Published DateTo the editor,
Though I do not live around Newfound Lake, I have been there to swim many times over the years. I even hiked up Cardigan Mountain once with my family and almost got blown off the mountain. It is a beautiful area that folks have expressed deep apprehension about scarring with monstrous and ugly wind turbines. To commit such a potentially devastating undertaking should be debated long and hard even if there is a clear economic and environmental benefit. Based on the concerns of many letter writers, one has to wonder if that is the case.
I wonder if anyone has checked into the failed wind turbine operations in Australia? Viv Forbes has some interesting facts derived from that expensive and misguided boondoggle down under.
(1) Unreliable because gentle breezes create no power and high winds necessitate a shutdown to prevent damage;
(2) Winds start and stop suddenly creating network instability plus they create electricity, not when people need it, but when the wind blows;
(3) Back-up gas and coal fired systems must always be idling ready to resume full power. A waste of fuel, labor, land and capital;
(4) Low energy density = large area of land peppered with wind turbines and networks of roads and transmission lines;
(5) So costly that it is highly subsidized with costs passed onto consumers in the form of skyrocketing electric bills;
(6) Even if reducing CO2 levels is an attainable or sensible goal, gas is a far cheaper way to achieve it;
(7) Wind turbines are noisy and dangerous = they kill birds and bats and cause brush fires;
(8) They leave behind a huge decommissioning cost at the end of their short life.
Viv assures us that it wastes community resources and did not benefit the climate or the environment in Australia. Just wondering how thoroughly the pros and cons have been measured before deciding to destroy the scenic beauty of this area? Heck, has anyone bothered to check in with T. Boone Pickens to get his take on how well spent were the millions he poured into wind farms?
As we contemplate placing more of these "giants" throughout this picturesque portion of the state, let's hope we're not chasing some Utopian fantasy in the manner of Don Quixote. Yes I know, he chased windmills that he thought were giants while we chase the wind with giant turbines, convinced we can harness the fickleness of mother nature. Sancho Panza finally anointed Don Quixote as "The Knight of the Sad Countenance". Let's hope that common sense prevails and we don't irretrievably damage our countryside chasing some elusive, far away dream. I'm so glad that so many people are expressing their outrage, unwilling to countenance another sad chapter in the environmental movement gone bad in our own little corner of the world.