Subsidy Sam…..Hero of the WindScam!

April 2016Scotland

Subsidy Sam the Turbine

This short story has been written to counter the shameless wind propaganda that is allowed into our schools to influence young minds with no effort to show the other side.

At Wind Energy’s Absurd, they write:

Here at Wind Energy’s Absurd we have repeatedly challenged the wisdom and morality of allowing multinational companies into the classroom to put their side of a story that is designed to cultivate acceptance of their industry into future generations.
You will remember Tommy the Turbine – a tale told to children in Ireland about the wonders of wind power:
www.tommytheturbine.net and tommytheturbine.com
Well now Tommy has a rival – and ourMONEY is on Subsidy Sam getting the message out there.
It is time the indoctrination of our children was stopped.
We have been requested to post this story and are delighted to oblige.
Please share it as many times as you want and send it wherever you want.
We have been asked to give thanks to Josh for creating the fabulous cartoon to go with the story.

Subsidy Sam

Subsidy Sam was big, one of the biggest turbines you could get.

He had spent the last year, since being built, dominating the village and bearing down on the local school, its pupils and staff. Sometimes you could even see him flailing his arms about but a lot of the time he didn’t. He was huge. So big he could be seen for miles and miles. Much further than the land owner, Lord Grabbit, a filthyRICH coal mining baron, had said you would be able to. He, with the developers Green Scam Renewables, had even shown pictures to the worried villagers of what Subsidy Sam would look like but it was really hard to see him in the misty distance in the developer’s photomontages.

But today Subsidy Sam was furious. One of his arms had blown off and jagged bits of it were spread all over the school playground. It was so windy. Perhaps even a Force 9 gale. Sam had been waiting for Green Scam Renewables to switch him off before he disintegrated but they had been waiting for the National Grid to ask them to switch him off first, so that they could claim the extravagant constraint payments to not generate.

Green Scam Renewables had misjudged it today and now Subsidy Sam stood broken with one arm missing and the other two hanging forlornly at his side.

It was a good job it wasn’t break time when the children would have been outside playing. With no enforced safety zone around this huge piece of industrial machinery and its whirling blades, it was very dangerous to be anywhere near him but no-one was telling the children that. Subsidy Sam was their friend and would help save the world. The nice wind developer man who owned Green Scam Renewables, Mr McWeasel, had told them that. He had come to the school with the jolly round man from the government who was wearing a tie with turbines all over it. They told the children that Subsidy Sam would save them and had frightened them all into thinking without him they were all doomed and the planet would die and so would they.

It was scary stuff. It gave them nightmares.

Thank goodness for Subsidy Sam.

The French Head Mistress, Madame de Gaulle, was pleased to see Sam’s blade fly pass her studyWINDOW at such speed and smash into a thousand pieces. She was relieved that none of the children had been hurt but she was glad to see the broken turbine. ‘Good riddance’ she thought. She knew a waste ofMONEY when she saw it. She hated Subsidy Sam, or SS as she preferred to call him, and had put up strong resistance to him being built but to no avail. It made no difference that she objected when they pretended Sam was a community turbine. No-one in the community wanted Sam but deceiving the local authority into thinking he was one was the only way they would be allowed to build him. She’d heard of burly men going round the village telling people not to object or else.

People were frightened so they didn’t.

Now when the sun shone she had to close the blinds in her study to stop the strobing from Sam’s blades hitting her desk and giving her throbbing headaches.

The compensation that was offered to the community by Green Scam Renewables was offensive. How can they pay anyone enough to make up for not being able to sleep at nights because of the incessant thumping when Sam was having a party and waving his arms in the air?

Nothing could make up for that.

Even the people who want to sell up and move away can’t because when the potential buyers see Subsidy Sam they don’t even get out of their cars. They just speed away without a backward glance.

The tourists have stopped coming. They see Sam and ask, ’Why did you build that huge ugly thing near your pretty village? We won’t stay here. We will spend our money in places we like the look of and that’s not here.’

Once the foreign workers who built Subsidy Sam had left, the B&Bs and guest houses stayed empty, many people lost their jobs in the tourism industry because no-one came to visit any more.

The birds were happy to see Subsidy Sam immobilised because it meant they no longer had to take their lives in their wings to feed at the nature class bird table every time they passed him when he was having one of his Edward Scissorhands on acid moments.

The caretaker was pleased because he wouldn’t have to keep sweeping up all their feathers and body bits when they misjudged it. However, all the oil that was leaking down Subsidy Sam’s leg and seeping across the playground was hard to scrub off.

The caretaker could never understand how a wind turbine so full of fossil fuels could ever be classed as clean and green.

Still, the oil was a greenish black colour – perhaps that is what people meant. He was just a simple caretaker on minimum wage struggling to pay his energy bill with all these ‘green’ levies on them. What did he know?

He had wanted to object to Subsidy Sam being built but he lived in a cottage on Lord Grabbit’s estate. It had been suggested to him that he shouldn’t object in case his home became no longer available to rent. Without his little cottage he wouldn’t have anywhere to live near where he worked, so he didn’t object.

Mr McWeasel wasn’t pleased because since Subsidy Sam’s arm had been liberated he was unable to get the juicy subsidy for any energy the turbine might have managed to produce or the very lucrative constraint payments. He got those when he was told to switch Subsidy Sam off when there was low demand for electricity, too much wind and the grid was in danger of being overloaded and plunging everyone into darkness.

Why should he care that Subsidy Sam was intermittent and unreliable and didn’t give any energy security? He got paid whatever.

Mrs McWeasel wouldn’t be pleased either as she was expecting her usual two months holiday in the Bahamas, new top of the range set of wheels and that stunning diamond necklace she had set her heart on.

Mr McWeasel would have a lot of explaining to do when he got home. After all he had guaranteed his lovely young wife a life ofRICHES and leisure all paid for by the spoils from Subsidy Sam. It was no matter to him that fuel poverty had increased because the supplements to pay Sam’s subsidies had been added to the energy bills of everyone, even the poor, the elderly and the sick.

No matter to him either that the children and staff were in danger every day from Subsidy Sam’s flying components, that the birds were being sliced and diced, the bats were exploding, the leaking oil was polluting the school yard or that the lights were frequently going out so that the caretaker had to crank up the polluting diesel generator. None of that concerned Mr McWeasel or the politicians he had hoodwinked into believing his windy propaganda. They were so stupid even Mr McWeasel couldn’t believe he had got away with the wind con for so long.

Still, that looked like it had all come to an untimely end with Subsidy Sam now broken and useless. No more subsidies available for new Sams because that pesky government over the border had stopped filling the subsidy trough.

‘Ah well,’ sighed Mr McWeasel. It was time to move onto other things. He had heard that there were good returns and subsidies operatingBANKS of noisy toxic fume-belching diesel generators now. All needed because the politicians had over-deployed on the weather-dependent subsidy suckers and under-deployed on reliable generation. He would need to speak to Lord Grabbit and see if he could build them where Sam was, near the school.

Mrs McWeasel would still get her holiday, herNEW CAR and her diamonds. Mr McWeasel might even treat himself to that yacht he had always wanted as well.

Saving the planet was no longer a priority – was it ever, Mr McWeasel?

© LW Anti Wind Activist April 2016

Story written by Lyndsey Ward | April 2016

The Press and Journal – April 22, 2016

Subsidy Sam set to knock wind out of Tommy’s sails
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Wind Energy will always be “Novelty Energy”.

The Fantasy of Storing Wind Power: No Commercial System Exists & None is Likely

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The wind industry is the perpetual infant of power generation: always looking for the subsidies to last that little bit longer; always promising to improve its performance; always claiming it will outdo hydro, coal and gas – provided, of course, that the subsidies keep flowing.

STT for one thinks the wind industry has had ample time to grow up and stand on its own two feet.

Like the brat that it is, the wind industry can’t be told what to do and, especially, won’t ever respond to demands from power users about when its product should be delivered.

output vs demand

It’s quite happy to produce plenty of power when it’s not needed at night time; and much less during the day, when it is (as seen in the graph above); and, often, none at all during periods of peak demand: as set out in dozens of our posts, including these:

The Wind Power Fraud (in pictures): Part 1 – the South Australian Wind Farm Fiasco

The Wind Power Fraud (in pictures): Part 2 – The Whole Eastern Grid Debacle

When challenged about its consistent failures to match output with demand, the wind industry and its parasites respond by mumbling about “battery technology improving”.

The pitch is that – one day “soon” – there will batteries big enough and cheap enough to allow huge volumes of wind power produced when it’s not needed, to be stored for the occasions when it is. That way, the “variable” output (as their spruikers put it) from wind farms could be delivered when there might just be a market for it.

As covered in yesterday’s post, Australia’s ‘wind power capital’, South Australia is being crippled by rocketing power prices – a 90% rise in power prices for businesses within 12 months, leaving prices in SA double those of Victoria, is fairly called ‘astronomic’ – rolling wind power blackouts and a grid on the brink of collapse.

Notwithstanding the urgency of the calamity, the limp, pipe-dream responses to its unfolding power supply crisis and market chaos are limited to “an unfunded proposal by [renewable power generator and retailer] AGL to build grid-scale battery storage, and a smart grid proposal from [wind and gas turbine maker] Siemens of Germany to store surplus renewable energy in hydrogen fuel cells”: thought bubbles like massive batteries and hydrogen production, storage and use have never been shown to technically feasible, let alone economic.

The wind industry’s pitch is, of course, made so the subsidies keep flowing to allow an endless sea of these things to be erected now – in order to take advantage of the (so far, elusive) storage technology that’s just over the “horizon”. Except that the “soon” is more like light-years and the “horizon” is a mirage.

Even if a technology was invented (STT likens it to the chances of finding a perpetual motion machine or alchemy turning lead into gold) to store large volumes of the electricity output (in bulk) from all of the wind farms connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid, say (with a notional capacity of 3,669 MW) – the economic cost would be astronomical – and readily eclipse the value of the power produced. Not that the wind industry has ever made any economic sense. We visited the topic a while ago:

The Economic Storage of Wind Power is a Pipe-Dream

And, with the wind industry’s PR spinners becoming more desperate and silly by the day – in a ‘we love kicking a mangy dog when it’s down’ kind of way, we thought it high time to revisit – and launch a final assault on – the wind-cults’ last redoubt.

Their pitch is that cost effective, ‘grid scale’ electricity storage will overcome the chaotic and occasional delivery of wind power, to have it stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the ‘big boys’ – coal, gas, hydro and nuclear.

Here’s a neat little wrap up by Engineer, John Curtis that puts the “we’ll fix it with batteries” line to bed once and for all.

An Engineer Speaks
Wind Farm Action
John Curtis
7 February 2016

A brief consideration of renewable energy production and storage.

As anybody who looks at current wind output figures will know, we are presently blessed with less than 0.2 Gigglewatts of wind power from the total UK wind fleet, the rated capacity of which is close to 8 Gigawatts. For the last 10 days, output has been under 1 Gigglewatt and this means that the actual wind power is probably negative because each machine requires around 200 kilowatts of power just for its life support systems.

