Wind and Solar More Harmful To Environment Than Helpful

For more, read the portion on “Solar” and “Batteries,” HERE.

...Even GOOGLE Caves!
  • “Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.”

I must say I’m personally surprised at the conclusion of this study. I genuinely thought that we were maybe a few solar innovations and battery technology breakthroughs away from truly viable solar power. But if this study is to be believed, solar and other renewables will never in the foreseeable future deliver meaningful amounts of energy.

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➤ Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.
➤ If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km).
➤ In countries like China, India, and Ghana, communities living near e-waste dumps often burn the waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off the plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.


Solar/Wind Energy Environmental Impact


So diesel hybrids are the ideal for those concerned about the environment. But the rare-earth metals and substances used to make the batteries and magnets are in much less supply than coal, oil, and the like. In fact, in the 70’s it was predicted that we would be running dry of oil this year, but in fact we have at least 200-years worth of supply, the highest ever in the history of man (see point #3). To be clear, the impact on land and energy to get these materials is worse than normal automotive choices:

This section is a response of sorts to Dr. Lomborg, who is interviewed in the opening video. And it is very simple, alternative energy sources create more pollution than they will save (carbon footprint wise).


WIND

Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists

Thousands of Britain’s wind turbines will create more greenhouse gases than they save, according to potentially devastating scientific research to be published later this year.

The finding, which threatens the entire rationale of the onshore wind farm industry, will be made by Scottish government-funded researchers who devised the standard method used by developers to calculate “carbon payback time” for wind farms on peat soils.

Wind farms are typically built on upland sites, where peat soil is common. In Scotland alone, two thirds of all planned onshore wind development is on peatland. England and Wales also have large numbers of current or proposed peatland wind farms.

But peat is also a massive store of carbon, described as Europe’s equivalent of the tropical rainforest. Peat bogs contain and absorb carbon in the same way as trees and plants — but in much higher quantities.

British peatland stores at least 3.2 billion tons of carbon, making it by far the country’s most important carbon sink and among the most important in the world.

Wind farms, and the miles of new roads and tracks needed to service them, damage or destroy the peat and cause significant loss of carbon to the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change.

[….]

“This is just another way in which wind power is a scam. It couldn’t exist without subsidy. It is driving industry out of Britain and driving people into fuel poverty.”

Wind power cannot meet demands, and are dependent on weather conditions, as the above graph shows. Here is a snippit of the issue at hand with Germany’s electric grid:

You can see the extreme volatility of wind power. Such volatility plays havoc with the electric grid and makes fossil fuel backup generation more expensive to run because it must constantly change production rate; it cannot be run efficiently. Those constant changes cause production of more emissions than would be produced without having to contend with the quirky wind power contribution.

Gosselin (a US citizen living in Germany, who received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona) notes that “Resistance to wind power in Germany is snowballing.” “The turbines, which the German government says will become the ‘workhorse’ of the German power industry, ran at over 50% of their rated capacity only for 461 hours [out of a possible 8,766], or just 5.2% of the time.”

In addition to the unreliable power produced by allegedly “green” wind power, it is becoming increasingly obvious that wind generation is taking a large toll on wildlife and has deleterious effects on human health.

[….]

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats. Wind turbines killed 600000 bats last year.

(German Wind Power Fails – A Cautionary Tale)

Put another way:

“A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge” ~ George Gilder

Interview by Dennis Prager {Editors note: this is how the USSR ended up with warehouses FULL of “widgets” (things made that it could not use or people did not want) no one needed in the real world. This economic law enforcers George Gilder’s contention that when government supports a venture from failing, no information is gained in knowing if the program actually works. Only the free-market can do this. [See my post on Capitalism.]}

NO TRICK ZONE notes this environmental ruination:

Shocking Video How “Wind Turbine Plantations” Are Ruining The Country’s Natural Heritage

What follows is a roughly 4-minute video which shows how Germany has transformed a large part of its once idyllic landscape into an industrial wasteland littered by wind turbines – all in the name of environmentalism.

And it warns that if wind energy movement continues in Germany, the entire country will look like the images shown.

