In a New York Times op-ed article posted on September 28th, it was reported that a wind turbine project meant to impact the effects of global warming will essentially do more harm than good. The project will not only destroy the existing eco-system around it but the electricity generated from it will not even significantly reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions. So, is this a green-gone-bad situation?
Read the excerpt below:
The Not-So-Green Mountains
By STEVE E. WRIGHT
Published: September 28, 2011
Craftsbury, Vt.---Bulldozers arrived a couple of weeks ago at the base of the nearby Lowell Mountains and began clawing their way through the forest to the ridgeline, where Green Mountain Power plans to erect 21 wind turbines, each rising to 459 feet from the ground to the tip of the blades.
This desecration, in the name of “green” energy, is taking place in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on one of the largest tracts of private wild land in the state. Here and in other places — in Maine and off Cape Cod, for instance — the allure of wind power threatens to destroy environmentally sensitive landscapes.
Erecting those turbines along more than three miles of ridgeline requires building roads — with segments of the ridgeline road itself nearly half as wide as one of Vermont’s interstate highways — in places where the travel lanes are now made by bear, moose, bobcat and deer.
It requires changing the profile of the ridgeline to provide access to cranes and service vehicles. This is being accomplished with approximately 700,000 pounds of explosives that will reduce parts of the mountaintops to rubble that will be used to build the access roads.
It also requires the clear-cutting on steep slopes of 134 acres of healthy forest, now ablaze in autumn colors. Studies have shown that clear-cutting can lead to an increase in erosion to high-quality headwater streams, robbing them of life and fouling the water for downstream residents, wild and human.
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Image courtesy of thefutureofthings.com.