Monday, June 30, 2008

How I installed OS X 10.4/Tiger on my Power Mac G4 after it refused to, and how I did so without a bootable DVD drive.

"BaseSystem cannot be installed on this computer." That's what the Tiger installer kept telling me.

My Power Mac G4 466 MHz "digital audio" has an external DVD drive connected by USB, so I was attempting to install by directly running the OSInstall.mpkg in System / Installation / Packages, since I can't boot from that DVD drive. I have 2 internal hard drives, with a bootable system on each, so this was feasible by booting into each drive in turn to install Tiger on the other.

Alas, "BaseSystem cannot be installed on this computer."

(Note: this refusal appears to be after the compatibility checks that can be edited in the OSInstall.dist file inside OSInstall.mpkg ("show contents") to allow installation on unapproved machines, such as G3s.)

XPostFacto to the rescue

An open-source project sponsored by Other World Computing, XPostFacto helps to install and boot Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, and Darwin on some unsupported systems.

But you still need a bootable installer disk, so here's what I did:

1. With Disk Utility, make a disk image of the Tiger install DVD. It doesn't matter where you save it -- as long as there's a few gigabytes (at least 3 GB) of space. (If you're on a network with a DVD-equipped machine, you could do this step on that machine and then copy the disk image to your machine.)

2. With Disk Utility, restore the install DVD disk image to a bootable hard drive (or partition) that doesn't have an OS X system on it already. I copied it to a Firewire-connected external hard drive. Again, you need at least 3 GB of space.

3. Launch XPostFacto. Consider donating to this excellent project. XPostFacto presents a list of disks to install to and a list of bootable installer disks. Pick one of each, and "Install".

XPostFacto will copy some kernel extensions to the target volume and then a modified version of BootX that will use these kernel extensions (along with the standard extensions on the installed disk). Then it will restart the computer and launch (after rebooting in verbose mode) the installer.

4. In the OS X installer, select as the target disk the same disk you selected in XPostFacto.

Success! This post was entered under 10.4 in Firefox 3.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stop the noise!

From Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon, Jun. 25, 2008:

Modern cities can be so noisy that ornithologists have found birds warbling at the top of their lungs to be heard. Nightingales in Berlin have been documented singing up to 14 decibels louder than their counterparts in woody environs, in an attempt to make their songs audible above all the background noise. Yet the cacophony of modern life is hardly confined to metropolises like New York or Cairo, Egypt, where you literally have to shout on the street to make yourself heard.

In [the movie] "Noise," Bean's protagonist and his family escape to the country for the weekend. Their getaway is besieged by a neighbor's farting leaf blower. Getting away from it all just isn't that easy.

"For 50 years, if people didn't like noise, and they had money, the solution has been: Move to the suburbs. Now we've made our suburbs noisy. They're no longer quiet refuges," says Les Blomberg, executive director of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse in Montpelier, Vt. "We got our half-acre lots, and now we have our weed whacker, our leaf blower, our hedge trimmer, our riding lawn mower, and then we hop in our car and drive on four- and six-lane highways past thousands of other suburbs to our place of work, noise-polluting every place we pass."

But you don't have to be an anti-noise crusader to suffer physical effects from noise, even if you're sleeping right through it. Scientists at Imperial College London monitored the blood pressure of 140 sleeping volunteers who lived near London's Heathrow airport. They discovered that subjects' blood pressure rose when a plane few overhead even when the subjects remained asleep. A study of 5,000 45-to-70-year-olds living near airports for at least five years found that they were at greater risk of suffering from hypertension, aka high blood pressure, than their counterparts in quieter realms. People with high blood pressure have an increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia. In 2007, WHO estimated that long-term exposure to traffic noise may account for 3 percent of deaths from ischemic heart disease among Europeans.

Not only can too much loud noise damage your hearing, or disrupt your sleep, it can literally suck the life out of you thanks to the human body's fight-or-flight response. "The human auditory system is designed to serve as a means of warning against dangers in the environment," explains Louis Hagler, a retired internal medicine specialist in Oakland, Calif. "Noise above a certain level is perceived by the nervous system as a threat." The body responds to that threat with an outpouring of epinephrine and cortisol, the so-called stress hormones. "Your blood pressure goes up, your pulse rate goes up, there is a sudden outpouring of sugar into the bloodstream so the body is prepared to meet whatever threat there is in the environment."

If exposures are intermittent or rare, the body has the chance to return to normal. But if the exposure is unrelenting, the body doesn't have a chance to calm down, and blood pressure and heart rate may remain elevated, Hagler explains. That's why what seems like a mere annoyance can actually have long-term health effects. "There is no question that people who live near a busy roadway are experiencing effects on their blood pressure," says Hagler.

... "There is no evidence that noise causes mental illness itself, but there is little doubt that it may accelerate or intensify some kind of mental disorders," explains Hagler. He adds that symptoms of exposure to noise pollution include anxiety, nervousness, nausea, headaches, emotional instability, argumentativeness and changes in mood. No wonder excessive noise has been used as a form of torture.

... In the United States, back in the '70s, when [psychologist Arline] Bronzaft was documenting how children studying in classrooms next to elevated train tracks had delayed learning, there was an outpouring of official concern about the effects of noise, on both health and quality of life. In 1972, Congress passed the Noise Control Act. The Environmental Protection Agency had its own Office of Noise Abatement and Control, which still exists today, but as an unfunded skeleton. What happened? "A man got elected president named Ronald Reagan and everything stopped," says Bronzaft. The Gipper decided that noise was best regulated by cities and states, but federal funding to help them evaporated. Attempts to re-fund the office have failed. ...

[The results of a 3-year study of the physical effects of living near giant wind turbines is planned for publication late this summer. Click here for more information.]

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism<, human rights, animal rights, Vermont

Friday, June 20, 2008

Many challenges for wind development

"For advocates who are trying to promote the adoption of wind power, there are many challenges: government regulations; transmission access policies; zoning, siting, and licensing restricitins; environmental, avian, noise, and aesthetic opposition; competitor politics; high costs; resistant funding sources; near-neighbor conflict; and radiofrequecy interference. This is just the short list."

--Timlynn Babitsky, Wind Project Community Organizing, an exposé of the manipulative hucksterism developers use to ram through a project.

wind power, wind energy, wind farms<, environment, environmentalism

Friday, June 06, 2008

Why Obama Is Progressive

Al Giordano, of Narco News, explains why progressives support Obama, a generally centrist Democrat (click on the title of this post for the complete essay):

Even more interesting to me than how millions of Americans changed the results of the primaries and caucuses is how they were changed by their participation in an electoral movement. Obama’s online fundraising and organizing advances were logical extensions of what Howard Dean, and, later, John Kerry had accomplished in 2004. That was an inevitable advance that somebody was going to make in US politics. Obama was lucky enough to have been young enough to be able to understand it and implement it in ways that his rivals did not.

There are two other breakthroughs that have just come to maturity in the United States that were not inevitable, that required a perfect storm of factors - and the right catalyst or leader at the right time - in confluence.

The first is that the Obama campaign is the first mass multi-racial collaboration in the United States since the Southern Civil Rights movement. For many of the millions that volunteered, donated and attended campaign events, this was the first time they worked hand in hand with people that did not look like them. ...

What I often call “the market-niching of America” [has been long] underway, in which media, advertising and politics were increasingly targeted toward smaller and smaller demographic fractions (as exemplified by Mark Penn’s book Microtrends). Not only were Americans still being divided and economically segregated as white against black against brown against red against yellow, but by far more trivial lines of division: Apple vs. PC users, vegans vs. meat eaters, or dog owners vs. cat owners, or, concretely and absurdly, back in my home town, dog owners versus young parents are at Civil War already in some neighborhoods when it comes to policies of determining the use of public parks and playgrounds in New York City.

The American home had become a bunker. People gathered around the TV, then the TiVo and the computer screen, and when they did briefly emerge from their bomb shelters it was to sterile office and workplace environments, where they are subordinate, or to socialize or worship generally with people very demographically similar to themselves.

