Impact on Landscape and Energy Policy
"The governor is free to make deals," said Wright. "But his appointees also have an oath to protect the natural resources of the state."
Wright said Vermont is destroying tens of thousands of years of geological history to make room for one short-term power project ...Where are the environmental groups, Wright asks. "Why aren't they acting with outrage that these mountains are being blasted away into rubble?"
Mr Davies described how the problem is not only the turbines, but the need for two vast substations and 100 miles of steel pylons, up to 150ft high, to carry the electricity into Shropshire to connect with the National Grid. But although he may have spoken eloquently about the visual and social impact of this project, he failed to spell out its nonsensical economic implications.
If the governor were being ingenuous, he might advocate a moratorium on any proposed wind project until his secretary had completed her charge. ...We know why Shumlin and Powell cannot wait: Federal money available for this, otherwise, "never never" plan evaporates at midnight at the end of this year if the Certificate of Public Good is not in hand.
In a paper entitled Windfarms: Time to Change Direction? the Northamptonshire branch of CPRE said the organisation should "re-evaluate" its support for [wind farms] in the light of new evidence suggesting "that the generation of electricity from wind is not an effective way of reducing carbon emissions".
There are lots of reasons for believing this, but the main one is probably the fact that there is as yet no economic way of storing electricity.
Over the past five years, concern for the future of the planet has morphed into an unthinking support of any plan, however harmful to the countryside, that might just possibly help the energy crisis, however infinitesimally.
Turbines have become a marketing tool, representing global concern and niceness, appearing in advertising campaigns, as backdrop for local TV news, even in the England World Cup symbol.
Land use regulation almost always triggers property-rights objection. In this case, a vocal minority of the eight landowners that have signed with the promoter assert that their "private property rights" should let them force industrial development into the Northern Laramie Range. This is nonsense.
The U.S. Supreme Court settled the issue nearly a century ago: Reasonable restriction on land use, established through appropriate public process, is not a "taking" of private property.
Wind turbines in particular are being splashed across the countryside because, like the 1898 Yukon Gold Rush, there's lots of gold in them thar' wind turbines.
Yet, are they as green as the promoters -- including the provincial government -- would have us suppose?
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.
Once you've carpeted the wilderness with wind-farm turbines, and crushed any guilt about the birds you're about to kill, prepare to be underwhelmed and underpowered. ...If using a huge amount of real estate to generate a tiny amount of energy from an intermittent energy source sounds deranged, consider, too, that we haven't yet found the holy grail for storing wind-generated energy.
Meanwhile, America, which pioneered nuclear power, is squandering money on wind power, which provides 1.3 percent of the nation's electricity: it is slurping up $30 billion of tax breaks and other subsidies amounting to $18.82 per megawatt-hour, 25 times as much per megawatt-hour as the combined subsidies for all other forms of electricity production.
Wind power involves gargantuan "energy sprawl."
The opponents to wind power are concerned with the pace at which its development is occurring in the state of Maine. Skepticism and caution are necessary anytime new industries and possibly lucrative business opportunities develop. There are big bucks and big questions now associated with wind power.
Cape Wind's staking a claim on Nantucket Sound seems to belong to the oil wildcatters' era ("There Will Be Wind?"), not the modern age of cooperative development that calls forth a nation's resources not just from its corporations but also its government and research institutions.
This is not to say Cape Wind failed to do its homework. It identified and exploited a loophole in the Sound's protection from industrialization, and its scientists made their case that they could produce energy at that site without significant environmental damage.
Today, we are confronted by the crisis of climate change. Descriptions are so fearful, confusing, and occasionally contradictory that it's hard to know what to think. We each try to do what we can to reduce our personal impact on the earth, and ponder how to preserve the planet from a catastrophic fate that could be imminent and irreversible.
For many people, renewable energy has become the panacea: producing power from wind, trees, grasses, and the sun.
Regulations and mandates that force nationwide cuts in carbon dioxide emissions offer only speculative environmental benefits, if any, as a switch to wind and solar power will certainly cause more harm than good to the environment.
But command-and-control forces in Congress are headed in that direction, with the House narrowly passing a bill to cap CO2 emissions, and the Senate taking up a companion bill this month.
Over the last several months, extensive arrays of thousands of windmills have been placed throughout the landscape of northwestern Indiana. Once located quite a far distance away from the roads , these windmill fields are now prominently visible along several highways just north of Lafayette. Along with the intense search for alternative sources for fuel currently being undertaken by several companies in the state, Indiana is beginning to do its part ...Unfortunately, the rush to place windmills throughout the corn fields along Indiana highways is not as innocent as it might first appear.
We can be fiercely protective of the green and pleasant land itself, or what remains of it.
And it has never needed more protecting, because this autumn a new quango - created, symbolically, by the unelected Lord Mandelson - may usher in the biggest change to the landscape in our lifetime. ...
Well, the Government wants to increase renewable energy production and is irritated that wind-farm developers are constantly being delayed, or even thwarted, by challenges from local objectors and conservation groups such as the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.
How would you imagine an environmentalist would react when presented with the following proposition? A power company plans to build a new development on a stretch of wild moorland. It will be nearly seven miles long, and consist of 150 structures, each made of steel and mounted on hundreds of tons of concrete. ...The answer is that if you are like many modern environmentalists you will support this project without question. You will dismiss anyone who opposes it as a nimby ...and campaign for thousands more.
If the nature of this debate sends one clear message, it's that wind power legislation needs to be thoroughly studied, not rushed through.
The locus of the debate isn't over wind power itself, but of size, scale and most of all - location. Sen. Steve Goss of Watauga County wants farms permitted on ridge top locations in his area; Sens. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, John Snow, D-Murphy, and Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, point to the fact that such large structures would run afoul of the mountain ridge law.
"How the hell did we let that happen?" we often ask ourselves when we look at the brutalist monstrosity tower blocks which we allowed to blight our towns in the sixties. In a few decades' time we're going to be asking exactly the same question about the 300 foot wind turbines ruining what's left of Britain's wilderness.
And a bit like the perpetrators of terrible sixties architecture now, no one's going to be able to come up with a satisfactory answer because, quite simply, there isn't one: wind turbines are a bad idea in almost every way imaginable.