The Case of the Misleading Massive Wind Turbines

April 23, 2018

An Anti Wind group sent out an expensive glossy mailer to thousands of households in my Mid-Michigan area.

The Mailer depicts massive wind turbines menacing a local farm. So massive, it made me curious to find out if the picture was indeed real. You can already guess the answer, but you might like to know how it was done.

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For a dose of corrective reality, see my recent video with actual experts and real information.

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24 Responses to “The Case of the Misleading Massive Wind Turbines”


  1. I’m thinking you don’t subscribe to these, but I think it is really good. I also think it would be worth sending to Abdul’s campaign.

    Does he realize that his mom’s home County, Gratiot is #2 in wind production in Michigan and that wind in Huron County #1 plus Gratiot, in the past two years brought in $45 Million in income (2:12 into second video).

    Just FYI.

    The way the photo was faked is well explained and demonstrated in the first video. VERY interesting!!!

    • greenman3610 Says:

      would love to come to UP and give folks the real story on wind and renewables. They have been poorly served by anti wind flim flammers.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      “The way the photo was faked… ”

      The photo was not “faked”. It was deceptive, which is not the same thing.

      The question is going to be whether anyone is going to agree to limit journalism or advertising to normal lenses only. And the answer, of course, is “No effing way”.

      Nowadays, everyone has a camera, and many inexpensive cameras have enormous optical zoom capabilities. So, we can see the potential for this sort of thing.

      Plus, one can do the opposite – one can use the wide-angle focal lengths to make distant object look even smaller than the way they look to us when we use our eyes.

      What was the full-frame equivalent focal length the photographer used in the video when they supposedly showed the barns in situ? I’m guessing it was about 35mm. Id so, it would be slightly deceptive in the opposite direction. Do we know what it was? This sort of info is often impossible to verify.

      So, Peter has provided a good demonstration of the power of photographic optics to deceive. But where deception and artistic illustration part ways, I have no idea.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Thanks for some cogent remarks from a photographer. My thoughts too—deceptive, not faked—-once again, we are faced with determining which truth crries more weight.

        But “full-frame equivalent focal length”? (FFEFL for short) Really?

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          Really. 🙂

          There are so many cameras with different sized sensors, one can’t just say “I used a XX-mm lens setting” to understand what the field of view of the final image represents. You have to correct to FFE – the full frame equivalent.

          Full-frame digital cameras have a sensor the size of one frame of 35mm film. That size, for whatever reason has become a standard. Most DSLRs have sensors about 2/3 the size of a full-frame sensor, so if you have, say, a 50mm lens on that camera with the smaller sensor, you have to multiply the (mm of the lens setting) times a number to get the true field of view. For most Canon smaller DSLRs that number is 1.6; for Nikon, iirc, it is about 1.5. That number might be called the “crop factor” by many.

          So, a 50mm lens on a camera whose crop factor is 1.5 will give the equivalent view of a 75mm lens on a full-frame camera. A “normal lens” is the lens mm setting on any particular that results in a field of view equivalent to a human being’s eyesight. Generally, that translates to ~ 40mm-50mm on a full frame camera. Let’s say it is 50mm.

          To get that “normal” field of view ( the width, height of a human being’s eyesight AND also the same distance relationship between) foreground, midground and background you would need:

          * A full-frame DSLR with a lens of 50mm
          * A crop-factor DSLR with a lens of 35mm
          * A micro 4/3rds camera with a lens of 25mm
          * etc, etc

          When you use lens settings of higher than “normal” mm’s ( like 60mm, 135mm, 400mm), you are said to be using more and more telescopic lens settings. The field of view narrows down, so distant objects appear much larger in the image. But, it also compresses the apparent distances between the far background and the midground and the foreground. The midground is usually the subject.

          So, in Peter’s example, the farmhouse is the midground subject. The photographer used a very telescopic lens, which made the distant wind towers not only look way taller than if the photographer used his eyes instead of a camera lens, but it also makes those towers look way closer to the house.

          And the opposite effect is seen with lens settings that are less than what is “normal” on a camera – the wide-angle lenses with small mm numbers.

          If you have seen a creepy slasher movie, or a sci-fi movie you will see another way this effect is used.There is a great scene in the first Lord of the Rings movie, where Frodo senses something that scares him out of his wits as he is looking the path in the woods he and his friends have just walked down. The background of the path gets bigger and bigger put the camera seems to stay in the same place, which is impossible and creepy. What the film crew is doing is rotating the zoom lens on the camera to ever-greater zoom (telescopic lens mm’s) while simultaneously moving the whole camera on a smooth sled directly backwards. The speed of the sled and the speed of the zooming are such that they match each other, and the camera position of the shot doesn’t seem to change as the background becomes giant and closer. Pretty cool. 🙂

  2. redskylite Says:

    If you’ve ever lived near a nuclear power station or worked in oilfields, refineries or coalmines you would appreciate the clean lines of the wind turbines. Especially more and more are well out to sea.

