After President Donald Trump gave a speech about windmills over the weekend, social media poked fun at the 73-year-old for saying he "never understood" the allure of wind power plants. As part of a speech to the conservative student group Turning Point USA in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday, Trump slammed wind turbines, claiming that the production of them causes a large carbon footprint.
"I never understood wind," Trump said, according to a report from Mediaite. "I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right?"
"So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right, spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air," he added.
While critics of wind power plants frequently point to carbon emissions from concrete and other manufacturers involved in the production of wind power farms as a reason against further construction of wind farms, the American Wind Energy Association found that wind farms around the world generated enough energy to avoid 200 million tons of carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels last year alone. The association also estimates that most wind power plants repay their own carbon footprints within six months of operation.
He also argued that the presence of turbines near anyone's home slashes the property value, and took aim the technology for killing "many bald eagles."
"You know, in California, they were killing the bald eagle. If you shoot a bald eagle, they want to put you in jail for 10 years. A windmill will kill many bald eagles. It's true," Trump said.
It's true that wind turbines kill birds; the American Bird Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service report that hundreds of thousands have been killed by windmills.
It’s not fair to compare Donald Trump to Don Quixote.
Don Quixote only ever tilted at #windmills. He never claimed they cause cancer.— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) December 23, 2019
On Twitter, social media users took aim at Trump for his comments, poking fun at him for his comment about having "never understood wind" as well as his unproven claims that windmills can cause cancer and other disease. Some users compared him to Don Quixote, the titular character from Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel.
"So... Trump never understood wind but he's studied it better than ANYBODY? That he knows personally, in his family specifically or in the whole world?" one Twitter user wrote.
Trump's speech came a few days after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The next step in the process is for him to stand trial in front of the Senate in January, which would need a majority vote to send him out of office. While it's still unclear when exactly the trial will take place, it's highly unlikely that the Republican-majority Senate would vote him out of office.