Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind

I took a quick trip up to Pittsburgh yesterday (yes, I wore my Ravens colors), and on the way home, I decided to take a scenic route. I hopped off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the Somerset exit and headed south on Rt. 219 toward Grantsville, MD.

In the late afternoon, the hills were gleaming, and only a few specific trees were starting to turn their leaves. It was an uncharacteristically cool day for mid-September, with temperatures not getting out of the 50s.

As I approached the town of Meyersdale, I saw them. Twenty windmills atop a ridge overlooking the town. What a sight! I could watch those things spin all day. I'm only sorry I didn't bring my camera to get my own pictures.

The photo above came from the Industrial Wind Action Group, which is opposed to these windmills. They may have a point that, although a clean source of energy, windmills may only provide so much energy versus the demand. But I'm tired of hearing about the threat that windmills pose to birds, when they face much greater threats elsewhere. Where are the piles of dead carcasses? Show me.

Perhaps if I were living in Meyersdale, I might think differently about the impact of the windmills, but I doubt I would oppose them out of pure NIMBYism. But for today, I found the windmills to be a fascinating and hypnotizing sight.

Then I headed east across I-68 from Grantsville all the way to Hancock. That's a great ride in itself, as long as your car's brakes are in good working order; the road goes over many of Maryland's highest points. To me, it's a far more interesting ride than the PA Turnpike.

So maybe the movie "Cars" had an impact on me after all.


C. said...

They are going to be putting windmills up 14 miles off the coast of Rehoboth, they say you won't be able to see them though people have done "photchopping' that shows you will be able to at least see the tops. One local energy company does not want a part of this (they have to be part of it). I guess since it's offshore, no one has said anything about the bird, just the visual effect for the beachgoers.

KM said...

Where are the piles of dead carcasses?

First, access to wind "farm" sites is restricted. Second, scavenging animals remove the carcasses. Third, many birds may be injured rather than killed instantly, dying later in another location. Fourth, greater threats elsewhere don't justify lesser threats (does the carnage in Congo justify murder in the U.S.?). Fifth, see for example, the first-year bird and bat survey at the 195-turbine Maple Ridge facility in western N.Y.: 8,580 to 15,967 birds and bats are likely killed there each year.