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Monday, 12 January 2009
Are wind farms a blot on the landscape?

image

The following is a personal perspective from Dr Gary Robertshaw of the Green Provider’s Directory

We often hear about protesters who complain about wind farms looking ‘unsightly’, spoiling the landscape, killing birds and being noisy.

Living near to a wind farm set in a nature park, we often walk past the windmills. In the seven years that we have been walking this route, we have never seen a dead bird. The noise is a low swirling and humming, which is barely audible. There is an aesthetic beauty about them too. Not only in appearance but also conceptually in the way they convert a free resource into useful energy, without producing pollution or causing global warming.

How can this be unsightly when compared to chimneys belching out smoke, traffic jams and smogs? And what about the oil that is imported from corrupt regimes, Middle East wars and climate wrecking emissions from what is ultimately a finite and increasingly scarce resource? We don’t understand this at all.

The photograph is reproduced under a Creative Commons licence and is from rogersanderson’s flickr stream.

I chose this photograph because it illustrates clearly the size of these things. It puts into perspective the recent story about a UFO hitting one of these windmills and destroying it.  The photo above is taken at the same farm, at Conisholme, where the “UFO incident” occurred. The reason that UFOs were suspected was that locals had sighted “round white lights that seemed to hover”. Guardian journalist, Emily Bell, however claimed that these were fireworks from her grandfather’s 80th birthday party, although she later clarified that the fireworks were not responsible for the damage. The Guardian story is here.

Interesting the local paper, the Grimsby Telegraph, (who were the ones that broke the story, not the Sun!) are arguing for a more mundane explanation. Sometimes it’s the local papers want to play up the mystery. I was also interested that none of the reports I found even mentioned the nearby military firing range ...

Posted by bigblue on 12/01/2009 at 07:20 AM
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