Green New Deal really isn’t all that green
To the editor:
We hear all the glorious things that solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles will do for global warming, but what aren’t they telling us? Let’s take a closer look.
The International Renewable Energy Agency estimated that there will be 78 million metric tons of solar panel waste in the world by 2050. Solar panels contain lead, cadmium (a category 1 carcinogen) and other toxic chemicals.
While disposal of solar panels has taken place in regular landfills, it is “not recommended” because the modules can break and “toxic materials” can leach into the soil, causing problems with drinking water.
Used solar panel should really be classified as hazardous waste. Natural events such as hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. can cause damage to the panels. For example, in 2015 a tornado broke 200,000 solar modules at solar farm in California. With 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in 1.8 million solar panels calculated for a proposed 6,350 acre solar farm in Virginia, any breakage is a cause for concern. Further, even rainwater has been found to flush out cadmium within an intact solar panel. Are you concerned? You should be!
Is wind power really environmentally friendly? The public needs to be aware of this tragic reality also. Each wind turbine has a generator based on super-magnet made from highly toxic rare earth metals (neodymium).
The mining of neodymium in China has caused great loss of life and has an “appalling environmental impact” that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology.
The toxic waste lake generated is only 6 miles wide and 100 feet deep getting 3 feet deeper each year. We have 60,000 wind turbines today with 180,000 blades 200 feet long on average to be replaced/disposed of every 10 years. The U.S. will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material to dispose of over the next 20 years. There are currently no plans to dispose of retired blades in an environmentally friendly manner. Decommissioned blades are notoriously difficult andexpensive to transport. Anywhere from 100 to 300 feet long, they need to be “cut up onsite” before getting trucked away “on specialized equipment” to a landfill/field. They are simply piled up and covered with dirt like a huge mass grave and they don’t biodegrade.
What about the large batteries in electric vehicles? Globally, fewer than 12 facilities recycle EV batteries today. Total recycling capacity worldwide corresponds to 300,000 EV batteries per year, or roughly 10% of global annual EV sales today, but 1% of expected annual sales in the early 2030s. The rest simply pile up in our landfills.
And they call this the Green New Deal! At what cost in dollars, lives, and to our environment?