05 October 2010

Something is Fishy 'Upstate' ...

In The New York Times recently have been a spate of stories on controversy surrounding wind turbines. First there is this sort of 'I told you so' column by Stanley Fish, basically reiterating a bunch of complaints that people in 'upstate' New York (the lower Hudson Valley and foothills of the Catskills is hours away from 'upstate') have made about the installation of wind turbines near their bucolic communities. Fish opposed the installation of turbines in the town where he has a summer home and seems to think that reiterating his complaints makes them persuasive. Today there is this story about an island in Maine where some residents articulate claims much like Fish's.

As I have made reasonable clear here in the past, I am a pretty confirmed supporter of wind energy. It seems to have a lot going for it. (For instance, unlike Nukes, it generates no lethal waste that needs - and lacks - safe storage for centuries; unlike the 'fracking' process for extracting natural gas that Fish disingenuously mentions as analogous to wind power, it will not poison the water table; unlike oil, it is unlikely to draw us into wars or to despoil beaches and pretty much everything else.) I am not a blind supporter, though. Turbines make noise. The physics of the things pushes us in the direction of large installations, but not inevitably. And the process for planning them (or any large scale technological project) ought to be transparent and not dominated by corporate interests. That said, I think Fish is pretty much wholly off the mark. My plan is to write a separate post on why. I figured this one can serve as background.

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Blogger Stan B. said...

I'm sure one could nitpick something negative about wind power, but compared to all other commercial means of generating power (excl solar)- no contest...

07 October, 2010 14:14  

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