Trump launches into latest bizarre rant against windmills: ‘I never understood wind’

President repeats exaggerated claims about wind turbines threatening bald eagles 

Conrad Duncan
Monday 23 December 2019 11:23 GMT
Donald Trump renews attack on wind power: 'I never understood wind'

Donald Trump renewed his long-running attack on wind power during a rambling speech to conservative students over the weekend.

Mr Trump, who was speaking at a Turning Point USA event in Florida, told the cheering crowd he has “never understood wind” as part of a section of his speech mocking environmental policies supported by Democrats, such as the Green New Deal.

“I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody,” he said.

“I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous – if you are into this – tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right?”

The president also returned to another of his favourite criticisms of wind power by repeating exaggerated claims about the threat posed to bald eagles by turbines.

“You want to see a bird graveyard? You just go take a look. A bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday,” the president said.

“A windmill will kill many bald eagles,” he added, referring to bald eagles who have been killed by wind turbines in California.

“After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?”

However, Mr Trump’s concern over wind turbines does not match the threat posed by them to birds.

Although about 150,000 birds are hit each year by turbines in the US, according to a study published by the journal Energy Policy, that figure pales in comparison to the number of birds killed by domestic animals.

A 2013 study estimated that up to 3.7 billion birds are killed annually by domestic cats.

Similarly, Mr Trump is right to say Germany and China produce many of the world’s wind turbines but his criticism of carbon emissions produced during the manufacturing of turbines is misplaced.

Research published by the American Wind Energy Association found that in 2018 the electricity generated from wind turbines avoided an estimated 200 million tonnes of carbon pollution.

The president has repeatedly made bizarre and inaccurate claims about turbines to criticise wind power.

In April, Mr Trump notably suggested that the noise from wind turbines “causes cancer”.

The American Cancer Society responded to that claim by saying it was “unaware of any credible evidence linking the noise from windmills to cancer.”

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