Cohocton Wind Watch: Wind power is not the answer advocates claim it is by Sue Sliwinski
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Friday, January 02, 2009

Wind power is not the answer advocates claim it is by Sue Sliwinski

Viability, as elementary as it may seem, appears not to be part of the discussion when weighing alternatives for a more secure energy future. The fact that the methods we adopt to generate essential power in the coming years must at the very least be viable has not entered into the equation demonstrates that no one is really thinking that far ahead — not even our president-elect.

For him, the symbolic gesture alone has helped propel his political career, and nothing’s more symbolic these days than giant wind turbines. Al Gore and

T. Boone Pickens would have us revamp the nation’s entire electrical infrastructure based on the whims of the breeze, regardless of the fact that it would wreak havoc on thousands of fragile ecosystems, natural landscapes and rural communities overwhelmed in the aftermath of industrial wind power development on such an immense scale.

This irrational, misguided concept fails to acknowledge the extraordinary costs of wind power development and the fact that it cannot generate vital capacity and simply isn’t “viable.”

Research shows there are far superior alternative energies, and none that is so intrusive or degrading. Wind power cannot produce dependably or independently, and consistently fails to live up to even its own low expectations. It misleads us into believing that its development “here” will prevent an oil rig “there” or save our mountaintops from the ravages of coal mining. It won’t. Wind energy’s proliferation simply adds to the rape of the countryside in the relentless pursuit for power, but contributes nothing tangible toward that end.

Controversial carbon-offset programs, tax-avoidance schemes and government mandates that are in large part a result of Pickens’ intensive lobbying efforts, will increase his wealth to the detriment of citizens and taxpayers.

Commercial wind energy should be taken completely off the table when considering alternatives in which to invest our time and resources, but instead, because of political pressure, it’s at the top of the list. A new multibillion-dollar stimulus package may include more tax incentives for wind, even though the current federal program designed to bolster the U. S. renewable energy industry is being exploited by wind power companies.

If viability were the quantifying test, then no wind developer would ever meet the standard. Our decision-makers and their advisers must stop pandering to special interests and start making a genuine effort to understand the basics of the many options out there, and the distinct differences between them.

Wise choices will ensure sustainability and environmental stewardship, not degradation. Industrial wind power won’t stabilize soaring energy costs, stimulate the economy or cool a warming planet. It will only distract us from our goal of finding legitimate solutions that will truly make a meaningful and lasting difference.

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