It is often claimed that wind and solar will be valuable if only they can have effective storage systems. This set me thinking and I append below a summary of my current thoughts. I would be very pleased to have any comments that can make this case stronger.

Japan has decided to triple the amount of wind-generated power that it will install in future. Traditionally, Japan has relied mainly on nuclear and gas power for its electricity supplies but, post Fukushima, it is shutting down almost all of its nuclear facilities.

Whilst one may criticise the construction of nuclear power stations in a country that is famous for its earthquakes and tsunamis, the fact is that, unlike UK, that small country has very little natural energy reserves and was thus forced into their construction. However, even with this increase, the wind power generation will be under 0.3% of total power requirements.

With such a low penetration it is not to be expected that Japan will encounter the problems in other countries, such as UK and Europe, where high penetrations from wind and solar are causing very significant problems for distribution and in increasing costs.

The report by the Adam Smith Institute – “The Limits of Wind Power”, shows that any amount of wind penetration beyond 20% is prohibitively expensive and that the ‘sweet spot’ is between 10% and 15%. Beyond that point, the cost of having to have standby facilities on line and ready to carry full load becomes very high.

The problem with wind power and many other renewables is that they are inherently unstable and largely unpredictable and are thus quite unsuitable for any form of base load energy supply. Wind, in particular, is very variable and can change from high output to almost zero output and back again on a very short time scale, often on a basis of minutes.

If we are to avoid the very serious consequences of such variability then we must have either a constantly available back up from conventional power sources, or some form of energy storage that would provide a constant and smooth output from the original wind power generation.

In order to overcome the inherent generation instability of wind and some other renewables (such as solar) it is necessary to have the capacity to store energy on large scale for protracted supply times. This, so far, has proved to be either very difficult or very expensive.

There are many possible methods of energy storage, all of which require a change of state from, say, wind to electrical to another form of energy and then a return to electrical energy. Each change of state involves an unavoidable loss of efficiency in that it is impossible to get out all the energy that was originally developed. This is a basic fact of physics that we cannot overcome. All that we can do is to try to minimise losses, often at considerable expense for meagre gains.

In one sense, we all rely totally on energy storage. All our food is actually solar energy that is converted into chemical states in plants, which are then converted again by chemical changes into the energy that keeps us alive. Fossil fuels, biomass and wood are simply ancient solar energy that has been stored as coal and oil and from which the energy is again released chemically into other forms of energy.

However, the immediate problem is to find ways in which we can store electrical energy from renewables in such a way that it can later be released in a controlled manner that is convenient to us. Thereby hangs the problem, for which there are currently few solutions that are operable economically on the large scale that we need.

There are many types of energy storage available to us, of which the main ones are as follows: –

a. Pumped hydro.
b. Pumped air.
c. Chemical conversion.
d. Mechanical.
e. Thermal.

Pumped Hydro

Pumped Hydro is in practical use in many countries. It involves the use of cheap electrical power during off peak times to pump water from a low to a high level. The water can then be released as required to meet sudden peak demands and can respond very quickly. The higher you can raise the water, the less water you will need for a given power output. Therefore, countries such as Norway, which are very mountainous, can install such a system fairly easily.

In UK, we have limited ability to do this and have used most of the readily available sites already. Low lying countries have very little opportunity to do so because the system would require huge land areas to accommodate all the water.

The biggest pumped hydro installation in UK is Dinorwig, in Wales. However, the total installed pumped capacity is equal, to only 1.2 GigaWatt hours of electricity and can deliver approximately 500 Megawatts for 13 to 15 hours until it is exhausted. The total installed capacity of pumped hydro in UK would produce at this level for not more than 22 hours. This means that it is just not capable of covering the capacity shortfall when our UK wind fleet can be producing almost zero power for several days at a time.

We can also look at this system from the point of view of energy losses. Let us ignore any inefficiency from production of power from wind factories and just assume that our electricity is from conventional sources.

When we pump up water for energy storage we have electrical losses to drive the pumps, then there are pumping losses and to this we must add the pipeline energy losses. The end result is that the stored energy loss costs us about 20% to 25% of the input electricity.

When we release the water to generate power we have pipeline losses, water turbine losses and further electrical losses. These may easily be as much as 20% to 25% in total and possibly more at peak powers due to pipeline losses.

Overall, therefore, we would be fortunate to get back as much as 60% of the input power, and would probably not see more than 50%. This is OK as long as we use very cheap, off peak electrical power, but if it is to be supplied by wind turbines we would not have cheap power because of the various incentives that are applied to wind power generation.

One can conclude, therefore, that the use of pumped hydro is only useful in very specific instances for peak power coverage and that it is not suitable for the longer term smoothing that is needed for wind power. Furthermore, any significant extension of pumped hydro installations can only be done at the expense of damming and flooding high level mountain valleys. This may be a problem because people tend to live in valleys rather than mountaintops and there are few available unoccupied mountainous valleys.

Pumped air

This is a very common method of power storage and is widely used for driving pneumatic tools. It simply involves the use of a motor to drive a compressor that supplies compressed air to a reservoir. The compressed air can then be released to drive a suitable machine that may be used to drive a generator to produce electricity.

It is all known technology for which most of the sums have been done and experience gained. The problem is that it has many efficiency losses and is currently used only on small-scale applications where the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. There are very few larger scale systems in operation and these are only experimental at present. In order to operate in the huge scale needed to support renewable energy variability, we need to go very big indeed.

The basic problem of compressing the air is relatively easily solved and could well involve such means as serial axial flow compressors such as are used for pumping on gas pipelines. However, we need to have very big facilities to store the compressed air and to deal with the heat exchange problems when compressing the air and when expending it for power generation. Of these, the storage is the most demanding.

One solution that has been proposed is the use of what are basically very big inflatable balloons that would be moored offshore in very deep water. The compressed air would be supplied to them and then sent back as power is required. There are many problems here, not least of which is the idea of having very large numbers of these devices moored in deep water, together with connecting pipe work and subjected to tidal flows etc. Condensation would be a problem also. For the GigaWatt scales that are needed, this just does not seem to be a sensible solution.

In order to obtain the huge volumes that are needed for air storage we need to think of underground storage in old mine workings, disused salt mines, oil wells etc. This requires that there are sufficient huge underground storage facilities that are easily accessible and reasonably close to the point of use of the power.

Even if we can find suitable storage, we still have the problems of inefficiency in the process. Compressing air is far less efficient than increasing water pressure and the same applies to its expansion to produce power. Even if we ignore possible losses of air due to leakage, it is very doubtful if we could expect more than a 40% overall efficiency.

Chemical conversion

As has been previously said, we rely on chemical conversion for almost all of our energy. However, in this context, we are looking at using renewably generated electricity to cause a chemical change of state to store energy so that it can later be released.

First off are storage batteries, as used in cars, for example. There is a whole range of batteries now available, including some exotics such as LI-on types. All of them rely on a chemical change caused by the incoming electricity so that a reversal of the change will produce electricity.

The amount of storage capacity is a function of its construction and size and construction influences the discharge rate and hence the output capacity. Batteries use all sorts of special and possibly toxic materials and many of these materials cause great environmental problems during extraction. Battery malfunctions are not unknown (such as those currently affecting the LI-on batteries in the Boeing Dreamliner aircraft) and can cause serious fire and chemical risks. There is also the problem of limited life, as we all know from our cars.

There is, as yet, no battery system that can cope with long-term charge and discharge rates that are needed for the huge electrical loads that are required for back up to renewable generation. In any case, there are still the inefficiencies involved in taking a high voltage supply from the grid, reducing it to a lower DC voltage for the batteries and then reversing the process to give a mains output. Whilst this is common on small scales, it has yet to be shown to be viable on very large scales.

Another scheme that is being considered is to use surplus electricity to produce hydrogen by electrolysis. Quite easy, actually, and was a common experiment in my school days. Take water and a pair of electrical contacts in the water and, hey Presto, you get hydrogen and oxygen emitted. Collect the hydrogen and you have a good clean fuel ready to be stored for future use, either in cars or as a fuel for generators to resupply electricity. If the hydrogen is combined with CO2 we can get synthetic methane, another good fuel gas.

The big problems are of storage and efficiency. To be useful, hydrogen storage must be very large capacity, sufficient to run a generator for several days during lack of wind and/or solar power. That is a very big ask when we are dealing in Gigawatts and it has not been achieved so far. As for efficiency, we have to face the age-old problem that, whenever you do something, there is an energy loss. Each stage of producing hydrogen, compressing it, storing it and then releasing it for combustion will involve an energy loss so the end output will be considerably less than the energy input. The system would only be economical if the original input electricity is very cheap and even then, the output power will only be as clean as the source of the energy input.

There are several other possible chemical energy storage systems, but they all suffer from the same problem of storage capacity and process losses.

Mechanical storage

This simply means using various mechanisms to store energy for later release. It is actually quite common and in every day use.

For example, we can use a spring to store energy, as in a clock. Or we can use a weight, as in pendulum clocks. Very easy to use and understand, but quite incapable of storing large amounts of energy.

Another method could be to use a flywheel, which can absorb energy for later release. However, it is very unlikely that we can see any form of flywheel that can absorb the energy needed for compensation of power outages over days. Anybody who has seen an old internal combustion or steam engine running will have noted the huge flywheels that they need to keep a constant speed during power fluctuations for each stroke. These machines, big as they are physically, run only at kilowatt power levels. It us easy to see that a flywheel system to operate at GigaWatt levels for hours or days would have to be absolutely enormous. It is simply not feasible.

Thermal storage

This is a system that uses heat from a power source or direct from solar energy to heat a material so that the heat can be stored. The heat is then used to heat water to provide steam, which will then drive turbines to produce electricity.

The most famous of these systems is the Gemsolar Array in Andalucia, in Spain. This has an enormous array of steerable mirrors that focus solar energy on to a tower. The tower contains molten salts, which are heated and circulated to insulated storage vessels. The hot salts are used, via a heat exchanger, to produce steam, which then drives turbines that produce electrical power. The system has been operational and can produce up to 19.9 megawatts of electrical power. Because there is a large storage capacity of thermal salts, the system can continue operation even during the night, thus overcoming the most difficult problem of using solar energy.

It is theoretically possible to use wind-powered electricity to heat a salt in a similar manner and is not a huge technical problem (think of immersion heaters in hot water cylinders and kettles). However, the actual problems are very big indeed. The Gemsolar array can carry sufficient heat capacity to provide about 18 hours of electrical power before it literally runs out of steam. For any gigawatts scale system the heat storage would have to be enormous and would almost certainly involve substantial underground storage facilities.

Even if such storage were available, we would still have the ever-present losses to accommodate. Just consider this sequence of using a wind turbine to power a system using thermal storage.

Turbine > electricity > electrical converter > heat exchanger > thermal storage > pipelines > heat exchanger > steam generator > steam turbine > electrical generator > electrical grid.

Each (>) represents a stage at which energy will be lost through inefficiencies. If we assume no other losses and that each stage operates at something like 90% to 95% efficiency, which is high, it is easy to see that overall losses will be around 50% at best. This is hardly the basis for an efficient energy storage system and it could only be viable if the initial energy were to be very cheap, which is not the case with wind turbines in the present economic environment.

