Energy is fundamental to the functioning of modern societies. Without energy, our globalized economy would cease to function.

Unfortunately, the energy source we have used to develop and industrialize – fossil fuels – has a dirty secret: It is destroying the stable climate that is fundamental for a healthy society and human survival.

About the writer: Brendon Thomas is a member of the community organization called Grand Haven Energy, a West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) partner. A longtime resident of Grand Haven, Thomas attended Michigan State University and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in northwest China. He has subsequently worked at the nexus of international development, energy, environment and human rights throughout Southeast Asia. Thomas wrote this op-ed for WMEAC.

(2) comments

Rottweiler

A lot of vague generalities by a snowflake.

Vladtheimp

What is “White Privilege”? Brendon Thomas is White Privilege. Grows up in Grand Haven; graduates from MSU without any debt; travels the world courtesy of our tax dollars (Peace Corps); Community Organizer in S.E. Asia; employee or volunteer at EarthRights International; member of the community organization called Grand Haven Energy, a West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) partner; and now at the ripe old age of 31, Professional scold and nag lecturing us benighted rubes (including elected officials and actual environmental professionals of the errors of our ways.

His White Privilege has enabled him to grace the pages of the Tribune hectoring us with the glories of wind and solar and the evils of coal and natural gas (notice that the new environmentalist ploy is to call Natural Gas ‘Methane’ – you know, like sewers).

Yes, Mr. White Privilege would have us follow California into the Hades of a compromised electric grid and power outages in the dead of winter and the heat of summer because – environmentalism uber alles.

Before you swallow what Mr. White Privilege is selling, consider the recent action of a large Washington State public utility that has witnessed the carnage in California first hand.

The Northwest has spoken loudly as the Benton Public Utility District (BPUD) has documented their actual battleground experiences with intermittent electricity from wind farms that should be a wake-up call to our policy makers. Their message is “no more wind”.

The Benton PUD believes: • Further wind power development will unnecessarily contribute to increases in northwest utility retail electricity rates which could erode the economic development advantage low rates has given the region for many years. Establishing preferences for wind and solar energy with no accompanying targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in the electricity sector has been shown through comprehensive study to result in unnecessary increases in the cost of electricity while not reducing GHG emissions in the most cost-effective manner possible • The best long-term, sustainable, more cost-effective, potentially less risky, and environmentally responsible strategy toward meeting the CETA goal of 100% clean electricity in Washington State by 2045 could be to transition coal power to natural gas and then natural gas to nuclear. Benton’s position is 100 percent opposite of California’s mission to eliminate most natural gas power plants that generate continuous uninterruptible electricity, and all nuclear that generate the only known source of continuous zero emission electricity. • Customers and citizens throughout the region are desirous of the natural beauty and open spaces that are part of their way of life. This is the reason for the report and for their formal declaration that Benton PUD does not support further development of wind power in the PNW. The PUD’s position is consistent with a recent decision in California as the San Bernardino County’s Board of Supervisors slammed the brakes on big industrial solar projects and highlighted a challenge for the huge landscaping demands of renewable intermittent electricity • Lifecycle economic and environmental impacts expected to result from further development of wind power needs to be scrutinized to a much higher degree with greater recognition of issues like the global impacts of raw materials mining and the disposal of wind turbine blades which are currently destined for landfills. i.e. environmental degradation and humanity atrocities occurring from the mining in the countries that dominate the supply of the exotic minerals and metals to support wind, solar, and EV batteries.

The report is consistent with what has happened in Germany and Australia, as power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe. Today, German households pay almost 50% more for electricity than they did in 2006. Shockingly, America, from California to New York, continues to take giant steps toward following Germany’s failed climate goals which should be a wake-up call for governments everywhere.

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