The video starts by showing the earlier beauty of the German landscape, which once had inspired a number of fairy tales. Next the video shows what happened once a group of “green” industrialists and totally misguided “environmentalists” got their way and plastered the country with some 30,000 turbines.

[….]

If Germany wishes to provide a large share of it’s primary energy through wind power, then some 10 times the number of turbines will need to be installed.

The video ends with the message:

The windfarms with the new 200-meter wind turbines and their intrusion into to the landscape, poor economy, social structure and ignoring the completely random power generation – unthinkable!

In Europe if everyone wanted to have their say and decide, it would be necessary to conduct and discuss years long environmental and social compatibility studies, and have to comply with the laws governing water and species protection as well as to regulate compensation for damages arising from real estate value losses etc.

Wind turbine plantations of the magnitude found in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig Holstein and Vogelsberg can only be implemented by an authoritarian political system that is characterized by a high degree of corruption, contempt for human rights and protection of nature.”

Wind power, in fact, pollutes the environment in a much more thorough manner… Via Independent IE “Technology” page:

….But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.

Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world’s largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost 1C as more turbines are built.

This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms.

It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.

It is reported China is now erecting 36 wind turbines every day and Texas is the largest producer of wind power in the US.

Liming Zhou, Research Associate Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of New York, who led the study, said further research is needed into the affect of the new technology on the wider environment.

“Wind energy is among the world’s fastest growing sources of energy. The US wind industry has experienced a remarkably rapid expansion of capacity in recent years,” he said. “While converting wind’s kinetic energy into electricity, wind turbines modify surface-atmosphere exchanges and transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere. These changes, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate.”

The study, published in Nature, found a “significant warming trend” of up to 0.72C (1.37F) per decade, particularly at night-time, over wind farms relative to near-by non-wind-farm regions.

The team studied satellite data showing land surface temperature in west-central Texas….

Via M.I.T. Media Relations:

….According to Prinn and Wang, this temperature increase occurs because the wind turbines affect two processes that play critical roles in determining surface temperature and atmospheric circulation: vertical turbulent motion and horizontal heat transport. Both processes are responsible for moving heat away from Earth’s surface.

In the analysis, the wind turbines on land reduced wind speed, particularly on the downwind side of the wind farms, which reduced the strength of the turbulent motion and horizontal heat transport processes. This resulted in less heat being transported to the upper parts of the atmosphere, as well as to other regions farther away from the wind farms….

Via Gateway Pundit, and the part on birds is found here:

Not only do wind farms kill off high-profile bird species like golden and bald eagles and California condors, the farms also cause global warming. After hundreds of millions in blown taxpayer money and thousands of dead birds the latest research shows that wind farms cause warming. Reuters reported, via Free Republic:

Large wind farms might have a warming effect on the local climate, research in the United States showed on Sunday, casting a shadow over the long-term sustainability of wind power

The world’s wind farms last year had the capacity to produce 238 gigawatt of electricity at any one time. That was a 21 percent rise on 2010 and capacity is expected to reach nearly 500 gigawatt by the end of 2016 as more, and bigger, farms spring up, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Researchers at the State University of New York at Albany analysed the satellite data of areas around large wind farms in Texas, where four of the world’s largest farms are located, over the period 2003 to 2011.

The results, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed a warming trend of up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade in areas over the farms, compared with nearby regions without the farms.

“We attribute this warming primarily to wind farms,” the study said. The temperature change could be due to the effects of the energy expelled by farms and the movement and turbulence generated by turbine rotors, it said.

“These changes, if spatially large enough, may have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate,” the authors said.

But the Democrats will continue to dump billions into the costly energy source anyway. It makes them feel good.

Can you imagine the polluted, destroyed world we would have if the left had their way with green energy?

Environazis, like all progressives, care about two things: other people’s money and the power entailed in imposing their ideology. Prominent among the many things they do not care about is the environment, as demonstrated by a monstrosity planned for Loch Ness:

A giant 67 turbine wind farm planned for the mountains overlooking Loch Ness will be an environmental disaster thanks to the sheer quantity of stone which will need to be quarried to construct it, according to the John Muir Trust. In addition, the Trust has warned that the turbines spell ecological disaster for the wet blanket peat-land which covers the area and acts as a huge carbon sink, the Sunday Times has reported.

