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Carbon free? Hardly

The News-Press opinion piece from Feb. 22 had a statement effectively saying production of wind energy is carbon free.

One hardly needs an advanced engineering degree to doubt the veracity of that thought after imagining what goes into manufacturing, erecting and operating huge wind mills.

Producing the steel, concrete and fiberglass needed to create those wind mills generates a lot of carbon emissions. Then there is the fuel burned in transporting and assembling them. Finally, even after they are operational, the local utilities have to burn traditional fuels to cover for when the wind doesn’t blow hard enough or, curiously enough, blows too hard.

Detailed information can be found online explaining the physics of the whole process for anyone caring to study the actual calculations.

Whether reducing carbon output will or won’t noticeably affect life as we know it is debatable. However, wind mills as they are now operating are not a net reducer of that carbon.

If only we could supply our energy needs with the one commodity which is never in short supply: wishful thinking.

Louie DeLeon,, St. Joseph

Hedge our bets on energy

Sen. Roy Blunt criticizes President Joe Biden for signing an executive order to have the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

The best response that I’ve seen to Sen. Blunt’s position can be found in the 2019 report “A Climate Security Plan for America: A Presidential Plan for Combating the Security Risks of Climate Change,” which has been endorsed by more than 20 admirals and generals:

“The U.S. is contending with an international environment colored by the announcement of the intent of the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a loss of American prestige and international leadership as a result, a lack of trust between the U.S. and its partners and allies, and significant moves by other nations, such as China, to fill that global leadership vacuum. China, for example, is positioning itself as a regional and global leader in investments in climate resilience and clean energy transitions. This challenge to U.S. leadership on climate change, particularly from near-peer competitors, can have significant implications for U.S. national security well beyond this issue.”

The pandemic has taught us the importance of hedging against catastrophic risk. President Biden should be congratulated for embracing U.S. leadership on this crucial issue.

Terry Hansen,, Hales Corners, Wisconsin