Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wind Energy

Wind energy destroys land, kills birds and bats, and requires immense amounts of steel and concrete, both of which are intense polluters.  And because wind energy is so intermittent -- an unreliable source of power -- utility companies have to contract with natural gas "peaker" plants to generate energy during the times when the wind is not blowing. This means that wind energy is not an efficient means of cutting carbon emissions.  There is no free lunch when it comes to energy, but we do not have to keep ordering from the same menu.  Invest in rooftop solar and energy efficiency, and we can sharply reduce our demand for destructive energy sources like coal, and natural gas, and wind.

A giant bulldozer cuts into eastern Oregon land to make way for a single wind turbine.  Photo from DOE.

Construction crews cut into Joshua Tree woodland habitat in the western Mojave Desert for the Alta Wind Energy Center. Photo by Friends of Mojave.
A heap of destroyed Joshua Trees left by construction crews clearing desert habitat for the Alta Wind Energy Center. Photo by Friends of Mojave.
Wind energy is not the answer. It is another corporate juggernaut with an insatiable appetite for our natural resources. Wake up, environmental community. Energy efficiency, and rooftop solar is where are efforts should be focused if we are going to defeat coal without regrets.

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