Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Points on the Wind Power Moratorium

(This article appeared in the February, 2013 edition of Green Energy Times:)

Georgia Mtn Wind, Vermont. Photo: Katherine Norris

By George Harvey

Unwittingly, perhaps, a local politician gave me a set of bullet points on why some people wanted a windpower moratorium. Here they are, with my comments:

1. Windpower is said to do environmental damage to birds, bats, and ridgetop habitats.

If you think about it almost all human development has some sort of associated damage. The issue should not be whether damage is done, but whether we will  do more damage by putting windpower in, or by failing to put it in.

Independent studies of bird and bat populations show little damage to them from wind turbines. But some scientists say global warming will render about one million entire species extinct.

Groton WInd Farm, NH. Photo coutesy of NeilMcIver

Only a small portion of ridgetops can be damaged at all, because most of it is parkland or reserved forest. Siting laws and regulations protect what remains rather strictly. By contrast, failing to act on global warming will severely damage all eco-systems, including ridgetops.

On balance, we need windpower to protect the environment, because it saves birds and bats, and helps preserve ridgeline habitats.

2. Some people say wind turbines are ugly.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

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Points on the Wind Power Moratorium

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