I was truly amazed to see so much opposition to wind farms, a necessary and desirable part of any renewable energy future.
Scientist Carl Safina questioned whether this is the right way to go. Well, there is a wrong way, which is to continue to allow unchecked development and construction, and more people without planning a sane energy policy.
If everyone now living here were paying the true costs of burning fossil fuel energy, we might have already seen a serious effort to reduce energy consumption and encourage widespread installation of solar collectors and photovoltaics, in which case there would be less urgency in building a wind farm. A ride around the Hamptons reveals almost none.
But no one, either government, business or homeowners, has given even lip service to this approach, one which the environmentalists, by the way, have been pushing for decades.
Now we face a continued influx of new residents and giant over-consuming energy behemoths called McMansions, all of which should be not only charged a premium for their large energy consumption but for being part of the energy anschluss of the past forty years that has, logically, made a wind farm absolutely necessary.
Why are wind farms disliked more than gas stations, gasoline trucks, pollution-spewing buses and hordes of private cars, all of which characterize our communities today? The old fashioned windmills are now prized cultural relics of history; the new ones represent not filthy or monster reality but sane, safe and sound energy policy.
The alternatives are continued fossil fuel or dangerous nuclear power, or massive energy conservation and efficiency achieved only by severely limiting new construction, raising energy prices, mandating solar panels on all new homes, and refusing to accommodate additional population.
Anyone who thinks there is a free lunch, and that overdevelopment can be accommodated without either stringent energy conservation measures or wind power is misinformed and is misleading the public about what needs to be done. Wind energy should be embraced heartily; to fail to do so is in effect becoming a climate denier.
[Lorna Salzman is a NY, USA writer. The above article is originally published by “East Hampton Star” on May 31.]
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