more.

Bill B

Solomon's words for the wise said...

Buy a Potter Leader-Enterprise or start your own blog if you don't like our choices.

Anonymous said...

Bill B says,

"Some of us are still waiting for the actual FACTS here in Potter County"

I say:

Fact after fact is and has been presented to the people of Potter County on the problems of wind power. It seems that the disbelievers or "people that claim these facts are opinions" are never themselves able to produce any disclaiming articles proving these facts presented, wrong.
Why is this? Because they can't!
Give it your best shot, Bill B, post something that disclaims these facts.

The people of Potter County are waiting.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Solomon' words, If you want bias opinions, buy the Potter Leader.

Anonymous said...

Bill, lets start with the above article, I assume you have read it? If not I have reproduced the portion pertaining to "wind" it on the bottom of this post.

I will donate $50 to your favorite charity in Potter County (farmers are excluded) to disprove these 2 facts found in the above mentioned article.

1) Windmills generate power only about 25% of the time and can change output minute-to-minute.

2) Denmark has erected thousands of wind turbines and has not closed a single fossil-fuel plant.

"The real danger is that, instead of refunding the tax to consumers, Congress will grab the money to subsidize the current craze for specific forms of energy, particularly wind or biofuels.

Wind generation is the prime example of what can go wrong when the government decides to pick winners. The idea that it can replace significant quantities of coal or natural gas in electrical generation is a fantasy.

Windmills generate power only 25% of the time and can change output minute-to-minute. A contemporary electric grid is a highly tuned instrument that cannot vary in voltage by more than a few percentage points without causing brownouts or damaging electric equipment. Under these circumstances, wind is more of a nuisance than a source of power.

Nonetheless, wind is our fastest growing form of electrical generation, due entirely to federal and state subsidies and "renewable portfolios," in which the government tells utility companies what to build. In a few years we could find ourselves in the position of Denmark -- which has built thousands of windmills without closing a single fossil-fuel plant."

Anonymous said...

how do you dispose of those
solar panels?

Anonymous said...

Amen Brother!There's some straight forward facts people!Like I said before,without tax credits and govt. subsidies : no private industry in thier right mind would invest millions in this inefficient, un-proven, "hot-air";especially in this area where we are rated a "2" !!? I'm all for goin green!But,watch and see;it'll be the govt. and several others goin in the "RED" at your expense!How many more horror stories do ya need to read about on here? B Jones

Anonymous said...

"Buy a Potter Leader-Enterprise or start your own blog if you don't like our choices".

I enjoy the articles that are posted on this site. I am not sure why people post some of the things they do? Most people are not appreciative of services such as this one, but are the first to complain about it when something is wrong with the Blog.

Please keep up the good work and do not get discouraged by the ignorance of others.

Anonymous said...

Here's how they will be disposing of solar panels. From the US Dept of Energy.

Hope this is a good enough source to meet your "criteria of fact". But somehow I bet you will find it inadequate.

1)A life span of many many more years when compared to a turbine. up to 30 years

2 the amount of waste generated by retired modules is currently very small.

3. RECYCLE them (BTW, this will create a whole new industry ie: jobs)

Because solar modules (panels of PV cells) have useful lives of up to 30 years, the amount of waste generated by retired modules is currently very small. By about 2020, however, this growing industry will produce a growing PV waste stream. PV products are generally safe for landfills, because PV materials are usually encased in glass or plastic, and many are insoluble. Some modules, however, could be classified as hazardous waste, a situation that is prompting the PV industry to develop recycling processes for modules.

Love the BLOG...RIP Newspapers.

Anonymous said...

True, turbines may only work when the wind is blowing. But that is why they have storage so that it doesn't spike the grid. If that is your worry that too much electricity may enter the grid at one time, then how can you claim that these turbines won't produce enough electricity to be worth it? Trying to have it both ways? As for not closing any fossil fuel plants, all I can say is...DUH!! In our need and greed for power and the increasing population of our planet putting more of a stain on our electricity production, the fact that there are fewer fossil fuel plants being built is a testament to the fact that alternative electricity methods are working at least to some extent. If there were more people without the "tunnel vision" that all tubines are 100% evil and would look at the whole picture, maybe we could reach an agreement somewhere in the middle. But, alas, that will not happen in Potter County in my lifetime I'm afaid. That's too bad....

Anonymous said...

Again go to and get the facts and testimonies from real people that are living the real nightmare for a few that wanted some money in their pockets.

Anonymous said...

Common Sense stated: "True, turbines may only work when the wind is blowing. But that is why they have storage so that it doesn't spike the grid."

Do your homework before making statements like this. At the industrial level, electricity can not stored.

"The electricity grid has a complex monitoring system for predicting and maintaining its supply. Electricity must balance the rate of production with the rate of consumption at all times. A fundamental problem with supplying electricity is that electricity cannot be stored at industrial levels. Once generated, electricity must be delivered and consumed immediately. However, power sources like coal and nuclear are rarely volatile when producing their yield and produce electricity at about 75-80 percent of their rated capacities. The volatile, extremely unpredictable nature of wind resource makes its technology different from other power sources not only in degree but in kind."

