South Dakota residents should think carefully before agreeing to give up tax revenue for the privilege of having their landscapes marred by thousands of massive mechanical machines and hundreds of miles of new transmission lines.
I am from Colorado, but I have spent hundreds of hours driving through S.D., while commuting from Denver to southern Minnesota between 2007 and the present. Rather than traveling east on I-80 and north on I-35, I always chose to travel north on Hwy. 83 from North Platte through the Sand Hills up to that “rare jewel” that is S.D. I would encounter only one wind turbine between the S.D. border and the Minnesota border. This turbine, now still and silent, was at the Rosebud Casino south of Mission. Too costly to remove, it will likely stand silent till the end of time.
From Mission I would travel east, stopping at a farm near Winner for the night, where I would savor the evening sunset and the morning sunrise, marveling at the rare beauty of this still somewhat remote land. In the morning I would continue east and north to Chamberlain, across the Mighty Missouri and east on I-90, knowing that I could travel all the way to the Minnesota border without seeing a single massive turbine.
At the Minnesota border the view changed with the beginning of a 70 mile transmission line, constructed to carry power from the wind turbines that begin to appear. Thousands of miles of these new transmission lines have been built here in the U.S., the European Union and wherever these massive forests of spinning machines are erected.
Further east on I-90 are mile after mile of wind turbines. The serenity of S.D. was gone. Iowa to the south is almost an impenetrable “forest” of wind turbines and transmission lines.
Beginning in 2007, I witnessed the rise of hundreds of wind turbines around Grand Meadow, Minn. They sprouted from the fertile farm fields, the “farmsteads” soon surrounded by giant propellers, the shadows and hum interrupting bacon and eggs in the morning and beef roast and mash potatoes and gravy in the evening. I was born about 15 miles from Grand Meadow, so I was very aware of the disappearing beauty. The name of the town did not lie. It truly was a “grand” meadow. It was being witness to the destruction of the original beauty that gave me the name of my book, “Steal the Wind Reap the Whirlwind,” and the motivation to write it.
“Environmentalists” would, in times past, raise the alarm at obstructions being built by the thousands across the land, but today the “Socio-Enviro-Emotionalists” salivate at the site of these rising monsters, believing they are “saving the planet.”
Hundreds of groups have been formed to fight the “wind monster” here in the United States and in Canada, even more across Europe. Oklahoma is one state where residents are fighting back. Led by a now 87-year-old who wished to retire to his ranch, only to find that a wind farm was going to be built adjacent to his property, a non-profit was formed to take on the powerful wind industry. The website “windwaste.com” describes the hundreds of millions in lost taxes and the impact, especially on education, a cause he fought for his entire life. In his November 2015 email to me, he stated that Oklahoma was 1,000 teachers short in the public schools and the teachers had not had a raise since 2008. South Dakotans should study the battle and the progress of this group before submitting to the power of the wind industry.
Western European countries are vast forests of “Spinning Skyscrapers.” Germany, in particular, is a “symbol” of the madness of replacing “active” power sources with variable “passive” power. Its “Energiewende” (energy transformation) program will cost more than one trillion Euros. At 1.79 times the size of S.D., more than 5,000 miles of new or extended transmission lines are being built to milk about 25,000 turbines. Germany has shut down eight of 17 “zero-emissions” nuclear plants and plans to shut down the remaining plants by 2022. It has also shut down a number of “new” natural gas plants. As a result, its CO2 emissions have remained level or slightly increased since 2010, in spite of the tremendous investments in “renewable” energy. It has even been necessary to build new coal plants to stabilize the Pan-European grid.
Think carefully before you reduce your tax base and mar your pristine landscapes with these mechanical monsters. They will, in all likelihood, have a limited functional lifespan, but will mar the skyline for decades and beyond, too costly to dismantle, too difficult or impossible to recycle.
Duane Hyland, 82, of Golden, Colo., is retired having worked more than 50 years in the computer software field. He is the founder of three companies and author of the book “Steal the Wind Reap the Whirlwind.”
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