Worse, the bunkers themselves have become echo chambers and, by and large, dysfunctional and disempowering places, in which all the injustices of the world are compressed and internalized, often with violent and despairing results on the individuals inside them.

Those of us, in recent decades, that organized (or tried to organize) political movements ran up against tremendous inertia in that most Americans – including “progressives” – did not really want to collaborate with people that were not nearly identical to themselves: in appearance, education level, and ideology.

That has suddenly changed. The black-white progressive alliance that was responsible for every advance in American politics in the middle of the last century is back. And that makes organizing of future political movements – electoral and non-electoral – possible again.

The second breakthrough is that a critical mass of progressive Americans are learning political discipline again: the disciplines that had been carried like rare seeds through a decades-long desert by the few and the proud that had continued the study and practice of community organizing.

We are today reading a plethora of columns by pundits and reporters marveling at the discipline of the Obama campaign and its successes. Every single one of those successes can be traced to a single core factor: Barack Obama was one of the few, even in politics, that had carried the community organizer torch all these years. Those principles were infused into every aspect of the campaign. The community had simply become an entire country.

[Karen Tumulty in her campaign wrap-up for Time] continues:

"About two weeks before he announced he was forming an exploratory committee to run for President, Obama laid down three ruling principles for his future chief operating officer: Run the campaign with respect; build it from the bottom up; and finally, no drama."

The “no drama” point is paramount. The self-indulgence created in a society that has been market-niched into 280 million “countries of one” is perhaps the highest obstacle to change in the United States. Individuals have been taught that we are, each of us, nation-states that have territory, customs and immigration agents, and so much of life is wasted on stamping the visas or not of those that are seen as entering or infringing upon those micro-territories.

That attitude is still pervasive. It could be heard this week in the admonitions to “give Senator Clinton space.” The statement stuck in my craw: It wasn’t as if Obama or his supporters had planned an uninvited visit to her home or even to her rallies. The post-1970s concept of “personal space” has become a rampaging and twisted monster over all efforts toward a progressive America and for some extends dangerously to public space. The individual concept of property extended to a non-physical realm over the national community’s collective good. ...

The presumption by so many Americans (the international leader in these indulgent personality traits, and this, one of its last export products to the rest of the world) that their precious sense of “individuality” gives them the 24 hour right to use all public forums as personal therapy sessions to vent and inflict their every perceived psychological misery upon others is a big part of what has made serious political movements in the US impossible for so long. Anybody that has attended a political “meeting” at which there was a “decision making process” has seen the tyranny of the individual crash down upon the collective imperative again and again. “Acting out” – without discipline nor regard for the hijacking nature of such behavior – had become considered a sacrament, rather than the sabotage that it was and is.

I had wondered whether any mass political movement across demographic lines would ever be possible in the United States in my lifetime, and I had mostly concluded that it could not. I certainly did not expect it from an electoral campaign.

And that’s why, although at moments I consider Obama to be more centrist or timid on specific matters of policy than I am, although I remain acutely aware of the limits of electoral politics, even if he were to have a somewhat less progressive platform on “issues,” I would probably still be fascinated by the phenomenon what this electoral campaign has done to and for American society.

Progressivism is not merely a checklist of issue positions and stances, but, at its core, it is a way of life. And while most community organizers are politically progressive, it has not been the case that most political progressives have embraced their principles at the level of daily life: in the submergence of the “self” into the larger community around us.

Obama and his team have not only drawn millions of Americans out of their dysfunctional bunkers and market niches to collaborate across those lines again, but he’s created and trained a new wave of community organizers with the discipline and the understanding that “no drama” essentially means putting the community ahead of individual neurosis and self-indulgence. For those few that carried those community organizing seeds across the desert all these years, this new and fertile societal terrain – upon which those seeds are now being planted - is nothing short of a miracle.

Vientos de despojo (Winds of destruction)

¡Basta ya de despojos, basta ya de impunidad, ya no mas muerte!

