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Wind farms' impact still up in air  

I recently attended a presentation in my hometown of Blenheim on the development of wind farms, which seem to be all the rage right now.

The evening was hosted by a company called AIM, who uses the technology to produce power and sell it.

I have heard different opinions about this method of energy production.

My greatest concern is the environment and the birds in our area.

We are a main corridor for the migration of many species of birds and I worry about how they will be affected by these wind turbines. I listened to many conversations during the evening. When company officials were asked about danger to the birds, they claimed studies showed no danger.

Who did the studies and who was paying for them?

Information that I have read on the Internet claims that similar farms in Europe and elsewhere have had a detrimental effect on wildlife mating and birthing rituals and the overall health of animals and human beings alike, not to mention ruining the pleasant and peaceful look of our beautiful countryside.

These windmills are absolutely huge.

When I first heard about them, I actually pictured the old-fashioned windmills that you see in a farmer’s field, lazily throwing a shadow over a small pump house at its base.

Not so.

Then there is the potential hazard of toxins in the turbine itself. No one wants to discuss this, or talk about the disposal of such waste when the turbine ends its lifecycle (about 20 years).

What about the ultrasound waves that will be emitted from this machine, or the vibrations created by its props?

What happens to them when they are no longer functional? Will they be taken?

The only reason companies are installing these things is because they are going to make a profit.

But at what cost to us as a community?

What are the long-term effects of these machines on the environment and on our individual health?

No one knows. But we need to be asking these questions and many more.

Do we want to leave our children the heritage of an unsightly countryside littered with potential toxic waste and decaying towers that are witness to our own greed and inefficiency?

Haven’t we learned our lesson yet?

Is the answer to our never-ending need that we must create more power to satisfy our lust to have more?

Or could it be time to decide enough is enough?

Why can’t we preserve and conserve?

Would it mean we would have to go without what we really need? I think not.

How many phones do we need in one household? How many computers? How many televisions?

How many stereos? How many appliances?

Is the extra fridge in the garage really necessary to hold our beer and pop?

I myself am scared about what future generations will inherit.

Crushing a pop can or recycling a plastic bottle isn’t enough anymore.

We need to look at the bigger issues and ask questions.

We all have our own journey, and we all share the same bus on that journey.

This is a time of human awakening to what we need to do for the planet and for ourselves to ensure that the human race continues to evolve in a healthy and safe environment. Corporations need to awaken too.

Some have. Some have not.

We need to ask, and ask again, and ask again until we are sure we are allowing the proper use of our planet’s resources.

Gregory Scratch

Blenheim

The Chatham Daily News

11 March 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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