According to global warming dogma, carbon sinks are crucial in preventing human activity from causing climatic doom.

The planet isn’t the only victim of this ideologically driven enterprise:

Around one million people visit the picturesque Loch Ness, nestled in the highlands of Scotland each year, bringing about £25 million in revenue with them. Most are on the lookout for the infamous monster, but if Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) get their way the tourists will have something else to look at: the Stronelairg wind farm – 67 turbines, each 443ft high, peppered across the Monadhlaith mountains overlooking the Loch.

….read it all….

  • Is “green” energy, particularly wind and solar energy, the solution to our climate and energy problems? Or should we be relying on things like natural gas, nuclear energy, and even coal for our energy needs and environmental obligations? Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress explains.

NEW INFORMATION on the low frequency noise made by wind farms shows a direct connection to the health of ones heart.

Interviewed in Allgemeine-ZeitungVahl said that the Low Frequency Noise generated by wind turbines can weaken the heart muscle and change the blood flow.

According to NO TRICKS ZONE:

Prof. Wahl became interested in infrasound and its impact on health after a friend who lived near a wind park had complained of feeling continuously sick. It is known that all around the world people living near wind parks often experience health issues – some being severe.

The group led by Prof. Vahl conducted an experiment to find out if infrasound has an effect on heart muscle strength. Under the measurement conditions, the force developed by isolated heart muscle was up to 20 percent less.

The strength of the heart muscle is important in the event the aortic valve becomes caked up and thus more narrow. According to Dr. Vahl: “This changes the blood flow and the flow noise.”

Now researchers are discussing whether these changes can pose an additional risk to the function of the heart, the Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

Citing the results, Prof. Vahl said: “The fundamental question of whether infrasound can affect the heart muscle has been answered.”

The researchers conclude: “We are at the very beginning, but we can imagine that long-term impact of infrasound causes health problems. The silent noise of infrasound acts like a heart jammer.”

There has long been anecdotal evidence that wind turbines are injurious to human health. I first heard these stories myself on a visit to Australia in 2012 when I met several people who had experienced serious health problems from the effects of wind turbine infrasound – and had been forced to abandon their homes. Subsequently, I also spoke to people in the UK who were also victims of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

The wind industry is a massive class action suit waiting to happen. [Especially now that the World Health Organisation has confirmed the health risks – which, of course, just like Big Tobacco, Big Wind has been covering up for years] Indeed, of all the scandals to emerge from the great global warming scam, the wind industry is in my view the worst….

Solar

Low-Tech Magazine notes that new “research shows, albeit unintentional, that generating electricity with solar panels can also be a very bad idea. In some cases, producing electricity by solar panels releases more greenhouse gases than producing electricity by gas or even coal.” Continuing, they point out that…

Producing electricity from solar cells reduces air pollutants and greenhouse gases by about 90 percent in comparison to using conventional fossil fuel technologies, claims a study called “Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles”, to be published this month in “Environmental Science & Technology”. Good news, it seems, until one reads the report itself. The researchers come up with a solid set of figures. However, they interpret them in a rather optimistic way. Some recalculations (skip this article if you get annoyed by numbers) produce striking conclusions.

Solar panels don’t come falling out of the sky – they have to be manufactured. Similar to computer chips, this is a dirty and energy-intensive process. First, raw materials have to be mined: quartz sand for silicon cells, metal ore for thin film cells. Next, these materials have to be treated, following different steps (in the case of silicon cells these are purification, crystallization and wafering). Finally, these upgraded materials have to be manufactured into solar cells, and assembled into modules. All these processes produce air pollution and heavy metal emissions, and they consume energy – which brings about more air pollution, heavy metal emissions and also greenhouse gases.

Similarly, Solar Industry Magazine notes that this process is very caustic:

Solar Ind Mag 1 690 photo Solar Panels Waste 1 690.jpg
Solar Ind Mag 2 690 photo Solar Panels Waste 2 690.jpg
Solar Ind Mag 3 photo 3Solar Panels Waste 2.jpg

There are also practical dangers to the first res ponders as well:

So an electrical grid powered by alternative fuels or “renewable energy is really a pipe-dream. Take the projections of that giant bird killing plant on the California-Nevada border:

….A solar power plant in the Mojave Desert that’s attracted negative attention for its injuries to birds is producing a whole lot less power than it’s supposed to, according to Energy Department figures.ivanpah-solar-10-30-14-thumb-600x400-83195

According to stats from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a number-crunching branch of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in San Bernardino County has produced only about a quarter of the power it’s supposed to, with both less than optimal weather and apparent mechanical issues contributing to the shortfall.

[….]

As Danko points out, Ivanpah’s owners have recently sought extensions on the repayment schedule for the $1.6 billion in government-backed loans that paid for Ivanpah’s construction, hoping to delay writing checks until the firms can secure a government grant they hope to use to pay down the loan .

(See More)

NUCLEAR

And this on Solar power: “when you factor in all the sources of energy consumed in this country, captured solar power amounts to well less than 1 quadrillion Btu out of an annual total of 96.5 quadrillion.” Continuing with FORBES:

The biggest sources are the old standbys. Oil still reigns supreme at 36 quadrillion Btu, natural gas at 26 quads, nuclear 8. Hydropower and biomass bring up the rear at 2.6 and 2.7 quads. Wind is just 1.5 quads. And coal — the great carbon-belching demon of the global energy mix — its contribution is 19 quads. That’s nearly 8 times all the nation’s wind and solar generation combined.

John Stossel at FOX News reported:

On my TV show this week, statistician Bjorn Lomborg points out that “air pollution kills 4.3 million people each year … We need to get a sense of priority.” That deadly air pollution happens because, to keep warm, poor people burn dung in their huts.

Yet, time and again, environmentalists oppose the energy production most likely to make the world cleaner and safer. Instead, they persuade politicians to spend billions of your dollars on symbolism like “renewable” energy.

“The amazing number that most people haven’t heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world,” says Lomborg, “they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do.”

That progress occurred despite opposition from environmentalists — and even bans in places like my stupid state, New York, where activists worry fracking will cause earthquakes or poison the water….

(read more)

 

BIG UNIONS and Politicians (Public and School Unions)

Public-sector unions have been gaming the political system for decades, bankrupting whole cities and plunging states into massive debt. How did this happen and can it be stopped? Akash Chougule, senior policy fellow for Americans for Prosperity, has the answers in this sobering video from Prager University.

Who poses the biggest threat to America’s economy by striking deals with crooked politicians? Big Oil, Big Pharma, or Big Unions? Daniel DiSalvo, political science professor at the City College of New York, gives the answer.

There is a dilemma in American education. On the one hand, teachers are essential to student achievement. On the other, teachers unions promote self-interests of their members which are antithetical to the interests of students. So, how do we fix this problem? In five minutes, Terry Moe, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, delineates this quandary and offers solutions.

Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. But when teachers and parents understand why school choice works, they support it. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-ed…). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

Environmentalists Providing Definitions of Irony Since the 70’s

This comes by way of Moonbattery:

Smug self-righteousness is a powerful drug. The econazis who indulge in it achieve such a state of delirium that they can’t even hear regular Americans laughing at them. From the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow:

They came in automobiles fueled by oil, wearing clothing made from oil, to protest oil, in kayaks made from oil. Then they tweeted their photos on phones made from oil and drove home.

Once there, they can luxuriate in how comfortable their houses are thanks to oil.

Language as a Barometer of Influence (Critique of Food Inc.)

I will, in the future, post something on Big Pharma. But for now, this will deal with Big Ag.

I got to see a friend I haven’t in a long time. We hung out for a few hours, had a couple of beers, I made some burgers on the grill, enjoyed our 80[+] degree weather we had in SoCal. During our time together, he mentioned a documentary, Food Inc., then mentioned another about “Big Pharma.” I was surprised he didn’t refer to “Big Ag,” for corporate agriculture, but I digress. I mentioned that he was using LANGUAGE only someone who was liberal would use (no conservative that knows his/her hill o’ beans talks like that… to wit… he denied being political at all. Which is an interesting point. I mentioned to him that while HE may not be “political,” he was using POLITICAL language encapsulated by the left.

