Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Anti Wind Power Garbage from Russ Harding of the Mackinac Center

I'm not going to get too far into the point / counterpoint garbage with ultraconservative activist Russ Harding of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He posted some negative commentary about renewable energy in the Detroit Free Press a couple days ago. I'm not going to link to his article, nor will I bother to reinforce by repetition Harding's standard, debunked talking points.

Just imagine all the talking points a Koch, oil baron, Industries funded institution would use against renewable energy and you have a fairly good idea. Then throw in the same ONE debunked study by ONE quack scientist that Harding references almost singularly.

As the years and decades roll on and wind power continues to provide consistent, safe renewable electricity for nations around the world and in the US, as it has been for nearly 30 years, it becomes increasingly clear that this technology just works. It just does. The dire predictions don't pan out, individuals feed their families with their jobs manufacturing wind turbine parts and solar panels, and live moves on.

At the end of the day, the sheer practicality of the renewable energy shift is undeniable, but for a few stragglers. Possibly the same crowd who still believes the Internet is a fad. Or that home computers will never catch on. Wind power has been reliably producing power for decades, for as long as the personal computer has been in our homes, and the cost of that energy source is now very competitive with coal, subsidized or not.

Our leadership needs to understand that Russ Harding and the Mackinac Center are not interested in accuracy. They're not a Think Tank per se. They're an Excuses Tank. Folks like Harding are paid very good money to come up with and spread and repeat talking points until somebody else repeats them as true. Read the studies he cites, and quite frequently they won't even say what he claims they do...or they come to exactly the opposite conclusion he suggests they do. For example, he used a study about the water levels in Lake St. Claire to deny at length the concept of climate change, even though the study itself cited climate change as one of the reasons in water level changes. Even though the study itself explicitly acknowledged the effects of anthropogenic global warming.

Because information isn't the goal. The goal is to give ground cover to the people who wish to proceed and govern based on philosophical, rather than practical goals.

Mr. Harding has a long and stories history of doing just that. He helped create the executive order that split the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment into two parts: the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources. He himself headed up the DEQ and used it to rubber stamp permits for big polluters in Michigan...creating a legacy of financial and environmental cost for its citizens who are now stuck with the bill of cleaning up after these guys or drinking polluted water.

That people take this man seriously as a source of information shows an aggressive and willful ignorance.

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