(No more plunder, no more impunity, no more death!)

"Ejidatarios de La Venta presentaron demandas legales contra la CFE", Juchitan, Oaxaca, a 1º de Febrero del año 2007
Habitantes de La Venta, pertenecientes al Frente de Pueblos del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra, interpusieron una demanda ante la agencia del Ministerio Publico, contra la Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), organismo al cual acusan de causar daños en sus parcelas por el paso de lineas de transmisión de energía ...

"Carta del Grupo Solidario La Venta a Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen", La Venta, Juchitán, Oaxaca a 14 de Febrero del 2007
Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Relator Especial de la Oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las NNUU para los DDHH --
Alejo Girón Carrasco, en mi calidad de Presidente del Grupo Solidario La Venta, vengo por este conducto a expresarle lo siguiente:
Nuestro ejido ubicado en él municipio de Juchitán, Oaxaca, ha venido sufriendo enormes presiones por parte de funcionarios estatales y federales y de empleados de empresas con el fin de que alquilemos nuestras tierras para la ejecución del megaproyecto Eolo eléctrico La Venta II y La Venta III, el primero de los cuales ya se encuentra casi concluido y el segundo esta proyectado para iniciar los próximos meses. Las obras las ha venido realizado la empresa trasnacional de capital español Iberdrola. ...

"Vientos de despojo en La Venta", Silvia Hernández y Sergio de Castro, Noticias de Oaxaca, 4/2007
El pasado 29 de marzo el presidente de México, Felipe Calderón, inauguraba en acto solemne la segunda parte del proyecto eólico La Venta, situado en la región oaxaqueña del Istmo de Tehuantepec. Mientras declaraba que se debían desterrar "problemas como la corrupción, la impunidad, el abuso; problemas como el odio y la violencia entre hermanos", un operativo militar y policial de 2000 efectivos resguardaban las inversiones de las trasnacionales realizadas sobre el despojo de las tierras de los indígenas y campesinos de la región. ...

"Instalaron generadores de energía eólica sobre ruinas arqueológicas", Pedro Matias, 2007-08-22
Autoridades ejidales y asociaciones civiles de La Venta, denunciaron ante el Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, el hallazgo de vestigios arqueológicos en la zona donde se instalaron aerogeneradores de energía eolica. ...

Convocatoria encuentro mexicano por la defensa de las tierra y la soberania nacional y por el derecho a la consulta a los pueblos indios, 29/8/2007 [includes English translation]
En estos últimos años, con la imposición de megaproyectos como el Plan Puebla-Panamá se han venido intensificando por todo nuestro país, las acciones de despojo y de violencia en contra de poblaciones indígenas y campesinas. Los grandes programas de inversión en materia energética que viene impulsando el Gobierno federal, están orientados a beneficiar a las empresas trasnacionales, por ello no son tomados en cuenta los derechos de las comunidades afectadas ni los grandes costos ambientales y económicos que se derivan de la ejecución de estos megaproyectos. Además el Gobierno mexicano viene violando acuerdos y tratados internacionales así como legislación nacional ya que en la ejecución de estos programas no han sido ni informadas ni consultadas las comunidades indígenas afectadas. ...

"Contratos ilegales y rentas miserables por las tierras en el proyecto eólico del istmo", Yesika Cruz y Citlalli Méndez, 26 de octubre de 2007
El proyecto de generación de energía eléctrica, que los expertos aseguran es limpio, se ensucia para los campesinos debido a la falta de información y de claridad en los contratos y pagos por la renta de sus tierras. ...

"Hay ruinas arqueológicas bajo el parque eoloeléctrico La Venta II", Octavio Vélez Ascencio (Corresponsal), Oaxaca, Oax., 19 de diciembre
Autoridades ejidales y asociaciones civiles de La Venta, municipio de Juchitán de Zaragoza, dieron a conocer al Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) el hallazgo de vestigios arqueológicos en la zona donde la Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) instaló generadores de energía eólica. ...

