Greenpeace and Coattails

There was a Greenpeace rally in Elmira yesterday, with the goal of having participants write Randy Kuhl and Eric Massa to ask them to make global warming an issue in the election.

Wait -- there's a Greenpeace chapter in the Southern Tier?

In other news, the Rothenberg Political Report has an item on John McCain's efforts (or, more correctly, lack of effort) in the recent special Congressional elections. According to their analysis, McCain is likely to campaign for candidates only in Presidential battleground states. New York won't be one of those states, so Randy Kuhl can't bank on a campaign appearance by McCain in the 29th.


My guess is that most of the "local activists" are from the Ithaca area.

Here is a quote from an Elmira resident:
"We need to stop building dangerous and dirty coal and nuclear power plants"

I really think that they want us to go back to the dark ages

Most of the participants were from the Elmira-Corning area. No one was present from Ithaca. We have the technology today to power out country off of renewable energy without having to use dirty and dangerous coal and nuclear. We also need to use our energy more efficiently to reduce our overall demand. please see:

John - nice picture

I have been hearing about renewable energy sources for the last 35 years or so. Apparently in 35 years it has grown to 7% (as of 2006)of our energy useage:

I actually favor cleaner and renewable energy sources, but I am not willing to urge my congressman to "stop building dangerous and dirty coal and nuclear power plants" until the renewable systems are in place, working, and have proven that we can do without oil, coal and nuclear.

So until things are in place, I say keep digging, drilling and building.

Elmer, I'll bet there are more than a few locals who support Greenpeace.

John, thanks for your comment. I read through that document and looked through the Greenpeace website. Two things:

First, I found it interesting that, on the website, the ultimate source for the claim that new-generation nuclear was unclean energy was another Greenpeace report:

That report doesn't even mention France, which looks like a good example of how nuclear can provide a relatively safe and low-waste energy supply. From what I've read, the French have made extreme efforts to lower the amount of waste produced by their nuclear plants, and have come up with new entombment methods for that waste.

I'm willing to buy that our aging first-generation nuclear reactors should be shut down, but I'm concerned that we are closing the door on a possible source of relatively clean energy.

Second, local communities in the 29th have had some pushback on wind energy. There are concerns that the windmills are unsightly, that the energy produced is transmitted far away, and that a lot of birds are going to be killed by collisions with the turbine blades. Wind is seen by some as a way of "mining" the 29th to provide energy for far-away urban areas.

If you have any insight on those questions, I'd be interested to hear it.

I certainly agree with that perception, Rottenchester. The state subsidizes wind power, but has a hands off attitude toward its implementation. If you've driven through the Cohocton or Naples-Prattsburg areas lately, you may have noticed that the hills appear to be much smaller. The wind turbines pretty much dominate the view. It reminds me of the Classic Comic illustrations of War of the Worlds. And virtually all the power and profits leave the area.

Those things should be floating on Ontario where they can't do any harm, and incidentally, where the wind is.

I think that a community should be able to decide that they would like to use some of their land for a wind farm to provide electricity for its residents, contract for the work, land leases and equipment. Then, like a private landowner (in some states), it could pay for use of power from the grid and send it's occasional excess power to the grid for credit. The state could facilitate this sort of arrangement instead of just handing out seed money to private promoters.

Unfortunately energy and mining companies contribute a good deal more to politicians than local communities. Communities and individuals get support in proportion to the votes and influence that they can provide, which is, taken in the big picture, not much. That's why we are more likely to burn through our non-renewable resources and go nuclear before renewable alternatives find a market.

vdomeras: I have not been in those areas lately, but, as you note, I think wind is not as uncomplicated an energy source as some portray.

In one of the 29th communities, Fairport, the city traded right-of-way for Niagara powerlines for a share of the electricity produced. "Fairport Electric" provides low-cost, reliable power for residents. I don't see a similar deal on the table for wind power, and I think that's what will be required to get major buy-in for those kinds of projects.

"Those things should be floating on Ontario where they can't do any harm"

vdomeras - What type of harm?

Harm to the exquisite sensibilities of the effete. Happy?

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