This post began as a response to this comment:
I spent eighteen years working in environmental law and education and only when our mountain ecosystems began to get blasted did I shed the scales from my eyes and see these giant turbines clearly. It’s insane to destroy Vermont in order to save it.
But I thought it important to make the point very clear right on the front page. Here’s my response:
You seem to misunderstand the definition of “destroy,” so let me help.
Mountain top removal turns former mountains into barren, infertile, moonscape plateaus, surrounded by toxic waste, with downstream waters poisoned for hundreds of miles. That IS destruction.
The Lowell wind farm changes a small portion of the landscape in a way that is largely recoverable, and does not endanger the life on the mountain (alters somewhat, yes; endangers, no). That is NOT destruction.
In the photo below, which state is being destroyed – West Virginia (top) or Vermont (bottom)?
It’s VERY simple:
We MUST replace earth-destroying carbon sources with lower-impact energy sources.
Whether you like it or not, the impact of a typical wind project with modern turbines is NOTHING compared to the damage from coal mining, fracking, or other fossil fuel extraction.
And that doesn’t even count the planetary emergency being caused by CO2 production (nice coal-fired smog, there, in Lowell – obliterating the views in the distance, eh? So much more attractive than those turbines…).
We no longer have time to wait for “perfect” energy solutions. It is absolutely imperative we move to “good enough” solutions that stop CO2 inputs into the atmosphere. Now.
We’ve already “broken the arctic,” as Bill McKibben says. We can’t break any more of our planetary climate ecosystems. The planet will be incompatible with human life if we continue the carbon path.
We have two choices: accept a future that involves a lot of wind power in conjunction with other renewables and efficiency, or kill of most of the population (including animal populations) on the planet.
You do not get to choose the latter for the rest of us. Sorry.