In a nearly 2-hour expletive-laden speech at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), President Trump mocked a progressive climate change plan being pushed by liberal Democrats and revealed his fundamental misunderstanding about how wind power works.
After warning the audience that he is “totally off script right now and this is how I got elected, by being off script,” Trump took aim at a Democratic proposal to tackle climate change by adopting a sweeping “Green New Deal.”
Trump said sarcastically: “I think the new green deal, or whatever the hell they call it. The Green New Deal, right? I encourage it. I think it’s really something that they should promote.”
Trump RIPS into the Green New Deal:
"No planes. No energy. When the wind stops blowing, that is the end of your electric. 'Let’s hurry up. Darling, is the wind blowing today? I would like to watch television, darling."
The crowd loses it.
"It’s true," Trump says. pic.twitter.com/Dqw8mvImLi
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 2, 2019
To laughter, Trump continued, mockingly: “No planes. No energy. When the wind stops blowing, that’s the end of your electric. ‘Let’s hurry up. Darling, darling, is the wind blowing today? I’d like to watch television, darling.’”
The crowd erupted in cheers and applause to the false claim.
Trump has previously touted the debunked claim that wind turbines that are offline somehow create a disruption to the power grid.
FactCheck notes, “It’s true that lack of wind prevents turbines from generating energy, but these pauses do not create problems that power grid operators can’t handle.”
The factchecking website also debunked two false claims about wind power Trump made last year:
Trump suggested that a single turbine can be responsible for “thousands” of bird deaths. Birds are killed by turbines, but the real death toll from a single turbine is orders of magnitude lower than this. A 2013 study estimated an average of just over five bird deaths per turbine per year.
Trump also stated that living near turbines is noisy, enough to make someone “go crazy after a couple of years.” Studies indicate that people living near turbines are rarely exposed to average sound levels beyond 45 decibels, which is akin to the hum of a refrigerator. There is no direct evidence that the sound is detrimental to physical or mental health, although it may be annoying to some people.
While each of these claims start with a kernel of truth, Trump’s words misrepresent scientists’ and engineers’ current understanding of wind power and its limitations. We’ll tackle each statement individually, but first, here are his full comments on wind power from his rally: