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Another hazard of wind power

Posted by Richard on February 9, 2009

For those who view virtually all human activity with alarm and worry incessantly about the "fate of the earth," here's something else to fret about, courtesy of my CalTech-grad math-and-science whiz friend.

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, David noted that the prevailing winds over the vast majority of the earth's surface are from west to east. Therefore, if we build a sufficiently large number of wind turbines, they will slow the earth's rotation and lengthen our days.

Although he can do calculations in his head that would take me hours on the computer, David did not offer an estimate as to what would be a sufficiently large number.

It's also not clear to me what impact, if any, slowing the earth's rotational period would have on global climate.

But surely, wind energy advocates enamored of the precautionary principle are obligated to prove that their plans won't change the earth's rotational period or affect the climate. 

Don't even get me started on all those dead birds.

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2 Responses to “Another hazard of wind power”

  1. Pedant said

    First of all if the prevailing wind is west to east and it meets resistance in the form of windmills, it would apply a force which tended to push (spin) the earth in the same direction as the wind. ie. towards the rising sun. Therefore, logically the days would get shorter not longer.

    And if true it wouldn’t just be limited to windmills. All buildings and trees present resistance to the wind.

  2. Hathor said

    I seem to remembe ra similar argument against nuclear weapons testing over fifty years ago.

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