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Wind Power Not so Clean or Green

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The article, excerpted below (link) was written by Steve E. Wright, an aquatic biologist and a former commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. It seems that the incentives for "green" power have trumped not only common sense, but other environmental values. This fanatacism about an unproven problem, anthropogenic global warming ("AGW") is cause an awful lot of damage.

September 28, 2011

The Not-So-Green Mountains

By STEVE E. WRIGHT

Craftsbury, Vt.

BULLDOZERS arrived a couple of weeks ago at the base of the nearby Lowell Mountains and began clawing their way through the forest to the ridgeline, where Green Mountain Power plans to erect 21 wind turbines, each rising to 459 feet from the ground to the tip of the blades.

This desecration, in the name of “green” energy, is taking place in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on one of the largest tracts of private wild land in the state. Here and in other places — in Maine and off Cape Cod, for instance — the allure of wind power threatens to destroy environmentally sensitive landscapes.

Erecting those turbines along more than three miles of ridgeline requires building roads — with segments of the ridgeline road itself nearly half as wide as one of Vermont’s interstate highways — in places where the travel lanes are now made by bear, moose, bobcat and deer.

******

Ironically, most of the state’s environmental groups have not taken a stand on this ecologically disastrous project. Apparently, they are unwilling to stand in the way of “green” energy development, no matter how much destruction it wreaks upon Vermont’s core asset: the landscape that has made us who we are.

The pursuit of large-scale, ridgeline wind power in Vermont represents a terrible error of vision and planning and a misunderstanding of what a responsible society must do to slow the warming of our planet. It also represents a profound failure to understand the value of our landscape to our souls and our economic future in Vermont.

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Yep I've brought up this issue before, no one cares though. By its very nature, wind power can often be most effective when built along ridgelines, which concentrate wind. Ridgelines, however, tend to be otherwise uninhabited, and building roads and turbines in these areas eradicates wildlife habitat as well as the natural beauty of the area in question.

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Yep I've brought up this issue before, no one cares though. By its very nature, wind power can often be most effective when built along ridgelines, which concentrate wind. Ridgelines, however, tend to be otherwise uninhabited, and building roads and turbines in these areas eradicates wildlife habitat as well as the natural beauty of the area in question.

Wonder why Waldo's so silent here. It's eerie.

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Wonder why Waldo's so silent here. It's eerie.

Because global warming is the current fad and other environmental issues are out of vogue.

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Wonder why Waldo's so silent here. It's eerie.

:lol: eerie? Really? I am heartened to realize you require validation through my comment!

in any case, your pitiful transparent attempt to strike a wedge issue hardly seemed worthy of more than my initial cursory review. And really, this is only your first bait attempt... I'm still debating whether I should wait for another bait... like you recently did chasing me across two separate threads with your exact same post, clamoring for further validation, crying out for my reply/comment! :lol:

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Because global warming is the current fad and other environmental issues are out of vogue.

fad hey? I'd expect you to be a tad more reserved on your overt baseless generalization, particularly when we have such a fine dish served up by jbg for reference and comparative 'vogue' rendering...

as I interpret jbg's wedge dynamics at play, we have an ~5k of mountain ridgeline that will ultimately host 21 turbines. I also understand that the approval decision was only granted when two MOU's were struck between the recognized governmental stewards of environmental protection within Vermont, the state's Agency of Natural Resources, and the applying power company. As I understand, the MOU's cover strict adherence to environmental restoration, inclusive of a trust sufficient to cover costs associated with ultimate decommissioning (projected 30 year timeline). Now, ultimately, you and I may not like the resultant visual impact of the turbines on the horizon... but... in that comparative 'vogue' balance you beaked off about, how does that visual stack up against the outright devastation of whole western U.S. and Canadian forests as a result of the global warming impacts on pine-beetle devastation, direct and through increased wildfire propensity? Care to strike up a wedge play on that comparative level? Do you have a vogue scale you'd like to bring forward to measure degrees of fad, hey?

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It's similar to Ontario Liberals wanting to put windmills in Scarborough Bluffs, it's a terrible idea and aren't the Bluffs a heritage site ?

I think there's a moratorium on this until October/11 so we'll see what happens after the election, another good reason not to re-elect McGuinty.

http://www.savethebluffs.ca/

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No energy sourse is clean - it`s impossible...even the human machine will eat....work ---- then make a mess when he shits... Kind of a sad joke that God played when he created us - bio-machines that are inefficient and give off waste...If we could use every last bit of energy we consume - we would not need energy...it`s the curse of physical existance.....the best we can to is keep our crap in one pile...and attempt to manage it.....Wind power in time would deplete our bird population and in time a palgue of insects would emerge..we just can`t win.

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in any case, your pitiful transparent attempt to strike a wedge issue hardly seemed worthy of more than my initial cursory review.

So, attack when you have no good answer?

