Another look at wind turbines
After reading the articles and letters to the editor about wind turbines, I decided to visit some while driving to see my niece in Williams County. I saw the smaller ones near Bowling Green and the larger ones in Fulton County. They were quiet, even when I was relatively close. Like communication towers and high-voltage systems, they were visible, but dropped from view depending on what woodlots or other structures were nearby.
More importantly, they are example of an alternative to massive increase in consumption of fossil fuels. Both the recent Trump administration National Climate Assessment and the global Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report emphasized the reality of the problems caused by human-induced climate change. It’s true that wind power alone can’t provide our electrical needs, but it can be a significant player. In Iowa, turbines now provide over 30 percent of electrical power.
Google announced DeepMind’s machine learning algorithms that make the alternation of wind and natural gas sourcing more efficient. Scientific American pointed out how simple procedures can dramatically reduce the impact of turbines on bat and bird populations.
Burning fossil fuels not only is the major cause of global warming, it has a long list of pollutants and land impacts that damage wildlife and effect human health. Some have suggested nuclear power as a viable alternative. Unfortunately, it continues to be expensive and most recent projects have been cancelled. The disposal of nuclear wastes, which I researched years ago while at the College of Wooster, continues to be unresolved.
The small nation of Costa Rica now obtains 98 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuels, including solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and wind.
As we read about increased debt and bankruptcy among farmers, we should not eliminate an important source of income. Payments to farmers for wind turbines and conservation easement payments will be vital for their bottom line. As a property owner, I also welcome any public revenue the Seneca County will receive.