As far as wind power on Cape Ann is concerned, the answer my friend is not blowing in the wind.
Let’s start with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust’s wind power map of Gloucester. We are right in the middle with a less-than-adequate location for wind power. We are handicapped by geography to start with. Not enough strong winds.
Now let’s look at the economic. Without government subsidies, wind power does not make economic sense, and Varian and others would not put up turbines if they did not get the “free money.” Just ask them to give back the subsidies and tax breaks to overburdened city taxpayers and see what they say.
Taxpayers need to be reminded that a subsidy is no more than the government reaching into your pocket and taking out your money to give to a private company for their benefit, not yours. It is a tax you are paying and nothing more. You pay for it period!
In my humble opinion, wind towers are a form of pollution just like any other. They are visual pollution, and visual pollution poisons the aesthetic soul just as surely as particulate matter from coal plants poisons the body. If you don’t think your visual environment has a physical and mental impact on your body, then you are wrong. It affects your mental and physical being and, thus, your immune system.
Wind power may be “cool” and may be “green,” but it needs to be out at sea, out of sight, out of mind, and out of hearing where there is more wind and fewer bugs. Yep, bugs – their dried and splattered bodies cut down turbine blade efficiency by a significant percent making the whole proposition even less economical.
Common sense says buy less plastic junk, turn off the billions of Christmas lights people seem to have on for months on end, buy fewer gadgets with features you don’t need and can’t figure out, use less electricity, and save money by reducing consumption.
If we have to have these huge, ugly towers sprouting like alien weeds marring our landscapes, then we should at least require those who impose them on us to post a removal bond so that their rusting hulks will be removed in the future.
Concord Street, Gloucester
7 April 2008