Let’s just say for the sake of argument that wind power actually was as “green” as developers and lobbyists would have us believe – a big stretch, but bear with me. It would make good energy sense to erect towers and transmission lines anywhere we had favorable winds, right? But I suspect there would be some examples of places that – again for the sake of argument – were windy enough for development to make sense, but were otherwise so important to us that we wouldn’t actually want the spot developed for wind power. Here are a few examples:
The Rose Bowl?
Arlington National Cemetery?
Gettysburg National Park?
Yosemite National Park?
The Hollywood sign?
Surely it’s only the truly deluded (or simply the biggest jerks) who would ever consider drastically altering the character and quality of these special places by establishing wind turbines and transmission lines through them. Why, then, can’t we also agree that the biggest expanses of open grassland in the American West – places that are especially valuable for their ability to support prairie wildlife that generally avoid any kind of human development – are also off limits? Why can’t we recognize that Appalachian ridges should not be sullied with tubines – turbines that are lethal obstacles to thousands of migrating raptors, other birds, and bats each fall and spring?
We must, as a progressive society, recognize that the free-for-all attitude of wind development has to stop. In its place, we need serious attention given to identifying those places and those resources that we do not want encroached by turbines and transmission lines.