State of the Planet

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New Report Refutes 33 False Claims About Solar, Wind and Electric Vehicles

Achieving the United States’ ambitious emissions reduction goals depends in large part on the rapid adoption of wind and solar energy and the electrification of consumer vehicles. However, misinformation and coordinated disinformation about renewable energy is widespread and threatens to undermine public support for the transition. In a new report, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, an affiliate of the Columbia Climate School, identifies and examines 33 of the most pervasive false claims about solar energy, wind energy and electric vehicles, with the aim of promoting a more informed discussion.

Renewable energy. Photo: Kenueone / Pixabay
Photo: Kenueone / Pixabay

Many of these false claims center on three categories of impacts commonly attributed to renewable energy development: impacts to the environment, impacts to human health, and impacts to the economy. For example, our report examines the common misconceptions that electric vehicles have a net harmful effect on climate change (they do not); that electromagnetic radiation from wind turbines poses a threat to human health (it does not); and that solar energy development negatively impacts U.S. jobs (it does not). Some of the misconceptions examined in the report, such as the notion that whale deaths stem from noise related to wind farm surveys, are entirely unsubstantiated. Others have some factual basis but are commonly repeated without necessary context: for instance, the notion that solar panels produce significant waste, without the context that fossil fuel energy generates far more.

To identify the most common false claims regarding wind, solar and electric vehicles, the authors of the Sabin Center’s new report first reviewed social-media groups and websites created to oppose renewable energy projects or policies, as well as existing coverage about misinformation. The authors then developed transparent, fact-based responses to these false claims, relying to the greatest extent possible on peer-reviewed academic literature and government publications. The authors designed the report so that members of the public can cultivate balanced and informed opinions on frequently-contested topics related to renewable energy and electric vehicle deployment.

The Sabin Center’s report should be read in conjunction with other fact checks and studies refuting false claims about renewable energy and electric vehicles, such as those published by EPARMIUSA TodayCarbon Brief, the Center for American Progress, the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s website, the Brown Climate and Development Lab and Heated.

Read the full report here.

This press release was originally published by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, an affiliate of the Columbia Climate School.

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john dixon
john dixon
4 days ago

You people are so lost and so deep into your own pseudo science, you should be embarrassed. Being multi-disciplined engineer and having worked in this field for many years, I know what I am talking about. I can tell you with full confidence that the true worry with climate are the ones related to those who benefit from the scare tactics and false information spread by people like you. The sad part is, people are to uneducated and simple to know they are being led by the nose, only to line the pockets of others. At least companies are starting to understand the limits of public acceptance. Thus the drop in EV sales. I have long said and have data to prove, EVs will never be adopted by the majority of the population. Their is and will forever be a 30% maximum inflection point. That number will go down when subsidies go away as well. The next fall point is the fact the grid simply cannot and will never handle the required loading. Beyond that you have the growth of newer technologies and cleaner burning fuels. When people stop trying to solve a non issue with overhyped underperforming technology, simply because of politics, this world will take care of itself.

Last edited 4 days ago by john dixon
Reply to  john dixon
13 hours ago

The irony of writing “to uneducated”.