It doesn’t matter that he considers himself a-political, he is using the lenses supplied him by pop-culture to view the world, and it is one that is modeled after liberalism. He is jaundiced, whether he realizes it or not. While the following deals with specifically the Christian worldview, it can be imported into the political realm:

A personal philosophy/religious belief determines one’s world view. That world view influences their actions, actions create habits; habits establish traditions and those traditions eventually become a culture. Have you wondered how that two different scientists with identical credentials can look at the same empirical data and have two very different conclusions? Here’s why. A scientist that does not believe in a creator-God (Atheist) looks at the similarities of humans and monkeys, and concludes that one must have evolved from the other, while a scientist that does believe in a creator-God (Theist) sees those same similarities and concludes that they must have had the same creator. Why? It’s all about their world views! (via The Christian Post)

R & D Costs for “Big Pharma”

This comes via ChEMBL-og:

Came across a link on Google+ to a post to a Forbes article (via Greg Landrum) and thought I would post a link here. It’s a simple economic analysis of the costs of Large Pharma drug discovery. Very simple, money in vs. drugs out. There is however a lot of complexity behind the numbers, for example – quite a few of the drugs will have been licensed in, the transaction costs for these in-licensing events have probably been factored in, but what about all the other burnt capital in the biotech companies that supplied the in-licensed compounds – this will inflate the numbers further. Of course the majority of these costs are incurred on the failed projects, the wrong targets, the wrong compounds, or the wrong trials.

To put the AstraZeneca number of $11.8 billion per drug in some national context (equivalent to £7.5 billion) – this is almost 17 years of the entire BBRSC budget (£445 million in 2011), or only two drugs from the entire investment portfolio of the mighty assets of the Wellcome Trust (~£14 billion in 2011) – that’s right, not two drugs from their annual research budget, but two drugs by shutting down the investment fund and putting it all into drug discovery and development (at Astra Zeneca ROI levels).

Scary numbers, eh? Are public funding agencies up to the task? Do we really know what to do differently? There’s also a post on the same Forbes article on the In The Pipeline blog.

(An updated Forbes article is HERE)

The problem is, that often times the person in question doesn’t realize they are wearing colored filters over their eyes. Francis Schaeffer, the indelible Christian philosopher of a generation ago, says this about the “low-info ‘voter'”:

“People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By ‘presuppositions’ we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic worldview, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions. ‘As a man thinketh, so he is,’ is really profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world. Then, having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it. People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who “lives in the mind” and who therefore is the true actor in the external world. The inner thought world determines the outward action. Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of what worldview is true. When all is done, when all the alternatives have been explored, ‘not many men are in the room’ — that is, although worldviews have many variations, there are not many basic worldviews or presuppositions.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, pp. 19-20

The origins of his starting point ~ a self-perceived neutrality in political thought for instance ~ makes no difference. It is the outcome that matters! That points to the presupposition held, perceived [known] or not. And the outcome that puts thoughts into containers that produce language point to a view which is decidedly liberal. Perceived or not. My friend just does not have the tools at his disposal to see the “rose colored glasses” he wears.

And it comes from crappy documentaries about pop-culture has fallen in love with and HBO [a decidely leftist org] and others push on us. Documentaries about McDonalds, Wal-Mart, fracking, water bottles, health-care, Columbine, global warming, and yes, food.

Years of documentaries that people watch — WITHOUT watching documentaries or finding information to counter the [often times] lies and twisted facts that accompany such “films,” drive this societal influence. Really, they are modern day horror films, for the mushy mind. One reviewer puts it in “campy horror flick” terms:

I unlock this door with the key of trepidation. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of underground. A dimension of fright. A dimension of rewind. I’m moving into a land of shadow and more shadow, of bewilderingly dumb ideas. I just crossed over into the Leawood Theatre.

We each have our personal Twilight Zone. Mine is here. In the basement theater of a half-century old strip mall in suburban Kansas City. Once well-attended, then abandoned to the wasteland of discount theater of the 80s, it suffered the final indignity of becoming a storage vault, only to be completely gutted and resurrected today to cinema status. As the double glass doors hiss shut behind me for the first time in 25 years, my soles suction one-by-one to a laminate floor, ashen as a corpse, decorated in accents the color of dirty snow to camouflage cracks, dirt, cockroaches and time. Past an old letter board, the mall tenants’ names leering like a toothless grin, errant and neglected grey letters drifted inevitably to the bottom like a neglected pile of autumn leaves. A hesitant descent down an open stairwell of gum-spotted teal ceramic tile and wood paneling of ebony contact paper dispels me at last into an echoing cavern of desolate shopfronts, save a solitary manned theatre ticket window.

