April 1, 2003

The Writing On The Wall Series #20: Riveting Developments, News and Info

Hello everyone

There is just soooo much to follow. Just a glimpse of it all!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

This compilation is archived at

Check also my latest...

Media Compilation #125: The Butchers of Washington Facing a Potential Global Pr Waterloo

Media Compilation #126: Operation Iraqi Martyrdom

"Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us."

- Henrik Tikkanen


1. April 1st vigil: reminder
2. Fear in Hong Kong
3. The U.S. Military's War On The Earth
5. Just Tell the Damn Truth!
6. Warren Buffett Company Plans Largest Land Wind Farm, In Iowa

See also:

This is a site set up especially to chronicle day by day the war

Tens of Thousands Around World Rally for Peace (March 29)

I'd Like to Thank the Vatican, by Michael Moore

Practice to Deceive
Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan

One voice not afraid to air Pentagon's dirty secrets (March 29)
(...) "I did a story a year ago from guys fighting the war [in Afghanistan]. One night they got an order. There was a 10-mile [16-kilometre] air corridor they could not operate in for about a week. It went from Kanduz about 150 miles [240 kilometres] into Pakistan. [Pakistan's President] Musharraf had a few hundred [of his men] training al-Qaeda, including two generals, and he had to get them out. He's our guy, so they flew 'em out. There were 2500 to 4000 people who got out. ... the best [Defence Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld could do was say, 'I don't know anything about it. News to me.' He didn't deny it, and it just slipped by. Where in the hell was Congress on a story like that?"

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (Must See! - Lots of graphic pictures - not for the faint of heart)

US prepares for slaughter in Iraq (March 26)

IRAQWAR.RU - March 30 Update

Will American Administration Declare War on Russia?
Here we see Russia rattling it's military hardware in response to aggressive private comments and public allegations by the Bush Administration. There can be little doubt however that Moscow has turned at best a blind eye and at worst a knowing nod to suppliers of military equipment to Iraq. What else would we expect them to do? Of course, in public they will match the US Administration's holier-than-thou stance. Meanwhile Serbia is in a state of emergency after the assassination of Zolan Djindjic. And North Korea is saber-rattling over US military exercises. Both completely unrelated, of course? If unconvinced, as we are, then see our articles at and

3 Russian Firms' Deals Anger U.S. Iraq Purchased Jamming Gear, Missiles, Night-Vision Goggles

Word is made flesh as God reveals himself... as a fish (March 16 - VERY odd story!),6903,915125,00.html

Bush's Environmental Strategy: Suppress, Ignore, Preempt

Savage Beating of Mugabe Opponents,,2089-628341,00.html


Date: 1 Apr 2003
Paul Swann <>
Subject: April 1st vigil: reminder

Just a reminder to tune your positive thoughts to the little boys in George W Bush, Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein and all world leaders for 15 minutes today at 11am Washington DC time / 4pm London time.

Love, peace & play,


From: "James Twyman" <>
Subject: Follow-up: Psychic Children at White House
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003

Beloved Friends,


On April 1 at 11 AM Washington, DC time, (4pm BST) people all over the world will focus their prayers of peace on George Bush, Saddam Hussein and the leaders of all the countries of the world.

The plea for prayer came from the Children who gathered on the Big Island of Hawaii last weekend for the "Psychic Children Speak to the World" conference.

Now they have asked that we expand the vigil to include all world leaders, especially those who are most involved in the current war in Iraq. They believe that offering our prayers of peace will actually inspire them to make their decisions based upon the good of all. I personally believe that this is the most powerful and positive action we can take, especially for those who believe that violence can never lead to real peace.

Wherever you are at that time, please stop and join the world in prayer. We believe that millions of people will participate, adding their energy to this essential movement.

During the vigil, the Psychic Children are asking that we imagine President Bush and the other leaders as children, not as adults, and to appeal to their original childlike nature. They believe that this is the only way to not only end this current conflict, but to initiate a world where wars like this are impossible. Spend at least ten minutes holding this vision.

Peace Prevails on Earth,

James Twyman



From: "Marilyn Edwards" <>
Subject: Seeing thru eyes of "beauty"
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003

Dear Jean,

This morning I was meditating to be shown the highest light of world leaders (in preparation for James Twyman's meditation on Tuesday, April 1.) I was able to see Saddam, Bush , Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell initially in an incredible light and form.


Saddam: A vast, incredible creative power, capable of forming a prosperous and beautiful country where the people were incredibly blessed. This was very the point where I was absolutely dumbstruck at the creative power (for the good) he has should he choose to use it. I now hold this vision of him, no matter what. I am grateful that it was so real and tangible when I felt it.

Bush: Child like positive heart energy. Capable of rallying people to just causes.

Cheney: A wise counselor, capable of working out intricate details of programs to assist and support world transition.

Rumsfeld: A true protector of the people, benevolent and strong

Powell: basically same personality but more Spiritually clear goals and objectives, a good negotiator and thoughtful of the peoples needs. Fair and just.

Perhaps these definitions might help some people to hold them in a positive light. I know it has been very difficult for me. I saw very ancient and dark energies working thru Bush before he was actually even sworn in as president. It triggered major hopelessness and rage in me. I have worked continually to be able to move beyond that and hold the vision of unity. I now feel I have a picture to do that with. I did not come by it easily! and it took a lot of dedication to love and beauty to get here... I am not being naive and idealistic... I see very clearly what is happening now but I also feel it is imperative to hold the higher vision.



From: "Irena Harney" <>
Subject: Fear in Hong Kong
Date: 27 Mar 2003

Dear Jean,

I live in Hong Kong and I have not seen so much fear in all the 40+ years that I have lived here. All the schools will be shut down next week for a week if not more...over 40% of the population are wearing masks.

The war is affecting all of us all over the world..Pneumonia according to Louise Hay is Desperate, Tired of Life. Like life wasn't tough enough with the bad economy, it is getting worse.

The Hong Kong connection,
with Love,


NOTE FROM JEAN: To counterbalanced the somewhat exagerated fears generated by this new virus, I strongly recommend you read this article - some key excerpts included below:

Super-bug or super scare? (March 28)
(...) At this writing, SARS appears to have killed 54 people out of almost 1,400 afflicted according to the World Health Organization, a death rate of less than 4%. But since this only takes into account those ill enough to seek medical help, the actual ratio of deaths to infections is certainly far less. In contrast, the 1918-1919 flu pandemic killed approximately a third of the 60 million afflicted. Further, virtually all of the deaths have been in countries with horrendous medical care, primarily mainland China. In this country, three people have died out of 28 afflicted according to Health Canada, but that may say more about Canada's vaunted national health-care system than about SARS. In the United States, 40 people have been hospitalized with SARS with zero deaths. Conversely, other forms of pneumonia kill more than 40,000 North Americans yearly. (...) Meanwhile, a disease that emerged eons ago called malaria kills up to 2.7-million people yearly. Another, tuberculosis, kills perhaps three million more. Both afflict North Americans, albeit at very low rates. The big money and headlines may be in the so-called "emerging diseases," but the cataclysmic illnesses come from the same old (read: boring) killers. In fact, there may be no fatal illness that will cause fewer deaths in North America this year than SARS. How do our priorities get so twisted? There's your mystery.

See also:

China ‘covered up existence of killer pneumonia’,,2089-627891,00.html

U.S. SARS Cases: An Emerging Picture (March 29)

Police Barricade Hong Kong Apartments (March 31),0,1120278.story
HONG KONG -- Police in white surgical masks used metal barricades and tape Monday to seal an apartment building where 107 people were sickened by the mysterious respiratory illness that has infected more than 1,600 around the world. Health workers, also in masks, crossed the police barricades to treat residents of the building in the Amoy Gardens complex, where more than 240 residents are barred from leaving for 10 days. Authorities announced 88 new cases of infection in the building on Monday. One woman inside the 33-story building told The Associated Press she supported the quarantine, which is meant to reduce the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. The flu-like illness has killed nearly 60 people worldwide, including 13 in Hong Kong. CLIP


Forwarded by Mark Elsis <> on March 28


The U.S. Military's War On The Earth

by Bob Feldman

March 13

In this era of "permanent war," the U.S. war machine bombards civilians in places like Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. It also makes "war on the Earth," both at home and abroad. The U.S. Department of Defense is, in fact, the world's largest polluter, producing more hazardous waste per year than the five largest U.S.chemical companies combined. Washington's Fairchild Air Force Base, the number one producer of hazardous waste among domestic military bases, generated over 13 million pounds of waste in 1997 (more than the weight of the Eiffel Tower's iron structure). Oklahoma's Tinker Air Force Base, the top toxic waste emitter, released over 600,000 pounds in the same year (the same amount of water would cover an entire football field about two inches deep).

