Something that has mystified me for some time, long before taking this class, has been the inevitable public opposition to the construction of windmills. Any time I come across a story, whether it be on the news or the internet, involving an attempt to build windmills, it is, without fail, accompanied by some small but vocal minority voicing their objection. When asked why they are so set against wind energy, the protesters almost always point out that the windmills detract from the aesthetics of the natural environment. While it is true that such construction would alter the outlook of its surroundings, can windmills really be that much of an eyesore? It seems to me that most people would regard a windmill as more of a feat of technology than a blemish on nature. Plus this vocal minority always ignores the tremendous benefits of wind energy. Some of these individuals claim to be environmentalists, defending nature against mankind's destructive nature. While I am all for anyone trying to protect the environment, indeed, not enough people do so, these people are misguided. Wind energy is an ally of environmentalists; it is basically inexhaustible, and it alleviates some reliance on fossil fuel. These people can "defend" nature all they want, but what they are really doing is furthering the deterioration of the planet.
In searching for more information on wind energy, I came across a website for the Community Environmental Council (http://www.cecsb.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=61&Itemid=100&gclid=CKyegceBwJ0CFVlM5QodMDk1jA), based in California, a state constantly facing energy difficulties. According to the website, strategic construction of wind turbines "in our region could theoretically produce over 100 times our current demand for electricity." Wouldn't a few "eye sores" be worth this kind of energy conservation? Lastly, the website states that:
"It is for these reasons – the competitive cost, the strength of the industry, and the regional potential – that wind power is a major component of our plan to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in our region. We propose that our county develop about 1,100 megawatts of wind power from both onshore and offshore sites - enough to meet our total current electricity demand and almost 100 percent of our projected electricity demand in 2030."
With such great benefits to wind energy, and such insignificant drawbacks, isn't it time everyone abandoned such pointless protests?