Monday, February 28, 2005

Hot Air

From today's Providence Journal:

"To the Editor:

Harold Ward's Feb. 19 letter ("Global warming and wind turbines") implies that wind turbines do not contribute to global warming. That is false, and directly contradicts the laws of science.

Schoolbooks teach that objects moving through the air generate friction and thus heat, which is not insignificant. It is why meteors and space capsules glow white-hot when flying through the air. Schoolchildren do an experiment in which a paddle wheel is spun inside a closed container and the inside temperature is seen to rise. Wind-turbine blade tines approach the speed of sound, due to their huge diameter. The list of examples goes on and on.

So wind turbines do, in fact, contribute to global warning. It may be tempting to argue that the amount of warming from one turbine is insignificant. But that would be true only because the amount of electricity contributed by one turbine is likewise insignificant -- making the argument an exercise in silliness.

Ward's letter is yet another example of world-saving promises being defended with arguments that violate the most basic principles of science.


I assume we can look forward to more compelling arguments from Mr. Ratti in the future on topics such as how the use of live vaccines is destined to wipe out the human race, and the like. I'm more interested in the dynamics of publishing this. Goofing around? Misguided sense of egalitarianism? Do they really believe this? At the Projo, it's often hard to tell.


Anonymous paradocs said...

The current Kansas Attorney General must have put a sticker in Nicholas' science textbooks.

1:16 PM  

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