Just about every U.S. military base and nuclear arms facility emits toxics into the environment. At many U.S. military target ranges, petroleum products and heavy metals used in bombs and bullets contaminate the soil and groundwater. And since the Pentagon operates its bases as "federal reservations," they are usually beyond the reach of local and state environmental regulations. Local and state authorities often do not find out the extent of the toxic contamination until after a base is closed down.

Active and abandoned military bases have released toxic pollution from Cape Cod to San Diego, Alaska to Hawaii. In June 2001, the Military Toxics Project and the Environmental Health Coalition released the report Defend Our Health: A People's Report to Congress detailing the Pentagon's war on the Earth in the United States and Puerto Rico. The contaminants emitted from military bases include pesticides, solvents, petroleum, lead, mercury, and uranium. The health effects for the surrounding communities are devastating: miscarriages, low birth weights, birth defects, kidney disease, and cancer.


Even the Defense Department itself now acknowledges some of the environmental destruction wrought by the U.S. military world-wide. The Pentagon's own Inspector General documented, in a 1999 report, pollution at U.S.bases in Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Panama, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, and Turkey. Again, since even U.S. military bases abroad are treated as U.S.territory, the installations typically remain exempt from the environmental authority of the host country.

Activists worldwide have called attention to the scourge of toxic pollution, target-range bombardment, noise pollution, abandoned munitions, and radioactive waste unleashed by the United States. The International Grassroots Summit on Military Bases Cleanup in 1999 brought together 70 representatives of citizen groups affected by U.S. military contamination. The gathering adopted an "Environmental Bill of Rights for Persons, Indigenous Peoples, Communities and Nations Hosting Foreign and Colonial Military Bases," declaring that past and present military bases "threaten health, welfare, and the environment, [as well as] future generations." The document emphasizes that the burden of environmental destruction has fallen disproportionately on "economically disadvantaged communities, women, children, people of color and indigenous people." And it demands that the "foreign and colonial" armed forces responsible for the contamination bear the costs the cleanup."

Yet until the era of "permanent war" and global U.S. militarism gives way to an era of world peace, the U.S. military machine will likely remain above the law. And the Pentagon will continue its war on the Earth unabated.



See also:

America's Environment at Risk!


Forwarded by "Lucia Gillot" <> on March 28

IRAQ WAR FACTS was compiled by the the Oregon Center for Public Policy, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War & other listed sources.

1. Q: What percentage of the world's population does the U.S. have?
A: 6%

2. Q: What percentage of the world's wealth does the U.S. have?
A: 50%

3. Q: Which country has the largest oil reserves?
A: Saudi Arabia

4. Q: Which country has the second largest oil reserves?
A: Iraq

5. Q: How much is spent annually worldwide for military purposes?
A: $900 + billion

6. Q: How much of this amount is spent by the U.S. government?
A: 50%

7. Q: What percent of US military spending would ensure that everyone in the world receive the essentials for life according to the UN?
A: 10%

8. Q: How many people have died in wars since World War II?
A: 86 million

9. Q: How long has Iraq had chemical and biological weapons?
A: since the 1980's.

10. Q: Is Iraq solely responsible for developing these chemical biological weapons?
A: No, the materials and technology were supplied to Iraq by the US and British governments along with private corporations.

11. Q: Did the US government condemn Iraq for the use of gas warfare against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war?
A: No

12. Q: How many people are purported to have been killed using gas in the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988?
A: 5,000

13. Q: How many western countries condemned this action at the time?
A: 0

14. Q: How many gallons of agent Orange did America use in the Vietnam war?
A: 17 million.

15. Q: Are there any proven links between Iraq and September 11th terrorist attack?
A: No

16. Q: What is the estimated number of civilian casualties in the 1990 Gulf War?
A: 35,000 Iraqis

17. Q: How many casualties did the Iraqi military inflict on the US forces during the 1990 Gulf War?
A: 0

18. Q: How many retreating Iraqi soldiers were buried alive by U.S. tanks with ploughs mounted on the front?
A: 6,000

19. Q: How many tons of depleted uranium were used in the bombing of Iraq by the U.S. during the 1990 Gulf War?
A: 40 tons

20. Q: What, according to the UN, was the increase in cancer rates in Iraq between 1991 and 1994 as a result of the US use of nuclear weapons?
A: 700%

