Aesthetics is the study of the experience of sensory and emotional-sensory values. When objecting to wind farms on Backbone and Meadow Mountains, we do not question the beauty of wind farms; we object to their ruinous effect on the aesthetic, primarily visual, resources of the area.
Forty-story structures would overpower highly sensitive viewing areas. At night, the rotating strobes would be incompatible with the present serene countryside. The population and the visitors of this area would not praise it more for the “green power” installations; they would lament the irreversible loss of scenic, rural, pastoral environments.
To this change of the lay of the land, construction vehicles with a length of up to 130 feet, with turning radius of not less than 100 feet, and loaded weights of up to 90 tons, would roll over small State roads, newly hewn dirt trails and ramps, accessing each of the 40 locations. Delivery for each wind turbine may require about eight tractor trailer loads. Assuming 40 wind turbines for Backbone Mountain, this will result in not less than 300 round trips.
After completion, in the wider vicinity of the towers, between 1/2 to 1 mile, there will the penetrating noise of the revolving blades, vibration, with bird kill, and other nuisances, such as ice throw in winter.
Scenery or aesthetics management is a key element of any planning process that is committed to integrating human values into ecosystem management. The proposed wind farms do not fit into this process because they would bring green energy only in an environmentally destructive form.
The wind farms would be the proverbial Trojan horse: Masqueraded as a green energy source, they would bring esthetic and environmental destruction.
There are anecdotal references to the positive experiences with wind energy in countries like Germany. But these countries are careful and selective in placing their wind farms. For example, in the scenic Bavaria there are less than 2 percent of Germany’s wind farms, and none in a scenic mountain, lake, and river setting. Moreover, under the recent amendment of the German Renewable Energy Law, new wind power projects are encouraged to be kept offshore.
5 January 2008
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