Conflictos intersindicales y condiciones de trabajo en el parque eólico “La Venta I y II”, 31/1/2008
En el Istmo de Tehuantepec, estado de Oaxaca, la apertura de los trabajos del mega proyecto del Plan Puebla Panamá, que pretende conectar un inmenso corredor industrial del Puerto de Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, al Puerto de Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz mediante la instalación de grandes maquiladoras, bancos camaroniferos, explotación de mármol, piedras y otros minerales, ampliación de obras de extracción y refinación de crudo, operación de un ferrocarril de alta velocidad que conecte ambos puertos para el traslado de mercancías, etc. Las obras para la construcción del parque eólico “La Venta I, II y III”, de aerogeneración eléctrica, contemplada como una de las principales medidas del mega proyecto, comenzadas desde 1994 a cargo de empresas extranjeras como GAMESA e IBEDROLA, junto Comisión Federal de Electricidad son parte del preámbulo para la privatización de la industria energética nacional. ...

Declaración Oaxaca Libre, Lunes, 14 Abril, 2008
Los pueblos, organizaciones, colectivos y grupos reunidos en la Ciudad de Oaxaca en el foro estatal por la defensa de los derechos de lospueblos de oaxaca, provenientes de todas las regiones de nuestro estado, y contando tambien con la presencia solidaria de observadoresnacionales e internacionales. Declaramos:
• Que en oaxaca gobierna una mafia, que utiliza los recursos publicos en su propio beneficio, que promueve la privatizacion de las tierras, elagua, los recursos forestales y mineros y que utiliza de manera abierta la violencia y la represion para frenar la justa lucha denuestros pueblos.
• Que la miseria, la injusticia y la violencia que sufre el pueblo oaxaqueño es producto de un sistema caciquil protegido por el gobierno federal. En oaxaca vivimos en un estado de excepcion, donde las garantias constitucionales y los derechos humanos son constantemente violados por los mismos gobernantes.
• Que condenamos energicamente el asesinato y la detencion derepresentantes indigenas y del movimiento ciudadano y manifestamos nuestra indignacion y condena por los recientes homicidios de Felicitas Martinez, Teresa Bautista, Placido Lopez Castro, Lauro Juarez y Rosalino Diaz y exigimos el esclarecimiento de estos crimenes y el castigo a los responsables materiales e intelectuales de los mismos.
• Que exigimos el respeto a las tierras y recursos naturales propiedad de nuestros pueblos indigenas, ratificamos nuestro derecho a la consultaante los megaproyectos y demandamos la salida de nuestras tierras de las empresas electricas, mineras, turisticas, forestales trasnacionales.
• Que demandamos el respeto a las radios comunitarias y el cese alhostigamiento que vienen haciendo los caciques priista, los militares y los funcionarios federales. Exigimos sea respetado el derecho de lospueblos indigenas a la libre expresion y a la utilizacion de los mediosde comunicación para hacer la defensa de nuestro patrimonio y de nuestracultura.
• Que con el pretexto del combate al narcotrafico, las dieferentes regiones de nuestro estado han sido militarizadas, lo cual hasignificado la violacion a los derechos humanos de la poblacion indigena. Estos operativos militares provocan miedo y buscan intimidarlos reclamos de nuestras comunidades. Las violaciones a los derechos humanos alcanzan tambien a nuestros hermanos y hermanas centroamericanos que tienen la necesidad de cruzar por nuestro pais.
• Que una debilidad en la lucha de nuestros pueblos, es la falta deorganización y el aislamiento, por ello coincidimos en que es necesario crear una alianza de nuestros pueblos y organizaciones basada en los principios, en la historia y en la costumbre comunitaria de nuestros pueblos; una alianza independiente de todos los partidos politicos, sinburocracia ni lideres, una alianza construida desde abajo donde mujeres y hombres se amos respetados. Una alianza que nos ayude a frenar la represion, que nos permita defender nuestro patrimonio y cultura y quenos ayude a alcanzar la autonomia de nuestros pueblos.