21. Q: How much of Iraq 's military capacity did America claim it had destroyed in 1991?
A: 80%

22. Q: Is there any proof that Iraq plans to use its weapons for anything other than deterrence and self defense?
A: No

23. Q: Does Iraq present more of a threat to world peace now than it did 10 years ago?
A: No

24. Q: How many civilian deaths has the Pentagon predicted if they attack Iraq in 2002/3?
A: 10,000

25. Q: What percentage of these will be children?
A: Over 50%

26. Q: How many years has the U.S. been bombing Iraq?
A: 13 years

27. Q: Were the U.S and the UK considered to be at war with Iraq between December 1998 and September 1999?
A: No

28. Q: How many pounds of explosives were dropped on Iraq between December 1998 and September 1999?
A: 20 million

29. Q: How many years ago was UN Resolution 661 introduced imposing strict sanctions on Iraq 's imports and exports?
A: 12 years

30. Q: What was the child death rate in Iraq in 1989 (per 1,000 births)?
A: 38

31. Q: What was the estimated child death rate in Iraq in 1999 (per 1,000 births)?
A: 131 (that's an increase of 345%)

32. Q: How many Iraqis are estimated to have died by October 1999 as a result of UN sanctions?
A: 1.5 million

33. Q: How many Iraqi children are estimated to have died due to sanctions since 1997?
A: 750,000

34. Q: Did Saddam order the inspectors out of Iraq?
A: No

35. Q: How many inspections were there in November and December 1998?
A: 300

36. Q: How many of these inspections had problems?
A: 5

37. Q: Were the weapons inspectors allowed entry to the Ba'ath Party HQ?
A: Yes

38. Q: Who said that by December 1998, "Iraq had in fact, been disarmed to a level unprecedented in modern history."
A: Scott Ritter, UNSCOM chief weapons inspector

39. Q: In 1998 how much of Iraq's post 1991 capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction did the UN weapons inspectors claim to have discovered and dismantled?
A: 90%

40. Q: Has Iraq allowed the weapons inspectors back in?
A: Yes

41. Q: How many UN resolutions did Israel violate by 1992?
A: Over 65

42. Q: How many UN resolutions on Israel did America veto between 1972 and 1990?
A: 30+

44. Q: How many countries are known to have nuclear weapons?
A: 8

45. Q: How many nuclear warheads has Iraq got?
A: 0

46. Q: How many nuclear warheads has US got?
A: Over 10,000

47. Q: Which is the only country in the world to use nuclear weapons?
A: The US

The following information was compiled from various sources including: Harper's, Inter-Church Action, Halifax Herald, Peace Magazine, New York Times, and CNN.

Value of 100 Iraqi dinars in 1990: $400.00 - in 2000: 0.6 cents

Amount generated by UN's Oil for Food program per person per day: 70 cents

Decline in Oil for Food revenues after U.S. and Britain impose new pricing system in 2001: 40%

Increase in cost of food since 1990: 12,000 times

Number of Iraqis who depend upon their government for food: 80%

Number of water pumping stations bombed by US in Gulf war: 4 of 7

Iraqi hospitals bombed by US in Gulf War: 28

Percentage of Iraqi hospital equipment no longer working (1997): 75%

Value of medical equipment held by UN Sanctions Committee as "dual use" (2001): $1 billion

Number of times by July 2000 that the U.S. and Britain had vetoed humanitarian goods to Iraq as "dual use": 1,989

Items which were considered to be "dual use" by US government and therefore banned in Iraq: school supplies, desks, tables, paper, wastepaper baskets, pens, ink, pencils, baking soda, shampoo, shoes, coffins, needles for syringes, catheter bags, vaccines, ventilators, cardiac equipment, incubators, sterilizers, medical journals, violin strings.

