not in my backyard
James Hall of Cohocton Wind Watch casts his hooks into the “manure of absentee corporate carpetbaggers (…) the cronyism of agribusiness avarice”. He has cast his baleful gaze on the evil wind suckers and their toadies.
The arrogance and capricious disregard for community opposition to an ill-conceived wind turbine project on a scale that would rival the intensive concentration of a worm farm, is down right criminal. If you think wind turbines are benign free energy producers, do your homework. Look to the leadership of the adjacent township of Prattsburgh (…) Their site Advocates for Prattsburgh is a treasure chest for sound and rational data
The often invoked treasure chest of rational data. Let us take a peek.
Viewshed – 384’ towers 80’ taller than the Statue of Liberty with 230’ diameter rotors, dominating the skylines and visible up to 10 miles and beyond.
Shadow flicker – Potentially dangerous strobe effect from reflections off the rotating blades at sunrise and sunset, which can cause seizures.
Safety zone – Ice throws as far as 1500' - 1800', lighning attraction and resultant fire hazard, and potential injury from disintegration of the rotating blades.
Light pollution – Strobe lights atop each tower flashing 24 hours/day.
Groundwater – Towers weighing more than 200 tons can damage the geological structure above the water table, leading to groundwater contamination by agricultural residues.
Property values – Protect the value of residences, future home sites and recreational real estate from the inappropriate siting of these huge industrial machines.
I get it. Build them wind turbines, and one early spring day, frost still on the ground, I might walk out to a turbine only to be impaled into the ground by an ice shard flung off a turbine. As the ice melts, and I weakly crawl to my feet, a thunderstorm will zoom in out of nowhere, and I’ll be struck by lightening attracted by the nearest tower.
Hair a bit frizzy now, I’ll begin to totter away when a turbine above me will suddenly disintegrate. A spinning blade thus shall chop my arm away. Spewing blood, as I am glancing frantically about, the thrumming turbines will induce a seizure, causing me to collapse again. Mortally wounded, a cow will find me muttering about my cherished - - property values.
The record is very clear what happens when a wind farm is located in the mist of a residential community. When it is slated to be in full view of a pristine historic village the reason for a visit vanishes. Property values are in serious jeopardy and will sink like a rock. What exactly is the benefit to individual households when they will be saddled with the burden of the adverse fall out from an economic albatross?
Let’s all step back and take a deep breath! Slow down this fast track process and conduct some real, serious and independent science and economic impact studies that go to the heart of the issue. Will wind farms truly benefit the ordinary taxpayer and protect the regional community in which we all live?
I take Hall’s point about tourism, and I think SOME of his points about careful placement of a wind farm are issues that any community should consider. I just wonder if he has looked into his crystal ball, and considered what might happen to those precious tourism dollars a few years down the line when gasoline costs five dollars per gallon?
Will wind farms be so ugly then? Or will people find them beautiful, when natural gas electricity plants start dropping off the grid, for lack of fuel? When the Appalachian mountains have been turned into the Appalachian flatlands? The alleged health risks of a humming turbine pale in comparison to the mercury heaving out in our air every second from coal furnaces around the globe.
James Hall doubtless hasn’t considered any of this. He’s a property values guy, a “baby boomer,” in the American parlance. Perhaps he drives an SUV, perched so fearfully high off the ground, so high up in heaven, that he doesn’t realize that the road below is paved with the bones of his grandchildren.
Too harsh? Too imaginative?
Having read the entirety of Mister Hall’s dyspeptic essay, no slack shall be granted. There are consequences for consuming the world. One itsy bitsy consequence would be the freedom to live foolishly is no longer possible. Wind turbines are not optional for those wishing to run with the “Energy Set” in the future.