TURBINES SPOIL THE VIEW?
Those who oppose wind installations on aesthetic grounds must simply not know what strip mining and mountaintop removal mining for coal look like. They must not know what sludge-filled water below the mines looks like. They must not know what the brown haze over an urban landscape looks like, let alone what it does to the lungs of those living there.
The bottom line: We need electricity. We all depend on it being there when we flip the switch. But as Mr. Tsipouridis of the Hellenic Wind Energy Association says below, “We’re living in the most polluted era of humanity…it’s sheer hypocrisy to spend so much time talking about wind turbines’ noise and aesthetics.”
Fears about the noise from wind turbines are outdated. A University Of Massachusetts, Amherst, study thoroughly established their safety when properly sited. It has been legally proven that a normal conversation can be held at the base of a big turbine. Most other fears are either equally groundless or would be prevented by careful siting.
Debating the Merits of Energy From Air
Joanna Kakissis, November 24, 2007 (NY Times)
Angeliki Synodinou, Mayor, the Greek island of Serifos; Lisa Linowes, executive director, Industrial Wind Action Group; Alistair Danter, wind energy supporter, Isle of Skye;
Perhaps those who find such elegant additions to the already developed landscape on Panachaiko Mountain overlooking the Gulf of Corinth near the city of Patras objectionable...
Localities from New Hampshire to the Greek islands are opposing wind turbine installations for aesthetic reasons. There are also irrational, uninformed and unsubstantiated fears of noise and other dangers.
The spread of wind installations into European localities is driven by the EU goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020.
...prefer this West Virginia mountaintop removal coal mine...
The Greek island of Serifos, rural New Hampshire, the rural northeastern English county of Northumberland, Britain’s Isle of Skye, western Scotland
- The objection in the Greek islands is that the installation would destroy tourism by destroying the islands’ ambience. Greece has much less wind energy than most of the rest of Europe and gets 17% of its income from tourism. Greece gets much of its electricity from the dirtiest of coals and some see it losing tourism due to smog.
- Spain obtains 12% of its electricity from wind and has suffered no noticeable loss of tourism.
- The objection in Northumberland is that the turbines would especially ruin the view by contrasting harmfully with local castles and might, as well, do harm to historic sites when being installed. Rigorous siting procedures carefully protect against this. The 89-mile Kintyre Way hiking trail in western Scotland has a 9-turbine wind farm and views of others but remains popular.
- People in tourism on Britain’s Isle of Skye welcome the installations and say they don’t intrude.
...or this sludge-filled pond. Tourists need electricity, too.
- Mayor Synodinou: “No one would come here…Our island would be destroyed.”
- Linowes, Industrial Wind Action Group, on opposition to turbines: “These are not just one or two turbines spinning majestically in the blue sky and billowing clouds…”
- Catalina Robledo, analyst, Emerging Energy Research: “…people are afraid that there will be these humongous wind parks that will block the sunset…”
- John Ferguson, Save Our Unspoilt Landscape (S.O.U.L.), Northumberland: “The eyes are constantly drawn to them…”
- Danter, tourism business, Isle of Skye: “There’s still a feeling that the west coast of Scotland offers something authentic and real…and people don’t want to lose that.”
- Jason Ormiston, CEO, Scottish Renewables: “Wind parks can be elegant and inviting…”
- Nikos Charalambidis, director, Greenpeace Greece: “If the climate gets worse here, tourists will vanish and not come back…”
- Tsipouridis, Hellenic Wind Energy Association: “We’re living in the most polluted era of humanity…it’s sheer hypocrisy to spend so much time talking about wind turbines’ noise and aesthetics.”