Friday, June 11, 2010

Wind Turbines if not near Rochester, where?

I have to admit I don’t ‘get’ the strong opposition to off-shore wind farm projects proposed in our region, in the Great Lakes. “Five Proposals Begin NYPA Review Process For Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project - Environmental And Economic Development Benefits Expected” New York Power Authority: News Release.

Where do those who oppose these projects prefer to get the power they need to run their lives? Off-shore oil? Certainly, it must be obvious in the face of the BP Oil Disaster that our oil addition is jeopardizing our way of life, our environment, and is far more capable of trashing our waters than wind turbines.

The subsidies, via tax breaks in the millions, for the oil industry make any financial nod we give to renewable energy look paltry indeed. Should we get that power we need from the gas shales in our area (recently the Utica gas shale has been added to the Marcellus gas shale as candidates for local gas drilling)? Drilling for natural gas by hydrofracking has the potential to seriously disrupt our groundwater supplies.

I could understand wind power opponent’s anger and contempt of wind power in our area if they suggested a reasonable alternative to our energy needs—even if they suggested conservation so they don’t use the power that comes from oil, which is polluting and warming our planet, and nuclear, which is still dangerous and so complicated that there is no room for error.

If they really cared about the ‘noise’ issue of wind farms, why don’t they care about the noise of removing mountaintops that comes from mining coal? Is it because that noise and tragic stream pollution haunts the lives of others and not theirs? If they really cared about bird and bat deaths, why don’t they campaign against free-roaming house cats, glass buildings, and automobiles which kill millions of more birds than all of the wind turbines in the world?

As far as the aesthetics or the beauty of the Great Lakes goes, what will the Great Lakes look like when Climate Change, fueled by our fossil-fuel addition, the glacial water supply to them eventually dries them up?

How is the anger against placing renewable energy in the form of wind farms off-shore in our region to be measured against the anger of those people whose lives have been ruined by tearing apart their land and water for coal, oil, and natural gas?

It is because we just don’t care about anyone’s environment except our own neck of the woods. We just want to flip on the switch to turn on our lights (mostly fueled by the burning of coal and natural gas) and drive our vehicles no matter where that energy comes from, as long as it’s not in our backyard or along our shores?

And how come in these days of educated enlightenment don’t we see that we cannot protect our neck of the woods, our environment, if we don’t help protect other environments around the planet? In a matter of days, we have all seen with our own eyes the rapid spread of a single oil spill in the Gulf into other areas—and continues to spread? When will we begin acting on environmental matters with the whole planet in mind?

The longer we avoid making tough choices on our environment, which may mean accepting wind farms off-shore in our area, the fewer choices we are going to have about our energy needs in the future. We have already so made our economy, jobs, and energy needs linked to oil and natural gas that we have little choice but to continue drilling for oil and mining for coal for sometime into the future. And, whether we like it or not, we will have to endure the consequences of that.

Are we going to continually argue facts and figures best suited to our viewpoint and refuse to see how what we do in the Rochester, NY area has a profound effect on everyone else in the world, including ourselves?

Wind turbine opponent speaks in Greece | | Democrat and Chronicle If there was any question about where Alan Isselhard stood on the issue of offshore wind turbines in Lake Ontario, it was answered by the very first thing he said. "We want to see the offshore turbine project defeated. That's what we're after," Isselhard said Thursday evening to about 125 people crowded into the small sanctuary of Lakeview Community Church on Edgemere Drive in Greece. (June 11, 2010) | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York [more on Wind Power in our area]

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