Monday, November 14, 2011

Vermont Wind Facility A Perfect Example of Greenwashing

Wind turbines are not green, and the video below shows the ugly side to this utility-scale energy behemoth that is altering thousands of square miles across the country.  Not only do they require massive amounts of steel to produce, they are transported by diesel guzzling trucks for hundreds of miles, tons of concrete is needed to pour their foundations, and wide access roads are bulldozed into the land and mountain ridges where they are installed.  Once the blades are spinning, they become a huge threat to rare wildlife, such as golden eagles, hawks, owls, bats, sandhill cranes, etc.  Research indicates that at least 440,000 birds are killed each year by wind turbines, and that number is expected to climb to 1,000,000 per year by 2030 as more wind facilities are constructed.

The video below shows scenes of destruction in Vermont as a mountain ridgeline is blasted away to make way for wind turbines.

This is Green Energy? from Catamount on Vimeo.

But most big environmental organizations have turned a blind eye to this destruction.  They're busy fighting another destructive form of utility-scale energy -- coal -- and they need you to feel nice and warm when you see an image of a wind energy turbine (because that's what is "Beyond Coal", right?). Nevermind that utility-scale wind and solar facilities destroy precious habitat, kill wildlife, and ruin rural communities

The Mojave Desert is also facing an onslaught of wind energy facilities.  Most of the current construction is taking place in the western Mojave near Ridgecrest and Tehachapi -- threatening California Condors and beautiful creosote bush scrub habitat -- and more facilities are proposed for the Victor Valley.  Another massive facility is proposed for the desert near Anza-Borrego State Park that would be bigger than downtown San Diego.

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