Llamamiento:
• Hacemos un llamado urgente a las organizaciones y grupos, indigenas, decomunicadores, de mujeres, de derechos humanos de oaxaca, mexico y anivel internacional para que el asesinato de nuestras compañeras Teresa Bautista y Felicitas no quede en la impunidad, es por ello que les solicitamos se unan a nuestro reclamo de que sea la fiscalia especializada para la atencion a delitos en contra de periodistas la querealice la investigacion sobre este crimen que nos indigna.
• Acompañar de manera solidariala lucha de resistencia del ayuntamiento autonomo de San Juan Copala, de San Pedro Yosotatu, Chalcatongo, San Juan del Rio y El Pipila seriamente amenazados por el gobierno de Ulises Ruiz y de las bandas de pistoleros que operan en esas regiones con laproteccion del gobierno estatal. Demandamos castigo para los asesinosandres Castro Garcia e Inocente Castro Victoria autores intelectuales del crimen de nuestro compañero placido lopez.
• Impulsar con renovados brios la lucha por la liberacion de nuestros compañeros presos politicos Pedro Castillo Aragon, Flavio Sosa, Miguel Juan Hilaria, Adan Mejia, Miguel Angel Garcia, Victor Hugo Martinez, Roberto Cardenas Rosas, Reynaldo Martinez Ramirez, Constantino Hilario Castro, Homero Castro Lopez, Juliantino Martinez Garcia. Luchar por el cese de la persecucion en contra de nuestros compañeros y por la cancelacion de cientos de ordenes de aprehension que han sido libradas en contra de representantes comunitarios, de la Mixteca, Sierra Juarez, Valles Centrales, La Cuenca y el Istmo de Tehuantepec.
• Manifestamos que los derechos de las mujeres deben de ser respetados, es por ello que exigimos el cese a la violencia de genero, que seades penalizado a nivel nacional el aborto y que la equidad sea una de las demandas centrales del movimiento social.
• Ante la dificil situacion que vive el pueblo oaxaqueño, hacemos un llamado fraterno y respetuoso a los pueblos, colonias, barricadas, organizaciones, sindicatos, grupos de mujeres, organismos nogubernamentales, de jovenes, artistas y intelectuales para reconstruirla asamblea popular de los pueblos de oaxaca bajo los principios que ledieron vida, basados en la autonomia, independencia, comunalidad, el consenso y el respeto. La APPO no debe de ser patrimonio de ningun grupo politico ni su consejo un espacio sectario de lideres. La APPO debere cuperar su carácter de asamblea, donde sea respetada la diversidad, donde sea reconocida la voz y los derechos de las mujeres, donde las decisiones se tomen por consenso y que cuente con un programa de lucha integral que le permita a nuestro pueblo la defensa efectiva de sus derechos. Solo una APPO fortalecida podra enfrentar la barbarie en la que vivimos los oaxaqueños.

Basta ya de despojos, basta ya de impunidad, ya no mas muerte.

Dada en Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, la ciudad de la dignidad y la resistencia el dia que recordamos la muerte de Emiliano Zapata, 10 de abril del 2008

Ayuntamiento Autonomo de San Juan Copala, Comunidad de Yosotatu, UDEPI-Mixteca; Coordinadora de Organizaciones y Pueblos de La Chinantla; Bienes Comunales de Chalcatongo, Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos de Oaxaca, Radio Huave, Cerec-Tepeuxila, Colectivo Autonomomagonista, UCIZONI, Comunidad de Monte Aguila, Mazatlan, RED de Radios comunitarias y Indigenas del Sureste de Mexico; Comunidad La Esmeralda Chimalapa, Radio Ayuuk, Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac, Ceapi, Tierra Blanca, Chimalapa; Cactus; CODEDI-Xanica, CODECI, Comunidad Desan Pedro Evangelista, Matiias Romero, Comision Magisterial de Derechos Humanos (Seccion 22 del SNTE); UVI, FUNDAR, Radio Arco Iris; Comunidad de San Juan Jaltepec, Ejido El Pipila; Ojo de Agua, Comunicación; Radio Tezoatlan; Asamblea Universitaria UAM-A; MPR; Frente Coordilleranorte-Mixteca; Comunidad de Santa Cruz Mixtepec; Ceuco, Maiz, Asoc. Nacional de Abogados Democraticos; AMAP; Radio Planton; CIMAC; Oaxaca Libre; Centro Social Libertario; Grupo Solidario La Venta, Frente de Pueblos del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra; CODEP; CODEM; Comité Deliberacion 25 de Noviembre; Radio Bemba; Nodho por Derechos Humanos; Consorcio por la Equidad de Genero; Radio Ke-Huelga

