Green Energy? NIMBY

Green energy? NIMBY (not in my back yard).

(See here) a NY Times piece by Pamela J Podger that reports on an eight year delay in getting wind turbines approved in rural Virginia.

What? These rural people would rather see a coal plant approved instead? Oh yeah, I guess that would be OK, because it might give coal miners in the area some work.

If America is going to meet her energy needs without increasing emissions of greenhouse gasses, projects like this are going to have to be approved. Yes, some people might see their rustic lifestyle infringed upon, but for the "greater good" projects like this are going to have to be approved.

Wind turbines need to be put where the wind is. Perhaps some consideration should be given that they should not be placed in areas involving high travel rates of migrating birds, however even this consideration needs to be weighed against the positive impact of wind turbines helping to solve the greenhouse gas emission problem. Global warming threatens the existence of all species living on planet Earth, and that includes bird species.

The majority of society is not going to approve of actions taken to combat global warming if it involves the sacrifice of living in an unheated home. "The masses" are going to need energy to provide heat in the winter and household electricity for their daily lives. Just because a rural landowner can survive with a wood stove for heat in the winter does not mean this is the solution for all the people living in urban areas. First, these same rural landowners would object if all the land around them was stripped of trees, and second, the amount of fossil fuel required to transport all the firewood would be a problem.

Solutions to providing energy are going to have to be arrived at. While wind turbines might not, alone, be the complete answer to all of society's energy needs, they can (and in my opinion WILL) be part of the solution. In order for them to be part of the solution, large numbers of them are going to be required and they need to be put where the wind is.

Cases of "not in my back yard" can not be allowed to stop approval of wind turbines.

What really irks me are environmentalists' opposition to this "green energy" such as the case reported on in the concluding paragraphs of the NY Times piece. Let me quote from it:
Tom Brody and Patti Reum own Bear Mountain Farm and Wilderness Retreat, a lodging and environmental center that attracts birders, stargazers and hikers. It is near the site of the proposed turbines.

If development proceeded, “we would have to leave,” Ms. Reum said. “If our business doesn’t make it, we can’t live here.”
What would I suggest for Tom and Patti? Why don't they just buy some property in the area that includes a mountain ridge? Then get some investors to put up wind turbines on YOUR land and you could then live off the proceeds. You could run tours (hikes) to your wind turbine site from your "environmental center" to show how you, as a concerned environmentalist, are part of the solution and not part of the problem. There might be demand from other "environmentalists" that would like a close up view of what "green energy" looks like.

If that does not satisfy you because you need to live in a "pristine" wilderness area, then sell your land and move on. I would suggest that you use some wisdom when you select your next remote wilderness hideaway. Make sure it does not have much wind or you are apt to have to move on once again.


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