Wind power story was sloppy writing

Re: “More wind power would warm temperatures: study,” Oct. 7.

Seth Borenstein summarizes a Harvard study of wind power in the U.S. as saying that “a dramatic, all-out expansion in the number of turbines could warm the country even more than climate change from burning coal and other fossil fuels.” This sounds like a major problem for wind power, if turbines really were to cause more warming than fossil fuels.

article continues below

In fact, the rest of the article shows that, even in this extreme case, the extra warming is small (average of 0.2C) for the U.S., compared with 1C of present warming and possibly 2C or even 4C by the time of this future expansion.

The statement just seems to be the result of bad writing.

Borenstein meant to say that turbines plus fossil fuels warm more than just fossil fuels, but that the added amount is quite small. However, he said that turbines warm more than fossil fuels, a false conclusion that opponents of wind turbines will probably be very pleased to emphasize.

This is poor science writing, presenting a dangerous error at a time when consequences could be disastrous.

Jim Gower


Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist