It seems to me to be kind of like jumping off a cliff. Once done, there is no going back, no pause, no rewind, that’s it – it is done. That is what “Lighthouse Wind,” the the proposed industrial wind turbine project, is, in my estimation.
We stand on the precipice of disrupting the fate of one of the greatest migratory bird routes in North America and we have the audacity to actually consider it when it is quite possibly an irreversible and unmitigated disaster. If this worst case scenario occurs and this migratory route is destroyed, the Osprey and American Bald Eagle are killed off in the town of Yates – then what?
If the government steps in and shuts the turbines down – and I argue they will eventually because they will have to – what will happen to all of the dead rusting turbines? Who will pay the untold millions to remove the behemoths and return the ecosystem to its original state? Do a quick Google search of dead turbines on the internet and you’ll get your answer.
Who will pay to repopulate the American Bald eagle and other species? Everything has a cost. I am fairly certain that Apex, or the unknown entity the turbines are sold to, will not. Well, that leaves the taxpayer on the hook. Even worse, I am guessing there will not be pockets deep enough to pay such an astronomical cost, and these rotting 600-foot giants will become Yates’ legacy. Everyone gone like rats from a sinking ship except for the poor folks of the Town of Yates and/or Orleans County.
I am not principally opposed to any form of alternate power, either proven or theoretical, including wind turbines. But – and this is a huge but – you cannot cut off your proverbial nose to spite your face. Is it justifiable to take such a catastrophic risk to potentially gain some “green” or “renewable” energy?
I will leave it to the experts to argue if wind turbines are actually truly “green” or not. To me it is simple math. Assuming if we will, that Apex senior management is in the wind business to produce green energy in order to better the planet, how in the daylights can they justify the slaughter of hundreds or thousands of birds that contribute to the exact ecosystem they are presumably trying to save?
Everything we do to produce energy on this planet has a cost including that to the environment. I accept that collateral damage is a cost of doing business; it’s unfortunate but a reality. Having said that, ethical energy producers have learned to limit this collateral damage and mitigate the losses as much as possible. Ergo, when the cost outweighs the benefit, you walk away.
Cost can mean many things. As I argued above, it can be the destruction of the environment, the rape of the town of Yates and Orleans County’s beauty, or the millions in damages carried on the backs of the taxpayers. What I can say with a great deal of certainty is it will not be borne by the executives of Apex, as they will have made their profit and got the hell out of Dodge by the time all hell breaks loose.
Vincent Mulholland of Canada owns and frequently visits a cottage in Lyndonville year-round.
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