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, human rights, anarchism, anarchosyndicalism, ecoanarchism

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Facing the winds of power in India

Gururaja Budhya writes at "NGO Forum on ADB [Asian Development Bank]" (click on title of this post for original):

“Our village used to have peacocks roaming around. We had strict rules to protect them along with other flora and fauna visiting our village,” said a woman from the community. She has been cursing the installation of the wind mills surrounding their village and has been blaming it for the disappearance of peacocks. She lamented that the installation of the windmills surrounding the hills was done without any consultation with them.

The woman narrated that the hills have been chopped, causing soil erosion and affecting the flora and fauna in the region. Hundreds of windmills in Karnataka have caused the alteration of geography, affected the topography, greenery and the endangered species of flora and fauna.

The proponents of development want the villagers living near the resources to “sacrifice for the development of the nation.” For years, the same people who sacrificed their resources have been denied to get a fair share of the “fruits” of development. They ended up only as contributors. At the same time, they have suffered due to the impact brought by development. The mining case in Orissa is another example of such development devastating the forest lands and forest dwellers.

The promoters of windmills in Davanagere district have begun community development initiatives as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), resulting in the formation of women’s self help groups and construction of toilets, to name a few. I find these initiatives, which are part of the CSR of these so-called corporate houses, totally misguiding.

Corporations have social responsibility – to be sensitive to the nature of their investments and be able to boldly address the issues of social development. As a part of this responsibility, corporations must spend on mitigation measures and environmental impacts assessments, for example. This means said measures must be part of the investment allocated to address the negative impacts of the project. Additionally, a part of the annual profits have to be ploughed back into the development of the community. For me, this is part of fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility.

But cleverly, many companies do not address the negative impacts of their projects. They spend a small project allocation for their so-called community development activities – claiming it as Corporate Social Responsibility. No ethics, no sensitivity, no social responsibility – all at the cost of people for high profits.

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, human rights, animal rights

Wind Turbine Hell

Carol Cowperthwaite or Mars Hill, Maine, writes in the June 5 Waldo County Citizen (via National Wind Watch):

I am a resident of Mars Hill, whose personal life and community life have been severely impacted by the nearby UPC Wind plant.

Here is my story:

My husband and I had moved away from Mars Hill, and our retirement dream was to come back to old friends, peace, quiet and country living. The first year after building our house back here was heaven. The quiet was so complete that we thought we had gone deaf. The wildlife on our lawn was so much fun.

We had heard about the windmills, but when we asked how they would affect us if we bought the land, the town manager told us we wouldn’t even see them, much less hear them because they were going to be on the front of the mountain.

We believed him. That was our biggest mistake. At the time, we had no idea that the town fathers had not even read the application that they had co-signed, nor hired a lawyer to explain it to them. They had no idea what they had agreed to. They believed everything UPC had told them.

The biggest lie of all was that there would be no noise, or you had to be within 500 feet to hear anything. I believe that is still the propaganda.

We had one winter of quiet solitude, then with the spring came giant bulldozers, and cranes took over our mountain. Roads three lanes wide were being cut through the trees. Blasting began. We never knew when they were going to blast. The windows shook and the ledge would land on our lawn because they wouldn’t use mats. The heavy equipment would start up before daylight and go late in the night.

What a shock it was to all of us when they blasted away the whole end of the mountain. The giant scar got bigger and bigger. Then were more huge scars across our beautiful mountain. The whole terrain was being devastated. ... The beauty and the access to the ridges would never be again. ...

