What is so menacing is the regularity and the scope of the noise, which feels like a giant heartbeat shaking the earth.
Harry Mount, Daily Mail (U.K.), March 10, 2007
Commercial wind power development is an environmental and economic folly, but the true danger lies in the fact that it will divert our attention and resources away from finding real solutions to our very real and urgent problems.
Sue Sliwinski, N.Y.
It's well past time to stop considering what wind might do and to examine what it has done. It has not reduced fossil fuel use or emissions. It has only ruined a lot of landscapes and communities, fragmented habitat, and killed birds and bats.
Eric Rosenbloom, Vt.
The irreparable ecological damage, loss of amenity and distressing divisions within communities caused by commercial wind turbines far outweigh any benefit of their insignificant and unreliable contribution to our energy needs.
Angela Kelly, Country Guardian, U.K.
The tiny, intermittent output of electricity and the negligible CO2 savings cannot possibly justify the huge sacrifice of that most finite resource -- our unspoilt and irreplaceable countryside. It is our duty to protect our rural heritage for present and future generations from such gross and unnecessary industrialization.
Angela Kelly, Country Guardian, U.K.
The wind farm folks are here because city residents won't allow turbines in their back yards, and farmers are pressed for money and easy prey for slick dealers.
Peg Britton, Kan.
People who say 'You can't tell me what to do with my property' are in actuality signing away the control of their property to wind companies in signing these leases.
Barbara Boone, Md.
Industrial wind energy is a symptom of, not a solution to, our energy problems.
Eric Rosenbloom, Vt.
What the wind gives, line loss taketh away.
Carol A. Overland, Minn.
Because wind turbines cannot be counted on to produce when electricity demand reaches its highest levels, they have virtually no "capacity value" to grid managers. Therefore, areas experiencing significant electricity demand growth will have to add reliable, dispatchable generating units whether or not they add wind turbines.
Glenn Schleede, Va.
Anyone who thinks that wind factories are environmentally friendly should Google 'Cefn Croes Photo Gallery', to see 100 chilling pictures showing how many miles of unspoiled Welsh countryside were disfigured to create the largest industrial site in Britain: all to 'save' annually less than a quarter of the CO2 emissions from a single jumbo jet.
Christopher Booker, Telegraph, U.K.
A wind farm is an industrial installation of vast proportions, and, if erected on the loftiest ridges, its industrial flavor becomes the new focal point for all view-sheds within a 15-mile radius.
Dave Buhrman, W.Va.
Even if wind turbines were built in Hawaii, excess capacity would have to be built to handle peak loads in the event that the winds weren't blowing or the islands would experience brownouts or blackouts. The fact that the periods of highest demands would coincide with a drop-off in wind speed means wind turbines cannot be counted on the meet peak load demands in Hawaii. So electrical generating capacity would have to be built twice, first as wind turbines and second as backup peak capacity protection.
Don Newman, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
It is not just that wind farms are producing significantly less power than predicted, but that other power stations are required to run in an inefficient manner to support them ... this inefficient practice results in them producing higher levels of CO2.
Andrew Chapman, Inverloch, Aust.
The output is far from smooth, and the impact on dispatchable plant required to deal with residual demand is highly significant. Our view is that plant operating under these conditions in the support role for wind will suffer: 1) reduced availability, 2) significantly reduced efficiency, and thus 3) higher emissions per MWh generated..
John Constable, Renewable Energy Foundation, U.K.
It's not like riding a bike and leaving the car in the driveway .... Wind energy on the grid is more like riding a bike and having someone follow you in the car in case you get tired.
Eric Rosenbloom, Vt.
The landscape is being raped with governmental collusion and fraudulent claims.
John Etherington, U.K.
... it was an awful sight on Sunday, a Golgotha-like parade ... a shocking, endlessly repeated crucifixion scene along the skyline.
Patricia Veltkamp-Smith, Southland (N.Z.) Times, Feb. 8, 2007
... a landscape reminiscent of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds, where mechanical monsters bestride the countryside destroying all that stands in their way.
Angus Ballantine, John O'Groat Journal, May 18, 2007
If I were an investor and wanted to keep my green image intact, I would be deeply concerned about building turbines on forested ridgetops.
Merlin Tuttle, Director, Bat Conservation International
The cumulative impacts on bat populations from proposed and/or constructed wind farm developments, especially in the eastern United States, may lead to further population declines, placing multiple bat populations at serious risk of extinction.
Thomas Kunz, Director, Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, Boston University
In the end, we remain convinced, the entire state [Va.] will see clearly that wind power ... is wrong for our mountains and that those who pursue it are driven not by concern for the environment, but by the opportunity to pocket huge profits offered by huge taxpayer subsidies. When the smoke clears, there can be no other conclusion. Whether reason will triumph over the leverage of powerful special interests remains to be seen.
Editorial Staff, Roanoke Times
Wind power does not respond to demand. It may or may not be there when needed. ... We will therefore need as much other electricity sources with wind as we would without. ... It is not just unnecessary but offensive to entertain industrial-scale development of the ridgelines, with strobe lights and noise and ecological degradation that far surpasses anything now on the mountains, for such obvious nonsense.
