Impact on Landscape or UK
This powerful piece written by Maurice Newman, former chairman of Deutsche Bank, the Australian Securities Exchange and, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is a must read by anyone involved in the wind energy debate.
The irony of fighting global warming by destroying an untrammeled mountaintop can't be ignored. To me, it sounds suspiciously like the Vietnam-era fallacy that you have to destroy the village in order to save it. ...We need a more thoughtful way to make those choices when mountaintops are involved.
Vermont's mountain summits are too precious a resource to be made a pawn in the alternative energy game.
Opposition to wind power is about far more than health, as some critics suggest. There is good reason to believe Ontarians have been sold a bill of goods about turbine developments, that they're not nearly as efficient nor will produce the number of jobs the Dalton Gang says they will.
When the look, feel and aesthetic value of a landscape is to be altered in a permanent and extremely visible way there must be room for emotion. To confine the regulatory consideration only to the mechanics of access roads, lease terms and transmission lines misses an essential community value; that is, our view of place is often shaped by its visual impact.
Lifting the existing moratorium - or simply ignoring it - would be a radical change in state policy ...Ending the wind development moratorium without clear rationale and rock-solid protections for our most-precious Vermont landscapes would be a significant step in the wrong direction.
Energy produced at a horrendous cost that drains the budgets of households and depresses spending elsewhere is neither a rational energy gain nor a "stimulus boost". It is edifice economics, founded on sleight of hand taxation and powered by a gale of hope. We are going to need more than this to have a hope of keeping the lights on.
But what is Pantego Wind Energy LLC? It is a subsidiary of Invenergy, a Chicago-based energy corporation that is one of the five largest (and the number one independent) owners of wind generation plants in the U.S. This corporation with more than $130 million in assets wants you (and me) to subsidize their Pantego Wind Facility.
Some might have gotten perverse satisfaction that the west side of the Cascades was to get a dose of the visual blight that wind power generators bring.
But frankly, we feel Western Washington is entirely too beautiful to be subjected to those spinning giants.
The impact on the people and the beautiful countryside of Mid Wales and Shropshire will be devastating. 800 of these structures in the area proposed is completely and wholly out of proportion. If localism means anything at all, the ruination of the hills should be taken by bodies accountable locally. The macro-economic alleged advantages are, as KPMG point out, a total illusion.
No one would build wind turbines unless they were guaranteed a huge government subsidy paid for through household bills. If the 10,000 wind turbines, as promised by the government are built, then customers can expect their bills to rise by hundreds of pounds. Of course the government and the power companies will ensure that these "green taxes" are not detailed on the bills. What will we be left with when the subsidies run out?
So, where are these Vermonters saying, "Yes! Take our mountains - destroy our natural resources! We love seeing big business covering all 200 miles of our ridgelines. We love how you manipulate our government, destroy our environment and threaten our neighbors. "
Almost all post operational studies of wildlife mortalities from wind turbines in Ontario have been kept secret from the public, allowing government and industry to contend that wind turbines kill very few birds. Until we have public access to independent mortality studies, we will not know the full cumulative impact.
The damage to the environment, however, goes well beyond the slice and dice effect of the turbine blades.
History — of the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and its former dominions — repeatedly shows that environmental protection is a luxury good. ...This all splatters to a halt when economies go south. And the crash can be especially jarring if greenness is one of the causes. Thanks in no small part to the debacle in Europe, in a very few recent weeks, we have witnessed the great green crack-up.
Vermont's proud history of leadership in developing innovative, effective environmental protection is being tossed aside. This project will set an ominous precedent by ripping apart a healthy, intact ecosystem in the guise of doing something about climate change. In return, Green Mountain Power will receive $44 million in federal production tax credits ...The pursuit of large-scale, ridgeline wind power in Vermont represents a profound failure to understand the value of our landscape to our souls and our economic future in Vermont.
Here's what we think: This wind farm is a game-changer.
This cannot be understated. The Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm redefines Carbon County and, although it provides short- and, arguably, long-term monitory gains, it doesn't furnish enough benefits to raze our outdoors culture.
NIMBYism is the default invective hurled these days when anyone raises valid questions about what's being sold, but name-calling and threatened boycotts are cheap shots when the stakes are so high. After all, just how GREEN is this technology really? Who amongst us is sufficiently schooled on the true efficiency and safety of giant wind turbines? I've seen them stretched across dry, treeless land abutting freeways and thought, "now there's a good use of unpopulated, barren landscape," but frankly, I don't know much about them.
Taxpayers face higher electricity bills and an economy that is damaged because its costs have been artificially inflated by the decision to use wind as a principal source of power. It is a ludicrous situation. ...the commitment to wind power is based on dogma, not evidence. But the truth is that you can't meet a country's energy needs from dogma - as ministers will discover soon enough.
Say what you will about the evil fiends who run power companies, they are not stupid people. So it boggles the mind that a corporation as ostensibly rapacious as Dominion would pass up the opportunity to reap the obvious riches from doing as environmentalists wish. Could there be more to the issue than they are letting on?
There could. Let's start with some basic facts.
Alas, despite all the practical evidence to show why wind power is one of the greatest follies of our age, those who rule our lives, from our own politicians and officials here in Britain to those above them in Brussels, seem quite impervious to the facts.
We think there's no doubt that a wind turbine 500 or 600 metres away from a house will cause health problems for some of its inhabitants, particularly if they have read some of the literature available from wind power critics.
Accordingly, we think the law should require all owners of industrial wind power projects to offer to purchase any residence within two kilometres of a turbine at full market value.