Have you heard the statement that the giant wind turbines proposed for Barbour and Randolph counties would bring in tourists?
In flat, featureless lands or the desert of Palm Springs, giant turbines may draw tourists for a while. Here, we have lots of features and we already have tourists.
They come to see our mountains, to canoe, kayak, swim, wade and fish in our waters, to hunt in our forests and fields, to ride our little excursion trains, to visit our old cemeteries and genealogy centers, to drive and motorcycle along our country roads, enjoying our natural scenery, to stroll, hike, bike and ride horses on our trails, to clamber and crawl around in our caves, to view vast forested vistas from our mountain tops, to camp in our wilderness or campgrounds, to ski across our countryside or down our slopes, to photograph our scenic splendor and wildlife, to watch and participate in our Civil War re-enactments, to take in our festivals and fairs, to explore our towns and shops and to stay in our motels, B&B’s and inns. Do we want to discourage and forsake these tourists?
Our trees and landscapes change with the seasons. A ridgetop line of giant wind turbines is a line of giant wind turbines. They change only in the speed and position of the blades, looming over the whole terrain for the turbines’ 15- to 20-year lifespan. Then what?
Our mountains are among the oldest on earth. Why would we want to kill our ancient mountain ridgetops, their life-giving watersheds and our growing tourist businesses for the promises made by multinational corporations of a few tourists for a few years?
Today or tomorrow, ask our legislators to say “No” to these corporations. Ask for an immediate moratorium on giant wind turbines in the Mountain State. Ask the legislators to say “Yes” to real backyard wind turbines, small ones.
18 January 2008
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