The Sierra Club’s just-released 20-page, 94-footnote report, Clean Energy Under Siege, assumes rather than defends wind power as clean and green. And so it jumps the shark to state (p. 1): “Clean energy is under siege by some of the most powerful, free-spending entities in the nation.” And: “Attacks on clean energy present a great challenge.”

There are factual problems aplenty throughout the “study.” But the elephant in Sierra’s room is the sizeable, growing grassroot rebellion by environmentalists against windpower. On-the-spot citizens dealing with the ills of the massive wind turbines are telling Big Environmentalism, the Washington DC coterie, to wake up and smell the carnage. Here are a few testimonials posted at the blog MasterResource:

But guess what? The Sierra Club’s elephant in the room also has a skeleton in the closet. Instead of using the clinical term “avian mortality” to describe the carnage of wildlife by industrial wind turbines, the Sierra Club introduced the state of California, the U.S., and the world to a less clinical term:  the Cuisinarts of the air.

Here is the full story eloquently as told on page 450 by Paul Gipe in his 1995 book, Wind Energy Comes of Age (New York: John Wiley & Sons):

At the height of the Gorman [California] hearing, an old man took the podium. Suddenly the television news crews switched on their Klieg lights. Something was afoot. They had been alerted that a suitably newsworthy ‘sound bite’ was on its way. Tension in the room mounted. The old man proceeded to lovingly describe the beauty of his racing pigeons, their speed and grace, how they had become a part of his family, and then with perfect timing and dramatic flair, pleaded with the planning commission to protect his pigeons from “the Cuisinarts of the air.”

The arrow went straight home, sending up a roar from the audience. A new image had been created and the cameras flashed it across the country. Although often credited to staging by Cerrell and Associates, the term was conceived by the Sierra Club. The club’s Los Angeles area representative, Bob Hattoy, later bragged to a Washington lobbyist that he coined the infamous expression. Hattoy knew how to turn a phrase. He brought the 1992 Democratic national convention and a television audience of millions to tears with his story of contracting AIDs. Wind energy had made one powerful enemy.

The Sierra Club has done a good job of hiding its growing internal windpower controversy, which might yet grow into a full-fledged civil war. And true to form, the stubborn “avian mortality” problem of industrial wind is not mentioned once in the report. Will the new executive director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, own up to the elephant—or even the skeleton?

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