Once again, Donald Trump is tilting at windmills, and he's full of hot air.
Last night in his debate with his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, Trump belittled the former vice president for advocating the use of windmills as part of America's energy policy as the nation battles climate change.
"I know more about wind than you do," said Trump.
"He thinks wind causes cancer," said Biden. "It's the fastest growing jobs and they pay good prevailing wages. $45-$50 bucks an hour. We can grow and we can be cleaner if we go the route I'm proposing."
Trump responded by saying America is "energy independent for the first time. We don't need all of these countries that we had to fight war over 'cause we needed their energy. We are energy independent."
Wind, he said, is "extremely expensive. Kills all the birds. It's very intermittent. It's got a lot of problems, and they happen to make all of the windmills in both Germany and China, and the fumes coming up...if you're a believer in carbon emission, the fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything that we're talking about with natural gas, which is very clean."
Responded Biden: "Find me a scientist who says that."
Ignoring that retort, Trump went on to diminish the value of solar energy.
"Solar. I love solar, but solar doesn't quite have it yet. It's not powerful yet to really run our big, beautiful factories that we need to compete with the world."
"False," said Biden.
"It's all a pipe dream," retorted Trump. "But you know what we'll do? We'll have the greatest economy in the world, but if you wanna kill the economy, get rid of your oil industry."
Now all of that was eerily familiar, so I checked. Yep, on December 24, 2019, I wrote about all of this and Trump's deep knowledge of windmills in a blog headlined "Of Windmills, Lightbulbs, Toilets and Straws."
Here's what the "very stable genius" said in a speech to a pro-Trump youth group back then, as reported in that article:
"We’ll have an economy based on wind. I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody. I know it’s very expensive. They’re made in China and Germany mostly — very few made here, almost none. But they’re manufactured tremendous — if you’re into this — tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint — fumes are spewing into the air. Right? Spewing. Whether it’s in China, Germany, it’s going into the air. It’s our air, their air, everything — right? So they make these things and then they put them up."
He also said this: “I’ve seen the most beautiful fields, farms, fields — most gorgeous things you’ve ever seen, and then you have these ugly things going up. And you know what they don’t tell you about windmills? After 10 years, they look like hell.”
By the way, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Trump's statement that wind energy causes "tremendous" carbon emissions that just come up from the ground, is nothing but hot air.
Wind power is a low-carbon energy source—when a wind turbine generates electricity it produces zero carbon emissions," says the organization's website. "The development of clean wind energy avoids significant carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution."
AWEA said that In 2019, the electricity generated from wind turbines avoided an estimated 42 million cars’ worth of CO2 emissions, and a typical wind project repays its carbon footprint in six months or less, providing decades of zero-emission energy.
Yes, Trump's full and detailed knowledge of wind energy was on full display in last night's debate with Biden, in which the president initially looked like he was chock full of Ambien, a hypnotic designed to help you sleep. But as the debate continued, the drug must have worn off as Trump seemed to wake up.
It was as though he was envisioning himself back on The Apprentice, only this time it was the American people rising up in unison to tell him: "You're Fired!"