“I read with bemusement Peter Wirth’s commentary “NY Already Has Vaccine for Climate Change: Renewable energy” (April 21, 2020). Why? It is scientifically impossible for renewable energy to be delivered at a global scale any time soon to make a meaningful difference in future climate disruption. Science precludes it, even if it “feels” we should be able to go green.
First, the area needed to use solar and wind farms to power a city is about the area of the city itself. The area to power New York state? About Onondaga County. To power the United States? The entire state of Nevada or more. For the world? “Solarstan,” a country the size of Mexico, hundreds of thousands of square miles. Even if countries could find the square miles to cover with solar and wind farms, to support the technology humanity still would need to find up to 10 times more rare elements than we mine every year. Where would these come from? Rock with low concentrations of rare elements surrounds parts of the Adirondack Mountains. Would New York citizens allow it to be strip-mined out to support global green energy?”
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Siegel, Donald. syracuse.com 22 April 2020.