The massive white giants started turning and were on line in March 2007. Our lives greatly changed that day. We had been upset over the blasting and the devastation of the mountain and the eyesore, but nothing compared to the noise. As they added more windmills on line, the louder it got.

If we got up in the middle of the night, we couldn’t get back to sleep. We closed the windows, the doors, had the furnace running and the drumming never stopped. On a foggy or snowy day, it was always worse. Our TV flickers with each turn of the blades.

We both spent those winter nights roaming around the house because we couldn’t sleep. Then, the less we slept, the angrier we would become because of the situation. When I went out the front door, a sense of rage would hit me that I have never known before. Even after 30 years of teaching, raising two boys and going through a divorce has never produced the kind of rage I feel when those windmills are pounding.

When our autistic, seizure-prone granddaughter comes to visit, we spend no time outdoors due to the shadowing effects and the strobing effects. The shadowing and strobing red lights are known to induce seizures. My husband and I have both had depression from sleep deprivation and worries about investments of land, etc. Insomnia has become a way of life for me. We are still on medications for these problems.

We are, by nature, outdoor people. Most of our days were spent outdoors with gardening, the dog or just drinking tea on the porch. Now we have to do what we have to and head inside and turn up the TV. We have had no choices. We have had this lifestyle forced on to us.

When they start talking about tax breaks for the townspeople, ours amounted to $151; we have lost our lifestyle forever. The windmill people are paying three to four mills to the town for taxes. We are paying 20 mills. ...

If we had our privacy invaded, been harassed or had trespassers on our land, it would be illegal. Because it is just noise, all we can do is live with it. If you live within two to three miles, I pity you because of the noise. If you live within 50 miles, I pity you because of the eyesore.

One more thing — if you use your ridge for recreational uses that will be gone. We are not allowed on that mountain at all. All access trails are gated or chained, with no trespassing signs everywhere, even along the top of the mountain, just in case someone does get up there. They will tell you it is up to the landowners that they rent from, but that is another lie. Even with signed permission slips from the owners, try to find a way up.

You will have a hard time to fight these because our government receives money. Our state is 100 percent for wind power for bragging rights that Maine is a forerunner in “green” and the Department of Environmental Protection works for the state and its boss is the governor. The DEP added an extra five decibels to the acceptable noise level so UPC would be in compliance to the application. Politics is a hard thing to fight.

But, one thing is for sure! Once they are up and running, no matter what you do, they are not coming down until they fall down, and certainly never in my lifetime.

We are not against wind power but strongly feel turbines have to be placed where the impact is less. They should never be within five miles of a dwelling. Also, money should be put in escrow to remove them when their earning power is gone or they are too expensive to repair. I worry about Maine becoming a windmill bone yard because no small town will ever be able to afford to remove them.

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New transmission lines needed to shunt wind around

From the Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity Transmission Development Plan, 2008 (click title of this post):

The amount and location of wind generation capacity is important for transmission network development issues, because highly volatile power output (between maximal rated power and almost nil when wind conditions are unfavourable) is inherent to this generation process, with a typical associated load factor much lower than that of thermal units. In addition, regarding the location, new wind farms are usually located in areas with poor transmission networks, so new lines and infrastructure need to be planned in order to be able to evacuate this generation capacity. The consequence is that highly contrasted and variable power flows can be experienced on the transmission network, particularly if the wind farms are concentrated in neighbouring areas.

tags: wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Leap of logic in call for wind energy tax credits

"[Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius] said the federal government should accelerate wind power goals, and renew tax credits for renewable energy to decrease climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions."

There is a gaping hole in the logic there. The stated goal is "to decrease climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions".

But the tax credits are demanded for wind power. It is unspoken but assumed that wind power achieves the carbon dioxide goal. But that is unproven and untested. It is a false premise.

The tax credits should be to support the goal: "to decrease climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions". If wind power achieves that goal, then it would benefit.

Instead, the credits are designed to favor a specific industry, whether or not it actually contributes to the stated goal, and at the expense of other -- possibly more effective -- means of achieving the goal.

tags: wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism