Article

Grouse's big wind turbine is just Big Symbolism

In the area of environmental action, there's recycling newspapers to save forests, and then there's Erecting The Biggest Wind Turbine In B.C. to reduce your carbon footprint. The latter example of look-at-me symbolism is becoming a reality this summer at the summit of Grouse Mountain, where engineers are installing a giant, propeller-like machine.

Is Grouse's mountaintop wind turbine just a lot of hot air?

There's lower-case symbolism and then there's Upper-Case Symbolism. For example, there's wearing a rubber bracelet to commemorate a cause, and then there's Tattooing The Maple Leaf On Your Chest to show your patriotism.

In the area of environmental action, there's recycling newspapers to save forests, and then there's Erecting The Biggest Wind Turbine In B.C. to reduce your carbon footprint.

The latter example of look-at-me symbolism is becoming a reality this summer at the summit of Grouse Mountain, where engineers are installing a giant, propeller-like machine that will stand as tall as a 20-storey building and support three blades, each 37 metres long. Significantly, the turbine will supply 20% of the resort's power.

But the massive wind turbine will also be highly visible and will no doubt attract extra tourist traffic, which, for a resort that is still in the process of transforming itself from a winter playground to an in-tune-with-nature, all-season attraction, is undoubtedly a savvy business move.

With this in mind, one can't help but suspect the installation of the turbine is coloured with at least... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Is Grouse's mountaintop wind turbine just a lot of hot air?

There's lower-case symbolism and then there's Upper-Case Symbolism. For example, there's wearing a rubber bracelet to commemorate a cause, and then there's Tattooing The Maple Leaf On Your Chest to show your patriotism.

In the area of environmental action, there's recycling newspapers to save forests, and then there's Erecting The Biggest Wind Turbine In B.C. to reduce your carbon footprint.

The latter example of look-at-me symbolism is becoming a reality this summer at the summit of Grouse Mountain, where engineers are installing a giant, propeller-like machine that will stand as tall as a 20-storey building and support three blades, each 37 metres long. Significantly, the turbine will supply 20% of the resort's power.

But the massive wind turbine will also be highly visible and will no doubt attract extra tourist traffic, which, for a resort that is still in the process of transforming itself from a winter playground to an in-tune-with-nature, all-season attraction, is undoubtedly a savvy business move.

With this in mind, one can't help but suspect the installation of the turbine is coloured with at least as much glitz as green. After all, the resort is still apparently planning to keep its ski-run lights burning bright all year long - not exactly the sort of thing one would expect from an operation that is truly intent on setting a good carbon-footprint example.

And speaking of symbolism, I can't help but recall that Rio de Janeiro has its Christ the Redeemer Statue, Montreal's Mount Royal its giant crucifix and L.A. its Hollywood sign, all standing in celebration of values embraced by the cities.

And what does 21st-century Vancouver get? A space-aged windmill.

Actually, it couldn't be more fitting for a region that is going gaga over everything green - a region that is being led by bicycle-friendly, electric car-promoting, chicken-coops-in-the-backyard Vancouver, our fast-emerging City of the Future.

Of course, given the fact that most of B.C.'s power is currently generated by water, our energy picture is already pretty green and, with the government's encouragement of independent power production, is getting even less reliant on power generated by the burning of fossil fuels.

In that light, then, we can view Grouse's big propeller as, at worst, a harmless distraction - unless, that is, you're a bird flying near it on a cloudy day.


Source: http://www.bclocalnews.com/...

AUG 7 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21626-grouse-s-big-wind-turbine-is-just-big-symbolism
back to top