Recently, my wife and I were blessed with an early Christmas gift from our son. We spent a week in the beautiful state of Hawaii. I would like to share with you some of our experiences. I will not excite you with details about Pearl Harbor, the volcano, nor the Space Observatory located at 14,000 feet above sea level on the Big Island. Although the star shower from that vantage point was an awesome experience, I wish instead to tell you what I observed and discovered with relevance to the Hawaiian people’s experience with wind turbines.
At 7,000 feet above sea level, we stopped at a ranger station, and I had an interesting conversation with a young ranger who held a degree in biology from the University of Oklahoma. Because he was a native Hawaiian, his love for nature provided an understanding of the delicate ecological system that makes Hawaii so inviting and attractive to all forms of life that have the ability to breathe. We learned how to breathe at 14,000 feet, what to expect as we climbed to greater heights, and the rules of behavior that visitors must realize.
When I asked about the wind turbines that rest silent and unmoving on the jetties close to the rugged seashores of the mountains, he responded with the following statement.
“We are more concerned with the ecology of our island than of wind energy. We have two species of bats that near extinction. That is more important to our people.”
He continued, “I am not an expert of wind turbines, but I do know they were installed around 2008, and they did not prove to be as efficient as they were advertised to be.”
We continued up the mountain to our destination, stopping at a sheep-shearing station around 9,000 feet for a meal. It was there our tour bus driver – another ranger, with a degree in wildlife management from UCLA – continued with his knowledge about the subject. He had listened quietly to the conversation that was engaged earlier in the day.
“The wind turbines are not cost efficient. When they stop working, the maintenance to repair them is not a good business move. Although we built them on shorelines where people do not live, their appearance is ghastly. Most of them remain still as they rust away. The big energy companies took advantage of the Hawaiian people.”
The rusting wind turbines of Hawaii
A breathtaking sight awaits those who travel to the southernmost tip of Hawaii’s stunningly beautiful Big Island, though it’s not in any guidebook. On a 100-acre site, where cattle wander past broken ‘Keep Out’ signs, stand the rusting skeletons of scores of wind turbines.
Just a short walk from where endangered monk seals and Hawksbill turtles can be found on an unspoilt sandy beach, a technology that is supposed to be about saving the environment is instead ruining it.
In other parts of the U.S., working wind turbines are killing hundreds of thousands of birds and bats each year, but here the wildlife can perch on the motionless steel blades.
If any spot was tailor-made for a wind farm, it would surely be here. The gales are so strong and relentless on the tip of South Point that trees grow almost horizontally.
Yet the 27-year-old Kamaoa Wind Farm remains a relic of the boom and inglorious bust of America’s so-called “wind rush,” the world’s first major experiment in wind energy.
At a time when the EU and the British Government are fully paid-up evangelists for wind power, the lesson from America – and the ghostly hulks on this far-flung coast – should be a warning of their folly.
— By Tom Leonard, a correspondent for Hawaii Free Press (www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/6350/Broken-promises-The-rusting-wind-turbines-of-Hawaii.aspx)
Why do we not listen to the people in Hawaii, Indiana, Colorado, California, and New York when they warn us about the exploitations of wind energy companies? Is it the genuine desire to save our planet that makes us rush to hasty decisions created by outsiders? Is it the temptation of financial rewards for our family? It certainly cannot be based on research or history, for research warns of extreme danger and history speaks of consequences that result in regret as we rush to discover clean renewable energy.
I end this long letter with the following paragraphs: This letter was penned and coined after a day substitute teaching for music classes in lower elementary. I watched a little girl with special needs shake violently when a Christmas carol began playing via the smartboard. I watched her attendant speak softly in her ear while rubbing her arms and gently squeezing her hands. Suddenly, a smile lit up her face and she began singing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” for now she understood the sudden eruption of sound was not a threat to her inclusive world.
Obviously the names and places were withheld to protect the innocent, for she and many others facing the same difficulties cannot speak for themselves. Today, I speak for them. I am not sure if her family has the means to relocate if health issues confront them. I have those means, but I do not want to relocate. Finally, I do not work for the coal or oil industry, and I have no aspirations of doing so. Several months ago, I had no idea that clean energy was an oxymoron. Today, I have made an attempt to understand, and that understanding has brought me to the precipice of wanting to hear “Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer” being sung over and over and over. Hopefully the sound will drift through an open window in the home where I have lived for over 40 years in Republic, with no need to pull down my shades.
An excerpt from windturbine
The constant noise produced by wind turbines can have detrimental effects on all children, but especially children with special needs. Children with autism and attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of intrusive noise.
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