CONCLUSIONS

From the above it can be seen that there is currently no viable energy storage system that can allow us to use variable renewable energy sources to simulate base load electricity systems with controllable, economic, deliverable power over long periods of time.

The only possible exception is pumped power storage, as at Dinorwig, but this is limited in availability and would require huge extensions of land usage in order for it to be useful. It also requires that the initial supply of energy should be at a low, economic cost.

Absent any new developments of efficient and cheap energy storage, it seems to be impossible for us to have renewable and variable power sources as part of our energy grid at levels beyond, at maximum, 20% penetration. The idea, therefore, of having any country with 100% of its energy supplied from renewable sources, is not tenable.
Wind Farm Action

giant battery 2

Time For the Windweasels, to Swim, or Sink….No more Financial Water Wings!

The Wind Industry: After 30 Years, It’s Time to Remove the Training Wheels

training-wheels

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At an economic level, subsidising the production of a good or the provision of a service makes sense where there is complete market failure, such that the good or service will never be supplied (or only at a price which is practically un-affordable to the majority of consumers); and where the total benefit to the welfare of consumers equals the cost of the subsidy.

As to the supply of electricity, there is NO market failure; affordable power is available around-the-clock in all developed economies; and has been so for half-a-century or more. So that point of ‘justification’ for endless wind-welfare goes nowhere.

Short of true ‘market failure’, another potential justification for subsidies paid to producers is where an ‘infant industry’ needs a ‘kickstart’ to get going. The argument is that the ‘new’ industry will ‘create’ new jobs; and, therefore, justify the subsidy, which can be withdrawn after a period sufficient to allow the industry to develop to a point where the subsidy is no longer needed, at all.

That’s where wind power scores two strikes: the wind industry has been telling us it can ween itself off subsidies (but just not now) for over 30 years.

The third – and final – strike is that wind power (despite being able to slosh in a massive subsidy trough) simply cannot provide meaningful power (ie, power available on-demand) – as they’re learning to their horror in Britain:

Another Wind Power Collapse has Britain Scrambling to Keep its Lights On (Again)

And in South Australia:

Wind Industry’s Armageddon: Wind Farm Output Collapse Leaves 110,000 South Australian Homes & Businesses Powerless

Never to be accused of consistency, the wind industry in the US is – under that old adage about ‘being careful about what you wish for’ – about to face up to its own internal inconsistency.

You see, on the one hand its parasites and spruikers keep trumpeting about how their marvellous product is ‘free’ – and getting cheaper all the time; but the minute there’s the merest hint that the subsidy gravy-train might be derailed, they start wailing like demonic banshees.

Americans can prepare from some panicked, high-pitched screaming, as its Congress gets set to finally remove the longest-serving set of ‘training wheels’ that ever rolled into action.

Maine Voices: It’s time for Congress to end the wind production tax credit (again)
Press Herald
Rand Stowell
11 November 2015

SOUTH FREEPORT — As winter approaches, Congress is being overrun by wind industry lobbyists (again). Their annual year-end money dance has become routine as we have seen the 1992 energy production tax credit die more deaths than the proverbial nine-lived cat.

Just as routinely, we have become accustomed to picking up the newspaper on New Year’s Day to read that in the cold, dark holiday night, Congress has revived the production tax credit (again).

Over time, most of Maine’s congressional delegation has supported throwing additional taxpayer money at the expired or expiring production tax credit, often at the eleventh hour. It stands to reason that aggressive wind developers in Maine have influenced the Maine delegation’s decision to support the production tax credit.

“Subsidy” is a lightning rod word. But subsidies can be justified when they contribute to the public good. In the general public, wind energy’s positive benefits are regularly overstated, while conversely, wind’s negative impacts are understated. Because of this flawed value equation, wind energy has enjoyed the public’s favor and gratuitous federal subsidy dollars (in addition to state mandates).

For the sake of Maine’s environment and economy, it is time for Congress to finally let the production tax credit subsidy die. The Maine delegation can help make this happen by ending its historic support.

Maine’s wind energy buildup in the last decade has been dominated by one developer: First Wind (now SunEdison). In a 2012 Recharge News article, “First Wind chief executive says life without PTC is possible,” First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor discussed the production tax credit:

“I know the industry has needed it. I think the question for all of us is, ‘Do we need it any more or forever?’ I believe the answer is no.”

In a Bloomberg News article, “U.S. tax breaks that clean power doesn’t seem to mind losing,” Ahmad Chatila, CEO of SunEdison (which is now in financial difficulty), discussed the production tax credit just a few weeks ago:

“If the (production tax credit) expires we will be fine, we can get by.”

The wind production tax credit expired (again) in December 2014. Because the wind lobby inserted a “begin construction/safe harbor” provision into the law, and thanks to loose Internal Revenue Service rules that allow it, wind projects we don’t even know about yet can still sneak in as production tax credit-eligible even if they have not turned a shovelful of dirt.

The wind industry is losing its window for starting projects, so the wind lobby is back in holiday mode, applying pressure in Congress (again).

Last summer, the Senate Finance Committee voted out a $95 billion tax extender bill that included a two-year extension of the wind production tax credit (2015-2016). The production tax credit was the third most expensive provision in the bill at $10.5 billion.

In October, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., submitted a bill to end the wind production tax credit. In the House, the Production Tax Credit Elimination Act offered by U.S. Reps. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, and Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., is still pending, and new co-sponsors have signed on every month since the bill was introduced.

We might see action on the production tax credit by year’s end, and it won’t be a surprise if votes finally occur while the rest of the country is sipping eggnog at holiday parties (again).

The wasteful production tax credit has become politically toxic, gaining the nickname “wind welfare.” We cannot afford more billions to spur the growth of a mature industry that does little good.

With the Department of Energy and the American Wind Energy Association regularly crowing that wind is cost-competitive with (or more competitive than) conventional generation sources, there is no justification for further subsidies. The wind training wheels have been on the bike since 1992. They have done their job and it is now time to remove them.

The production tax credit has rarely been considered in the House or Senate as a stand-alone vote. The last time was 2012, in New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s amendment to the transportation bill. It failed.

If the Senate and House consider the wind production tax credit in the eleventh hour (again) this year, it must be as a stand-alone vote in each chamber. That way, the wind lobby cannot gain a free ride by attaching to the more beneficial tax credits seen as “must pass.”

If Maine’s wind development leaders are telling us they don’t need all that production tax credit money, then why would the Maine delegation throw it at them (again)?

The Maine delegation should not endorse spending billions more to spur the growth of a mature industry that does little good for the U.S.
Press Herald

be-careful-what-you-wish-for-because-you-just-might-get-it-167947

Windweasels and Windpushers….a Nasty Bunch, to say the Least!

Got ‘Mercenary Sociopath’ on your CV? Then why not join the Wind Turbine ‘Taliban’

sociopath

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The wind industry attracts a very ‘special’ kind of person, as James Delingpole details below.

The SNP has done for Scotland’s landscape what ISIS have done to Palmyra
Breitbart
James Delingpole
23 July 2015

Dear Mr Delingpole,

I am just completing my BA joint honours degree in Candy Crush and Rape Culture studies and wondered whether you could kindly advise me on my career options.

A bit about me: I’m a vicious sociopath looking for an utterly pointless job which pays me vast amounts of money while making the world an uglier place. Though I’ve considered applying to Goldman Sachs and various French arms manufacturers, they strike me as insufficiently evil for my purposes. Ideally this job should have a caring image so that hot chicks want to sleep with me. My skills include lying, puppy factory-farming, and burning ladybirds with a magnifying glass. I appreciate I might sound like a bit of a crazy mixed up kid. But I thought if anyone could solve my problem, it would be you….

Yours, etc

As you can imagine, I get this kind of letter from the younger generation all the time. And up until now I’ve had no hesitation in telling these future masters-of-the-universe where to go:

“Head for Scotland, my son,” I tell them. “And get your snout deep into the wind farm trough. If you have no conscience, no morals, no aesthetic sensibility, no understanding of free markets; if you hate wildlife, people and the natural landscape, if you loathe private property, if you want to show how much you despise the traditions of the nation that once yielded Adam Smith, James Watt, James Boswell, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the rest, then the Scottish wind industry is undoubtedly the place for you.”

But I think in the light of recent events I may have to reconsider my advice. Obviously the Scottish wind industry remains as evil and pointless as ever it was – and the destruction it has wrought on the landscape of what was formerly one of world’s more strikingly beautiful countries has been truly spectacular.

Only the Taliban at Bamiyan or ISIS at Palmyra can really come close to matching the wind industry’s scorched-earth zeal in places like Scotland, Ontario, Texas, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand.

This map, produced last year by the John Muir Trust, gives a good indication of how impressively these veritable Attilas of aeolian slaughter have done their work.

john_muir_trust_wind_farm_visibility_map

Scotland used to be a remarkably wild, unspoilt place. Not any more, though. There’s now only 40 per cent of Scotland left where wind turbines are not blighting the view. (And already that figure is out of date because lots more turbines have sprung up since like skeletons in Jason of the Argonauts, and many more are planned).

And let’s not forget the human cost: all those Scots whose rural tranquillity and health have been jeopardised by these bat-chomping, bird-slicing, subsidy-troughing eco crucifixes.

Sadly, though, it seems the golden age of renewable rapine may bedrawing to a close. Cameron’s “greenest government ever” has finally decided to call quits on the vast subsidies which have been drawing unscrupulous rent-seeking corporatists to Scotland like sharks to blood. The renewables troughers are shrieking like staked vampires.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the decision risked undermining the development of the cheapest form of renewables in the country, and was “bad news” for Scotland’s clean energy ambitions.

Jeremy Sainsbury, director of Natural Power, a renewables consultancy which employs about 300 people, mainly in Scotland, said the firm has opportunities to deploy its workforce to projects overseas.

But he added: “It’s not very healthy that Westminster has come out with this, which is clearly based on the views of some Tory MPs from middle England without really assessing the impact on investment in jobs in Scotland, or Wales for that matter, and without properly dealing with the implications in relation to the plans of those countries for delivery of their 2020 targets or their environmental commitments.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon isn’t too happy either.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the decision was “wrong headed, perverse and downright outrageous.”

During First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, she said: “I think it severely undermines any Tory claims to be pro-business.”

She added: “This decision comes despite the UK energy secretary admitting on radio this very morning that onshore wind is one of the most cost-effective ways of developing renewable energy.”

Ms Sturgeon argued that the move would also send out the wrong message ahead of a conference in Paris later this year aimed at getting a new global agreement on climate change.

The Scottish government believes the decision would have a disproportionate impact on Scotland, as about 70% of onshore wind projects in the UK planning system were in the country.

But personally, methinks Lady Macbeth doth protest too much. After all, long after her own name and that of her predecessor Alex Salmond are but distant memories, visitors to the blighted industrial zone formerly known as rural Scotland will be able to view their handywork on every hill top. It will be like the final scene in Spartacus, only with wind turbines instead of crucifixes.

Si monumentum requires, circumspice, eh, Nicola, eh Alex?
Breitbart

Spartacus2

Wind weasels Lose $700 Million in “Investors” money! Blown Into the Wind!