Year in which the U.S. blocked export of 200 Canadian ambulances to Iraq: 2002

Estimated cost of another war on Iraq: $50 - 200 billion dollars US Number of Iraqi children estimated to die each month from sanction-related causes: 4,500

Total Number of people killed in September 11th: 3,031

The countries the US has bombed since WWII (compiled by historian William Blum):

1. China 1945-46
2. Korea 1950-53
3. China 1950-53
4. Guatemala 1954
5. Indonesia 1958
6. Cuba 1959-60
7. Guatemala 1960
8. Congo 1964
9. Peru 1965
10. Laos 1964-73
11. Vietnam 1961-73
12. Cambodia 1969-70
13. Guatemala 1967-69
14. Grenada 1983
15. Libya 1986
16. El Salvador 1980s
17. Nicaragua 1980s
18. Panama 1989
19. Iraq 1991-2003
20. Sudan 1998
21. Yugoslavia 1999
22. Afghanistan 1998, 2001-2002
23. Iraq 1998 - 2003

How many of these countries have formed a democratic government as a result of the military action: 0

This quiz compliments of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Ben Chitty USN 65-9 VN 66-7 68 NY/VVAW
Peace Center
P.O. Box 36, San Antonio, Texas 78291

Number of military actions where the United States has been the aggressor since World War II: nearly 200 (Vidal Gore - Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace)


Date: 27 Mar 2003
Subject: Just Tell the Damn Truth!
From: T K Wilson <>

Stan Goff's credentials are at the bottom of this article. This is a perspective I really wanted to hear, as this Support Our Troops jingo has been driving me crazy. Read on... (R for language)


Supporting the Troops- by Stan Goff

...This hasn't been an easy time for Bush and his killer clowns. It hasn't been an easy time for a lot of so-called liberals either. An anti-war movement came onto the scene, and not just any anti-war movement. It is now the fastest and broadest international movement of its type in history. It involves anarcho-kids, olde tyme lefties, and pacifists to be sure, but it also involves soccer moms, Black preachers, Italian dock workers, women who write books, nerds, doctors, Indian garment workers, Nigerian intellectuals, Brazilian coffee pickers, Japanese students, Haitian peasants, Filipino street cleaners...every damn body!

And that's not all. Lots of them are picking up bad language. When I hear a 60-year-old middle school teacher using words like "imperialism,"...[I know] that something is going on, and those who wanted every one of the rest of us to just go along with the program, including weak-kneed red-baiting liberals, have become alarmed. There's a very dangerous consciousness that is emerging in the face of our would-be fascists.

So now they have pulled out the last trick in the bag, the one that is supposed to silence us for good, by jingo! We have to support the troops. This is the mother of all social policing strategies to stifle criticism of our naked emperors.

It goes, we must close ranks and support our president, who is after all the commander-in-chief of the armed forces (our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers, our spouses and sweethearts), because without that support, our (enter name of your loved one in the military) will not be adequately filled with our spirit of support to effectively defend themselves, whereupon lack of said spirit will result in American casualties, which makes all of us who withhold said spirit complicit in killing and wounding American troops, and therefore traitors.

Let me explain something, by way of a war story.

In 1983, I took part in the invasion of Grenada. Aside from being an incompetent operation, it was also one that no one in the United States even knew about until it was pretty much over. Hey -- it doesn't take long to conquer a nation that is on a ten-mile-wide island with fewer than 90,000 people.. .even if it was planned by idiots.

When America was informed that its treasure and youth were being risked to secure the global nutmeg supply, over 99 percent of the country couldn't tell you where Grenada was. We who conducted the operation had committed it to memory less than 40 hours earlier.

The invasion was ordered in part to take advantage of internal turmoil in Grenada to install a new pro-US government. Mainly, however, its aim was to flex a little American muscle after 258 Marines were killed by a car bomb only days earlier in Beirut, whereupon the US expeditionary force in Lebanon was unceremoniously withdrawn.

Like a bully that gets his tail kicked, Reagan & Co. had to beat someone smaller down to save face.

The whole thing suddenly became a "rescue mission" when someone stumbled over a low-rent offshore medical diploma mill full of American students and Reagan's staff cranked up the propaganda machine. None of us involved in Operation Urgent Fury (not was called that) had even known the damn thing was there.

The first hour of the operation was an old-fashioned country ass-whuppin'. We were on the receiving end.

We were forced to defend ourselves. But we didn't have the "support" spirit of the American people, because as far as they knew, we were all still home, cheating on our spouses in Fayetteville, North Carolina. America woke up scratching its head, trying to figure out why Ronald Reagan had just invaded a Spanish city named after a Ford compact.