To read the entire article, go to:

Anonymous said...

Another good wind-watcher group:

Sign-up for their weekly email newsletters.

Anonymous said...

my homework revealed the following sites you may want to look at..
I could go on much longer with articles that support storage for wind energy. It's not a perfect system, but nothing is. That is why it is a growing process.
I also find it curious why you didn't try to defend the other points I previously mentioned, or is it that you simply can't?

Anonymous said...


A quote from your own post

"Systems for storing wind energy created when the going is good and releasing it for use when the turbines aren’t humming are being worked on now. But to date, industry sources say that there is not one operating wind farm in the world with this ability, although energy storage systems have been in use in other branches of the energy generation business since 1978"

"Certainly, two of the hurdles to relying on wind power for producing energy are the intermittent nature of the wind itself"

"Building wind farms is expensive, and relying on them to generate either a sufficiently steady source of power for the world - or revenue for the operator - is a sketchy affair"


Remote Power – Island Grids

Small, remote power grids"

Your other arguments about spiking the grid were based on your lie or misconception that there IS storage.

"the fact that there are fewer fossil fuel plants being built is a testament to the fact that alternative electricity methods are working at least to some extent"

Common, there is no relationship between the building of plants and you assertion that alternative electricity methods "are working"

You plucked this out of thin air.

It takes a decade or more to get a plant on line due to the regulation process, federal, state & local. It is heavily regulated, unlike what appears to be the sweetheart technology of the day,wind turbines.

The pitch has always been when we get these up we will rely less on other forms of electric generation. Well, Denmark has put up THOUSANDS and they have not eliminated one fossil fuel power plant.

What happened?
Please dont tell us the population is exploding in Denmark and people are flocking there, so they have not had the chance to close them.

Then, finally out comes the tired and worn argumant known as the: Argumentum ad populum. If we all could just get together on this it would work....

This type of argument is known by several names[1], including appeal to the masses, appeal to belief, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people, argument by consensus, authority of the many, and bandwagon fallacy, and in Latin by the names argumentum ad populum ("appeal to the people"), argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number"), and consensus gentium ("agreement of the clans"). It is also the basis of a number of social phenomena, including communal reinforcement and the bandwagon effect, the spreading of various religious and anti-religious beliefs, and of the Chinese proverb "three men make a tiger".

The argumentum ad populum is a red herring and genetic fallacy. It appeals on probabilistic terms; given that 75% of a population answer A to a question where the answer is unknown, the argument states that it is reasonable to assume that the answer is indeed A. In cases where the answer can be known but is not known by a questioned entity, the appeal to majority provides a possible answer with a relatively high probability of correctness.

It is logically fallacious because the mere fact that a belief is widely held is not necessarily a guarantee that the belief is correct; if the belief of any individual can be wrong, then the belief held by multiple persons can also be wrong.

This fallacy is similar in structure to certain other fallacies that involve a confusion between the justification of a belief and its widespread acceptance by a given group of people. When an argument uses the appeal to the beliefs of a group of supposed experts, it takes on the form of an appeal to authority; if the appeal is to the beliefs of a group of respected elders or the members of one's community over a long period of time, then it takes on the form of an appeal to tradition.

One who commits this fallacy may assume that individuals commonly analyze and edit their beliefs and behaviors. This is often not the case

So getting back to your assertion that electricity can be stored, get your facts straight or properly qualify your statements in a manner that does not make you look like someone who does not know what they are talking about.

Remember, electricty cannot be stored at the industrial level, it just won't keep in those 55 gallon drums out back.......

Anonymous said...

Where are you Bill B?

Anonymous said...

To Common Sense:

Thanks for sharing the info on compressed air energy storage. This is new info and I appreciate receiving it. Here's a more recent article you might find interesting.

Common Sense: "I also find it curious why you didn't try to defend the other points I previously mentioned, or is it that you simply can't?"

I didn't see much else in your comments with which I differed, other than wishing for wind facilities in Potter County. If siting is safely done and people are not harmed by turbines being placed too close to their homes AND if there is sufficient wind in Potter County to offset the physical damage to the environment, I doubt there'd be too much push back on placing wind facilities here.

I don't know much about local geology. Do you know if the lay of our land would accommodate what's needed for compressed air storage?

An exerpt from the article I referenced:

"More favorable locations, he said, include upstate New York, where there are depleted salt mines as well as wind farms. Old coal mines and tapped-out natural gas fields can also be converted into underground reservoirs."

Anonymous said...

The multiple usage or variations of the word fallacy leads me to wonder if someone is overcompensating for their own lack of phallus. More narrow mindedness. If we will never be able to work together as you infer then why even try? Turn everything over to you because you must be all-knowing and all-seeing.

Anonymous said...

It is possible to add the wind turbine generated electricity to the grid.