Pacific Hydro’s Ponzi Scheme Implodes: Wind Power Outfit Loses $700 Million of Mum & Dad Retirement Savings

wind chopping up money

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Pacific Hydro is a name synonymous with wind industry skulduggery in Australia: the merciless treatment of its victims at Cape Bridgewater has been added to the annals of Australian corporate infamy, right up there with Aussie asbestos pedlar, James Hardie (see our post here).

Now, its slap-dash approach to management, and all-round corporate malfeasance, has caught up with it, with an almighty vengeance.

Pac Hydro is the bastard child of IFM Investors – born of the $billions that are collected from workers and thrown into what are called “Union Super Funds” – ie “superannuation”: compulsory retirement savings schemes – owned and controlled by union heavies, like Garry Weaven and/or Labor Party front men; like former Environment Minister, Greg Combet.

Combet, Weaven & Co are the driving force behind the great wind power fraud in Australia. It was Combet who lobbied for, and obtained, the massive increase in Australia’s Renewable Energy Target to 45,000 GWh (4,000 as “small-scale” solar; and 41,000 as “large-scale”, ie wind power).

But these boys set up the “rules” with only one real “target” in mind; and that was making fat piles of cash themselves, using bucket loads of other peoples’ money: being able to make massive profits without any personal risk is a rare and beautiful thing.

But the risk has just been realised; and it’s mums and dads who are paying, and will continue to pay, the ultimate price.

Pac Hydro has just clocked up one of the largest corporate losses ever seen in Australian corporate history: you need to think back to Alan Bond, Chris Skase and the massive corporate implosions that took place at the end of the crazy 80s, to find anything of the same scale.

Pac Hydro’s books apparently record a loss of $685 million – the Australian Financial Review says “$700 million” – but with losses of that magnitude a lazy $15 million is probably just a rounding error.

From what STT can glean, around half of that figure is attributable to losses incurred by Pac Hydro’s wind farm operations in Australia (it’s pretty hard to get a bead on the numbers when, as the AFR explains, the company is going to “extraordinary lengths to keep [its review into the losses] under wraps”.

Just how a wind power outfit enjoying the most ludicrously massive industry subsidies provided in the history of the Australian Commonwealth can “lose” $700 million of workers’ superannuation money is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, to which we shall return in a moment. Now, here’s a couple of wrap-ups on Pac Hydro’s Ponzi scheme implosion.

Governance scandal claims Garry Weaven and Brett Himbury
The Australian Financial Review
Tony Boyd
5 March 2015

Industry superannuation fund heavyweights Garry Weaven and Brett Himbury are under pressure to resign from the board of global fund manager IFM Investors after a secret report into $700 million in losses at Pacific Hydro was blamed on lapses in corporate governance.

Weaven and Himbury resigned from the board of Pacific Hydro on January 1 this year after a review of its corporate governance by an executive director of IFM Investors, Danny Elia made adverse findings in relation to corporate governance.

The pressure for Weaven and Himbury to also resign from the board of IFM Investors is coming from investors in the IFM Australia Infrastructure Fund, which owns 100 per cent of Pacific Hydro. The IFM Australia Infrastructure Fund is managed by IFM Investors.

Chanticleer understands several investors in the trust are angry about the lack of transparency about Elia’s review of governance at Pacific Hydro.

The losses incurred by Pacific Hydro have meant that its value in the IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund have shrunk from 40per cent of total assets to about 8 per cent.

IFM Investors said in October last year that it had taken a near $700 million write-down on Pacific Hydro due to the adverse impact of the Abbott government’s review into renewable energy, weaker electricity demand in Australia, and tax changes in Chile.

The Chilean investment, the $US450 million ($575 million) Chacayes run-of-river power plant halved in value as a result of the regulatory and tax changes.

However, IFM has said nothing about Elia’s review of the governance of Pacific Hydro.

His review, code named Project Primavera, has not only been kept secret, IFM Investors has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep it under wraps.

Any investors in the IFM Australia Infrastructure Fund or asset consultants wanted to look at the 200-page Project Primavera report must sign a confidentiality agreement.

No copies of the report are allowed to leave the IFM premises, no photocopies of the report are allowed and anyone reading the report must surrender their smartphones before entering a room where the report is available.

The findings of the report and the resignations of Weaven and Himbury from Pacific Hydro have not been reported either on the websites of IFM Investors or Pacific Hydro. Also, the story has not been reported by The New Daily, an online news site owned by industry super funds.

Pacific Hydro’s website does show that the company appointed three new directors this year.

John Harvey replaced Weaven as chairman of Pacific Hydro on February 15. He is a director of Australia Pacific Airports Corporation.

Peter Berry was appointed a director of Pacific Hydro on January 16. He is chairman of the state owned venture capital business, Victorian Clean Technology Fund.

Michael Hanna was appointed a director of Pacific Hydro on February 10. He is responsible for managing the IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund.

Those appointments are significant because it means that there are now more people on the board of Pacific Hydro with operational experience. There was clearly a lack of hands on infrastructure management experience before.

Apart from Weaven and Himbury, two other directors have resigned in the past few months. Anita Roper resigned on January 1 this year and Geoffrey Coffey resigned on December 31, 2014, according to records with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The angst among investors about the governance failings at Pacific Hydro have prompted IFM Investors to launch its own internal review of governance, according to industry sources.

It is not known who is conducting this review or whether it will have the power to recommend changes in governance at IFM.

The departure of Weaven from the board of Pacific Hydro would have been deeply felt as he was one of the driving forces behind the industry super fund sector’s push into renewable energy.

The Pacific Hydro write-downs and subsequent board resignations draw attention to the conflicts of interest which can occur when shareholders of a funds management company are also investors in its various products.

The fact that an employee of IFM, Elia, was called on to conduct a review of an IFM managed entity suggests it was not a completely independent arm’s length project.

The $700 million in losses at Pacific Hydro raises questions about the quality of advice received by IFM Investors from its extensive team of global infrastructure advisers which includes former chief executives at global companies.

Weaven and Himbury did not respond to email requests for comment and a spokesperson for Pacific Hydro said all comment about corporate governance at the company should come from IFM Investors. The spokesperson failed to call back.
The Australian Financial Review

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Pair step down after Hydro’s $685m loss
The Australian
Andrew White
6 March 2015

INDUSTRY superannuation fund godfather Garry Weaven and the chief executive of IFM Investors, Brett Himbury, resigned from the board of renewable energy investor Pacific Hydro last October following a $685 million loss.

Mr Weaven said he and Mr Himbury had resigned as directors to take responsibility for heavy writedowns on investments in Chilean and Australian energy assets that should have been anticipated.

“It was done on the basis that when you have a writedown like that there should be consequences. We should show that we take this very, very seriously.”

But he denied a report that there had been any pressure on him or Mr Himbury to resign from the IFM Investors board.

Mr Weaven said there had been no votes against him when he stood for re-election at the IFM Investors annual meeting in November. “There was absolutely no pressure on me or Brett Himbury to resign, none, zero.”

Pacific Hydro announced the $685m loss in October after the government abandoned its support for the Renewable Energy Target, which supported the value of wind and solar energy projects owned by the company, and changes to tax laws in Chile that halved the value of its investment in a hydro-electricity project. Mr Weaven said the Australian investments had also been cut in value following changes to the pricing rules from the Australian Energy Regulator at the end of June.

Mr Weaven “completely rejects” a report in a newspaper yesterday that there were any corporate governance issues that resulted in the losses.
The Australian

Garry Weaven

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Hmmm. Losing $685 million of mums’ and dads’ superannuation money would, in most peoples’ eyes, involve some deliberate effort, beyond being simply “asleep at the corporate wheel”.

While Weaven protests his corporate “innocence”, just imagine the size of Pac Hydro’s losses if there had been “any corporate governance issues”!!

And it’s not just mum and dads with their hard-earned retirement savings being thrown to the wind by Weaven & Co. Oh no, all Australian taxpayers are going to take a whopping financial hit on this one. Pac Hydro pocketed over $70 million in taxpayer underwritten “loans” from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (a $10 billion “renewable” scam slush fund set up by the Green/Labor Alliance) for its non-compliant Cape Bridgewater operation. Now that pile of taxpayers’ cash is at risk, along with hundreds of $millions more (see our post here).

The standard response from these corporate cowboys – that it was “uncertainty surrounding the Renewable Energy Target” that drove one of the largest losses in Australian corporate history – falls a little flat when it is understood that there has been NO change at all to the legislation underpinning the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), despite wind industry whingeing and wailing, as if it had been torched altogether.

The derisory list of “excuses” used by wind power outfits to explain their mounting losses grows by the day: near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen (aka Babcock & Brown) continues to blame the vagaries of the weather on its abysmally poor financial performance – an $8.9 million loss for 2013/14, which follows a $55 million loss in 2011/12 and an $80 million loss for 2012/13 (see our posts here and here). After another laughable performance in the last half of 2014, it took to pointing the finger at – wait for it – “THE WIND” – for yet another failure to get anywhere near its “projected” revenues (see this lament from the eco-facists over at ruin-economy). Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

And it’s a theme used around the globe in a “hey, quick look over there” approach to avoid any scrutiny of the real hard numbers (or, rather, the lack of them) that continue to show the woeful reality of wind power outfits’ overblown revenue projections – and the mounting losses being suffered by duped investors when those breezy projections fail to materialize (see our post here).

STT always likes to plunge its cynical spade just a little deeper into the mire than most; and, in relation to the great wind power fraud, always relishes the opportunity to do so. Even a cursory dig reveals the parallels with some of the greatest scams in history.

In recent times, Australia has seen gullible (and, perhaps, “greedy”) mum and dad investors fleeced to the tune of $billions in Managed Investment Schemes.  Back in the late 1980s, the Commonwealth government amended tax legislation to provide huge tax benefits for investments in “Managed Investment Schemes”. During the late 1990s and 2000s, the tax change saw a flood of money pour into industrial scale vineyards; timber, olive and almond plantations. The MIS tax breaks were rightly considered a monstrous tax rort that allowed companies running Managed Investment Schemes to make obscene profits upfront at investors’ ultimate expense. In 2007, the government scrapped the tax breaks – a decision which led to enormous corporate collapses of MIS outfits – like Timbercorp and Great Southern Plantations – with MIS investors collectively losing 100s of $millions.

Then there are the earlier “corporate investment classics”, like the South-Sea Bubble and Dutch tulip mania.

The common theme in all of these rorts, is that those filching the money always tend to blame somebody else as the scam turns sour; and the investors’ money goes “missing”: albeit that in the case of the great wind power fraud, mum and dads’ “missing” $millions can be readily located in the form of Sydney Harbour-side mansions and fleets of Aston Martins, Beamers and Mercs – snapped up by the managers of super funds and wind power outfits, as fitting symbols of their financial “finesse”.

aston martin sydney

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So, how do wind power outfits routinely end up with results that show their revenue projections to be little more than financial fantasy?

Wind power outfits routinely base their expected returns on pumped up wind forecasts – thereby way overstating their anticipated gross returns (see our posts here and here and here and here).

