Trump’s Fumes, Possibly Explained Again

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Wait! We have a new entry on the list of possible explanations for President Trump’s blathering about wind turbines emitting “fumes” that harm everyone. Here it is:

Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents….However, the significant downside to using the gas is that it has the highest global warming potential of any known substance. It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2).

….“As renewable projects are getting bigger and bigger, we have had to use it within wind turbines specifically,” said Costa Pirgousis, an engineer with Scottish Power Renewables on its new East Anglia wind farm, which doesn’t use SF6 in turbines. “As we are putting in more and more turbines, we need more and more switchgear and, as a result, more SF6 is being introduced into big turbines off shore.

Is it possible that someone put a bug in Trump’s ear about SF6 and he then garbled it in his usual way? Maybe! There’s a good chance we’ll never know, but this is certainly a possibility.

POSTSCRIPT: Just so you know, SF6 is bad, and we probably ought to ban it. However, the total amount used is so small that even though it’s far more powerful than CO2, its overall impact on global warming is nonetheless about one-thousandth as much as CO2.

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate