Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Looking Before Leaping

A British home renovation store has been forced to withdraw do-it-yourself wind turbine kits after they failed to live up to claims:

The study, which tested different types of turbines in different locations, showed the worst performing devices provided less energy than needed for a conventional light bulb.
It's another blow to knock the wind from the sails of wind power, which is possibly the worst of all alternative energy sources:

Turbines are hopelessly ineffectual. The amount of electricity they deliver is derisory. The total power generated by all the 2,300 turbines so far built in Britain — covering hundreds of square miles of countryside and sea — averages just over 600 megawatts in a year, less than that contributed by a single medium-size conventional power station.
And it further compounds the lack of wisdom in repeatedly running headlong into green 'solutions' for the perceived evils of traditional methods in everything from refrigerants:

Hydrofluorocarbons or 'HFCs' have been increasingly used in the last decade or so as an alternative to ozone damaging CFCs in refrigeration systems. Unfortunately, though they provide an effective alternative to CFCs, they can also be powerful greenhouse gases with long atmospheric lifetimes.
...that are:

...4,000 times more powerful in causing climate warming than carbon dioxide.
...to energy-efficient light bulbs:

...the bulbs are extremely energy-efficient... (but) contain mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain damage. The amount is tiny — about 5 milligrams, or barely enough to cover the tip of a pen — but that is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels...
...that require hazmat handling:

The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window prior to vacuuming. Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.
-- Nick

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