    Sunday Mail caught out on more fake news . . .

    ‘The Mail on Sunday’ admits publishing more fake news about climate change
    Commentary 22 April, 2018

    ‘The Mail on Sunday’ newspaper has been forced to publish a statement today admitting that two more articles it published last year about climate change were fake news.

    It is the latest humiliation for the newspaper which has been misleading its readers for many years about the causes and potential consequences of climate change.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/news/the-mail-on-sunday-admits-publishing-more-fake-news-about-climate-change/

    • ted knopper Says:

      “It is important to note that IPSO applied the very weakest of veracity teststo the articles by Mr Rose. It did not rule on whether the content was inaccurate, but instead assessed only if they had accurately reported the false allegations made by Dr John Bates.” The words false allegations are the words of the person making the complaint to the IPSO, the person redskylite is quoting.
      Here is what Dr. Bates actually said ” in interviews with the Associated Press and E&E, an online energy and environmental news outlet, Bates said he had not accused his colleagues of data manipulation.

      Bates told the AP on Feb. 6 that there was “no data tampering, no data changing, nothing malicious” involved with his colleagues’ study. “It’s not trumped up data in any way shape or form,” he said.

      Rather, Bates claimed Karl and his group hadn’t followed NOAA protocol in “the way data was handled, documented and stored, raising issues of transparency and availability,” the AP reported, adding that Bates thought the study was rushed “to influence the December 2015 climate treaty negotiations in Paris.”

      This is a common complaint with “climate deniers” the other side hides contray data or its own data to dampen scientific inquiry.

  3. indy222 Says:

    Telephoto lenses at the right distance can make anything look menacing….

  4. ted knopper Says:

    The problem is the wind farms are not all the same. The Altamonte pass in California the turbines are right next to one another, row after row of turbines. https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/wind-turbines-altamont-pass-california-picture-id128619111
    The real issue is liberty. The farmer involved get paid for the turbines. They have no problem accepting the income.

    Wind turbines do have a problem. Birds get killed by those turbines. Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually — a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats, according to the peer-reviewed study by two federal scientists and the environmental .. which you can look up yourself.
    The endangered birds killed are subject to federal law. So far the feds are giving the wind farms an exemption from the endangered species act as thousands of eagles and other endangered birds do get killed exery year.

    Wind turbines can help power the planet, they are not however Gods answer like the video implies to our power needs having no downside to that power production.

  5. ted knopper Says:

    Incidentally most of the turbines and towers are buillt overseas, most in china. the jobs over here are to set up the turbines and power lines and maintain them.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      a lot of wind manufacturing happens in the US, but mostly in those states that have a welcome mat out for wind.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      25,000 jobs in 500 American factories making wind turbine parts (2016 article):

      https://www.aweablog.org/whats-state-american-wind-power-manufacturing/

      ” Last year, 88 percent of the wind capacity installed in the U.S. used a turbine manufacturer with at least one U.S. manufacturing facility. According to LBNL, the share of domestic manufacturing content for nacelle assembly exceeds 85 percent, while towers are between 80 to 85 percent. Blades and hubs also have strong domestic content, estimated between 50 to 70 percent.”

  6. Sir Charles Says:

    Great job, Peter! What we’re watching here in a minute or two must have taken you at least a whole day to produce. Humanity owes you many tanks 😉

  7. Sir Charles Says:

    Coal Lobby Warns Wind Farms May Blow Earth Off Orbit


  8. […] you saw my cat-scan of an anti-wind fake news release, here – you get it that the fossil industry will go to any lengths to hang on to it’s […]

  9. ted knopper Says:

    I got my information from this source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wind_turbine_manufacturers
    No manufacture of large wind turbines exists in the USA per the listing. The only US manufacture listed has stopped making them here. US small turbines are made here , some with imported parts, however, those turbines are not the ones filling the electrical grid with wind power.

    Your source claims a lot of the parts are made here so somebody is not correct. Backyard wind turbines are not going to power our cities so the only manufactures that count are those building utility size machines. The article cite does not list those sites by type so there seems to be no way to check the claims. Setting up a tower and repairing a slip ring is not making the parts here to power the US from wind.

    Lets hope your source is correct.


  10. Point of information: you left the “h” off of “Sarah” in your video, when you identify Sarah Mills.

    http://fordschool.umich.edu/faculty/sarah-mills


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