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Two Harvard studies lay waste to popular Leftist narratives about wind power

(National SentinelEvidence-Based: A pair of newly released studies by researchers at Harvard University debunk two major claims often made by Left-wing environmentalists and parroted by Marxist activists like Al Gore regarding wind energy.

According to the researchers, they found that building wind farms that could generate enough power to replace fossil fuel-powered electric plants would actually warm the U.S. far more than carbon-based coal and natural gas, at least in the short term.

What’s more, they found that building large wind farms would actually require five to 20 times more land than previously stated.

The Blaze reports that the American Wind Energy Association says wind power provides our country with 6.3 percent of its electric power. However, the researchers said that if wind farms were built to replace existing carbon fuel plants, surface temperatures in the continental U.S. would rise by .24 Celcius.

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What’s more, co-author Lee Miller told The Harvard Gazette, “For wind, we found that the average power density — meaning the rate of energy generation divided by the encompassing area of the wind plant — was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts.

“Most of these [prior] estimates failed to consider the turbine-atmosphere interaction,” Miller added. “For an isolated wind turbine, interactions are not important at all, but once the wind farms are more than five to 10 kilometers deep, these interactions have a major impact on the power density.”

Prof. David Keith, the senior author of both papers, said in an interview with ABC News, “Any big energy system has an environmental impact. There is no free lunch. You do wind on a scale big enough…it’ll change things.”

He added that there are some benefits to using wind power, including cooling polar regions.

Some critics of “climate change deniers” — we’re looking at you, Business Insider’s Kevin Loria — said that the data will be “misused” to support their cases.

But these studies aren’t the first to claim that wind power and other renewables are detrimental to the Earth.

New Scientist reported in March 2011:

Witness a howling gale or an ocean storm, and it’s hard to believe that humans could make a dent in the awesome natural forces that created them. Yet that is the provocative suggestion of one physicist who has done the sums.

He concludes that it is a mistake to assume that energy sources like wind and waves are truly renewable. Build enough wind farms to replace fossil fuels, he says, and we could seriously deplete the energy available in the atmosphere, with consequences as dire as severe climate change.

Axel Kleidon of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, says that efforts to satisfy a large proportion of our energy needs from the wind and waves will sap a significant proportion of the usable energy available from the sun. In effect, he says, we will be depleting green energy sources. His logic rests on the laws of thermodynamics, which point inescapably to the fact that only a fraction of the solar energy reaching Earth can be exploited to generate energy we can use.

It’s not being a “denier” to require Left-wing environmentalists to provide replicable proof — not just wild conspiracies — about climate change. No one denies that the “climate” is “changing,” the dispute is over the cause.

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