Re: climate action and Green New Deal

To the editor:

As a regular summer visitor to Saranac Lake, I often view your paper online and was shocked by the obvious misinformation behind your May 25 story, “Teens demand climate action.”

Contrary to climate alarmists, nothing mankind does affects global temperatures, and carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but the “gas of life” consumed by plants.

Temperatures were much higher during the Roman Warm Period (250 BC to 450 AD) and Medieval WP (950 to 1250 AD), when life flourished and CO2 levels were lower, confirming temperature and CO2 are not linked.

The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has over 31,000 signatures of scientists disputing global warming.

Further, the “Green New Deal” to replace fossil fuels and nuclear power with “green energy” is irrational and impossible.

Natural gas, coal, oil and nuclear power plants generate 82.8 percent or 3.459 billion MWh of the 4.178 billion MWh America uses yearly. Wind accounts for only 6.6 percent of our electricity and solar 1.6 percent.

How many more wind turbines and acres of land would it take to replace 3.459 billion MWh of electricity?

A 2 MW turbine has a capacity of generating 17,520 MWh of electricity yearly but typically generates only 30 percent of capacity, or 5,256 MWh. Dividing 3.459 billion MWh by 5,256 MWh equals 658,100 more wind turbines.

However, since energy isn’t used at a constant rate, electricity must be generated at peak power demand, typically 175 percent of average demand, thus requiring 1,151,675 turbines nationwide.

Regarding acreage for 1,151,675 turbines, a typical 2 MW turbine requires 100 acres of space. Thus you would need 115,167,500 acres, or a 179,949-square-mile wind farm the size of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. That assumes no buildings or trees, just wall-to-wall turbines. And if the wind doesn’t blow at least 10 mph or the blades ice up, there is no electricity.

Wind turbines can never replace the 3.459 billion MWh of electricity generated by fossil fuel and nuclear plants, nor can wind or solar farms replace the fossil fuels needed to heat millions of residential, commercial and industrial structures, and power our transportation systems.

“Going green” only works if your “bright idea” is to destroy our economy and free markets. Schools failing to teach the truth fail their students.

Robert E. Dufresne



Temperatures during the Roman Warm Period: http://www.co2science.org/subject/r/summaries/rwpeurope.php

Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine: http://www.oism.org/pproject/

U.S. Energy Information Agency: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

National Wind Watch, Turbine Capacity: https://www.wind-watch.org/faq-output.php

Peak to average demand: http://www.yourenergyblog.com/peak-to-average-electricity-demand-ratio-climbing-across-the-u-s/ and https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=15051

National Wind Watch, turbine acreage: https://www.wind-watch.org/faq-size.php and https://www.saskwind.ca/land-area

Square miles by state: https://state.1keydata.com/states-by-size.php

(Editor’s note: As fact-checkers we think it is worth saying that we consider some of his sources of information to be less than reliable. The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, which runs CO2Science, receives funding from oil and coal companies including ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy, which have an interest in countering academic scientists’ climate change studies. And the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine’s petition is from 1998, before much of the modern climate research had been done. Its organizers have admitted that not all the names on the petition were verified, and later journalism showed that at least some of them were false — also that some were unaware their names had been submitted and that others no longer supported it. Also, only a handful of those 31,000 “scientists” were climate scientists; a large portion were engineers. Nevertheless, it is important to hear from various sides in this important debate, so with this disclaimer we publish Mr. Dufresne’s letter and invite readers to research the matter on their own.)