Mischa Gaus’s recent piece on wind power and the presumption made that the industry is getting an unfair rap, possibly brought on by itself, makes some good points. But it fails to connect the dots so as to present the whole picture…probably because that picture isn’t very pretty.
The impacts of commercial wind power development across the country have not even begun to be realized, because the ever-increasing number of developers are still quietly proceeding through the preliminaries that will enable them to cash in quickly when the real gold rush begins. It’s going to be the fleecing of America on a scale like we’ve never seen before. In NY State alone, 1300 turbines are planned for just two counties! And there are three times that amount planned for the rest of the state! (It might be interesting to ask the average guy on the street if he knows anything at all about it, since he’ll be affected each time he receives his electric bill.)
It never ceases to amaze me how authors like Gaus are so quick to point to other countries to prove the merits of the commercial wind industry. Just a slightly closer look would reveal that the very reason we’re about to be invaded here in the US is because of the failures in other places around the world. Denmark, for instance, is reported by their own energy analysts to have consumed just 4 % of the huge amount of wind power generated in that country in 2003… mainly due to the fact that wind so often generates electricity when it’s not needed or wanted. It’s the countries around Denmark that are benefiting because they get to buy this expensive juice at a huge discount while Denmark consumers pay the highest costs in Europe. Not only that, but opposition groups have appeared there as well as in most other places where the unpleasant impacts of industrial wind power must be endured, AND their co2 levels are still rising…up 7.5% in 2003 from the year before!
I’m also not surprised at the attack Gaus made on the energy experts who don’t happen to be in anyone’s pocket and who are willing to call it like they see it. Not surprisingly, our most experienced people are the ones with many years behind them, and that means they may indeed have had some connection with coal at some point, given that it’s the most abundant fuel source in the world. But if one were to actually read Glenn Schleede’s papers, for instance, they would know that his work is comprised mostly of verifiable data….and very difficult to dispute. I guess that’s why so many just point to his ‘coal days’…It’s much easier than trying to somehow disprove the numbers that are routinely the bulk of his reports.
Many of the newly organized wind development companies are backed by some of the most powerful investment firms in the world. JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have each officially blown onto the scene as the list of opportunists seeking to exploit the rural countryside continues to grow. Grid operators across the nation have been flooded with applications to build and connect thousands of mind boggling, gigantic machines, whether it be in highly-valued scenic view-sheds, sensitive wildlife habitats, or directly within the borders of residential communities, and every indication is that more requests are on the way.
Government mandates creating a false market have spurred the huge corporations to front the smaller companies like ‘Noble Environmental’ and ‘Zilkha Energy’ (now calling themselves Horizon Wind) and together they’ve joined forces with other state agencies like Washington’s Wind Working Group, NY’s NYSERDA, and Kansas’s Kansas Energy Council. All are working in concert throughout the country, combining resources and leaving little doubt as to the level of success they’ll likely achieve in their campaign to glorify commercial wind power and to (more importantly) conceal and trivialize it’s many flaws.
Recently Noble Environmental hosted an ‘informational’ meeting in the small community of Bliss, NY. I decided to attend, and when I entered the old school auditorium, I was shocked. Talk about intimidating!
The stage was brimming with what appeared to be VIP wannabe’s donned in ‘Noble’ shirts, while the walls were literally lined with still more shirts, not unlike a bunch of bouncers. I found an empty seat, and as I watched the miniature ‘windmill’ to the side of the stage rotate slowly in front of about three hundred or so country folk, I couldn’t help but think of a disturbing article I had just recently read that seemed to be playing out right before my eyes. It was about fascism…and the points made were these:
American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. American fascism is not dangerous until there’s a coalition that purposely undertakes a campaign to propel their platform. An American fascist puts money ahead of human beings, and is often ruthless and deceitful in doing so. They don’t use violence, instead they poison the channels of public information, and because they’re often in bed with the nation’s largest corporations – they can gain control of newspapers and broadcast media – and promote their lies with ease.
These observations were made by Vice President Henry Wallace in 1944, when the NY Times asked him to write a piece answering the question: What is a fascist?
Wallace also notes: The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by the environment and adapted to the immediate circumstances. Their propaganda carefully cultivates disunity, and they capitalize on all opportunities to impugn democracy. Their agenda is economic as they merge corporate interests with those of the state. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to deceive the public….
They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.
Speaking indirectly of the fascists that Wallace would directly name almost a decade later, President Roosevelt brought the issue to its core: "These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power."
What’s happening now is eerily similar to that description from over 50 years ago. Commercial wind developers are
creating conditions reminiscent of times most would rather not relive. They’re riding roughshod over the system
and over people’s rights, and are disregarding the habitat and basic needs of wildlife AND of human beings.
Communities, families, and lifelong friendships in rural America are being systematically torn apart by a well-
orchestrated and securely financed scheme employing divide and conquer tactics, purposefully misleading
information, and the promise of prosperity for all who’ll support and believe in the ‘dream’.
It’s time to speak plainly and without fear of the obviousness of this unprecedented situation, as each and every day another portion of a concerned and well-meaning public is carefully exposed to the ‘green’ idea of commercial wind power. It may well be that indeed fascism is rising again in America…this time using as it’s catalyst today’s very critical dilemmas and the urgent need to resolve them.
Sue Sliwinski, Sardinia (NY)