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View Diary: Something to take your mind off indictments: Windfarm blogging (169 comments)

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  •  Fair point, so click through (none)
    to the link from the U.S. General Accounting Office, which conducted the study showing bird impacts at the behest of two anti-wind Congressmen.

    As a general rule, AWEA is scared about the impact to birds - partially because people in the U.S. who get into the wind business tend to be environmentalists, and so they really do care, and partially because, like any business, dead animals are bad P.R.

    I read your longer note upthread, and found it quite compelling. But you should be aware that, yes, in the U.S., we don not have the same land considerations as you do in the U.K. Our farmland is vast, almost beyond comprehension to the average European, and there are literally tens of millions of acres of fertile farmland that are both suitable for wind development, and out of major migration corridors.

    As to the concern about acreage - there are very few (that I am aware of) wind farms in the U.S. that pave their access roads, largely because they tend to be - quite literally - out in the middle of active crop land. If you like, I can send you pictures of wind turbines surrounded by corn, wheat, cows, whatever (in fact, there are some posted in this diary).

    While I respect your concern over the impacts in places where land and habitat is so dear, the U.S. is in a very, very different situation in that we're land rich when it comes to wind, and have the luxury of being careful about where wind farms go to minimize their impact.

    We, too, have bad stories about coal mines, and the associated impacts, concentrated on our own "forgotten people," the Native Americans who bear the brunt of most energy-related industrial development. The Navajo people, in particular, have been forced to accept coal-related diseases and illness, water pollution from oil and gas drilling, cancer from uranium mining - all in the name of America's gluttonous energy appetite.

    Is there plenty we can do to improve our efficiency without building new generation? Of course. But in America, energy is a two-front war - we must attack with efficiency while at the same time staving off new generation from the dirty old men who dominate the field, namely coal, nukes and increasingly "dirty" (in terms of production techniques) natural gas.

    Could we do better? Yes, of course. But we can not afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the very, very good. Wind power can - and is - solving problems in the U.S., and in a nation as obstinate as we are, we can only call that a good thing.

    I am the federal government.

    by mateosf on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 09:26:02 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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