Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Who’s prettier: wind turbines or fracking sites? The New York energy argument from aesthetics.

For a moment, let’s forget about Climate Change and renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions and all the usual stuff about what’s right for the environment and our economy. Let’s look at the energy options in New York State only from the perspective of a beauty contest.
I mean, when you’re out in the country enjoying the landscape as it melts because of Climate… (Whoops, sorry, I promised I wouldn’t go there) and you grab your morning coffee and go out on your porch, what would you rather see?

The visage of fracking or the looming towers of wind turbines? (To be fair, I tried to find negative images for both categories in order to fortify the aesthetics argument—that we should be choosing our energy options on how they look.)

So, with wind turbines you have these gigantic monsters whirling away, ugly as sin to some, destroying the landscape with their incessant droning of those spindly blades.

With fracking sites you have a landscape scarred by trucks, newly built roads, and open dirt and little pools of grey water that look like you wouldn’t want to swim in them.

Just based on looks, what method of getting energy is prettier? Wind turbines or fracking?
From the perspective of the wind turbine haters, wind turbines are just downright ugly. But then there are those who just love them, as they whirl away producing energy from the wind making the planet inhabitable. (Sorry, there I go again.)

I heard a lot about fracking; but I haven’t heard anyone say that they just look terrific. Not even their proponents have said how great tearing up the New York State countryside and placing drilling apparatus all over the place will enhance our state’s looks.

There you are: on the whole, wind turbines are prettier than fracking sites.
I know, this probably isn’t a fair or a sane argument, but a beauty contest is a beauty contest. One wins and goes on to promote events and sell stuff in skimpy attire and the loser goes on to live a normal ‘just-get-over-it’ kind of life.

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