Impact on Landscape
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
The United South and Eastern Tribes, an organization of 25 federally recognized Indian tribes in 12 states, has joined with the Wampanoag of Gay Head (Aquinnah) in their opposition to the wind factory on Nantucket Sound.
The board of directors of the organization called upon the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which is reviewing the Cape Wind application, to "respect the Traditional, Cultural, Spiritual and Religious beliefs of the Wampanoag People and preserve the spiritual integrity and sanctity of the eastern horizon, vista and horizon viewshed; and to deny the permitting of such a devastatingly and destructive experiment, which will adversely affect and destroy the essence of tranquility, sanctity and spirituality of this sacred place for all time."
In this surreal debate, perhaps it's worth remembering that though it has been four centuries since Cervantes' character Sancho pointed out to Don Quixote, "Look, your worship ... what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the vanes that turned by the wind make the millstone go," we still must look at things honestly for what they are, not just for what our fantasies want them to be.
Western governors, animated by President Obama's goal of doubling renewable energy production in the U.S. within three years, have identified dozens of areas rich in "new energy" sources. However, they're now facing some of the same "old energy" obstacles to getting the projects moving.
Their challenge risks creating a contradiction in which building environmentally friendly new-energy plants tramples sensitive natural areas.
I had always favored building wind farms. The burden of coal mining-and particularly mountaintop removal coal mining-is so great that anything would be better. If wind farms diminish that then they are worth it. ...Now there is a new twist to the argument, something that makes thinking about wind power even more difficult. In the article that begins on page 14 of this issue, Ms. Collins argues that building more wind farms will not reduce the use of coal. She argues that because wind farms only make electricity when the wind blows, they are inefficient and unreliable. ...If it true that wind farms do not diminish the use of coal, then we do have some rethinking to do. If they do not replace any coal, then what is the point? Why should a single bat die, a single hiker be inconvenienced, a single tree be cut if wind power is not going to reduce the use of coal or some other source of electricity?
Controversy surrounds the measures needed to switch to less polluting re-newable energy. Many question a major expansion of onshore wind turbines, given their landscape impact and limited effectiveness. We need new measures to promote effective, alternative renewable energy sources - in the right place.
Our beloved county is facing the biggest threat ever to its unique heritage, economy and beautiful landscape. ..."Cumbria is on course for its 100th commercial scale wind turbine. But that number would actually double very quickly if developers did not run into so much opposition across the county (The Cumberland News, November 16)."
The situation has deteriorated seriously since then as the full implications of the Government's latest turbine intentions have become apparent.
I was recently informed by a member of the West Cumbrian Development Agency that wind turbines currently occupy a total of five square miles of our county and then when the Government's plans are fully implemented this will grow to an area of 250 square miles - a 5000 per cent increase.
Because of the pressures on the countryside in the North East, DCPRE, perhaps more than its parent organisation, has considered the effects of wind farms both in terms of their impact on the landscape, including the people who live and seek recreation there and on their effectiveness on the climate, particularly how they affect emissions of greenhouse gases. DCPRE considers that the impact of structures such as wind turbines on the countryside is potentially very severe and is most concerned about the potential cumulative effect of them.
Editor's Note: Submitted as a 'Consultation' to the Department of Trade and Industry
There is a tendency in the environmental community to see renewable fuels - solar, wind, tidal energy, small hydro - as a panacea for our climate-change problem. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent, it will be necessary to generate a substantial portion of our energy from solar and wind sources.
But renewables are not without their problems. ...If forest land in New Hampshire was converted to wind power, there is such a large release of carbon in the land-use change that the benefit from substituting wind power for fossil fuels is lost.
Shame on the county commissioners for allowing this to continue and shame on the Maryland legislators for rejecting Delegate Beitzel's legislation to allow the commissioners to establish some controls such as boundary set backs (a day late and a dollar short).
Finally, shame on us for allowing the eastern wind barons to bamboozle the citizens of both counties.
Ford Motor Co. didn’t increase the size of the Edsel.
Coca-Cola didn’t repackage “new Coke” in larger bottles.
A bad idea doesn’t get any better by making it bigger.
But a group that wants to construct 130 giant wind turbines in Nantucket Sound off Cape Cod apparently doesn’t feel that way. Cape Wind Associates had proposed a bad plan, looking to build the nation’s first offshore “wind farm” in the pristine waters off the Cape. Now they are proposing that the monstrous windmills be made even taller - rising fully 440 feet above sea level when the blades are at their highest point.
By way of a bit of perspective, the Statue of Liberty, from the ground to the top of her torch, stands at 305 feet.