July 24, 2009

Thoughts on Acceptable Wind Turbine Placement

Daniel Imhoff, Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to a Food and Farm Bill, Watershed Media, 2007, p. 113 [paragraph breaks added]:

The scientific consensus on global climate change predicts inevitable disruptions and potentially dire consequences. The prescriptions are equally clear: significant reductions in fossil fuel emissions are being called for across the board. Agriculture is no exception. Tough choices will be made in the decades ahead. Regional production of diverse renewable energy sources should be aggressively scaled up.

At the same time, energy is not renewable if essential resources such as soil and water are despoiled in the process. Simply increasing the supply of renewable energy without a national strategy to make the United States "carbon neutral" may only succeed in providing more power to consumer.

Across the world, and prominently in agricultural areas, large wind farms are gaining traction as alternative electricity producers. The latest generation of turbines have been criticized as noisy, aesthetically polluting, and being "Cuisinarts for birds," particularly raptors.

Within an overall context of a more positive energy future, however, it should be possible to identify appropriate areas to locate utility-scale wind farms withexceptions such as these proposed by John Davis of the Adirondack Council:
  • No energy production in roadless areas.
  • No windmills or energy production in wildlife migration corridors.
  • No windmills in parks or protected areas.
  • Keep windmills away from water bodies.
  • Complement renewable energy funding with a national energy conservation platform.
wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, animal rights, human rights