Jim Wares’ Oct. 22 column “Rethinking the Iowa State Flower” spurred some thoughts of our own.
His two friends, “Jeff and Nancy,” are not unlike some friends of ours who live in rural Iowa. However, they see it much differently than Jim. Days once filled with peaceful tranquility are now replaced by the swooshing sound of wind turbine blades. The once beautiful starry night skies and amazing sunrises and sunsets are now obscured by giant steel towers with red flashing strobe lights. The “Shadow flicker” is nauseating as the turbine blades whirl by the sun. The Iowa wind turbine “Zephryis Turbinowa,” as Jim refers to it, is not a beautiful flower, rather, an invasive weed.
The claim that wind energy reduces CO2 emissions is simply not true. One wind turbine with 45 tons of rebar and 481m3 of concrete has a massive carbon footprint of 241.85 tons of CO2. https://stopthesethings.com/2014/08/16/how-much-co2-gets-emitted-to-build-a-wind-turbine/ Now multiply that by the thousands of turbines being erected. This figure doesn’t even take into account the emissions from mining the raw materials, transporting, erecting, maintaining and decommissioning the turbines or the pylons and transmission needed to get the power to grid.
The wind energy industry is 100 percent reliant on subsidies. Not a single wind turbine would be built without the Production Tax Credit-the federal taxpayer funded subsidy. Even MidAmerican Energy owner billionaire Warren Buffett admits, “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” If wind energy gurus like Buffett aren’t willing to invest without government incentives, it’s a sign that the energy technology is a bad investment. Besides the federal subsidy, the wind companies reap state production tax credits, lower local taxes, rate-payer funded transmission and guaranteed rate of return.
Not only are wind subsidies a colossal waste of money and detrimental to the economy, but they subsidize an industry that is harmful to the environment. Wind turbines kill millions of birds and bats annually.
Wind energy is meaningless as a power source because it cannot be delivered on demand. It’s an unreliable, intermittent source of electricity and needs fossil fuel backup power 100 percent of the time.
Instead of renaming ” Zephyris Turbinowa” as the Iowa state flower, a better fit would be on the noxious weed list and eradicated forever.
Ted and Kim Junker, New Hartford
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