issues affect e
veryone and have a significant effect on Virginia’s economy, but environmental news is often
inaccurate or misleading. Peddled by extremists and
organizations with an axe to grind, much of the news
about the environment is merely regurgitated by
reporters who are short on time and in need of an
is more frustrating than reading an article yet
knowing that the contents are factually inaccurate.
frustration led to the establishment of a nonprofit,
TSAugust, whose sole mission is to bring factual
information about the environment and economic
growth to Americans using the Internet. The quirky
name was selected to make it easy for people to
remember the web address, www.tsaugust.org.
The name itself is derived from “The Second of
August” which is when most delegates signed the
Declaration of Independence.
unlikely location of this non profit is Reston, better known for its liberal, activist history.
Reston, a planned community in Northern Virginia, was founded by Bob Simon, who had a vision of a
community built around village centers where people
could live where they worked. The idea appealed especially to
liberal activists, and the community has been a
haven for them ever since.
continues in this tradition. Although some would
describe our philosophy as considerably to the right
of Reston's pioneers, we think of ourselves as
conservative in our use of the facts. If it happens
that these facts counter much of the commonly
accepted environmental wisdom, we let the chips fall
as they may.
its founding in 2002, TSAugust has published weekly
news stories and thought provoking papers on
subjects such as wind power, hydrogen and economic
growth, and endangered species.
endangered species issue is very timely in Virginia.
The Commonwealth maintains a list of endangered species that complements the federal list.
Most people think of furry animals or beautiful
birds when they think of endangered species. In
truth, many endangered species are insects and
year, for example, Virginia
designated four insects as endangered species and
two as threatened. The endangered bugs included:
Piedmont water boatman
threatened bugs included the:
species such as these can result in private property
losing its value and can affect economic growth. The
news article didn’t comment on whether these
insects deserved to be listed but merely brought to
people’s attention that endangered species cover a
much wider swath than commonly thought.
hot environmental issue in Virginia involves wind
farms. Wynergy LLC has proposed building 150 wind
turbines, each rated 3.6 megawatts, three miles off
the coast of Virginia, stretching along Cape Charles
southward to opposite Virginia Beach. Although wind
turbines have not yet been proposed for the
they have been proposed in West Virginia
calling for greater use of renewable energy sources
such as wind power in the abstract, environmental
groups have criticized wind farms wherever someone
actually wants to build them. In one instance, more
than 25 environmental groups and individuals called
on the Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, to
investigate the impact of wind turbines on migratory
people have decried the visual impact of
400-foot-high towers with rotating blades flashing
in the sunlight.
also claim that wind power is only slightly more
costly than electricity generated by fossil fuels.
In fact, wind turbines can generate electricity only
when the wind is blowing, and not blowing too hard,
so on average they only produce 30 percent of the
turbine’s rating. It is like going to the store to
buy a quart of milk but only getting 1/3 quart of
milk in the bottle. In addition, traditional steam-
or gas-powered generators must be kept on line as
spinning reserves, ready to step in when the wind
stops blowing; this adds to costs, which by some
estimates, doubles the cost of wind power.
will pay these added costs, one way or another, as
wind power is developed.
present, TSAugust, a 501 (c) 3, uses volunteers for
all its activities. Volunteers with expertise in the
subject matter research and edit the articles.
Volunteers have developed and maintained the
website. Until now, the operation has received no
contributions from corporations, although assistance
would be accepted if offered.
is a grass roots organization that continues the
Reston tradition with a new activism based
on education and facts.
August 9, 2004