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Wonder why Waldo's so silent here. It's eerie.

:lol: eerie? Really? I am heartened to realize you require validation through my comment!

in any case, your pitiful transparent attempt to strike a wedge issue hardly seemed worthy of more than my initial cursory review. And really, this is only your first bait attempt... I'm still debating whether I should wait for another bait... like you recently did chasing me across two separate threads with your exact same post, clamoring for further validation, crying out for my reply/comment! :lol:

So, attack when you have no good answer?

I keep forgetting just how ultra-sensitive you are, particularly when push comes to whine! :lol: (sorry, nice try... you were not "attacked").

I gave you an answer... a good answer... wait... a great answer! I highlighted your continued baiting approach and I emphasized your (failed) wedge play. It's unfortunate your wedge play didn't have the foresight to actually check out the decision and realize the MOU's struck to ensure restoration after construction as well as restoration after decommissioning... as brokered between the state of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources and the applying power company... you know, the Vermont state department mandated as the steward protecting the states environment. Perhaps, while you're shedding crocodile tears over the ~5km of Vermont mountain ridgeline, you might save a few for the massive devastation to U.S. and Canadian forests as attributed to climate change/pine beetle... a recent figure I read had just B.C. forest impact at over 160,000 km2. Perhaps you'd like to sink further by having your initial quote played back to you, hey? Or maybe you'd like to double-down and deny mountain-beetle impacts are as a direct result of global warming... sure you can, right?

This fanatacism about an unproven problem, anthropogenic global warming ("AGW") is cause an awful lot of damage.

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Perhaps, while you're shedding crocodile tears over the ~5km of Vermont mountain ridgeline, you might save a few for the massive devastation to U.S. and Canadian forests as attributed to climate change/pine beetle... a recent figure I read had just B.C. forest impact at over 160,000 km2. Perhaps you'd like to sink further by having your initial quote played back to you, hey? Or maybe you'd like to double-down and deny mountain-beetle impacts are as a direct result of global warming... sure you can, right?
With fewer pejoratives you make a good point. If indeed there is global warming, anthropogenic or natural there are consequences.

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I gave you an answer... a good answer... wait... a great answer! I highlighted your continued baiting approach and I emphasized your (failed) wedge play. It's unfortunate your wedge play didn't have the foresight to actually check out the decision and realize the MOU's struck to ensure restoration after construction as well as restoration after decommissioning... as brokered between the state of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources and the applying power company... you know, the Vermont state department mandated as the steward protecting the states environment. Perhaps, while you're shedding crocodile tears over the ~5km of Vermont mountain ridgeline, you might save a few for the massive devastation to U.S. and Canadian forests as attributed to climate change/pine beetle... a recent figure I read had just B.C. forest impact at over 160,000 km2. Perhaps you'd like to sink further by having your initial quote played back to you, hey? Or maybe you'd like to double-down and deny mountain-beetle impacts are as a direct result of global warming... sure you can, right?
If indeed there is global warming, anthropogenic or natural there are consequences.

if? If there is global warming? Anytime you lay a freebie up, you can expect to have it played... you sir, are on the fringe of fringe. Few (any???) "reputable" skeptic/deniers disavow that the relatively recent enhanced and accelerated warming has/is occurring. Since you felt emboldened enough to start this thread, don't hesitate to indicate what you (interpret) as the causal link between the mountain pine-beetle and the devastation of U.S. & Canadian forests... if there isn't global warming, just what do you attribute as the causal link between the U.S. & Canadian forest destruction and the rising encroachment of the mountain pine-beetle?

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This article may make interesting reading, Embrace of Renewables Has a Hidden Cost . In yesterday's New York Times, a somewhat left-leaning paper, there was a devastating analysis of the naivete and inefficiency of so-called "renewable" energy sources. For reasons laid out in the article they require massive subsidies. The short version of the problem is that solar power is quite available in the middle of a sunny day, other times not so much. Wind power is similarly intermittent. As the linked article states:

Is the global effort to combat climate change, painstakingly agreed to in Paris seven months ago, already going off the rails? Germany, Europe’s champion for renewable energy, seems to be having second thoughts about its ambitious push to ramp up its use of renewable fuels for power generation.

Edited by jbg

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Ironically, most of the state’s environmental groups have not taken a stand on this ecologically disastrous project. Apparently, they are unwilling to stand in the way of “green” energy development, no matter how much destruction it wreaks upon Vermont’s core asset: the landscape that has made us who we are....

If this bothers you, I take it you are out fighting to completely ban coal power then? You know with the mountain top removal, dumping sludge into valleys, polluting lakes, streams, fires forcing the relocation of entire towns, breathing issues causing thousands upon thousands of premature deaths, etc.

