Will giant windmills be built along the Lake Erie shoreline for the purpose of generating energy?
A lot of controversy has been swirling about this. Some proponents of wind power have taken a green stance, contending that wind power is an alternative to “dirty” energy, especially since the recent nuclear disaster in Japan. Windmills do not pollute the air, at least not in the traditional sense. But they are eyesores, and they do interfere with flying animals.
Judging from what I have read from the various sides on this issue, it does not appear that windmills ever will generate a large portion of the energy we use.
Especially since wind power appears to be minimally polluting, I have made a determined effort to be impartial. But no matter how we look at the energy issue, there does not appear to be any solution that is harmless.
Developers stand to take a very bad hit if wind towers are built along the Lake Erie shoreline and someone finds, say, a few dead bald eagles in the vicinity. That is a very possible scenario, since it is well documented that the Pennsylvania section of the Lake Erie shoreline is well traveled by bald eagles, one of our most cherished national symbols.
How long after that will it be before the windmills are shut down, left to be pointless, very visible reminders of man’s futile efforts to circumvent nature?
The whole issue of wind power will be left hanging in the wind. No matter that there are places where it might be feasible, it will have gotten a serious black eye.
Every time I write about energy issues I keep coming back to the fact that there is no such thing as energy without cost to the environment, at least not yet. Start with the simplest basic fact about energy conversion: Every time energy is converted from one form to another, as from wind movement to electricity, energy is lost. That is cost.
Forget about any emotional, holier-than-thou ranting from environmentalists. Energy pollution is not the fault of someone else. We all share the burden.
Maybe the best start for us is trying to avoid wasting energy, to be more efficient energy users. It is a step in the right direction.
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