Winds of Compromise

| 1/7/2008 1:44:52 PM

Wind FarmNot everyone thinks that gigantic, slow-moving wind turbines improve an untouched landscape. When you get energy from wind farms, environmental activist Adam Twine says in the latest issue of the UK-based environmental magazine Green Futures, “you’re paying the environmental cost of the electricity in the visual impact. It’s not being left for future generations.”

The issue comes down to compromise, according to Twine. People always pay for energy, either in a cost to the landscape, or in the massive environmental costs associated with fossil fuels. Twine’s best compromise is to make wind farms community owned. That way, the people paying the costs are the same people reaping the benifits. Twine sits on the board of the Westmill Wind Farm Cooperative, a wind farm in southern England, based on the principal that “local people can get together and generate their own power.”

What do you think? Are wind farms ugly? Our sister publication, Mother Earth News recently started a lengthy discussion on the benefits and costs of wind farms. Do wind turbines ruin the landscape, or is the environmental benefit worth it?

Bennett Gordon

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