Edited by Guest

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If this bothers you, I take it you are out fighting to completely ban coal power then? You know with the mountain top removal, dumping sludge into valleys, polluting lakes, streams, fires forcing the relocation of entire towns, breathing issues causing thousands upon thousands of premature deaths, etc.

My post was about wind power, and up to date articles that it isn't clean and/or economical.

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Looking at the IESO website this evening,I see wind turbines are producing 1330 MW out of a total capacity of 4361 MW.That's only 30%,not very good is it?I'll try and check this site more often to see if the output on any given day approaches anywhere near 4361 MW.

http://www.ieso.ca/

http://canwea.ca/wind-energy/ontario/

The term renewable is very misleading,I think intermittent energy is more accurate.

http://www.windontario.ca/

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Looking at the IESO website this evening,I see wind turbines are producing 1330 MW out of a total capacity of 4361 MW.That's only 30%,not very good is it?I'll try and check this site more often to see if the output on any given day approaches anywhere near 4361 MW.

http://www.ieso.ca/

http://canwea.ca/wind-energy/ontario/

The term renewable is very misleading,I think intermittent energy is more accurate.

http://www.windontario.ca/

Feelgood approach and not a solution for much of anything.

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Guest

My post was about wind power, and up to date articles that it isn't clean and/or economical.

I know your post was about disrupting wildlife by building roads in previously wild areas. I get that there is a cost to wind power in that region. Hearing you voice your concern for this relatively minor impact on wildlife and nature made me wonder how you view the environmental devastation and human health problems caused by mining and burning coal or the oilsands or pipelines. I agree with your concern. We should absolutely be sourcing energy in the most environmentally methods possible.

Edited by Guest

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Feelgood approach and not a solution for much of anything.

I suggest that under the existing technologies you may be correct. I have been told that the major constraint is the storage of electrical energy. It is also assumed that technology and innovation will lead to the ability to store and transfer electrical energy far more efficiently than to-day. At that point, green energy will dominate.

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I know your post was about disrupting wildlife by building roads in previously wild areas. I get that there is a cost to wind power in that region. Hearing you voice your concern for this relatively minor impact on wildlife and nature made me wonder how you view the environmental devastation and human health problems caused by mining and burning coal or the oilsands or pipelines. I agree with your concern. We should absolutely be sourcing energy in the most environmentally methods possible.

If you feel any sense of responsibility to our planet, the only moral choice is to change your lifestyle to minimize your energy requirements. In real terms, that means that Canadians should leave this climate en masse and move much closer to the equator, where it does not take anywhere near as much energy to simply survive?

We can all survive without air conditioning, but it is impossible to survive here without heat and plenty of it. Heat requires energy, lots of it. When are you heading south?

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I find this idea about moving to warmer climates as being the only moral choice to be rather stupid.

As stupid as the idea that of we don't stop fossil fuels right now then we are doomed.

It's a simple matter of reducing coal (already happening without a carbon tax yet), increasing natural gas, nuclear, hydro, wind and solar.

Wind and solar are already growing at nice rates and while they are not perfect for the environment they are usually still much better than fossil fuels.

Let's watch and see what happens as renewables increase their market share in the coming decades.

It will prolong the life and use of many fossil fuels.

It will also likely lead to a decrease in carbon and other mass pollutants.

Both are fine with me - especially if I have more choice as to what energy source I can use.

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If you feel any sense of responsibility to our planet, the only moral choice is to change your lifestyle to minimize your energy requirements. In real terms, that means that Canadians should leave this climate en masse and move much closer to the equator, where it does not take anywhere near as much energy to simply survive?

We can all survive without air conditioning, but it is impossible to survive here without heat and plenty of it. Heat requires energy, lots of it. When are you heading south?

Actually, it hit 130 degrees F in Kuwait the other day and people are dying due to conditions exacerbated by the extreme heat. Interesting fact though, we can run both heaters and air conditioners with clean, renewable energy.

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I know your post was about disrupting wildlife by building roads in previously wild areas. I get that there is a cost to wind power in that region. Hearing you voice your concern for this relatively minor impact on wildlife and nature made me wonder how you view the environmental devastation and human health problems caused by mining and burning coal or the oilsands or pipelines. I agree with your concern. We should absolutely be sourcing energy in the most environmentally methods possible.

The difference is, coal is viable, it has value, wind isn't and does not. Not unless of course it's subsidized by the kind of politician people like you elect.

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Both are fine with me - especially if I have more choice as to what energy source I can use.

Choice is good but renewable power no matter what boosters say wind and solar cannot replace dispatch-able or base load power sources. This puts a practical limit on the amount of wind/solar that can be added to the grid (around 10-15% of capacity). If the amount of wind/solar increases beyond this the cost of such power increases dramatically. I would be very happy to hear a politician state clearly that they understand this limit and would only seek to increase wind/solar only up to some max and would continue to invest in traditional dispatch-able power sources to ensure supply meets demand. Edited by TimG

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