To the Editor: Small is beautiful. Each wind turbines output, whatever size, pales beside each gargantuan coal\Nuclear steam turbines hundreds of millions of watts.
Yet, underground coal extraction often entombs people. Surface mining blasts away mountaintops, killing some birds and bats, most fish from eliminated streams and most other interfering wildlife. Habitats collapse, threatening wildlifes and peoples future. Both techniques poison well water. Coals transportation loses energy. Combustion leaves global warming, acid rain and emphysema.
Assuming success re-"sequestering" carbon once locked away inside coal, how much energys needed? Combustion chemically combines each coal carbon ion (atomic mass 12 [Periodic Table of the Elements]) with two oxygen ions (atomic mass 16 each [ibid.]) Added together into CO2, its nearly 4 times its parent fuels mass. Wrestling coal from ground; crushing it; transporting it in for burning, then taking out CO2 (sealed from atmosphere), all needs how much energy? Successfully done, if re-sequestration lets it continue, whats energys gain or loss; what proportion still gets us electricity?
Nuclears plutonium-239 (Pu239) by-product is the most toxic material known. Also, its fissile. Isolated, it can power atomic bombs.
Half-life is over 24,000 years (Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 66th ed. p. B-445). Literally for ages, wont terrorists intensively seek it?
Even reposed in currently driest locations, after 24,000 maybe 48,000 years, with half or a quarter left, its once-dry repository may be moist possibly submerged. Within such geologic time, riding that underground water, its ions may stealthily invade living tissue even human, if we still exist. Pu239 is safe nowhere on Earth.
Energy shouldnt get federal help. If any is written in, defeat the energy bill.
Climate change challenges orthodoxy. Can climate change safely succumb under orthodoxys huge centrally monopolizable steam plants?
Shutting down steams Goliath makes sense. Toward that, being inherently so small, wind turbines must be as large as conceivable. At last, some of them exceed 400-foot heights with 250-foot diameters! Six hundred- or 700-foot heights would be better though, when built. Once developed, 400-foot rotor diameters too even 500 feet! Manufacturing with carbon fiber might permit this.
Even with conservation, shouldnt supplies be greener too?
Large wind turbines require large separations. Utilizing them can include photovoltaics, food farming, manufacturing, housing, forest, wilderness, wildlife, etc.
Clean Lilliputian wind can now clean some dirty old Big Steam right out of business. Let wind keep rising, cleaning out more steam!
David E. Manwell