While, at the same time, lying about their true operating costs (see ourpost here), which start to tack up pretty quickly when it’s revealed that turbines last less than half the time claimed: with an ‘economic’ lifespan of 10-12 years, as opposed to the 25 years wildly claimed by fan makers and wind power outfits (see our posts here and here).

Or, in the case of top-flight German manufacturer, Siemens – less than 2 years – one of it’s latest batches required wholesale blade and bearing replacement, starting almost as soon as they cranked them into gear (seeour post here) – Siemens blaming “harsh weather conditions both onshore and offshore” – as if its fans had been designed to run inside aircraft hangars ….

In the Californian desert – where salty-sea-air is unlikely to be the “problem” often complained about for rusty off-shore turbines, as they grind to early “retirement” – an entire fleet of 2 year old Siemens fans are throwing their blades to the four-winds, spewing out oil like Saudi Arabia and spontaneously combusting – making a mockery of wind industry claims that turbines run on the smell of an oily rag for 25 years or more (see our post here).

The other key factor in the fraud, is the overly optimistic expectation that the value and longevity of government mandated subsidy schemes – like the LRET and the REC Tax/Subsidy drawn from retail power consumers’ bills and directed to wind power outfits – hold the same degree of permanence as the Egyptian Pyramids.

pyramids-22small

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However, while they’re no guide to the permanence of taxpayer’ and power consumers’ (forced) largesse, the shape of the Pharaohs’ tombs informs another aspect of the great wind power fraud: the fact that, when it all boils down, this is a monumental pyramid scheme, that would have made Charles Ponzi green with envy.

Some might call it “high hopes”, others, “hubris”, but either way, when the corporate puff evaporates, it’s the investors that take the beating.

The dreadful “uncertainty” about the willingness of governments to continue fleecing power consumers and taxpayers – in order to keep throwing massive subsidies at the greatest rort of all time (which, on the wind industry’s pitch will be needed until kingdom come) – has resulted in the collapse of more than 120 wind industry suppliers in the past two years, “including 88 from Asia, 23 from Europe and 18 from North America” (see our post here).

In Germany – despite the fact the the wind industry there has pocketed the lion’s share of at “least half a trillion € in subsidies” – German investors are taking a flogging: “37 percent of wind farms are losing investors’ money” and “two thirds are in deficit or just about cover their running costs” (see our post here).

And American “farmer investors” have been fleeced for $millions, as breezy optimism hits revenue reality (see our post here).

Around the world, wind farm investors are being fleeced by the same types of hucksters and weasels that run outfits like Infigen and Pac Hydro; and the smarmy gits that set up so-called “community wind farms” – praying on greed and gullibility in their efforts to pocket $billions in REC Tax/Subsidies.

The scam is the same the world over: pitch numbers that show returns that are too good to be true (they are) and watch the suckers beat a path to your door: greed trumps common sense often enough.

As PT Barnum said: “every crowd has a silver lining” – an adage put to great effect by wholesale fraudsters like Bernie Madoff in scams often tagged “Ponzi” schemes; named after Charles Ponzi – who would have taken to the wind industry like a duck to water.

Madoff – who ended up with a 150 year stretch in stir for his share-market shenanigans – would, no doubt, be pleased to know that the wind industry has followed his “model” and is keeping the Ponzi “dream” alive.

For one of Australia’s biggest wind power outfits to lose $700 million in a single financial year is no small thing – it takes real effort. To rack up that kind of loss when the subsidy rules haven’t changed, simply begs the question: “what happens when those rules inevitably get changed, and result in the (currently) massive subsidies paid to wind power outfits being cut or scrapped?”

As STT has pointed out, just once or twice, the LRET is both politically and economically  unsustainable (see our posts here and here and here). The LRET will implode: it’s a matter of when, not if.

And the wind industry will collapse along with it; scorching $billions of gullible investors’ money as it does: Pac Hydro’s $700 million loss is just the beginning; and that occurred when the subsidy rules were all in its favour.

If you think you’ve got any of your hard-earned anywhere near wind power outfits, like Pac Hydro and Infigen – in the form of superannuation or shares – then grab it, and get out now.

Of course, if you’re a union member – and one of those whose super contributions get automatically channelled into a super fund “chosen” by your union leaders – it might be time to quiz them on just how safe your retirement nest egg is. With their trotters firmly in the great wind power fraud trough, we doubt you’ll get any straight answers; in which event, you might like to start howling for a Royal Commission.

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Many of the World’s Most Brilliant Thinkers, Have No Formal Degrees….

For a friend.

by Pointman

Any real paradigm change in our understanding of how the universe actually tickety tocks along always starts with one person having an interesting and unusually controversial idea, which is always fought against tooth and nail by reactionaries who are heavily invested in whatever worldview is the currently accepted orthodoxy.

There’s nothing wrong with that and that’s the way it should be, since that’s the only way we can robustly examine new ideas and prune off the crap ones. Consensually accepted ideas, like settled science, are a chimera of the intellectual coach potato, buoyed up from all those tired old broken springs beneath them by nothing more than their own flatulence.

I’m not talking here about someone fiddling around with some equation on the third level fringe implications of a rock solid theory, nor that sort of monomaniac who believes in an orbital tea pot or even those really really clever people amongst us who after years of really intensive education are now girding their loins in preparation to finally starting work on that massive teacup storm theory that nobody in their right mind really gives a rat’s ass about, but rather those blessed once a century or two people who come up with ideas that really rock the socks off our little ball of dirt wobbling its way around the sun.

When you’ve spent your entire life believing the universe works in a certain way, writing books about it and teaching that as Gospel, it’s understandable to resent a little shit coming out of nowhere and pointing out seemingly obvious things which imply you were wrong all along. Implying is me putting a nice spin on it, because I’ve got better social skills than the excreta in question; it’s graphically nailing a flawed idea to the wall for all the world to see. The people on the receiving end of that may have the job title scientist, but as always the people holding it are still all too painfully human.

As an aside and if it’s any consolation, there really wasn’t any way of softening the blow. They were always going to come after you in response, because people that smart find it hard to accept they were so badly wrong. Anyway, invariably the little shit embarrassing the hell out of everyone is a dodecahedron-shaped peg attempting a terribly bad imitation of fitting into that round hole of what we would call a normal person.

They’re actually quite easy to spot.

Newton had at least three nervous breakdown that we know of, was a virtual hermit for eight years and yet went on to chair the Royal Society, lay the foundations of celestial mechanics, optics, applied mathematics and as an afterthought the mad bugger came up with calculus, though he was sly enough to keep the latter up his sleeve for a number of years until Leibnitz was on the verge of publishing, just to cut the legs out from under him.

At the same time, he worked illegally and therefore in secret on his ideas about Alchemy and naturally there is no documentation of his success or not in that area. I would seriously love to read his Principia Alchamaea, if perchance there might be such a paper. Oh to have been born a few hundred years earlier. Once upon a time, giants bestrode the very Earth like Goliaths.

The best qualification Einstein ever earned was an average grade teaching cert, which wasn’t even good enough to get him a job as a teacher in his own country. The only way somebody like him can nearly fail an unfailable course to be a teacher is for their body to turn up at every class and at the same time their mind drifting around somewhere else altogether. Cosmology’s loss became the Swiss patent office’s gain.

We can only be thankful that he still liked to fiddle around in his evenings and on weekends with puzzles concerning life, the universe, special relativity and things like that. I suppose we all have to have our little hobbies as a break from mind numbingly boring jobs.

The conclusions to be drawn from looking at any list of the big ideas people is that they aren’t predictable occurrences, can’t be manufactured just in time by any educational process known to man, won’t profile to the normal, will always be at the slightly bewildered centre of savage controversies raging around them by hordes of passionate supporters and equally passionate detractors and rarely end up with the long term loving relationships most of us expect of life. It will always be a tough row to hoe for them.

On a strict Dawkin’s analysis, they are never of immediate utility and should therefore be selected out of the gene pool but that sort of stoopid hammer the screw home thinking breaks down when it comes to us because we’re unique – we have consciousness andsomething else which gets slipped under the altruism rock with some embarrassment on all sides because science daren’t speak its name.

I do relish sitting around the green beige table when someone gets dealt that card by reality, peeks at it for a horrified moment and quickly flicks it into the discard pile to common nods of relief – nobody wants to grapple with that one from inside their necessarily stripped down and consequently crippled view of the universe. That would be nearly grownup stuff.

They may be the runt of the litter but the protectiveness thing kicks in. We don’t throw them over the nearest cliff like the Spartans, instead we give them extra protection and sometimes that’s against the very clever people amongst us who are outraged because of the unfairness of what they represent. They can just see new and shiny things without having done all the blood, sweat and tears of decades of education. It’s just not fair, it really isn’t.

The world is full of clever educated people and you’d be wise to allow them to refine an original idea once they’ve been handed it but you’d be a fool to expect them to come up with truly original thinking. Their minds have been formed, trained, the malleable red-hot iron of their youth has been hammered, bashed and is now cold and annealed. Progress in their education has been trammelled by conforming to whatever is orthodoxy and punishing any wild ideas which are off the reservation. All the proper ways of thinking are by now a Galvanic reflex for them. It’s a form of instutionalised child abuse of the mind by the well-intentioned.

All life develops a mix of skills and mechanisms to protect itself and survive, because that prime directive is welded deep down into the very DNA of life itself, and not even the big ideas people are an exception to it. Mostly, I think life crushes them down early, but the few survivors get along because there’s someone around who looks after them. Even after they’ve fallen out of the nest, they’ve a habit of bumping into people who realise there’s something special about this fledgling and they’ll never make it without some help. It’s a blundering and unconscious throw yourself at their mercy ploy and Ferris Bueller would be so proud to add it to his playbook.

That’s a passive strategy and doesn’t really count because it’s reactive and beyond their control. The big one and always their coping mechanism du jour is to retire within themselves. Withdraw. Gimme your best shot big guy, it won’t hurt, but there’s always a gang of them vying to take coup. Play the idiot savant, do the odd bit of performing seal when it’s demanded and after they’ve all had their jollies and fucked off, you can get back to chipping your way through to something only you can see. It’s good, it’s so comfortable and so easy. At some point, you realise it’s a quiet death and you’re not too bothered.

They’re easy to abuse, since there’s not much sense there. Sense. Where there’s no sense, there’s no feeling, as the old saying goes and there’s usually a bunch of them trying out that theory. Take it, just take it and that passive acceptance is understood to be some sort of confirmation of the cruel off-piste activities their nice parents definitely wouldn’t approve of. What they don’t realise is that they’re just the latest wave of abusers, the new guys in town.

You’ve been done over by better and learned to use the emotion mixing deck in your head. Slide everything down to the bottom and wait, just wait for it all to blow over. It’s all been turned down and nearly but never quite muted. But the emotion is still there. Raw, red, naked and angry, just smouldering away and ready to rock the fucking shop.

I hoiked you out of that comfortable niche and straight into the danger zone. I told you from the very get go that after everyone got over themselves telling you how wonderful and marvellous you were, they’d turn because I knew you’d be pulling down some temples. I know you and I know the beast. You’re way too shiny a penny kiddo, they’ll always be coming after someone like you. Well, that’s happened. You wanna go back to safely pushing a grey sodden mop around the bogs on your way to your next stay in the big house, sulk away, but the delicious ideas will do the swirl down the john and nobody will care.

