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Trump boasts, 'I know a lot about wind' (despite not knowing about wind)

Dismissing wind power, Trump said, "I know a lot about wind." He simultaneously proved the opposite.
Winding Road, Turbines. Courtesy of GE.
Winding Road, Turbines. Courtesy of GE.

It's hard to say with certainty exactly why Donald Trump is so hostile toward wind power. Maybe it has to do with his struggling Scottish golf resort. Maybe the president is simply reluctant to endorse any kind of clean-energy alternatives that threatens the coal industry.

Whatever the cause, Trump headlined a campaign rally in Michigan last night, where he told supporters about the many horrors they'd be experiencing right now if Hillary Clinton had won the election.

"You would be doing wind, windmills, and if it doesn't if it doesn't blow you can forget about television for that night," the president said to laughter. Imagining a family conversation, he added, "Darling, I want to watch television. I'm sorry, the wind isn't blowing."

Trump concluded that the audience should trust that he knows what he's talking about. "I know a lot about wind," the Republican said. "I know a lot about wind."

He doesn't know a lot about wind.

Right off the bat, whenever Trump claims to be an expert in a subject, we invariably discover that he is not. Regardless, in this case, the president is plainly lost.

[T]he Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy says that the power grid is capable of handling the variation that comes with wind energy.In response to the frequently-asked-question, "What happens to the electricity supply when the wind isn't blowing?" the agency cites studies that say the power grid can handle a large amount of "variable renewable power without sacrificing reliability."

In other words, those who rely on wind power can still watch television when the skies are calm. Similarly, those who rely on solar power can turn on the lights at night.

This isn't to say wind power is perfect -- there's nearly always tradeoffs involved in every form of energy -- but if we're going to have a meaningful debate about it, the president really ought to brush up on the basic details of the subject he claims to know so much about.