As one would expect from the Editor-in-Chief of a newspaper, I read a lot of articles each week from publications across the country. Our President is an area of constant coverage, for good reason. Donald Trump makes claims daily that elicit a range of responses — blood-boiling rage, thunderous applause, and head-scratching confusion. I experienced the last after Trump’s comment about wind power causing cancer in a speech to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
This is not the first time the President has attacked wind power or renewable energy options as a whole. In September of 2018, Trump claimed that living near windmills would cause people to “go crazy after a couple of years,” despite the government’s own Department of Energy studies, which show the average windmill noise does not exceed 40 decibels, which is comparable to the noise level of your refrigerator. Why would Trump tell the truth about wind power when he continues to deny that climate change is real or that it is caused by human activity? According to Vox, less than six months into his presidency, Trump had tweeted about climate change skepticism 115 times.
The Republican Party has long-since maintained that climate change is either a fluke or a result of natural processes, but even Republican leaders are thawing on the topic (get it — because our polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate and our government is doing nothing about it). Leading up to the Republican-controlled Senate vote on the Green New Deal (for more on the Green New Deal, see my article “The Art of the Green New Deal” at the Quaker Campus, website, thequakercampus.org), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) admitted he thought climate change was real and human caused, though he followed that up by stating solutions must be “consistent with American values and American capitalism; [the solution] is through technology and innovation … not to shut down your economy, [or] throw people out of work.”
Regardless of your reaction to McConnell’s statement, it is hard to dispute that windmills and the harvesting of natural resources is an example of, at least, technological innovation, if not also consistent with American values and capitalism. This begs the question: why is Trump fighting solar so hard? His claims about wind power are false, by the way. The American Cancer Society released a statement that they are “unaware of any credible evidence linking the noise from windmills to cancer.” This reminds me of that scene in Don Quixote where the hero attacks a windmill, mistaking it for a giant. Quixote was wrong about windmills being the villains then, and Trump is wrong about them now.