The attendant slides forward my credit card and $6.50 receipt from the pool of shadow inside, in the process exposing the pale flesh of his forearm. His skin is a canvas, tattooed in a leering blue-green visage of a hunched vampire – Nosferatu, 1922’s first film fiend (who was eventually banished to the cinematic undead by the simple misfortune of being cast as the unpronounceable German counterpart when the studio couldn’t afford rights to the real Dracula of Bram Stoker.) Past the fraying scarlet rope and down a low-ceilinged hallway so narrow I have to turn sideways to maneuver past an exiting patron, I step finally into the cavernous blackness of 72 seats minus five occupied. And sit. Turns out, Leawood Theatre is the perfect place for me to see Food Inc.

A great article by the way, entitled, The Horror Show that Just Won’t Die. I find his encapsulating the masses as bright eyed, bubble gum chewing teenyboppers seeing for the first time the giant machine of the food industry, and being, surprised by it… but for all the wrong reasons:

The audience may take a bite, and because there is so much icing of factual inaccuracy, so many empty calories of cinematic wizadry, they won’t taste the unpalatable that lies beneath.

Agriculture’s response to those factual inaccuracies and open prejudice in Food Inc. has been predictable. Some of it’s been measured, calm and to the point. Some has been ham-handed, laggard and obscured by PR-eze. Typical of the fact-based response, the website SafeFoodInc.org, posted by an alliance of associations that represent the livestock, meat and poultry industries, complained “the makers of “Food, Inc.” and the subjects they interview seek to paint our industries as big, bad and mechanized. They seek to prove their point through a selective use of the facts. While the makers of “Food, Inc.” have the right to state their opinions, consumers and the media have the right to the facts.”

But the point Big Ag’s defenders appear to have missed, hiding behind the closet door as they rush like giggling teens into their factual defense of farming, is that Kenner et al’s attack on the factual integrity of agriculture is ultimately irrelevant. We’ve all been there, done that, lived to plow another day. What pass unnoticed are the deeper messages lying beneath Kenner’s factual surface, smooth and calm as an impending Camp Crystal Lake murder. It’s both fashionable and highly effective to position the food system as hopelessly and irretrievable broken, thus in need of complete reform and overhaul. And because consumers react with a guttural fear to an issue as personal as their food, it works—factual or not. But carried along in that message are the deeper fears Kenner’s selling—phobia of industrialization, consolidation, specialization, big corporations, even freedom and free-enterprise capitalism itself. It’s a story that comes, stake and hammer in hand, pretending to be hunting the lowly hunchback Igor of an unhealthy food system while in fact hoping to catch the Demon Prince of a heartless capitalist U.S. in a vulnerable slumber.

Food Inc. succeeds not by pulling back the veil on its own unpopular political inclinations, but by obscuring them behind the gee-whiz….

[….]

….Kenner and his servants deploy the shock of seeing the food system for the first time–shocking and amazing the innocents who don’t make it their job to think about it daily. It capitalizes on the modern urban pet owner’s inability to grasp the living scale of a 100,000-head capacity beef feedyard. It flash-frames the ungraspable idea of compressing the genetic manipulation of plants and animals farmers have pursued for centuries down into a week’s worth of laboratory work. It all makes for great show. But, ultimately robbed of any true underlying evil, it becomes Freddie vs. Jason or Alien vs. Predator …all gore and no fear, what Lady Gaga is to erotic cinema—overly costumed, predictable, empty, passionless and, finally, boring.

