dangerous trend of political opposition to wind farms has developed in 2006. Beginning with one or two isolated incidents, the opposition to wind power is rapidly growing into a global movement that threatens all future renewable energy projects. The reasons behind the opponents of wind vary, but the effect of harming a great potential for environmentally friendly energy is the same. Many foes of offshore wind farms believe that wind turbines will be ugly and will damage the coastal view.
The Cape Wind project in Massachusetts has been opposed by Senator Ted Kennedy, whose house overlooks the waters of the proposed project. Donald Trump opposed a wind farm in Scotland that was near the coast of a golf course he planned to build. Wind farm enemies in Texas, Scotland and Australia have objected to wind farms by claiming that birds will fly into the turbines and be killed.
In Illinois, critics have stalled a wind farm by saying that moving shadows will make people nauseous. British politicians have objected to wind turbines' appearance, and residents of New Zealand have initiated legal proceedings against local wind farms. The FAA is blocking multiple wind farm projects, claiming they may interfere with radars.
Objections flawed, International anti-wind lobby
All of these objections are flawed. Windmills are not ugly and will not do anything to detract from the beauty of a coastal view. Instead, they will add to the beauty of the planet by providing energy without polluting the environment. There is little danger that birds will fly into wind turbines that are sufficiently spaced apart, the idea of shadows causing motion sickness is dubious, and existing wind farms reportedly haven't harmed radars. Large offshore wind farms in advantageous locations have the potential to produce clean, efficient energy, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Some wind advocates invite skeptics to visit wind farms to discover the truth first-hand.
But what is concerning for environmentalists and advocates of clean energy is that these attacks are not isolated incidents. Anti-wind farm groups in different parts of Australia are meeting and sharing strategies, and are also communicating with anti-wind groups in Britain. Some anti-wind groups have hired prominent lawyers and orchestrated organized attacks upon wind projects.
These anti-wind groups have the potential to develop into an international anti-wind lobby, which could be detrimental to the development of wind power. Some of these groups have ties to the British nuclear energy lobby, and American anti-wind groups have an ally in Senator Stevens of Alaska, who favors oil drilling in the National Wildlife Refuge, so it is conceivable that nuclear and oil interests could help the anti-wind lobby grow into an international, organized special interest opposing every form of renewable energy competing with oil and nuclear power.
Alternative Energy News Source President Russell Hasan believes that "the persecution of wind power endangers the future of all renewable energy, including solar and ethanol. If oil and nuclear interests provide funding for the anti-wind movement, there is no telling what the danger to alternative energy might be." The only solution is for everyone who cares about renewable energy to become more politically active, by telling their representatives that they favor wind or by becoming active in the pro-wind lobby.
Renewable power will ensure a better, greener, more energy-independent future, and wind advocates should be as organized as wind opponents. Links to pro-wind groups can be found at here.