You’ve taken a bloody good bashing from mediocrity’s bootboys but notice despite their viciousness, they’ve steered well clear of your idea, because they just don’t know how to even begin refuting it, since it neatly fits all the awkward data points of reality they’ve been struggling to explain away for years. The outlier makes the case for the outliers perhaps. Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.

Yes, you’re shocked at the venom, especially from such nice educated people like them. Welcome to our planet Earth at its grubby worst. It’ll get better though. You’ve laid it all out for anyone to see and there’s really nothing more you can do. Relax, get on with something else. Leave them all to kill each other over it. Five years or so down the line, you’ll have science groupies throwing their knickers at you.

A bugger like you was always doomed to be an expensive friendship for someone like me, the smartie who long ago decided to do his very own bop in his very own space and never be a fanboy of anyone or anything. Knowing that, I embraced you anyway because your ideas danced and you didn’t even notice their effect on me. I somehow allowed you to slip through the chinks in my old crustacean armour.

I’m not you nor on my best day could ever be someone like you, but I do know some stuff myself and I’ll be damned if I let you slink away to be eventually proved right four decades later. The stuff I know is simple, and by the way you’d be totally shite at it, because it’s all about those tricky variables called people.

The unflattering reality is that for most supposedly original ideas, their time has come. If it wasn’t Crick and Watson who’d first worked out it was a double helix, someone else would have a month or two later because that idea already had a lot of other people chasing hot on its heels. That fruit was just aching to drop from the tree.

The sad truth to tell is that most ideas are the logical off the shoulder progeny of current thinking who’re just absolutely dying to be born. That’s all fine, it’s all good stuff really but at heart it’s just refinement – at best the next logical transformation of the equation. Not a lot of smarts required really.

What really moves us along is the big whacking bolt out of the blue idea. It’s not the usual logical inferential progression of anything. It’s just a big boss fuck off idea, so radically far out there in front of anything else it’s a gobsmacker. After the stunned silence, it’s slowly recognised as the real deal. We’ll spend the next few decades building backwards from it into current thinking. So few people have that gift within them. You have it.

You come back to us.

©Pointman

News That is So Wonderful, I must Share It Again! Windweasel Goes Down in Flames!

Bye-Bye Barnyard: Mike Barnard’s Boss – IBM – Shuts Down the Wind Industry’s Most Rabid & Nasty Propaganda Parrot

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Mike Barnard – “Barnyard”, as he’s affectionately known – is easily the most vicious, vile and virulent of the wind industry’s beleaguered band of propagandists, spruikers, parasites and media manipulators.

Along with other members of his dwindling pack of marauding-media-manipulators, Barnyard stalks internet sites and Twitter like a starving hyena – venting spleen; denigrating and ridiculing those unfortunates suffering from sleep deprivation caused by incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound – he sneeringly calls them “liars”, without a shred of first-hand evidence to support him, let alone relevant qualifications or experience relating to health or acoustics; slamming highly qualified health and acoustics professionals who’ve been working on the topic of noise and health their whole lives, while simultaneously trying to elevate his best mate – a former tobacco advertising guru – to the status of an acoustics/neuroscience “Einstein” on the health impacts of turbine noise; and otherwise doing his bit to perpetuate every lie, half-truth and myth about the “wonders” of wind.

Hyenas

For a taste of the delusion that grips the man, contrast this complete pile of piffle that Barnyard must have beamed in from the outer reaches of the Cosmos – with the detailed, factually based analysis produced by the Institute for Energy Research that came from good old Mother-ship, Earth (covered in our post here).

Barnyard, runs very close with the other “gold-pass” members of the hyena parasite-pack: “Enemies of the Earth’s”, eco-fascist-in-chief, Leigh Ewbank (aka FOE – a fully paid-up front for Danish fan maker, Vestas); Infigen’s in-house spin-master Ketan Joshi; and “Wind-Lord” Ken McAlpine, the struggling Danish fan maker’s front man in Oz.

But his days of pious pontification, rabid-hate-filled-rants, virulent attacks on highly respected academics, acoustics and health professionals and pedaling myths on the “wonders” of wind power are over.

Barnyard’s self-appointed “expert” status, nastiness and internet ubiquity was speared in a cracking open letter by none-other than STT Champion, Jackie Rovensky who, quite rightly, ripped into his reprehensible ranting with this fine piece of work, that hit pro-community websites back in September.

Mike Barnard’s disreputable wind industry propagandist role revealed
JA Rovensky

Vicious, grossly inaccurate and sometimes defamatory attacks on professionals and researchers are relentless from the wind industry and its vocal cheer squad. Their targets include individuals such as Dr Nina Pierpont, Professor Bob McMurtry, Dr Michael Nissenbaum, Dr Sarah Laurie, Mr Steven Cooper, Professor Colin Hansen, Mr Les Huson, Mr Rick James and numerous others, who work to uncover the truth of reported acoustic emission related adverse health impacts linked to Industrial Wind Turbines.

One of the most prolific and virulent is someone called Mike Barnard, an IBM employee. It seems he began his attacks when living in Canada, and is now physically located in Singapore. Whilst Barnard claims to be operating independently of his employer, IBM, the amount of time he spends blogging on wind power and smart grid related issues, and the business connections IBM have with the renewables industry with respect to smart grid technology and renewable energy, make his assertion that IBM are not involved and supporting his activities questionable.

When one of Barnard’s cyber bullying victims informed him what he’d written was libellous, Barnard’s comment in response was to the effect that he was laughing at them because he was untouchable by living in Singapore and utilising free blogging software in a “Cloud”? IBM has a strict policy on cyberbullying, and has been specifically made aware of Barnard’s activities. What action has IBM taken to discipline their vocal employee, who is bringing their organisation into considerable international disrepute with his behaviour?

So who is Mike Barnard, and what are his professional qualifications? On Barnard’s personal blog site he states he became interested in blogging on energy concerns several years ago, and this led:

to significant contacts, research and writing related to wind energy and its myriad societal and commercial interconnections, including the electrical grid, wind energy innovations, social license, health, noise and legal aspects. [1]

In a response to comment on one of his blogs he responded with:

For a little context on my background, I was the Business Architect responsible for delivery of the world’s first full public health surveillance system for communicable diseases, … funded by the Canadian government …

On his blog site introduction he states:

IBM was engaged to build the major technical solution which automated management of communicable disease and public health surveillance.

This related to Canada. He goes on to state he:

joined the program in the late 2000’s as the business architect, responsible for understanding policy, epidemiology and other business drivers and balancing them with what was pragmatically possible …

IBM was contracted in 2006 to design a system to be completed in 2007. They completed the design of the program in 2008, but in June 2013 the Canadian Medical Association Journal : Journal de l’Association medicale canadienne (CMAJ:JAMC) published an article which reported since then progress had been delayed because of numerous technical problems and confusion among provinces and little had been heard of the program since, “The concept has gone almost nowhere” [2].

Barnard continues to inform us how he has read through health studies and reviews related to wind power from around the world and claims:

constant and deep access and conversations related to public health management, epidemiology and the nature of medical evidence … That experience and on-the-job education has been invaluable as I’ve read through health studies and reviews related to wind power from around the world …

This has apparently also led to:

recognition of my expertise … I’m pleased to say that my material is helping to shape legal defences of wind energy, advocacy programs and investments in several countries.

In addition in 2013 he was assigning a blog “debate” relating to bird flight paths through a proposed Wind Turbine site, as being his impetus to start collecting material, and creating his own personal blog saying:

A few years ago I started down a road that has led to an unexpected place.

However, blogs can be found from him on energy from around 2010 [3], his voyage into health issues seems to have begun around 2012 when he attacked Dr Nina Pierpont and Dr Nissenbaum. Barnard has been involved in blogging on wind energy issues for some time, and he considers himself to be an integral part of the wind industry’s product defence strategy, which is certainly consistent with his behaviour. This is also consistent with how he is perceived by others who are also actively engaged in the same dishonest activities of denying the known adverse health impacts of wind turbine acoustic emissions; known to the wind industry and acousticians to cause damage to health via “annoyance” symptoms including sleep disturbance and body vibrations for nearly thirty years, since the work undertaken by Dr Neil Kelley et al in collaboration with NASA and a number of research organisations and wind turbine manufacturers.

The list of “publications” following these claims relate to blog sites and/or websites which are sites supporting Renewable Energy production and blogs which repeat the misinformation. They are not peer reviewed journal articles, nor has Mr Barnard been qualified to give expert evidence in any jurisdiction on wind turbine health and noise issues.

Barnard proudly displays a list of his 50 “Skills and Expertise” which includes “Wind Energy and Health”. None of the others cover any medical or health skill or expertise, and it hasn’t been possible to locate any medical or health related training or degree, or indeed any other relevant technical, professional or academic qualifications he has achieved with direct relevance to wind turbine noise or health, as he does not provide details of them. This suggests that Mr Barnard does not have that relevant professional background, academic training or expertise.

Just what is Mr Barnard’s specific expertise in this area?

Throughout Barnard’s blogging career he has concentrated on castigating, defaming and ridiculing those who do have qualifications, research and/or authorships, and who are demonstrably independent of the wind industry and from those who benefit financially from its operations.

One person in particular he’s taken aim at is Dr Sarah Laurie from South Australia, who is the CEO of the Waubra Foundation. The Waubra Foundation was established to facilitate independent multidisciplinary research into the impacts of infrasound and low frequency noise and vibration on human health. Wind turbine noise is just one source of noise the Foundation is concerned with.

Dr Sarah Laurie is a fully trained and qualified doctor, with clinical experience as a highly regarded rural General Practitioner, but she is not currently registered to practice medicine because of personal and family health issues and caring responsibilities. In Australia, it is a requirement that to practice medicine, you must be currently registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA). Dr Laurie is not currently practising medicine with her current work as CEO of the Waubra Foundation. She is not seeing patients, she is not diagnosing conditions, and she is not prescribing medicine. She is listening carefully to what people adversely impacted by environmental noise tell her about their health problems, and the diagnoses their treating health practitioners have given them, if they choose to share that information with her.

Claims made by Mr Barnard (and others working with the wind industry such as Infigen Employee Laura Dunphy, and VESTAS employee Ken McAlpine) that she is deregistered are deliberately false. Implying that she has been “struck off” for professional misconduct is just one example of Barnard’s regular defamatory utterances, which are then repeated by others. Further his claims that she was “forced” to stop using the title of Doctor are also false. Mr Barnard continually deliberately misleads his readers with such comments and is clearly disinterested in the truth.

Because of a spurious complaint to the regulatory authority that she was “practising medicine whilst being unregistered” Dr Laurie voluntarily offered to AHPRA not to use the title “Dr” which retired or non-practising doctors are legally entitled to do in Australia, because she did not wish to mislead anyone about her current non registered status in her work with the Waubra Foundation. There had been no complaints to AHPRA from anyone who Sarah had interacted with that she had misled them as she had always been careful to ensure that anyone contacting her directly for information about their own circumstances was well aware of her current unregistered status. Indeed anyone with any awareness of this issue would be well aware of her current unregistered status because of the wide and frequent publicity this issue was given by the wind industry and its vocal supporters, particularly Professor Simon Chapman, the ABC and Fairfax media.

