According to a recent Telegram editorial (“PUC made right call on wind power investment,” April 15), “From an environmental perspective, the benefits of expanded windpower are worth the costs.” Oh?
Those of us who have examined the cost/benefit ratio aren’t making that kind of blanket statement.
In fact, we’ve found it’s only worth the costs if you don’t know what those costs are.
For the fact that anyone still has to ask this, we can thank the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Angus King.
King has been a major player at NRCM for years, alternately with writing Maine’s expedited wind law, pushing it through the Legislature and setting up First Wind to profit from it.
This would be fine if it made environmental sense. But does it?
Does windpower reduce atmospheric carbon? No.
It can’t, because it doesn’t provide enough energy to replace other sources, so you must still run those other sources.
Plus, there’s the huge amount of pollution embedded in the construction process: New roads into wild places, trees destroyed (a major carbon sink), diesel and gas burned and pollution at the factory level.
All this to provide less energy than we can provide with conservation.
If the NRCM was doing its job, the rest of us wouldn’t need to still point this out.
Particularly shameful is NRCM’s silence on the topic of bird and bat deaths.
These are far worse than industry estimates.
With some birds, such as eagles, any deaths at all are illegal. Industry knows it has a looming problem here.
Again, they are getting cozy with environmental groups, crafting regulations that would give them immunity from prosecution in exchange for donations.
To quote John 8:32: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Let’s hope.
Does windpower reduce atmospheric carbon? No. It can’t, because it doesn’t provide enough enough energy to replace other sources, so you must still run those other sources.
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