Wind Turbines Are Beautiful

February 7, 2019

On the occasion of the approval for what looks like the largest Wind park in Michigan, almost 400 MW – I wrote an op-ed for the Mt Pleasant, MI newspaper.

Mt Pleasant Morning Sun:

Are wind turbines beautiful?

I think so – but it’s normal for each individual’s eyes to respond differently to something new.

I happen to think turbines are beautiful additions to the landscape. But beauty is so often much more than just how something looks externally. Like the face of an old friend – it comes from the deeper story behind what we see.

Globally, 80 percent of the world’s food is produced by family farms.

As farmers get pressed harder and harder, both by the economy, and by changing weather patterns – the farm bankruptcy rate has doubled in the last 5 years in the upper midwest.

Their farms get absorbed into larger farms or sold off for urban sprawl.

Communities wither. Businesses die.

Children leave.

I think that’s ugly.

Wind turbines are a way for farmers to create additional, drought proof income – making farming viable and inspiring young people to stay on the farm and in the community, so families stay together, small communities come back to life.

I think that’s beautiful.

For the last 40 years, hard times in Michigan have meant rural schools have been underfunded, and underperforming. Many have been closed or consolidated.  Children in small towns and rural areas have been shortchanged of the best start in life.

To me, that’s ugly.

On the other hand, Wind turbines have allowed small communities to sustain programs in an economic downturn, hire more professionals, upgrade classrooms, and compete with schools in much larger districts.

I think that’s beautiful.

For the last 100 years our Great Lakes waters have been more and more polluted by heavy metals like mercury – 50 percent of which comes from burning coal – so much that there are restrictions on the fish people can safely eat.

I think that’s ugly, and tragic.

Now, Scientists tell us that the heat trapping gases released by burning fossil fuels like coal are warming the planet, leading to rising seas, more extreme and unpredictable weather  – that threatens the very web of life we depend on to survive.

Our parents didn’t have the knowledge of what fossil fuels were doing to our lakes, our forests, our brains, our lungs, or our atmosphere. And they didn’t have a range of different choices for vital electricity.
Now that’s changed.

Powerful interests are at work to keep Michigan, and the world, dependent on 19th century technology – when a whole new world of energy that is abundant and clean – from fuel that is free – is opening up around us.

Wind turbines are helping Utilities across the Midwest, and throughout the country, see a way to close their coal power plants, allow the air to clear, and help our Lakes – Great and small – recover, along with all the creatures that live in and around them.

And I think that’s beautiful.

20 Responses to “Wind Turbines Are Beautiful”

  1. Zen-fro Sven-dog Says:

    VERY well said, Peter! Most admirable.

  2. Joe DeFors Says:

    One of your best pieces ever – beautiful!

  3. Donald Osborn Says:

    Very well done!!! Well said!

  4. Donald Osborn Says:

    All I can add is that solar is also doing much the same for many family farms. A small part of their acreage can off set the very high utility bills they contend with (pumping, etc) and help them be able to stay in farming.

    • Nice try, but wind power is far uglier than solar due to its vertical component, which dishonest shills re-frame as “beautiful” knowing there’s a ton of opposition for aesthetic reasons. They try to vilify the opponents with slogans like “NIMBY,” refusing to see that invasive construction projects are exactly what they appear to be.

      Something needn’t directly burn fossil fuels to blight nature. Remember when environmentalists protested billboards, cellular towers and ski lifts? Why is much-bigger wind power so bloody sacred?

      It’s easy to find people who don’t buy the self-serving tone of this post, and they’re hardly all climate-deniers. They just know greenwashing when they see it.

      The original tenets of environmentalism would never tolerate what wind power has become. It’s urban sprawl with a new badge and big construction contracts give it momentum. Many of the people building it (or roughing out sites) are the same diesel mercenaries you’ll find in logging or fracking operations. The get paid to replace nature with machinery.

      Wind turbines are never going to replace fossil fuels since it takes so much of them to build a project, back-up its intermittent power, and maintain its components, including gear oil. Stop lying to yourselves!

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Here’s the fossil fuel shill back again—hiding behind “aesthetics”. Would he care to comment on the ugliness of millions of dead human bodies piled up and bloating in the sun? Of course, if they weren’t on the hilltops and spoiling his view, he wouldn’t even care about them.

        RS obviously suffers from the type of mental illness that puts one’s own self-centered needs ahead of a planet of living things. It’s a kind of “let them eat cake” thing.

        • I’ve explained to you phony environmentalists many times that I’m NOT a global warming denier, so get off that lie already! Your greenwashed brains just can’t grasp that some people still give a damn about natural scenery, razed mountaintops (not just coal mines). dying birds & bats, and humans affected by the noise you continue to ignore.

          The most prominent IWT post on this site is called “Wind Turbine Syndrome is Bullshit” and it set the tone for the rest. Anyone who’d write such a title can’t have much concern for natural aesthetics to begin with. The author is a guy who pores over video gear, probably has limited contact with unspoiled nature, and is very unlikely to live in a turbinated area. He might see them randomly at a distance on trips. I also suspect he’s getting paid every time he promotes wind power.

