Diminishing the landscape
Credit: Huron Daily Tribune | April 10, 2017 | www.michigansthumb.com ~~
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One lone tower rising up in the distance on a hazy Michigan morning stands majestic. Five or six of them stationed in a group setting are “interestingly experimental.” But let’s face it, dozens of wind turbines dominating the horizon across countless square miles of open terrain on a bright sunny day has become, for most of us, an eyesore.
The environmental movement righteously embraces the idea of renewable resources for energy production but the environmentalists’ fearmongering cloaked in the green theme seems to be fueled largely by prophesy of unimaginable ecological disaster supported by claims of a looming energy crisis. Enterprising industrialists, local authorities, and unsuspecting landowners are attempting to cash in on the ruse. Meanwhile, common public interest is largely ignored.
Clean, renewable energy is, as it should be, everyone’s concern – but at what cost? We’ve been at this long enough to know by now that attempting to harness the wind is proving to be a bad idea on a number of levels.
Aside from the obvious lack of economic or practical scientific support for building these towering contraptions, there remains one seriously disturbing issue nobody seems willing to talk about: The view.
There is nothing uniformly attractive about a landscape littered with randomly positioned turrets crowned with moving blades pointing in odd directions. At night, the blinking red lights are somewhat reminiscent of driving for miles through a construction zone on I-75. Day and night, as far as the eye can see, these unsightly thingamajigs are a smudge on the Artist’s canvas.
Zoning ordinances and blight laws are in place to prevent industry and eyesores from ruining a neighborhood. For example, fences are required to block unsightly salvage yards from the public eye. Manufacturing operations are not allowed to set up shop in residential areas. Many communities even have rules that dictate how long a homeowner’s lawn is allowed to go unattended before the authorities intervene.
Township policy stipulates that a variance from established land use and zoning ordinances requires a unanimous endorsement of the surrounding neighborhood before an exception will be granted.
How is it that our representatives can so blatantly ignore their own rules and allow such gross visual violation by sanctioning the expansion of man-made mechanisms that anyone within 10 miles will find impossible to ignore?
During a pre-election conversation with a termed-out state representative last summer, I asked for his opinion.
“This windmill issue has the voters split right down the middle,” he said.
The middle of what? I wondered. The majority of tax-paying citizens I have spoken with are strongly opposed to building windmills for a number of legitimate reasons. Nevertheless, the proponents campaigning to expand windmill farms seems to command center stage while the opposition is routinely discredited as disruptive or irrelevant.
As long as taxpayers are going to be subjugated in search of alternative sources of energy, let’s talk seriously about exploiting other less obtrusive methods of producing power. Solar panels can be hidden from view with a few shrubs and trees. Low profile alternative fuel production sites would blend in more amicably with surrounding industry while increasing demand for renewable, home-grown crops like corn and soybeans. And while we’re at it, let’s petition the bureaucracy to quit playing games with EPA-mandated emissions controls and allow the engineers to design fuel economy back into our private vehicles.
Enough is enough! There is no logical or legitimate reason to continue this assault on our senses.
Progress and scientific research will always expose alternatives so while we’re experimenting with new technology, let’s at least try to avoid spoiling the natural beauty that surrounds us. These wind turbine monstrosities are not pleasing to everyone’s eye. As I said in my opening statement, one turbine was majestic, five or six were interestingly experimental, but a complete windmill farm is an eyesore.
This panoramic pollution is an invasion of our privacy of the worst kind, and it represents yet another dimension of government-sanctioned misdirection. Erecting wind turbines to generate electricity makes about as much sense as opening more landfills for profit and we, the tax-paying residents, are the ones left drinking the poisoned water while we view the contaminated countryside.
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