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Wind Power, Dead Whales, and the Shrinking Trust Horizon
Even the alt-energy guys are lying
Michael Shellenberger’s Public News outlet has been covering a story that provides yet another reason for us to stop trusting “our institutions”.
It begins with the concept of offshore wind power, which once seemed to have a lot going for it. Anchoring huge turbines to the ocean floor allowed them to exploit the steady sea breeze while not ruining anyone’s farms or neighborhoods. The energy source (wind) was free, while both pollution and (from a human standpoint) footprint were zero. What’s not to like?
The answer to that question began to emerge in 2016 when dead whales and dolphins started washing up on the US East Coast. Now I’ll hand it off to Michael Shellenberger:
Filmmaker discovered high-decibel sonar levels while shooting “Thrown To The Wind,” about why the wind industry could make the North Atlantic Right Whales extinct
The increase in whale, dolphin, and other cetacean deaths off the East Coast of the United States since 2016 is not due to the construction of large industrial wind turbines, U.S. government officials say. Their scientists have done the research, they say, to prove that whatever is killing the whales is completely unrelated to the wind industry.
But now, a new documentary, “Thrown To The Wind,” by Director and Producer Jonah Markowitz, proves that the US government officials have been lying. The full film, which is at the bottom of this article, documents surprisingly loud, high-decibel sonar emitted by wind industry vessels when measured with state-of-the-art hydrophones. And it shows that the wind industry’s increased boat traffic is correlated directly with specific whale deaths.
The documentary may not stop the industrial wind projects from being built. After all, the wind projects were going forward despite urgent warnings from leading conservation groups and a top scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
But “Thrown To The Wind” exposes the reality that the U.S. government agencies, and the scientists who work for them, either haven’t done the basic mapping and acoustic research to back up their claims, have done the research badly, or found what we found, and are covering it up.
“Thrown To The Wind” - Trailer
Facebook also spreads misinformation by "FactCheck.com", which relies entirely on debunked U.S. government sources
For the last 20 years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that his social media company is the “digital equivalent of a town square,” committed to factual accuracy, and protecting the natural environment.
But now, Facebook is censoring accurate information about the relationship between industrial wind energy development and the increase in whale deaths off the East Coast.
Yesterday, Facebook and Instagram censored my post linking whale deaths to wind energy off the East Coast of the United States. The censorship came in the form of a “FactCheck.org” article from March 31, 2023, which relied entirely on U.S. government sources.
The censorship came on the exact same day that Public and Environmental Progress released a new documentary, “Thrown To The Wind,” which proves that the FactCheck.org article is false.
News media took money from big wind corporations while dismissing their links to increasing whale deaths
The mainstream news media have to date not only failed to cover this story, they have themselves spread misinformation. The New York Times’ top environment writer, Lisa Friedman, relied entirely on US government sources when she called the connection between the wind industry and whale deaths “misinformation.” AP also relied entirely on government sources when it ran an article sub-headlined, “Whale Deaths Not Linked to Wind Prep Work.” USA Today dismissed the connection as “cynical disinformation.” And the Guardian falsely suggested that conservationists raising the alarm had secret ties to “right-wing think tanks” and the oil and gas industry.
What’s more, the New York Times, the AP, the Guardian, USA Today, and most other mainstream news publications that have published articles on the North Atlantic Right Whale’s dwindling numbers either didn’t mention offshore wind construction as a potential factor or inappropriately dismissed it.
Instead, these publications promoted the wind industry. The Guardian ran an article headlined, “Winds of change: celebrating 30 years of offshore wind energy.” Politico called offshore wind a “green energy panacea” and the “key to European jobs, growth, and industrial revival.” And Reuters ran a story headlined, “Achieve 30 GW of Offshore Wind by 2030.
Why is that? Why, given the massive significance of this story, one involving the potential extinction of an entire whale species, and occurring so close to where most mainstream news reporters live, has their coverage been so biased?