May 19, 2005

Wind advocacy rather weak

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) issued an amusingly inept response to Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander's Environmentally Responsible Wind Power Act of 2005.

I agree with them about the "siren song" of nuclear power, and I am glad to read that Alexander has worked with them to protect the Smoky Mountains and pursue cleaner use of coal.

While they criticize him for listening to energy lobbyists more often than good sense in supporting the current energy bill, however, they also criticize him for trying to insert this bit of good sense against the wishes of energy lobbyists.

What are their answers to Alexander's charges against the wind energy industry?
  1. A blindfolded person can tell the difference between the noise of a freight train and that of a wind turbine facility.
  2. Thousands of giant wind turbines will not scar the landscape as much as mountaintop-removal coal mining.
That is not to say, of course, that wind turbines are not very noisy or do not scar the landscape. And just as we will still have freight trains, we will also still have coal mining to the same extent whether we build a hundred thousand wind turbines or none.

SACE correctly recognizes the seriousness of our energy issues, including reducing pollution and preserving wild places. But they forget to show how industrial wind power helps in tackling these issues. In fact, they can't. Giant industrial wind facilities are scarring our landscapes and ruining the lives of their neighbors. They are destroying wild places and the lives of animals on the ground and in the air. And they are not giving us anything in return.

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