Wednesday, November 14, 2012
WSJ Wednesday - Wind Power
Everyone talks about "Going Green" these days. I've made changes in our home as far as what cleaning products we buy and increasing the amount we reuse and recycle, though there isn't a lot of support here. This opinion piece by Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, talks about what happened after Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.
Though many people and groups continue a war against oil and gas, Bryce claims the disaster-response efforts indicate there is no substitute for oil. He mentions that one of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's first requests to the federal government after the storm was quick delivery of motor-fuel supplies. Bryce goes on to state that some groups' claims that we can "run our economies solely on renewable-energy sources such as wind" is not truly a viable option. After including statistics to back up his opinion, he drives home a biting conclusion:
Sandy left millions of East Coast residents in the cold and dark. If any of them have been demanding "green" energy, I haven't heard about it. In the storm's aftermath, the most hopeful sound of recovery is the joyous racket that comes from an internal-combustion engine burning fossil fuels.
I'm on the fence about this article. Part of me says he's right. We don't have a reliable energy substitute. Having used solar-powered products in the past, I can attest to their unreliable nature. It's frustrating when you purchase a product hoping to do your part to save the planet, and then discover it doesn't work very well.
That said, I look at the Outer Banks Brewing Station, which is a totally wind-powered brewery and restaurant, and see how under some conditions, wind power is viable. They have the advantage of being close to the ocean, so it must be windy enough to supply their needs.
It's not fair to say alternatives won't work, because they can. I just don't see us ever getting rid of oil and gas entirely.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this issue.