I use to go out of my way to see documentaries like this… but I noticed a “‘Moorian’ formula,” if-you-will. For instance, in Farenheit 9/11, one reviewer, Doc Farmer, talks about this:

A half-truth is the worst kind of lie…

…Michael Moore spends two tortuous hours spinning half-truths, supposition, perverted imaginings, and out-and-out lies across the screen, polluting the celluloid it inhabits, and the theater it pervades. Moore apparently was upset that his movie didn’t get a PG-13 rating so that kids could see it. Considering the ”liberal” use of the F-word in one segment of the film, and the horrific images of war interspersed with film of the high government officials in tie and tails, I would have given it an X.

Moore is a modern-day Leni Riefenstahl, with all the evil politics but without the talent. It is propaganda, (im)pure and simple(istic). Moore tugs at the heartstrings, makes racist comments about the enlistment practices of the military, and stands at a street corner like a Harkonnen baron without the suspensor units, accosting congressmen to have their children enlist and volunteer for Iraq. He posits his own form of neo-fascism, supporting his lib/dem/soc/commie brethren (who are far closer to the Nazi political structure than are the rep/cons), and dares to quote George Orwell in reference to George Bush, when it is Moore himself who is far more representative of the communist body politic.

And this is it, half-truths that “tug at heart-strings,” making these twisted views seem like they are the case, when they are not. So lets deal with some views that counter the outcome wanted from Food Inc.

Farming Land

The film goes far beyond even propaganda by making intentional misrepresentations, lies and distortions. The first example is a logical conclusion of an option presented in the film to raising chickens to sell on the market. The farming techniques of Joel Salatin, highlighted below… and their logical outcome:

“Food, Inc.” features Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm in Virginia as a model of animal and crop production. Although Mr. Salatin’s methods are charming and offer a platform for his speaking business, they are not very practical when it comes to feeding several hundred of million people.

Mr. Salatin practices “pastured poultry.” He uses 50 portable wooden pens that hold about 70 chickens each, and his helpers move them ten feet each day – by hand — to a new patch of grass, for the 56 days it takes to grow them to market weight. The chickens nibble on grass and eat insects, although they still get commercial feed because chickens have limited ability to metabolize nutrients from grass. Their manure fertilizes the pasture. Nothing wrong with that. But this system produces only 10,000 broilers a year on 100 acres, in flocks of 3,500 birds. If the mainstream commercial chicken industry tried to raise its annual production of nine billion birds in a similar fashion, it would need 45 million acres! That’s more than all the farmland in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas – combined.

(Safe Food Inc)

To wit, Dennis Avery talks about percentage of farmland vs. population and “High Yield Conservation” (HYC) vs. what organic farming can yield. It (HYC) conserves space and protects wildlife:

Continuing, Safe Food inc makes the point about the movement to return to older farming methods and how that will harm the land and ultimately starve the population:

Technical advances in genetics, production and processing have helped create a meat and poultry production system that today requires less feed to produce a pound of meat.

Advocates of the “slow food” model argue for a return to older and less efficient methods of production, believing that this food ultimately is healthier for people and the environment. Others disagree.

According to a 2008 Time Magazine article “a worldwide Slow Food initiative might lead to turning more forests into farmland. (To feed the U.S. alone with organic food, we’d need 40 million farmers, up from 1 million today.) In a recent editorial, FAO director-general Jacques Diouf pointed out that the world will need to double food production by 2050 and that to suggest organics can solve the challenge is ‘dangerously irresponsible.'”

Starvation, Death

Safe Food Inc quotes a source for the above, but I wanted to expand on what the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said:

“We should use organic agriculture and promote it,” Dr. Diouf said. “It produces wholesome, nutritious food and represents a growing source of income for developed and developing countries. But you cannot feed six billion people today and nine billion in 2050 without judicious use of chemical fertilizers.”

Now you see where the horror is misplaced that earlier, Truth in Food said Food Inc “follows in the footsteps of other modern campy horror flicks: Splashy, escapist and horrifying for all the wrong reasons

Similarly, like environmentalists terrifying the masses about DDT, what was truly terrifying was that they killed millions of Africans with their unfounded fears. While environmentalists view their own concerns as noble, well-placed, wrought with good intentions. The outcome is what i am concerned with:

These are the people who coerced nations worldwide into banning DDT. It is generally estimated this ban has led to the deaths of about 50 million human beings, overwhelmingly African children, from malaria. DDT kills the mosquito that spreads malaria to human beings.

