Letter to the editor: Wind energy questions to ask
To the editor:
In a recent public forum letter, a rural wind turbine opponent proposes three solutions to deal with climate change.
The first is energy conservation. This is a laudable goal, but it is not sufficient. Is this wind opponent willing to spearhead the effort of convincing people to hang their clothes on the line instead of using their clothes dryers? Wash dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher? Set their thermostats a few degrees out of their comfort zones? The reality behind energy usage is that most people are loath to make any sacrifices or changes to their lifestyles.
He also recommends distributed, small-scale renewables, another recommendation that many would support. But do the majority of homeowners and businesses have small-scale renewables now? Again, these may become more popular in the future, but are not widespread enough to solve our energy challenges today.
In order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, we need to transition away from fossil fuels and embrace renewables as quickly as possible.
Prior to the installation of rural wind turbines, legitimate questions regarding issues such as noise levels and land management need to be addressed. But once these questions have been answered, opponents to rural wind turbines need to ask themselves whether their opposition stems from a selfish, short-sighted “not in my backyard” attitude. If so, I would ask them to consider what is best for everyone, especially their children, grandchildren, larger community and all the other living creatures, rather than just themselves.