There is no restriction on anyone else referring to her as “Dr”, nor is there a restriction on her using the title if she was not performing her role as the Waubra Foundation CEO. AHPRA staff expressed their gratitude to her for this offer not to use the title “Dr”, which they accepted, with the proviso that when she reregistered to practice she would resume using the title “Dr”.

This issue was specifically clarified in the Environmental Review Tribunal Decision: Bovaird v. Director, Ministry of the Environment where the judgment stated the following:

The Tribunal finds that this evidence supports Ms. Laurie’s assertion that the AHPRA did not make any finding in respect of the complaint made against her.

Why did Mike Barnard ignore this finding of the Tribunal?

It is clear that he did not mention it because his intent was to deliberately smear Dr Laurie’s professional and personal reputation. It is also clear that the original widely publicised complaint to the NHMRC and AHPRA alleging professional and research misconduct, was done for precisely the same reasons by those within public health and wind industry circles in Australia who were unhappy with the attention the issue of health damage from wind turbine noise was attracting.

Those involved in this sordid episode include senior people in the ranks of public health bodies in Australia, including the Public Health Association of Australia, whose CEO, Michael Moore made the complaint, and whose computer created the defamatory “anonymous” allegation document. Mr Moore has since apologised to Dr Laurie, and the NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson has also apologised for the NHMRC’s behaviour towards Dr Laurie in a letter to the Chair of the Waubra Foundation, Peter Mitchell. The NHMRC unnamed “spokesperson” had leaked information about the allegations to crikey journalist Amber Jamieson, specifically naming Dr Laurie. Others such as Professor Simon Chapman have admitted they “saw a draft” of the defamatory allegations document, and Infigen Energy’s propagandist Ketan Joshi is uncharacteristically silent when challenged by others on various blog sites about his knowledge and involvement in the production and distribution of this defamatory document. The format of the document was remarkably similar to the way Infigen energy prepares their responses to issues raised by objectors to their environmental assessments.

Among Dr Laurie’s credentials are her positions as a former Examiner for the Australian College of General Practitioners, a former Mid-North Division of General Practice representative and former member of the regional Mental Health Advisory Committee. She was a provider of pro bono services to the local Aboriginal community and a cofounder of the regional Rape and Sexual Assault service. She also undertook emergency care work at the local rural hospital as a visiting medical officer, in addition to her role as an employee, associate and then partner in a local medical practice.

These credentials are not confidential, and are available to Mr Barnard and anyone else who wishes to ascertain her qualifications, just by looking at the Waubra Foundation website [4], and reading the speech given in the Australian Federal Parliament about this matter, by the former Member for Hume, Alby Schultz [5].

Dr Laurie states clearly she has no expertise in acoustics, but does consult regularly and collaborates closely with those who are acousticians, to help ensure she understands what she needs to in relation to exposure levels of infrasound, audible noise and vibration and correlations with reported health symptoms. She also repeats constantly she does not undertake and is not trained to do research in an academic manner, but is actively facilitating the research being conducted by others. What she goes to great pains to explain is that she listens very carefully to the symptoms people living near environmental noise experience themselves and then try and describe. This is a core skill required by rural general practitioners, something she was specifically trained to do and was particularly skilled at. Rural doctors need excellent diagnostic skills, most of which is dependent on taking a very careful clinical history, as they do not have the luxury of specialists “next door” and easy and rapid access to a range of diagnostic facilities which city counterparts take for granted.

Dr Laurie then collects and collates pieces of information given to her by people reporting changes to their health after wind turbines and other industrial noise sources begin operating in their vicinity, looking for similarities and patterns which give important clues as to direct causation. Occasionally people provide her with some of their medical records and other health data, which is kept confidential unless the person concerned gives their permission for the information to be out in the public domain, or the information has already been reported publicly in the media or in oral or written testimony to courts, tribunals, and parliamentary inquiries.

Dr Laurie always maintains confidentiality, even when under significant and very public pressure from others demanding she release information to them for their research. One example is the repeated private and public harassment from Professor Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at Sydney University, and Expert Adviser to the Climate and Health Alliance, to release the names of residents forced to leave their homes and other details such as locations of their abandoned homes [6]. Much of that information had been provided to her in confidence, and some of the information could have caused significant harm to the people concerned – for example because of non-disclosure clauses in legal documents signed by people providing the information, or by their close relations. Others requested privacy because of concerns about property damage, burglary or arson to unoccupied homes. It has subsequently emerged from inquiries made by Senator Madigan’s staff, that at the time Professor Chapman conducted his inquiries, he did not have in place prior ethics committee approvals from the Sydney University Ethics Committee. Requests for information were made directly to wind turbine noise affected residents, causing them considerable distress. [update:The Sydney University Ethics Committee has clarified that no approval was required, as the ‘research’ entailed only asking people to corroborate already public statements.]

Whatever the Bovaird ERT Tribunal said in Ontario, Dr Laurie cannot be objectively considered as having been “diagnosing” patients since she ceased practicing.

Examination of information consisting of health issues diagnosed by treating physicians and discussing this information with the informants does not constitute “making a diagnosis”, which is a process requiring a thorough clinical evaluation by a treating health practitioner. What Dr Laurie did in the Boviard case is no different to what she has done elsewhere, and can only be considered as evaluating the combination of specific individual clinical circumstances with respect to the available research evidence and clinical knowledge. That was precisely what Dr Laurie had been asked to do. She was not asked to diagnose patients, nor would she have done so, as she is well aware of the appropriate constraints on such activities for those who are not currently registered to practice medicine.

Irrespective of the Environment Review Tribunal’s questionable determination in the Boviard case, which is consistent with other questionable decisions made by the same Tribunal resulting in many rural Ontarians being harmed by wind turbine noise because of unsafe and continuing wind turbine development approvals, it is logically impossible for anyone to diagnose someone “before” they have symptoms.

Identifying that some people who have one or more acknowledged risk factors prior to Industrial Wind Turbines beginning to operate provides information about predictable health problems which may ensue with exposure to infrasound and low frequency noise. You don’t have to be a trained doctor or research academic to come to that conclusion, but clearly the knowledge attained from years of study and subsequent clinical practice does put a formerly registered practising medical practitioner in a position where her expertise can be utilised, as an expert witness in this field, without her currently “practising” medicine.

The complete lack of critical thinking used by members of the Ontario Environment Review Tribunal who used such irrational logic to determine whether someone has the ability to offer a hypothesis, is mind boggling at best and disturbingly suggestive of bias at worst.

There are constant references to Dr Laurie not being able to stipulate what distance she determines is a safe distance these turbines should be from people. Dr Laurie consistently states she cannot provide a fixed distance, as there are many variables to be considered and the multi-disciplinary research needs to be undertaken first. After all, not only are turbines becoming larger, and installed in greater numbers in individual projects or through extending existing project many other variables have to be taken into account, such as the geology, wind directions and speed, seasonal changes, temperatures to name some.

Professor Colin Hansen’s research group’s latest acoustic survey at Waterloo Wind Development in South Australia [7] is a good example of the sort of research Dr Laurie has been stating is required for the last four years. That acoustic survey demonstrated that there is indeed a low frequency noise problem for neighbours to Waterloo wind development, and that it can extend out even beyond 8km under certain circumstances.

This is precisely what Dr Laurie stated three years ago; when the Waubra Foundation’s explicit Cautionary Notice was issued on 29th June, 2011. The information which led to the distance of 10km being specified in that document came from adversely impacted residents at Waterloo. Professor Hansen’s team’s research findings have now supported Dr Laurie’s statement in 2011 about the distance of impact and are consistent with the residents’ consistent reports for nearly four years of a low frequency noise problem from the wind turbines at Waterloo, which severely disrupts their sleep.

Much is made by Mr Barnard and others of the “nocebo” effect, whilst they dismiss the existence of “wind turbine syndrome”. However Mr Barnard fails to disclose that British Acoustician Dr Geoff Leventhall specifically acknowledges the existence of the symptoms of wind turbine syndrome, indeed Leventhall stated in June 2011 in a presentation to the National Health and Medical Research Council [8] that he had been familiar with the identical symptoms to WTS which he calls “noise annoyance” for “years”. Leventhall further noted that Dr Nina Pierpont’s contribution to the field of environmental noise was to identify certain risk factors for developing “noise annoyance” symptoms.

For those interested, the presentation and the slide show are available on the NHMRC website, and also on www.wind-watch.org. The relevant slides are slides 42–44, and the footage is between 49 and 52 minutes of the video.

Mr Barnard has also failed to disclose that leading otologist, and Harvard Professor Steven Rauch has recently confirmed that he is seeing patients with the characteristic symptoms of “wind turbine syndrome”. Journalist Alex Halperin had this to say in a recent article [9]:

Dr Steven Rauch, an otologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a professor at Harvard Medical School, believes WTS is real. Patients who have come to him to discuss WTS suffer from a “very consistent” collection of symptoms, he says. Rauch compares WTS to migraines, adding that people who suffer from migraines are among the most susceptible to turbines. There’s no existing test for either condition but “Nobody questions whether or not migraine is real.”

“The patients deserve the benefit of the doubt,” Rauch says. “It’s clear from the documents that come out of the industry that they’re trying very hard to suppress the notion of WTS and they’ve done it in a way that [involves] a lot of blaming the victim.”

Mr Barnard also fails to mention the opinions of rural family physicians such as Dr Sandy Reider, from Vermont, who is at the front line of clinical care for those affected by wind turbine noise, that “wind turbine syndrome” is a euphemistic description which does not sufficiently depict the clinical severity of the clinical cases he is seeing [10].

Mr Barnard fails to mention the opinion of Irish Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Colette Bonner, who has also publicly acknowledged the existence of “wind turbine syndrome” and said that those affected need to be treated with understanding. A recent media report from Ireland stated the following [11]:

“The Department of Health’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Colette Bonner, has said that older people, people who suffer from migraine, and others with a sensitivity to low-frequency vibration, are some of those who can be at risk of “wind turbine syndrome”.

“These people must be treated appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be very debilitating,” she commented in a report to the Department of the Environment last year.”

Mr Barnard, and those whose commercial interests he is working so hard to protect, is involved in a grubby, dishonest, misinformation and vilification campaign, as part of a global defence strategy for the global wind industry. This industry has been well aware of the problems directly caused by wind turbine noise since 1987, when Dr Neil Kelley’s research [12] establishing direct causation of annoyance symptoms from infrasound and low frequency noise was presented at the American Wind Energy Association conference.

Mr Barnard and his associates’ behaviour is further eroding the personal and professional reputations of all those involved, and eroding the reputations of the companies and organisations they work for, including in this instance IBM.

However, perhaps more importantly Mr Barnard’s behaviour is further eroding the public’s confidence in the global wind industry and its social licence to operate. Such tactics in Australia will only result in the lessening of political and public support for the large subsidies from electrical consumers which are required to keep the wind industry operating.

