Impact on Landscape and Energy Policy
As a writer, I am deeply indebted to the Northeast Kingdom, from which I’ve drawn inspiration for almost 50 years: its woods, fields, ponds, hills, its people, its other creatures. Like most of my neighbors, I favor conservation and renewable energy. The fear of climate change has been with me for many years, ever since I felt the early, subtle signs of it. But I do not support the proposed UPC industrial wind facility.
From Barton, Vermont, to the German border with Denmark and from the shores of Lake Huron, to the Romney Marches of southern England, wind power advocates are fighting crosswinds from local residents.
In Barton in mid-January, a referendum overwhelmingly rejected the wind power turbines that were planned near this upper Vermont community. ...In Germany, where one-third of the world's current wind power is generated, doubters have provoked a loud debate. The company that owns the grid that includes nearly half the wind-farms in Germany reported its wind farms generated only 11 percent of their capacity. The company said the winds vary so much the wind farm had to be backed 80 percent by the conventional power grid.
The “turbine syndrome” - characterised by complete indifference to public opinion - has spread its tentacles throughout the whole of the Scottish community and we need, urgently, to deny it further progress. If we fail to remove from office these modern barbarians, we will suffer the ignominy of becoming mere ciphers in a submissive, uncontesting, unresponsive society with all that that entails.
Some day large overhead power lines will become dinosaurs. Vermonters are forward-thinking, creative people. We should be looking ahead today. Who wants to be the last ones stringing these lines across the landscape, with all the environmental and dollar costs that they entail?
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
And we would still need the same amount of generating power from other plants (which would be run less efficiently, i.e., with more emissions) to keep the system running when the wind isn't perfect. With this pathetic outlook, and considering as well the fact that electricity is only a fraction of our energy use, wind looks about as far from a "serious" solution to global warming or decommissioning nuclear plants as one could get.
There are many places where it [wind energy] can work and not be intrusive. But it's not for everywhere. It doesn't belong on ridgetops where it will destroy the "viewshed" and foul the wilderness quality of the last large undeveloped tract in the region.
An adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority, released on 21 December, confirms that the wind power industry has duped the country, despite repeated warnings from critics. Every new development, most recently the outrageous approval of Glenmoriston at Loch Ness, is hailed as saving the emission of thousands of tonnes of a year.
Is it all worth it? We need to bridle our inherent optimism for emerging technology with lessons learned from the past.
Vermonters must decide if it is worth destroying their exquisite
mountains for symbolism -- because the giant wind turbines being
proposed for the ridgelines won't produce much power.
We cannot lose sight of Vermont's distinctive place in the
world with its open spaces and gorgeous vistas. It is up to us to
continue the legacy. Real jobs, real lives depend on it.
Almost 70 years ago, Vermonters decided man's hand did not need to be
evident everywhere. Remember that spirit now as this state considers
allowing wind turbines on ridgelines.
Everyone probably agrees with the fundamental goal of the legislation --
to protect Vermont's fragile environment by increasing the use of clean
energy. But before lawmakers rush into mandates, they must ensure the
measure doesn't inadvertently harm the economy or the landscape.