Eric Rosenbloom, Vt.
Wind power is an idea that is appealing to the imagination. It sounds like a 'free' source of energy that would be non-polluting and stable in cost. I am an optimist, and I love technology. If I thought for one moment that windmills would be a source of low cost energy, I would be building them. The reality is quite the contrary wind power is wasteful of human and natural resources.
Fergus Smith, Vt.
Increased development of wind turbines does not reduce Danish carbon dioxide emissions.
Flemming Nissen, Head of Development, Elsam, Denmark
I don't believe it is in the state's interest to industrialize our ridge lines.
Jim Douglas, Governor, Vt.
I wouldn't be against them [large wind turbines] if they actually worked.
James Lovelock, U.K.
Comparing 425 ft. tall wind turbines to power line poles demonstrates the utter stupidity and arrogance of the speaker. I have never seen a power pole move. They just stand there. The turbines have blades that look like knives slashing at the sky (and at whatever hapless creature that may be in the air space). A video with several in motion in the same scene gives the impression of violent chaos. They are not like serene, graceful ballerinas. At the very least, your eye is naturally drawn to them by their motion that resembles something waving its arms to get your attention. We don't want to see them. We don't want to look at them; but it is impossible to ignore them.
Joan Kalso, Mich.
Wind turbines don't make good neighbors.
John Zimmerman (Northeast U.S. Representative, Enxco)
Throughout my experience, I could not substantiate a single claim developers made for industrial wind energy, including the one justifying its existence: that massive wind installations would meaningfully reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Jon Boone, Md.
One can certainly concur with concerns about how our culture's fossil fuel combustion practices help accelerate the process of global warming without uncritically agreeing that the intrusive nature of windpower technology is even a partial solution to the problem.
Jon Boone, Md.
Federal tax benefits pay as much as 65% of the capital cost of wind power projects in the United States.
Keith Martin, Chadbourne and Parke, LLP, Financing Wind Power conference, Dec. 3-5, 2003, New York, N.Y.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out there are more cons than pros in this debate.
Kristin Calkins Rowe, Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Nov. 7, 2005
A single 555-megawatt gas-fired power plant in California generates more electricity in a year than do all 13,000 of the state's wind turbines. The gas-fired plant sits atop a mere 15 acres. The 300-foot-tall windmills impact over a hundred thousand acres to provide expensive, intermittent, insufficient energy.
L. M. Schwartz
Consider this: We could be looking at 1,000 or more wind turbines taller than the Statue of Liberty on the high ridges of the Flint Hills, and they would contribute only about one-tenth of one percent of our current electricity use. That simply isn't worth the destruction of our unique Tallgrass Prairie land resource.
Larry Patton, Kan.
The subsidies for wind are a misuse of public money. The 'benefits' from industrial wind are a fantasy and an escape from our energy problems. For me, believing that industrial wind will solve our energy problems is a little like believing the Tooth Fairy will pay my heating bills this winter.
Linda Bly, Vt.
Any time citizen participation or regulatory review is called too onerous, rest assured that the process is working as it should.
Editorial, Baltimore (Md.) Sun, March 9, 2007
Symbolism aside, Mt. Equinox [Vt.] may not be as impressive as Yosemite's El Capitan or the Grand Tetons, but something very real would be sacrificed on the questionable altar of Renewable Energy For Profit. Mt. Equinox and all of our mountains are not just a 'back yard.' They are a heritage and a legacy. And they are as good a place as any to make a stand.
Mark Walsh, Manchester (Vt.) Journal, Dec. 30, 2005
Promoters of the wind energy craze, absentee landowners, and a few locals hoping for a windfall are about to destroy the soul of the Flint Hills.
Michael Stubbs, Kan.
Wind energy has again been shown up for what it is, an expensive way of saving a derisory amount of CO2. It is, frankly, a disgrace, that the wind turbine farce continues in the name of saving the planet. The [U.K.] government should intervene immediately and stop these projects they are a waste of our resources.
Wind farms don't live up to the hype that they are an environmental saviour and a serious alternate energy source, and the effects they can have on their neighbours are so serious it means they should not be allowed to get away with the exaggerated claims. Their claims are fraudulent.
Peter McGauran, Aust. Senate
Good winds coincide with neither the heating nor air-conditioning season. Wind is a willy-nilly source of electricity, and as such is not very useful.
Richard C. Hill, Bangor (Me.) Daily News, Dec. 24, 2005
This industry has always wrapped itself in the mantle of green power and has sought to use the environmental benefits of wind power as an excuse for not doing anything about the environmental harms it causes.
Rick Wiebe, Calif.
If you lease, chances are one or more of your neighbors is going to have to deal with eminent domain. Now these are private, wind development companies; however, once they sell that power to a power purchaser, they can go to the energy commission and as in Butler County [Kan.]: in two weeks and a little bit of paperwork ... they had the power of eminent domain to go across adjacent landowners' property with power lines, with trenches, with no public hearing.
