President Donald Trump reignited his vendetta against windmills at Thursday night’s presidential debate, setting Twitter alight when he made a bizarre boast to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden: “I know more about wind than you.”
The candidates were asked to discuss how they plan to combat climate change while supporting job growth. In his response, Biden said the solar and wind energy industries are booming, and pointed to Trump’s anti-scientific rhetoric about wind turbines.
“I know more about wind than you do,” Trump retorted. “It’s extremely expensive, kills all the birds, it’s very intermittent, it’s got a lot of problems, and they happen to make the windmills in both Germany and China. And the fumes coming up — if you’re a believer in carbon emission — the fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything that we are talking about with natural gas.”
Biden asked him to “find me a scientist who says that.”
Trump’s beef with wind turbines, which he calls windmills, goes way back. He has claimed that they destroy property values and that the noise from them causes cancer. (There is no evidence for either claim.) He has also said windmills can kill birds — and although they can indeed impact birds, the animals face many more significant threats, such as cats, cars and cell towers.
The president has been accused of launching his so-called “war on wind” after unsuccessfully suing to prevent a wind farm from being built in view of his luxury golf club in Scotland.
Twitter users pointed out that Trump has plenty of personal reasons to hate wind:
Others, including the American Wind Energy Association, gave context to his claims:
And some were simply baffled.