Wind turbines may have a place in the overall alternative energy picture as a Band-Aid approach to reduce the bleeding dependencies of imported energy and intensified fossil fuel consumption. But it should not be on Maine’s mountaintops because the scope of their permanent and devastating footprint overwhelms the ecological benefit of their procurement.
Their short life span will not allow enough time to lower Maine’s energy consumption costs or provide the general public a return on their original investment. Conservation of energy use through weatherization and advances in energy allocation through smart meters and appliance upgrades would provide everyone in Maine with an instant return on investment.
There are no immediate or long-term benefits worth permanently destroying the natural environment. To argue that local geography has already been somewhat historically altered and therefore invites further exploitation is like admitting that whatever we have done wrong in the past supports our right to continue to do so in the future.
Mountaintop wind turbines will not make Maine a global player. Since their purpose is to satisfy established industrial energy demands elsewhere, they will not guarantee that new factories will be built here. They will not create enough good jobs to keep our children here.
But, for those of us who will live in their shadows, they will forever remind us of the great irreparable injustice we have done to our environment, perpetrated purely for the financial gain of a few under the guise of humanitarian progress.
Christopher J. Short