Library filed under Impact on Landscape
Eric Rosenbloom reports: "The data are gathered mostly from news articles, some from government and company documentation. The list includes proposed (and possibly rejected) as well as operating facilities. Ridgeline facilities described only by length instead of the whole area taken are not included. "
So, before we proclaim victory against our profligate use of fossil fuels in the last 50 years, politicians and environmental groups might ponder the huge costs in dollars and environmental damage before 20-storey windmills festoon our coastlines, our sea lanes and our beautiful Quebec hills.
A new simulation finds serious and previously unrecognized environmental threats from massive wind farms in the American Great Plains. A recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research by scientists from Princeton and Duke Universities indicates massive wind farms would significantly increase local surface drying and soil heating, which in turn would impact agricultural or range use on or near the wind farm. The modeling experiment used current wind turbine and rotor technology to assess local climate impacts from a simulated wind farm with 10,000 turbines, arranged in a simple, square array of 100 by 100 turbines, each spaced one kilometer apart.
Scientists compare the environmental importance of the tallgrass prairie to that of the rainforest. Its roots act as a carbon sink, cleansing the air of pollution. Its plants and limestone soils purify rainwater. Per acre, it provides more environmental benefits than any other ecosystem in North America.
There is less than 4% of native tallgrass prairie left in North America, and two-thirds of it is right here. Once you have experienced the spaciousness and exceptional beauty of open native grasslands, you know there is nothing in the world quite like it. These native grasslands are truly a national as well as a Kansas treasure.
The Prince of Wales believes that wind farms are a "horrendous blot on the landscape" and that their spread must be halted before they irreparably ruin some of Britain's most beautiful countryside. The Telegraph can reveal that Prince Charles, who has an abiding interest in environmental issues, has told senior aides that he does not want to have any links with events or groups that promote onshore wind farms.
Researched and written by Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires Inc. this is a comprehensive study of the probable impact of industrial wind plants on the rural character, quality-of-life and economy of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Specific issues addressed include visual aesthetics, tourism, property values, public roads and public safety.
They call him the Don Quixote of the Uckermark. But unlike the Spanish literary figure, Hans-Joachim Mengel, a professor of political science at Berlin's Free University, isn't attacking imaginary "giants" in the Iberian hinterland. Rather, he is taking aim at the 400-foot windmills that blanket the German countryside. Mr. Mengel is not alone. Hundreds of citizens' groups have sprung up in Germany to battle "Verspargelung der Landschaft" - a new phrase in the German lexicon - meaning "the transformation of the German landscape into an asparagus field."
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
Although my research started with the visual and spatial aspects of WECSs, and continues to be focused on WECSs effects on “landscape character” i.e. impacts on the spatial environment, with implications for cultural values and social systems of our region. I am equally concerned about the predictable negative effects of WECSs on the natural systems of the Flint Hills. I am concerned about serious cumulative effects and the degradation of: the visual character of our environment; the social fabric of communities that are facing the prospect of WECS-C; the health of biological, ecological components of our regional ecosystem; and the long term viability of our local, increasingly “nature-based” economy.
This photo illustrates the amount of land disturbance that is involved in constructing these machines. Photo taken from the cover of a report on the Mountaineer facility by Jessica Kerns and Paul Kerlinger
This document [DEIS] has not provided any demonstrable public need for the insignificant amount of power this facility is capable of producing. No valid, compelling local (or even statewide) economic reasons were offered to potentially offset the overwhelming negative impacts that will result if built. This DEIS is abundant in quantity, but extremely lacking in quality of scientific analysis and entirely deficient in analysis in certain areas. Various mitigations offered are unacceptable or unworkable. The following are areas of analysis that were either deficient or not performed at all:............
Wind turbines to produce electricity on a large scale – “wind farms” – are currently being proposed for parts of Tug Hill. Large-scale wind farms are a relatively new occurrence in the Northeast, and since they are new there are many questions that do not have clear answers.
The Government's thesis that the countryside of upland and coastal Britain is "worth sacrificing to save the planet" is an insult to science, economics and politics. But the greatest insult is to aesthetics. The trouble is that aesthetics has no way of answering back.