People thought they'd get their electric bill reduced, but ours went up and we're getting nothing. I can't understand what anybody thought they'd get out of this. This company [FPL] came in, destroyed the top of the mountain, and left us with it.
Rose Marie Derk, Waymart, Pa.
For any energy source to be viable, it must be able to be produced on demand. The storage of electricity as a technology is still in its infancy. One of the major drawbacks to wind is its unpredictability as a power source and that it cannot be stored.
Russell Broadbent, Aust. House of Representatives
... [I]t will be the equivalent of a water company only supplying tap water when it's raining.
Saiful Islam, U.K.
The idea of windmills conjures up pleasant images of Holland and tulips, of rural America with windmill blades slowly turning, pumping water at the farm well ... But the windmills we are talking about today are not your grandmother's windmills. Each one is typically 100 yards tall, two stories taller than the Stature of Liberty, taller than a football field is long.
Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senate
These people are not as much [wind] developers as they are salesmen. Their product sounds good and green in theory, but it is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Shirley Nelson, Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Dec. 12, 2005
The [U.K.] government's thesis that the countryside of upland and coastal Britain is 'worth sacrificing to save the planet' is an insult to science, economics and politics. But the greatest insult is to aesthetics. The trouble is that aesthetics has no way of answering back.
Simon Jenkins, London Times, Oct. 24, 2003
These are not farms, one doesn't farm wind any more than one farms water in a hydroelectric dam or farms neutrons in an atomic plant.
Nina Pierpont, Malone, N.Y.
The first glimpse of the [Weymart, Pa., Wind Farm] turbines from State Route 6 presents a surreal image like something from a Road Warrior movie.
It is a waste of money because it is ineffective. And because it is ineffective its negative impacts are unacceptable.
There should be a presumption against wind farms in the countryside where their scale, siting or cumulative effect would have a significant adverse impact on landscape quality and recreational enjoyment thereof.
Countryside Commission, U.K.
We finally urge the environmentally conscious public and especially these who share our concern for the need to produce energy responsibly by non-polluting means, to recognise that wind turbines are industrial machines for which there should be no place in our finest landscapes.
Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales
We refuse to accept that our coasts and uplands should be sacrificed in this way, either as a penance for past failure to safeguard the environment or as a token contribution towards reducing atmospheric pollution or addressing possible shortages of fossil fuels. We believe that the costs of such a policy to a civilised society far exceed the perceived benefits.
Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales
The main success of Danish involvement in wind power would appear to be the foundation of an industry producing wind mills.
Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Association
With the exploitation of wind energy, a technology is being promoted that is completely insignificant for the power supply, the preservation of natural resources, and the protection of the climate.
Lothar Hoischen, Germany
The negative effects of wind energy use are as much underestimated as its contribution to the statistics is overestimated.
Darmstadt (Germany) Manifesto
I don't believe that wind power would have a very big future, because, relative to the energy produced, it is far too cumbersome, on land as on the sea.
Marcel Boiteux, Presdient Emeritus, Electricitι de France
Certainly, wind energy is not green energy if it requires that we negatively impact special natural resources, including rare and endangered species and their habitats.
Soon we "celebrate" the 20,000th wind plant, without replacing even one single small plant of conventional energy.
Ferdinand Fόrst zu Hohenlohe-Bartenstein, Chairman, Bundesverband Landschaftsschutz (Federal Association for Landscape Protection), Germany
The larger the share of wind power in a particular grid, the more standby power will have to be available in that grid.
World Wind Energy Association
You really don't count on wind energy as capacity. It is different from other technologies because it can't be dispatched.
Christine Real de Azua, Assistant Director of Communications, American Wind Energy Association
My rule of thumb is 60 acres per megawatt for wind farms on land.
Tom Gray, Director of Communications and Outreach, American Wind Energy Assocation
What we have all thought of as an industry of benefit, may not be of much benefit. They don't provide any jobs and now they may not provide much revenue either!
Judge Laura Pryor, Gilliam County, Ore.
One thing is clear: The environmental community must view wind power projects as they would any other type of industrial development.
Martha Frey, Executive Director, Otsego (N.Y.) 2000
We really try to do as much groundwork with stakeholders, building up support for it before proposing anything ...
Anna Giovinetto, Noble Environmental Power
I recently traveled through the Carbondale section of Pennsylvania. Wind turbines have been allowed to flourish there. They are not simply part of the landscape. They are the landscape. Pure and simple, the wind turbines clearly, eerily dominate everything in that area.
Editorial, Catskill Mountain News, Oct. 25, 2006
Turbines are getting so big and overpowering as to be outrageous in any rural context. Their impacts on the landscapes and lives of people is totally disproportionate to the minuscule contribution they make in providing renewable energy and the pitiful savings they offer in CO2 reductions.
Peter Ogden, Council for the Preservation of Rural Wales, Western Mail, 5 Dec., 2006
The solution to our energy needs must go through a show of respect for nature, not, once again, a policy that does violence to our hills.
George Lorimer, St. Andrews, Scotland
This will divide the town for 25 years.
Jack Simons, planning commissioner, Sheffield, Vt.
* compiled by National Wind Watch
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