When the helicopter I was riding on with 15 other people reached the island, we were greeted with small arms fire before we even crossed over the first mangrove swamp, and it got worse fast. By the time we reached our "target," Richmond Hill Prison, where we were going to "liberate" prisoners that weren't there, we already had four people shot. As we hovered over the prison, deciding whether or not to slide down ropes into Grenada's drunk tank, machine gun fire poured through both doors and stitched up the belly of the fuselage from below. By the time we left, having decided not to put up with this any longer, seven members of our group were shot, and most of the rest of us were having our clothes shot off.

In all this mayhem and confusion, while we (the Army's most elite, whitest forces) were being spanked by skinny Black folk from Grenada and equally dark Cuban construction workers, I can honestly say that I didn't give a flying fuck about what anyone in the United States might be thinking, or how much supportive spirit they might be psychically channeling my way to cuddle up against.

I didn't stop to consider that many of my countrymen and countrywomen made jokes about our commander-in-chief once co-starring with a chimpanzee, or how that might seem...unsupportive.

I was extremely busy using a K-bar knife to cut the jammed harness off a wounded door gunner to lay his pale, shocky ass on the helicopter floor while I commandeered his portside machine gun to hose down some of our most persistent assailants across the valley.

Nothing I did would have changed one iota, even had the entire population of the United States gathered naked at Stonehenge to chant supportive mantras out to our precise geographic coordinates.

Nothing we do or don't do here will have any impact on what the troops do in Iraq in the coming days either. The support the troops thing is a mystifying old red herring. What our new fascists really want us to do is shut the fuck up. What we really want is for the troops to come home.

And shutting up is exactly what I'm not going to do.

What if I'd have been cut down in Grenada at the ripe old age of 32? Would it have accomplished a damn thing worthwhile? In retrospect, I have had the opportunity -- an opportunity associated with my ability to breathe -- to learn just how cynical these military adventures are.

The best thing we can do for our sons and daughters and sisters and brothers and spouses and to tell the damn truth. What is endangering them is a right-wing, racist, military/security state -- including Uncle Tom and Aunt Thomasina -- that is attempting to protect the power of the powerful by plundering other people, and using soldiers to do it.

Goddamn George W. Bush and everyone like him! I will not be a chauvinist who advocates victory in an illegal war where our people and the people of Iraq are the cannon fodder and the victims. I do not want our children to die. And I do not want them to kill other people's children. This is not a fucking football game.

If we want to support troops, we'll do it by encouraging them to think, and when necessary, disobey. Since Freedom Road talked me into doing this column, we have heard from soldiers and their families. They are thinking. They are asking questions. Many are beginning to suspect they've been had, and that behind all this high-flown mendacity coming out of the White House briefing room is a gangster's errand of plunder with our children as its unwitting tools. If we want to support the real troops, the real people, instead of the abstraction, we'll keep connecting the dots for them, as this column attempts to do, and as the anti-war movement needs to do.

If we start to send care packages full of books to the troops, that would be supportive. They need something to fill the long, boring days ahead, after the current mess is made. I can think of many titles. I'm sure others can, too.

Stan Goff -- Master Sergeant, US Army, Special Forces (Ret.) -- is the author of Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti:


Forwarded by Mark Elsis <>

Warren Buffett Company Plans Largest Land Wind Farm, In Iowa

March 27, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO - A power company controlled by billionaire investor Warren Buffett [second richest person at 30.5 billion] said this week it plans to build, somewhere in Iowa, the largest land-based wind farm in the world.

The $323 million, 310-megawatt project, to be built by MidAmerican Energy Co. in northwest or north-central Iowa, would have 180 to 200 turbines with the capacity to generate electricity for more than 300,000 homes on completion, which is expected in 2006. Des Moines, Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy is a unit of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., majority-owned by Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc..

The wind farm, which would require approval by the Iowa Public Utilities Board and state legislation on the ownership and operations of renewable energy sources, would top a 300-megawatt project near the Oregon-California border as the largest land-based wind farm in the world.

Texas and California also are big generators of wind power, and the U.S. had total capacity of about 4,700 megawatts at the end of 2002, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Germany is the biggest wind power nation, with more than 12,000 megawatts in total capacity, while Ireland has approved plans to build a 520-megawatt wind station in the Irish Sea.

"Wind generation is going from a boutique business to kind of a mainstream business, and we will see more of this as utilities gain confidence in the technology," said Bob Thresher, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Wind Technology Center.

Thresher said wind power is becoming "a cost-effective source of energy and a hedge against other fuel sources."

Greg Abel, president of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, said the company plans to freeze its electricity rates in Iowa through 2010.


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