Creative destruction refers to new technologies that destroy old ways of doing things. Today’s example is the demise of payphones via cell phones. Unfortunately, some destruction is not creative at all, as is the case with the war against both food and energy security in favor of intermittent and unreliable energy substitutes.
Steve Greenhut, writing for The American Spectator, wrote that “the entire history of human existence has been defined by a mad search for calories. Hunger, poverty and short life spans are the norm, not the exception. I feel a combination of optimism and dread about the state of humanity when the biggest ‘food security’ problem is that delicious, life-sustaining food (namely meat products) is too expensive and readily available.”
Similarly, Dr. Robert Zubrin, PhD, in his book “Merchants of Despair,” wrote that the use of basic energy, in the form of “fire-driven” machines, liberated mankind from the slavery of brute toil, replacing poverty with plenty, isolation with mobility, darkness with light, and ignorance with knowledge. “Without fire, there can be no human existence worthy of the name.” He believes the effort to control climate is really nothing less than an effort to constrain humankind’s ability to manage and use energy supplies due to overwrought concerns about the growth-inducing impacts of the same. That is to say, some people believe the worst thing that can happen is that which promotes population growth and consumerism.
Let’s discuss the effort to replace ag operations and traditional energy sources with wind and solar farms, the latest example being Lompoc’s Strauss Wind Energy Farm. The project entails constructing 30 enormous wind turbines, 492 feet tall, with a span of more than 450 feet, which is significantly larger than the wingspan of a 747. The project will impact 3,000 acres of farm ground, require moving nearly 1 million cubic feet of dirt, the removal of over 600 oak trees, the generation of over 16,000 construction truck trips, and require up to 400 tons of steel for the construction of each tower.
What is worse than all the cradle-to-grave ecological impacts of manufacturing, installing and operating this power source? The impending epidemiological impacts of the same. How would this project present a health hazard, you ask? One of mankind’s best friends in nature is the bat. One bat can eat between 500 and 1,000 mosquitos and other disease-carrying insect pests in just one hour, or about 6,000 per night. It is a well-known fact that wind turbines kill upwards of a million bats each year (not to mention hundreds of thousands of birds, including endangered species), meaning billions of mosquitos and other disease-carrying insects will live to spread diseases.
Another effect of these wind turbines is the incredible noise generated by the same, which has been compared to that of a helicopter, along with another phenomenon known as infrasound, which refers to the low frequency vibrations of these turbines that pummels the human anatomy of nearby residents.
We need to have an honest discussion in our society regarding the cost/benefit analysis, from cradle to grave, of the various energy sources available to us. Such an analysis will prove that oil, natural gas and nuclear energy are far superior to wind and solar by every metric imaginable.
Unlike wind and solar, nuclear, oil and gas operations produce 24/7, take up very little land, and they rarely create deleterious impacts upon birds and bats. Moreover, oil and gas are just as natural to the earth as is sunlight and wind. In fact, when its properties and uses were first discovered and vastly appreciated, oil was referred to as the miracle of liquid sunshine.