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Old 11-17-2014, 11:58 PM
 
981 posts, read 1,961,396 times
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This study from Scotland is an omen for what America may become if wind turbine development continues unabated, with subsidies. See large map below.

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2014...of-the-nation/
Wind Farms visible from at least 60% of Scotland (MAP) | Scotland Against Spin

Quoting from 2nd link: "The John Muir Trust, an environmental campaign group dedicated to protecting wild land has published a map which highlights the saturation of wind farms across Scotland, making wind farms viewable from up to 60% of Scotland."

I doubt John Muir would be happy with giant wind turbines were he still alive. Putting them anywhere near Yosemite would be sacrilege, but many less famous (yet very scenic) places are losing their character. This devious series of paintings (promoted by the AWEA) tries to pretend wind turbines blend with the landscape. Notice how faintly contrasted and sparse they are. I wonder if Ritchard could also make a fracking site look like a Bierstadt painting? Those structures are much smaller than the typical wind turbine, especially once the drilling rig is gone (no, I'm not pro-fracking).

Sure, America is much larger than Scotland, but overpopulation and land development is a 24/7 process and only time will tell. At the rate wind facilities are planned I wouldn't be surprised if they became visible from at least 30% of the land in America. I don't know who in the environmental movement decided that landscapes are fair game for destruction as long as conventional power plants aren't involved. And don't count on nightfall to mask the blight, since most turbine arrays look like airports with flashing lights. Photographers and filmmakers must already resort to Photoshop/CGI to remove white towers from the horizon. We could reach a point where only the virtual world will look untrammeled! Reminds me of the old man dying scene from Soylent Green, with this new soundtrack.

Many people still don't understand how large wind turbines really are. Over 400 feet tall (including blades) is the norm now. Cereal boxes and propaganda sites de-emphasize their size by putting cows and barns in the extreme foreground. Such heights only used to exist in city skyscrapers or skinny antennas that are much harder to see at a distance. There's no way to "carefully site" this growing intrusion on nature. Offshore wind turbines are no panacea, either. They can be up to 700 feet tall and visible dozens of miles from shore.



Here's a much greener alternative: Put solar panels on millions of existing structures instead of skyscrapers on untouched countryside. Use brownfields (already tainted land) if wind turbines must be installed. Let's respect the unfettered landscapes we still have and get over this pseudo-green zeal to generate electricity at any aesthetic cost.

Last edited by ca_north; 11-18-2014 at 12:07 AM..
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:56 AM
 
Location: DC
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Windmills are no more intrusive than utility poles.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:25 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,808,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Windmills are no more intrusive than utility poles.
Only according to those that either gain some economic benefit from them or support the do anything no matter what the cost.

Most utility poles were put up already, there are some new poles that go up but nothing in comparison to those already in existence. In contrast, the wind turbines are something new to the landscape in large numbers.

You have some proof that windmills are no more intrusive than utility poles? Perhaps you can clarify your statement by explaining the criteria you use. Most windmills (wind turbines) I've seen are clustered so as to become a focal point on the landscape.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:08 PM
 
Location: DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Only according to those that either gain some economic benefit from them or support the do anything no matter what the cost.

Most utility poles were put up already, there are some new poles that go up but nothing in comparison to those already in existence. In contrast, the wind turbines are something new to the landscape in large numbers.

You have some proof that windmills are no more intrusive than utility poles? Perhaps you can clarify your statement by explaining the criteria you use. Most windmills (wind turbines) I've seen are clustered so as to become a focal point on the landscape.
People flock to Holland to see windmills.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
People flock to Holland to see windmills.
And go back home where they don't have to look at them all day.

Notice what people do after they see the windmills in Holland?
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,489,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca_north View Post
This study from Scotland is an omen for what America may become if wind turbine development continues unabated, with subsidies.
I don't think it is anything of the kind. Virtually everything about the use of wind energy in Scotland is different from the US... different economic system, different legal system, different resources, different regulation of utilities, different scale... the US is 117X the size of Scotland. They're packing all that windfarm capacity into a small country, about the size of North Carolina, without the great deserts and plains we have in the US that can be utilized for the purposes. And they have a lot of shoreline that is suitable for off-shore wind turbines compared to suitable interior development, while our situation is the exact opposite. That's a good part of why we don't have any off shore wind farms at this time. It's simply more economical to put them inland, if possible.

