Sunday, November 25, 2007

Why I Oppose Wind Farms

Last Wednesday I posted a photo of a residential wind turbine used at a local school for their electrical needs. I don't know too much about the impact of residential turbines, but I have learned a lot about the huge (430 foot tall or 131.1 m) industrial turbines that UPC Wind wants to build on Hardscrabble Mountain in Sheffield (visible from Barton).

Several people have expressed an interest in knowing why I oppose wind farms and signed the petition in Barton.

UPC Wind, from Massachusetts, has targeted Vermont for development. The local opposition group is Ridge Protectors in Sheffield. There are similar groups all over the world. The site I read most is National Wind Watch. I have decided not to rehash the arguments against the wind farm because each of these sites provides pages of data. I have chosen to mention the objections (in case you have not heard of them) and then add my own personal opinion. I have read and listened to both sides of this debate.

The turbines are documented to have negative impacts on the wildlife where they are built (particularly bats). They are noisy (read testimony from Mars Hill, Maine here), subsidized by tax incentives, and produce little power to justify the destruction of wilderness areas. If you are actually interested in the debates, be sure to read as much as you can.

My Personal, Emotional, and Unscientific Objections
  • As many people of my generation, I have a natural aversion to large corporations such as UPC. Especially when they target populations in another area. Especially when those targeted populations are not as sophisticated and well-funded by friends in Washington DC. I find their tactics bullying and intimidating.
  • I resent that our people need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect the land that we love so dearly from people who know nothing about us and have no ties to the land. UPC's pockets seem to be infinitely deep.
  • I resent that Barton would have to upgrade Duck Pond Road just so UPC's behemoth trucks can crawl up the mountain in order to destroy it. I resent that my town is already fearing lawsuits from UPC and may capitulate because of the fear. If the children of UPC executives were bullied like this in school they would be the first to cry out. UPC is the worse bully.
  • I won't believe one word of propaganda that any corporation like UPC (or Exxon or Dow Chemical) puts out to convince me of anything. Don't tell me, after all the scandals and greed, that you believe them.
  • I resent that the mountains I love could be sacrificed so that someone somewhere can produce more light pollution and otherwise waste our resources. I want to see some serious conservation. I am tired of half-hearted yet well documented faux conservation efforts.
  • Any claims that wind power is The Solution are false. There is not one solution to anything. I become angry with the argument that if we don't adopt wind energy, if we don't destroy our wilderness for our greed, then our world will go to hell. We need combinations of solutions that are appropriate for different cultures, climates, and needs.
  • We need to stop being energy pigs. I am willing to pay more for my energy. I am willing to help those not as fortunate as me who are having problems paying for the energy they require. I am even willing to go without many of my energy needs as long as I am reasonably warm, housed, and fed. And as long as I remain free.
  • I am fed up with this nation's two-faced energy policy. Is it easier to sacrifice thousands of people's lives in foreign wars (in order to prop up our destructive petroleum industry) than it is to be serious about reform? Tell me: exactly what are we trying to conserve?
  • Don't bother telling me that this is a "not in my backyard" reaction. It is and it should be. Do you seriously want some corporation telling you how you should live? We fought that war over two hundred years ago.
  • This is not a debate about wind power vs. nuclear power. It is silly to threaten to build more nuclear reactors and to bury more nuclear waste in Utah in order for me to agree to the wind farms. It's illogical and not well thought out.
  • If wind farms are so great, build them in Boston and New York City — where you live. Put them in your backyard, not mine. Corporations such as UPC have destroyed enough of this earth because of greed. It's time to stop them. It's time they stole from the rich.
  • I am not willing to sacrifice our wilderness for the energy problems in the United States. Our national wilderness is more important than your goddamn bank account and high standard of living.
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1 comment:

  1. Oh bless you for this post. The true story of wind farms is a story of public relations, manipulation, not really very green energy and intense habitat fragmentation and wildlife diversity loss. We are battling this right now on the great plains of Oklahoma. A wind farm employee admitted that they are taking the "global warming scare" to the bank because everyone thinks this is a reliable source of alternate energy -- which it is not.

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