US News and World Report writer Carrie Lukas reported in 2010, “Fortunately, in September 2006, the World Health Organization announced a change in policy: It now recommends DDT for indoor use to fight malaria. The organization’s Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah explained, ‘The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.'”

Though Lukas blames environmentalists for tens of millions of deaths, she nevertheless describes environmentalists as “undoubtedly well-intentioned.”

(Prager)

This kind of helpful hand from “Big-Eco” or “Big-Gov”is what caused Reagan to say that the “nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” C.S. Lewis years earlier said it more forcefully:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, p. 292.

Another misconception in the documentary is that chickens are genetically modified. They are not. Breeding is done the ol’ fashion way, by intelligent selection.

E.coli

Another issue I have with Food Inc. is the portrayal of Pigs grown indoors versus outdoors.

Some of these concerns I have are a twisting of the facts, and really, downright lies. The film mentioned that E. coli O157:H7 could be eliminated or reduced by feeding cattle grass instead of grain. The next question the viewer should have, is, “is this a true statement?” No, it is not. A large veterinary study shows that it exists naturally in the environment, and that hay- or frade-fed cattle have it as well. Studies do show some feeding regimens increase the risk, but these facilities spend multiple millions to excise their cattle of it.

Global Warming

Greenhouse gases are not the contributing factor to global warming. The major greenhouse gas that is demonized is CO2, and as we know, yes know, global warming gas ceased during the time of the biggest increase in this major greenhouse gas:

Obviously, Then, CO2 and Climate Are Not Connected…

Even the IPCC and British Meteorological Office now recognize that average global temperatures haven’t budged in almost 17 years. Little evidence suggests that sea level rise, storms, droughts, polar ice and temperatures or other weather and climate events and trends display any statistically significant difference from what Earth and mankind have experienced over the last 100-plus years…

~Via, John Kerry vs. the World (as in earth)

It is unfortunate that people cannot connect the dots in this regards, that sunspots, and its energy is the driving force of climate.

Outdoor vs Indoor

Another glaring misrepresentation of facts by tugging on heart-strings in the documentary are the indoor facilities of to-market pig. Modern advancements has made safer, cleaner, and more humane conditions for these animals that are meant for going to market. One farmer explains his issue with Food Inc:

Another myth is that these ways of raising pigs is not healthy. For instance, Safe Food Inc points out that it has been proven that pigs produced in outdoor systems are in fact, carriers of serious disease causing organisms:

…particularly those raised antibiotic-free for niche markets may harbor parasites (such as Trichinella and Toxoplasma) that are not found in pigs produced in indoor systems. Likewise, the incidence of Salmonella infection in pigs produced in outdoor systems is shown to be higher. Researchers from Ohio State University have stated that these systems carry risks that “may lead to persistence of bacterial (Salmonella) pathogens and reemergence of parasites (such as Trichinella) of historical significance.”

More

Of course more can be said about this topic, but above are the beginnings of allowing a rational person to start a search, to “hold fast that which is good.”

“…don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, The Message)

Last I checked, God can’t stomach liars (Proverbs 12:22a). It’s just that our culture doesn’t teach the masses to distinguish between something that is true, a lie, or somewhere in the middle. So people are walking around like “little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit” (Ephesians 4:14, HCSB). Fulfilling in some way what G.K. Chesterton said: “When a Man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” Likewise, people

Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity…. The right eyeglasses can put the world into clearer focus, and the correct worldview can function in much the same way. When someone looks at the world from the perspective of the wrong worldview, the world won’t make much sense to him. Or what he thinks makes sense will, in fact, be wrong in important respects. Putting on the right conceptual scheme, that is, viewing the world through the correct worldview, can have important repercussions for the rest of the person’s understanding of events and ideas…. Instead of thinking of Christianity as a collection of theological bits and pieces to be believed or debated, we should approach our faith as a conceptual system, as a total world-and-life view.

Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 9, 17-18, 19.

Our total worldview requires us to be thoughtful about all we undertake… even inane documentaries that surely cause those who mention them and recommend them in general conversation who do not know about worldviews to respond with (after reading this), it doesn’t matter anyways. Ahhh, but it does. Are you being molded by society, or are you affecting society?