Growth is a critical component of the energy crisis.

We must deal with ‘growth,’ or energy crisis will never end

August 8, 2010

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Proponents of wind are sold on the idea that wind power and other “renewables” will eventually power our economic engine to new heights of GDP, with benefits for all. We really do not have to change our life styles, as we will merely substitute renewables for non-renewables.

Throw in “green” jobs, payment of money to leasers, tax breaks and incentives for developers, taxes for local governments, etc., as well as constant PR propaganda, and you have a public generally convinced of the good behind this industry. Gas, coal, and nuclear are all lumped together as undesirable alternatives for producing electricity.  

Furthermore, if you oppose wind because your health and happiness, as well as that of your loved ones, might be affected by nearby turbines, then you are labeled a NIMBY. If you complain of noise or light flicker affecting your health afterwards, then you are spreading falsehoods, are a hypochondriac, or are delusional.

The wind industry and their propagandists will tell you that there is no evidence of noise or light flicker affecting the health of anyone living near these machines, dismissing studies and complaints to the contrary.

Like a ticking clock, these devices could not possibly be keeping you awake at night! If they are correct, why are there no wind developers, politicians, or county commissioners living next to industrial wind turbines?  

I have been told that a few residents on Backbone Mountain must suffer for the needs of the many who receive clean, renewable electricity, and what about all those “green” jobs!

In fact, I read that Constellation estimated that there would be two, full-time permanent jobs for their project on Backbone Mountain! According to County Administrator Pagenhardt, the county should get $1 million yearly in utility tax revenues, a whopping 1 percent of the county budget.

Proponents will also argue that even if wind replaces not a single coal-fired power plant, it does contribute something to the grid and helps with the increasing demand for electricity.

Little do they consider that if we try to maintain or increase our per capita consumption of energy, there will never be enough, as our population continues to grow exponentially drawing upon limited resources. Just a 1 percent growth rate means a doubling every 70 years!

Until we deal with the real issue of “growth,” we will never find a solution to the energy crisis, or any other crisis for that matter.

 J. Edward Gates

Frostburg, Maryland

(h/t Frank O’Hara)

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