Quote:
At the rate wind facilities are planned I wouldn't be surprised if they became visible from at least 30% of the land in America.
I sincerely doubt that, as available wind resources are not equally distributed across the country, but are instead concentrated in a few areas that make sense to develop, like the Texas panhandle, as well as some where it doesn't... the Windy City of Chicago comes to mind. It takes both... adequate winds, and suitable location... to make a viable wind turbine site.

That's why the development of the Texas Panhandle is ideal for large scale development of the enormous wind resources available there, as well as in similar areas in neighboring states. Big, wide-open spaces with nothing much to see, and not many people to see all that nothing.

Best of all, windfarms co-exist very nicely with existing ranching and farming activities in that area. By giving up a relatively small piece of pasture or hayfield for a turbine and pad, a rancher or farmer can collect a lease payment of $10,000 per year and just keep farming like he was doing before on a very slightly smaller plot.

And wind farms nicely complement solar farms, because they are most productive, overall, at night. Although there are exceptions, winds tend to peak about midnight, while solar peaks about noon, so they offset. This, by the way, is a key source of the popular snipe "I didn't see them turning, so they aren't doing any good"... come back in the middle of the night and you could find out why they are there.

Quote:
Many people still don't understand how large wind turbines really are. Over 400 feet tall (including blades) is the norm now. Cereal boxes and propaganda sites de-emphasize their size by putting cows and barns in the extreme foreground. Such heights only used to exist in city skyscrapers or skinny antennas that are much harder to see at a distance. There's no way to "carefully site" this growing intrusion on nature. Offshore wind turbines are no panacea, either. They can be up to 700 feet tall and visible dozens of miles from shore.
There are also plenty of photos available that show herds of apparently tiny cows grazing under the big wind towers, so I don't think anyone is confused unless they choose to be. I had to laugh at one protest effort to block wind turbine placement in Vermont when the photo they were using clearly showed that ski runs and lift towers were far more visually obtrusive than the wind turbines they were objecting to.

So it's all in the perspective. Do we push ahead with solar energy and wind energy, which are naturally going to be concentrated in the lowest value land where the required sun or wind amounts are viable, or are we going to continue to degrade the atmosphere and oceans with carbon pollution from using fossil fuels? How much does altering the visual landscape matter if by avoiding it we are destroying the livability of the planet? And how much longer can we wait to make the change to renewable energy, when the UN climate change report just showed that the situation is more dire than previously thought?

And besides, let's say that at some future time somebody actually gets fusion technology to the point that it is practical and affordable, the wind turbines can always be taken down and recycled. That has already happened in Altamont Pass, where the migratory bird patterns can't be altered so removing some of the towers was accomplished in order to reduce the risk to wildlife, and the locations rehabbed to look as they did before.

One last thing... I don't see offshore development of windfarms in the US ever becoming widespread. The cost is far higher, owing to the underwater power cables, underwater foundations, challenges in building and maintenance, and so on. Plus, much of our coastline doesn't have the necessary seafloor profile. And in areas where offshore oil drilling is common, like the waters off the coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, the oil platforms are more visually obtrusive than wind towers, but they also contribute to the environmental threat we're trying to defeat.

It's all a matter of priorities.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:32 PM
 
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The sites chosen for wind turbines must include aspects other than wind harvest or the potential for resistance to them could increase significantly. This is some of what happened in Germany where the noise associated with wind turbines helped create an adversarial relationship between residents and wind turbine operators.

Altamont didn't have that much of a problem with noise because of where it was located but in Tehachapi, many residents deplore the turbines because of the noise problem. During the day no one notices much but the turbines also spin at night when there are fewer sources of other noise and the noise from the wind turbines are very noticeable.

Like any major installation of heavy equipment and infrastructure, a little bit of planning goes a long way and just doing it because something needs to be done doesn't mean forgetting about things that are important to local residents. Not all of them are farmers with cows munching contently beneath the spinning blades.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:35 PM
 
Location: DC
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No one is putting wind turbines on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Chill, Francis.
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Old 11-18-2014, 04:19 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,181,138 times
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Four of the eight posts refer to windmills.
I'm curious what you think is being milled?
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:01 PM
 
208 posts, read 278,985 times
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Wind Turbine Kills The Bird !! - YouTube
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