As Professor Ross McKitrick from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, recently pointed out, the wind industry runs on subsidies [13]. Without the support of the public who are funding the wind industry via their mounting electricity bills, and the politicians responsible for the legislation which forces the subsidies to be collected directly from the public, the wind industry in Australia and elsewhere around the world is doomed – a fitting consequence for such a dishonest and health damaging industry which has shattered the lives of too many rural residents and their families for too long.

It’s time, as a growing number of professionals and researchers are openly saying, for the wind industry to accept the problem, and work to eliminate it. “Shooting the professional messengers” as the Energy and Policy Institute publication by Barnard [14] has tried to do, will not stop the litigation for noise nuisance, negligence against complicit acousticians, or applications for injunctions to cease the operation of turbines, and will only further reduce the diminishing social licence for the wind industry to operate.

JA Rovensky

CLAY LISTON

Nice work, Jackie!

To see the original, along with Jackie’s numerous footnotes and references – click here.

That link also contains a detailed comment from the documentary film maker, Andrew Greg – who put together the brilliant wind power fraud expose, Wind Rush for CBC.

For his fine, well-researched and documented efforts, Andrew was rewarded with one of wind-lunatic, Barnyard’s typically vehement, unhinged tirades: demanding that CBC never employ him ever again; personally attacking Andrew and his family; and anyone else that Barnyard could think of, that poses a threat to his maniacal world-view.

Barnyard’s “motive” for all that untamed malice?

Why, the mighty dollar, of course.

Barnyard works for American IT giant, IBM, developing the computer software that’s used in “smart” grid management systems and “smart” power meters – that are part and parcel of the chaos associated with Barnyard’s pet power generation “system”: a “system” centred on a wholly weather dependent power source, that will only ever deliver power at crazy, random intervals (if at all).

It’s that inherent chaos which provides the “market” for Barnyard’s “smart” grid software, among wind power outfits and grid managers.

And it’s the chaos inherent in the wind power “system” that sets up an increase in the opportunities for rampant gaming and rorting of the market for sparks – which is where Barnyard’s “smart” meter software comes into its own.

“Smart” meters are perfectly designed to allow power companies to make out like Mexican bandits on the hundreds of occasions each year when wind power collapses for hours each day, and for days on end. These inevitable and unpredictable wind power output collapses see the usual dispatch price for power, of around $40 per MWh, quickly rocket towards the regulated cap of $12,500 per MWh and, on plenty of occasions, hit it (see our posts here and here and here and here).

The only trouble for power companies is, that – in the absence of “smart” meters – they can’t hit power punters directly for the full costs of these wind power “outage” driven price spikes. With Barnyard’s smart meter systems in place, they can.

Clever stuff!

The inevitable result will be that – when demand for power to run fans and air-conditioners spikes on a hot, still summer’s day (or for heating during still, frosty weather) – coinciding with a (natural) total wind power output collapse – power punters will face being walloped with the full cost of the rort – being charged at the price prevailing at that very moment by peaking-power piranhas – ie not based on the average cost of power to the grid, but on the actual dispatch price, as it rockets its way from around $40 to $12,500 per MWh.

But – with 10s of thousands of Australians already struggling to afford power and 10s of thousands more being disconnected at unprecedented rates for failure to pay their bills now – adding “smart” meters simply means that more power-starved grannies will end up perishing in hot weather (or shivering to death in winter).

Now, that explains Barnyard’s mercenary motives, but trying to find some kind of explanation for his inherent nastiness requires an investigation to find out whether it’s because mummy didn’t love him, or if he was the fat kid that his schoolmates habitually and gleefully rolled down the hill just for fun?

And – returning to Jackie’s letter – don’t you just love it when self-appointed “experts”, like Barnyard – without a shred of qualification or experience relevant to the task at hand – launch vitriolic attacks on those who do? Barnyard’s style is an insidious phenomenon that’s pervasive among the wind industry’s parasites and spruikers: the less qualified they are, the nastier they are, the louder they shout, and the more lies they tell.

pinocchio

Jackie’s open letter was greeted with cheers among communities battling the great wind power fraud around the Globe; and the thrust of it was drawn to the attention of his boss, IBM, by the North American Platform Against Wind Power (NA-PAW) in a delightful and insightful letter (for a copy of NA-PAW’s thumping letter to IBM – click here).

Now IBM have responded in the only way a major corporation trying to protect an International reputation for ethical and socially responsible dealing could: it’s pulled Barnyard into gear – forcing him to: shut down his wind industry backed propaganda website, Barnardonwind; drop his self-appointed “role” as “Senior Fellow” for wind industry propaganda front, the Energy and Policy Institute; and to “no longer publish on wind energy”.

OUCH!

Here’s a rundown on IBM’s embarrassed response to Barnyard’s unauthorized, vitriolic and deranged extracurricular activities from NA-PAW.

Mike Barnard’s wind wings clipped by employer IBM
NA-PAW (North American Platform Against Wind Power)
12 December 2014

Barnard told to stop writing on wind power, resign fellowship from Energy and Policy Institute, and delete his blog: Barnard on Wind

Mike Barnard last month was taken to task by researcher Jackie Rovensky of AU and NA-PAW (North American Platform Against Wind Power) for a long-standing series of malicious attacks on trusted and respected professionals worldwide, who have variously documented and researched the now widely recognized devastating effects of industrial wind on human health.

This action by IBM is easily understood.

Barnard is best known for his self-proclaimed stance as a pro wind “expert”, who critiques others for their “lack of expertise.” He has zero qualifications for his writings on wind, yet “calls himself the lead researcher” in a study that calls wind victims “liars.”

Barnard has also falsely asserted that his “power reading” and “constant and deep access and conversations related to public health management, epidemiology and the nature of medical evidence … That experience and on-the-job education has been invaluable as I’ve read through health studies and reviews related to wind power from around the world” … which led to “recognition of my expertise … I’m pleased to say that my material is helping to shape legal defences of wind energy, advocacy programs and investments in several countries.”

This bravado has found its “religious” base with wind power developers and promoters, but Barnard now can only boast of a protracted vacation from writing on wind.

Others use his cyber bullying and “manufactured facts” to recreate their own smears.

IBM Corporate Officer (Brand Manager, Communications) Carrie Bendzsa, after numerous discussions with Lange of NA-PAW, wrote to NA-PAW, thanking the organization for bringing this matter to their attention, asserting that none of “these postings or comments (libel by Barnard) were IBM endorsed actions.”

The communique continues:

“We don’t have an advocacy position on energy and we have a number of social computing guidelines and policies in place that our employees are instructed and expected to follow. Furthermore, the individuals who are upset by the postings should be assured that IBM does not have any negative views about them personally or professionally.

“IBM has spent considerable time reviewing this matter internally and has taken several actions that our employee has agreed to comply with to resolve this matter. These include having the employee delete the Barnardonwind blog, terminate the Energy and Policy Institute Senior Fellow role and agree to no longer publish on wind energy.”

“We truly appreciate you stepping forward to bring this matter to our attention.”

Lange notes that the kind of serial cyber bullying that has occurred with Barnard on Wind, some of which has been subsumed into other pro wind sites, is of a serious nature: “It is regarded as irrational, unprovoked criticism,” based on the apparent, some would say obvious, intent to harm careers and cast doubt on the professional integrity of individuals. It has no basis in fact, and can be compared in a way to “hate” speech.

Notes Lange: “Cyber Bullying and defamation falls under the Criminal Code, and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Canada.” “Defamatory libel is likewise a crime under the Criminal Code, if the libelous statement is directed against a person in authority and could seriously harm his or her reputation.” (The persons affected by the Barnard libel are indeed persons in authority.) “This is punishable by up to five years in prison.” (While the US defamation laws are less plaintiff friendly, there are legal markers since 1964 for those knowingly harming by the power of innuendo and falsehoods.)

NA-PAW expresses thanks to IBM for its ethical leadership, and reserves the right to observe and facilitate the removal of all related and corollary defamation from satellite websites, if need be with the assistance of web expert libel/defamation lawyers.

One of several bullying notes to Dr. Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation:

Ms. Laurie: You have not responded as of yet to my letter below. I await your confirmation that you will stop actively promoting health fears which cause illness near wind farms in light of the recent and historical research showing this to be the case.

Yours,
Mike Barnard
Singapore

CONTACT:
Sherri Lange

CEO NA-PAW (North American Platform Against Wind Power)
www.na-paw.org
kodaisl@rogers.com
416 567 5115

For the original with references – click here.

From NA-PAW’s piece above, it seems that those Barnyard’s attacked in Canada are keen to see him spend a little time in a Canadian “cooler”; although we’re not sure what the extradition rules are between Canada and Singapore?

In any event, Barnyard – who taunts his growing band of detractors from his bunker in Singapore – might like to hole up for a while with boys like Julian Assange, in the Ecuadorian Consulate in London; or Edward Snowden in Russia? That way he would get to compare notes with some other computer programmers, who turned opportunistic, self-righteous, narcissistic, media manipulators. We’re sure that he’d be amongst friends.

But, Barnyard’s clear and present danger isn’t a Canadian Clink, it’s his future tenure with IBM.

IBM’s edict that: Barnyard “no longer publish on wind energy” is going to have an utterly crippling effect on the rogue blogger and website-stalker.

What will he do with the thousands of hours that he would have otherwise spent vilifying and attacking those who don’t share his infantile love of giant fans? Take up golf? More time at Pilates?

Following his bosses’ orders will, no doubt, be a big challenge.

drinker struggling

But STT’s sure that our followers will be only too glad to help him stay on the “straight-and-narrow” with his employer. Think of it in the same vein as steering that struggling AA member away from the pub and otherwise keeping them off the booze.

To that end, we suggest that from here on in, wherever and whenever you see Mike Barnard (or Mike using any known or suspected nom de plume) “publish on wind energy” – whether posting or commenting on a blog or website, writing papers, journals, etc; or otherwise spreading his version of the “wonders” of wind energy – let Sherri Lange of NA-PAW know with an email to: kodaisl@rogers.com – so she can pass on the links to Barnard’s posts, comments, etc to IBM.

STT’s has no doubt that Sherri will be delighted to help Barnyard keep his future employment with IBM safe and secure.

Or, if you catch Barnyard breaching IBM’s edict about not publishing on wind energy, why not send his posts, comments and rants DIRECT to IBM?

Here’s the link to send an email to IBM:http://www.ibm.com/scripts/contact/contact/us/en

And here’s the postal addresses, if you think snail-mail would work better:

Chairman, President and CEO, Ginni Rometty
IBM Corporation
New Orchard Road
Armonk, New York 10504
C.c. Board of Directors

And

IBM Non-Management Directors
c/o Chair, IBM Directors and Corporate Governance Committee
International Business Machines Corporation
Mail Drop 390
New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY 10504

Think of it as noble work – you’ll be helping some-one who can’t help himself keep his well-paid job with IBM, while ridding the internet of one of its most rabid pests.

Oh, and if you see Barnyard commenting and/or blogging in relation to this post, be sure to let Sherri Lang and IBM know.

barnard400scooter