The former president raged during a campaign speech in South Carolina that “windmills” are driving whales “crazy.”
“Windmills are causing whales to die in numbers never seen before. Nobody does anything about that,” he declared.
“They’re driving the whales, I think, a little batty,” he said.
Trump’s had a yearslong vendetta against wind turbines, ever since a lengthy and unsuccessful legal battle to stop Scottish officials from building what he called a “really ugly wind farm” in view of his Aberdeen golf resort.
i cannot breathe WHAT is he talking about pic.twitter.com/ZtL0PUUXYg
— manny (@mannyfidel) September 25, 2023
As absurd as it sounds, Trump’s not the first person to make some version of the whales claim, despite a lack of evidence.
Fox News and Republican lawmakers have repeatedly suggested that a spate of whale deaths off the East Coast earlier this year were linked to the early stages of development of offshore wind farms, a claim promulgated by climate deniers with ties to the fossil fuel industry.
Some environmental groups have also raised concerns about how the development and construction of wind farms could impact whales. However, the environmental community has pointed to the absence of any evidence suggesting there’s a link between the projects and whale deaths, and stressed the importance of renewable energy to combat climate change ― the greatest threat to marine life.
On its website, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there are no known links between large whale mortalities and offshore wind surveys.
“At this point, there is no scientific evidence that noise resulting from offshore wind site characterization surveys could cause mortality of whales,” the agency said.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management also said it had found no evidence, noting: “Past and current research show that vessel strikes and entanglements in fishing gear continue to pose a dangerous, life-threatening risk to whales.”
Users of X, formerly Twitter, were swimming in scorn over Trump’s fishy claim:
You literally could never make this stuff up if you tried, but the SNL skits will write themselves.
“The windmills are driving the whales a little batty” tells you all you need to know about his fitness for duty…
Deranged and impossibly stupid are descriptors that come to mind https://t.co/co8hxhYjYX
— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) September 25, 2023
Windmills are killing whales. And if the polls are to be believed, more Americans are concerned about Biden’s age and mental health than this guy’s. 🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/LHqjAv5MPR
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) September 25, 2023
Person, woman, man, camera, TV. https://t.co/JjLvA0teAQ
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) September 26, 2023
this is unfortunately VERY funny https://t.co/oU1XHe4Djl
— Christine Emba (@ChristineEmba) September 25, 2023
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) September 25, 2023
I love how he spent years saying windmills were bad because they killed birds and everyone was like ok dude so now he’s like hmmm what is the biggest animal that could die from something https://t.co/kqGfsT06p2
— Brian Altano 🍕 (@agentbizzle) September 25, 2023
But let’s have some more articles about how Biden is too old. https://t.co/1xLYpms5Ta
— Tim Fullerton (@TimFullerton) September 25, 2023
Trump is going on a demented rant saying that windmills are killing whales.
But tell us more about Biden’s age. pic.twitter.com/TdLoNkAlJe
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) September 25, 2023
There is a chance the United States of America will elect this man as President for a second time. It’s the second bit of political news today that has made me shudder. https://t.co/K87BpXa2fc
— Luke Edwards (@LukeEdwardsTele) September 25, 2023
I will miss this guy when he is in prison. https://t.co/g9i0WrFMF7
— Dominik Diamond (@DominikDiamond) September 25, 2023
I hope he includes this in his nomination speech https://t.co/odH1JnVfoy
— Adam (@AdamJSmithGA) September 25, 2023