Thanks to Larry Thomas for pointing out this article from National Geographic on “Small Town Nukes.”
Seeing it reminded me of a presentation I attended nearly a year ago, when I first began to question my belief in industrial wind. See, I didn’t start out disliking “wind farms.” I didn’t object to the massive turbines topping mountains, although I thought it was a little nuts for some folks to actually think they would add beauty and mystery to our grand Appalachians. But then, they probably think Miss America could use a little touch up.
I probably wouldn’t have bothered to attend the presentation except for a few excellent questions raised by a county commissioner that seemed to go unanswered, and a few letters to the editor opposing the proposed local installation. It struck me then, that the articles in the local paper might have easily been written by the wind companies and seemed to fit better in the classifieds. The letters from opponents, on the other hand, spoke effectively against the towers. I began to take an interest.
Mr. John Droz came to our area, at the invitation of the Allegheny Front Alliance, to discuss industrial wind. During the presentation, Mr. Droz discussed his clear objections to industrial wind in very specific scientific, yet understandable terms. I was surprised to learn of their inefficiency, unreliability, high cost and negative environmental impact. He really slammed industrial wind, yet in a polite, low key manner. I left the meeting with more questions than answers. To me, that is the sign of an excellent presentation … wanting for more.
What surprised me most that evening was that two officials from US WindForce, the developers of the proposed local wind project, were in the audience and, when the question and answer period came – NOTHING! Not a peep to counter any of the statements made by Mr. Droz, many of which were damning to their whole story.
Even more interesting – there was nothing in the local paper about the presentation that proved so damning to their glowing portrayal of this industry. Search Droz at the paper’s website and the only mention will be the letter to the editor I wrote after attending the presentation. Think about that … a nationally recognized scientist coming to our little town to speak about one of the largest investments in land and money in our area and NOTHING! Well, in my humble opinion, nothing much has changed at the Mineral Daily News-Tribune (WV) in the last year. Thankfully, the Cumberland (MD) Times-News has recently begun to ask serious questions and publish articles representing both sides of the debate.
But back to the “small town nukes!” In his presentation, Mr. Droz did not simply come to slam an industry. He came with a bag full of energy possibilities. Exciting technology with the potential to forever change how we produce and use energy. As does my patient guide through this maze – Mr. Jon Boone, who calls industrial wind – “perhaps the silliest modern energy idea imaginable,” Mr. Droz speaks of solutions. That evening he spoke of the excellent potential for these mini-nukes to power communities.
Of the the National Geographic article, Mr. Droz feels “that if National Geographic has finally seen the light, can some other environmental groups be far behind?“
And perhaps if we don’t fritter away every dollar on subsidies to prop up this boondoggle called industrial wind, we can develop real solutions.
Visit Jon Boone’s excellent and informative resource at Stop Ill Wind.