To say that the Northeast is one of the most liberal areas of the US would be a grand understatement. New Hampshire with its state slogan of “Live Free or Die”, and Massachusetts slogan being “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.” But once the discussion turns to energy and specifically alternative energy sources all talks of peace and freedom goes out the nearest window. Solar Farms and Wind Turbine Farms will have town meetings packed to capacity, quicker than you can notice your neighbor has another unregistered vehicle up on blocks in their yard.
Wind Turbines, bring out the residents armed with studies about WTS (Wind Turbine Syndrome), and how they are an eyesore, noisy, kill bats and birds and a host of other complaints to block their installation. Let’s be real about how many birds a Wind Turbine kills. They kill 214-368 million a year, BUT 6.8 Million are killed in collisions with radio and cell towers, and 1.4- 3.7 Billion are killed annually by the common house cat. I don’t see people asking for them to be eradicated.
As for them being noisy, the average decibel output of a wind turbine is 43db, to put that in context an AC unit puts out 50db and your refrigerator puts out 40db. So that seems a pretty lame argument. Naysayers will argue that they cause sleep problems, irritability, vertigo, childhood learning disabilities, and mood issues. But there seems to be no proof of these claims, to me it sounds like another case of NIMBY (Not in My Backyard).
Solar Panels don’t elicit as much of a negative response, but they do have their opponents as well. Complaints that they are an eyesore, that they also kill birds. Solar Panels kill birds much the same way a window does, birds sees panels as a body of water due to their reflective properties. They try and land on them when the panels are super hot and get scorched or even in high heat scenarios they get incinerated. Opponents of solar that complain the panels are an eyesore, most are on roofs, or poles and just don’t look at them. As for solar farms installed for large businesses or municipalities. These farms make no noise, no pollution, no odor. Just close your eyes as you go by, because they are generally in an industrial area and you don’t live next door.
We as a nation are truly dependent on fossil fuels being it oil, natural gas or even coal. In my view this dependency needs to stop. Solar and wind are already there, we are just harnessing them for our power needs. As a nation, a state or a region we can’t stick our fingers in our ears and repeat “La, LA, LA, can’t hear you”, and make this problem vanish like Bewitched and her magic nose. It is time to deal with the hard facts.