Report debunks 33 false claims about renewable energy

Now, the fight to replace fossil fuels with green renewable energy is an uphill battle in the United States and some other countries around the world. And that's partly because of widespread misinformation and in some cases, coordinated disinformation. But now the Saban Centre for Climate Change Law has released a new report that has identified and debunked 33 pervasive false claims about electric vehicles and wind and solar energy. Here are some of the claims disproven in the report. That electromagnetic fields from solar farms are harmful to humans. That low frequency noise from wind turbines are dangerous to humans and that electric vehicles actually have a net negative effect on climate change. All false. Jacob Elkin is a an attorney and research scholar with the Save and Centre for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. It's good to see you, Sir. Briefly, what were the most surprising myths which had taken hold had an impact on the climate and renewables debate? I think 2 myths immediately come to mind for me. The 1st, in the context of offshore wind development, is the idea that offshore wind farms off the coast of the United States are a serious threat to whale species. And the second, in the context of solar development, is the idea that solar development will threaten United States food supply through displacing a lot of farmland that is currently being used for food production. Both of these ideas are things that have been researched very substantially, and there's really no evidence for either. But still, when an offshore wind farm is proposed or when a solar farm is proposed, often times at the center of the opposition to those projects are these two false claims. And I think that's especially concerning because we do know that climate change does pose a serious threat to endangered whale species and in the long term, threatens to disrupt some degree of food production in the United States and globally. Yeah, it's the climate change that's causing the disruption, not the renewables. What surprised you most about the pervasiveness of the false claims, how widespread they are? I, I think the pervasiveness is very, you know, surprising. It's the same common trend time and time again. When a solar project, an offshore wind farm or an onshore wind farm is proposed, very quickly opposition starts organising. That's driven by the same false claims, misinformation and disinformation that for the most part is just not true. And again, these are claims that, you know, have been researched very substantially and have been found to be lacking. Yeah, this was a very scientific study. Did did you find or suspect that it's more than ignorance that leads to these myths? That perhaps there's a deliberateness to the misinformation and and if so, to what end? I think there's very little question that at least some of this is deliberate. For instance, research out of Brown University has shown that fossil fuel interest groups have been tied to think tanks that are behind a lot of the anti offshore wind movement in the eastern United States. And I think there we have sort of two industries going up against each other.

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