Here’s one to defy all logic!
In his commentary today, “Drawing a line on Shaffer Mountain,” Jack Buchan is concerned that Gamesa, a wind turbine manufacturer headquarted in Spain will be placing the massive structures on Shaffer Mountain, which sits on the eastern edge of the Allegheny Plateau, four miles east of Central City, PA.
As Mr. Buchan mentions, “Although it has been designated a Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Area of Exceptional Significance, boasting two of the highest-quality trout streams in the East, a world-renowned raptor migration flyway, an endangered Indiana bat colony and 11,000 forested acres with only two dirt roads, Gamesa USA insists on building an industrial wind plant there.”
Where Mr. Buchan, the Shaffer Mountain/Sensible Wind Solution folks of which he is a member and I part ways is that the group thinks industrial wind is OK, but just not here … on Shaffer Mountain. See, I don’t believe industrial wind has a place on any mountain, plateau, valley or flatland. They are the worst possible solution to our energy needs and serve only to pull financial resources out of the pockets of taxpayers and rate-payers while providing unreliable, minuscule amounts of electricity at the whim of the wind, not at the demand of the end user. And for so little, it is extremely expensive and consumes vast land and air space.
Unfortunately, the Audubon Society uses similar logic in its support of industrial wind. They seem to think Global Warming is going to kill a bunch of birds so they’re willing to kill a bunch of birds to make sure that doesn’t happen. They think industrial wind will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere even though that has not been the case, and there is no evidence industrial wind will ever do so. If Mr. Buchan and the folks at the Shaffer Mountain group would read more of what Robert Bryce, featured on their web page, and Jon Boone have to say about industrial wind, they would soon see that the Audubon folks are wrong and perhaps, they might want to re-think their position.
What struck me most, when Mr. Buchan spoke of the Allegheny Plateau, and having been to the area a number of times, was that area, like my own further down the Alleghenies, is ripe for birds of prey and migratory flocks. So, with a Google I learned that the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society has this little spot up in the neighborhood to count raptors. In fact, the announcement on their web page informs that “The Spring Raptor Migration Count at the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch is underway.”
The great thing about the Audubon folks is they even have a web page bragging about the views and encouraging bird watchers to come out and see it all for themselves. They call it the “The Allegheny Front Hawk Watch Experience!” How cool is that?
Heck, they count Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Vultures, Hawks of all varieties and birds, birds, birds. It’s a really big deal, gathering to watch all these special creatures! Want to know where you’ll find it? It’s a cleared area at the top of Shaffer Mountain outside the town of Central City, PA. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Seems to me the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society might want to revise their web page to let the visitors know that in order to do an accurate hawk count in the future, they’ll have to look at the ground as well as the sky.
I understand Mr. Buchan’s issues and support him on these entirely. Again, where we part ways is his group believes wind energy has a place and I don’t. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work together to save the Alleghenies from these erector set killers. We’ll sort the rest of it out later.