          One of the most smug things ever written was by Charles Mudede, who sneers at rural people for wanting quiet and lack of visual blight. He reduces fundamental qualities of life to mere quaintness, and thinks we should urbanize the whole bloody planet. How does anyone who wants to “save the planet” acquire such twisted values?

 (same general arrogance displayed in this blog)

          Wind-pushers are True Believers in a technology that’s clearly doing more harm than good to nature (outside of a faux-green mental stupor). You’re literally blind and deaf to what’s spreading all over the world in plain sight, and won’t even look at data showing it barely reduces CO2. Even if it worked well, its damage is unforgivable to serious environmentalists.

          The claim that wind turbines are “beautiful” is a denial-based reaction to very legitimate criticisms. You know their inherent blight is too big to hide, so you’ve created a fable that says eyes & ears must be lying to the observer about gut reactions. It’s like seeing white graffiti on historical buildings and claiming it merely “adds character.” Cut the crap, please.

          • dumboldguy Says:


        • dumboldguy Says:

          May 7, 2019 at 5:52 pm
          0 1 Rate This

          Another useless response with no substance. When pressed on the evidence, all you can do is rattle off buzz-terms like “climate-denier! / fossil fuels!” (guess what builds massive wind turbines?) and “coal mines!” (nothing but them can possibly ruin nature).

          And of course “NIMBY!” (respecting scenery and quality of life is politically-incorrect now). When bird & bat mortality is mentioned, you’ll only talk about house cats and office windows. I’ll remind your lying ass once more that wind turbines kill more bats than anything Man has invented:

          Getting wind power shills to admit they’re not green is like trying to get Donald Trump’s tax returns. You both know you’re hiding the truth on many levels.

          • dumboldguy Says:


            And don’t forget the latest “evidence”—-wind turbines cause cancer!

  5. Dana Pearson Says:

    Your eloquent words are precious and so on point… thanks… am spreading this message…

  6. Gingerbaker Says:

    I want a hefty percentage of your royalties for the wind turbines are beautiful meme. My lawyer will be in contact with your lawyer, no need to cancel polo practice on this account.

  7. Pardon me while I interrupt this disgusting turbine love-fest.

    You can’t make ugly beautiful by just extrapolating a random location. It’s a bunch of cherry-picked shill-craft, devoid of context and scale. Here’s what they really look like en masse:

    And they keep destroying wildlife habitat as they invade landscapes and airspace, along with ocean waters. It’s cumulative damage, so skip the hollow coal mine comparisons. People like Mark Jacobson seek over 10 times the number of turbines existing today. (wind turbines are the biggest threat to bats now)

    You people are phony environmentalists who refuse to see what’s really going on, and how futile wind power is for CO2 reduction. Germany’s failure should be studied by every nation duped into spiking its scenery to death with these giants.

    Lots more photos of your B.S. beauty definition here:

    • dumboldguy Says:

      RS’s WordPress avatar says he is “Someone who’s tired of noise and other growing intrusions on quality of life.” ROTFLMAO over that one! He keeps returning here to “make noise” and “intrude on our quality of life” with his incessant ranting on TTDRM (Things That Don’t Really Matter) in the face of the looming catastrophe.

      I wonder how much the fossil fuel interests are paying him to spread propaganda BS and slander the RE source that provides more electricity than any other (except nuclear and hydro)?

  8. Instead of smarmy, useless replies, can someone give the exact location of the YouTube video in this post?

    That video uses music instead of turbine noise (drone rotors are muted by default) but it all aids the propaganda effort. A number of people living among those ugly, noisy towers have probably complained about their quality of life (at least those not getting paid to host turbines). Big Wind makes people sign gag orders to mute complaints.

    And music can’t soften this obvious blight of wilderness: (Canton Mountain, Maine; a relatively small example of this ongoing blight)

    • greenman3610 Says:

      those are in Michigan, gratiot county and missaukee county.

      recent poll by Michigan state university showed 86 percent of Michigan residents are in favor of wind energy.
      5 percent strongly opposed.

      • You could have easily done this search, so have at it: (take your “beautiful” spiel directly to those affected)

        That survey also doesn’t prove anything except that Man is fine with destroying nature for ironic gestures. How many polled actually live near wind turbines? Anyone who waxes poetical about giant machines should trade their house with a “complainer.”

        Those who fully support wind power fall into 4 main categories, which obviously overlap:

        1) Shills who make money from it, be they engineers or grunts tearing up the earth for new sites. These people never cared about the destruction of nature. No different than the fossil fuel business, and entirely wedded to it (can’t built huge machines w/o carbon).

        2) Neo-environmentalists who’ve sold out their land ethic. See writings of Aldo Leopold and others. These people are utter hypocrites and people like UK writer Paul Kingsnorth have called them out. Everything is for sale and nothing is sacred because by golly we’ve got to save civilization (not nature itself) from the climate threat.

        3) Urban pseudo-environmentalists who want to “do their part” but won’t delve into the big picture. They’re content with looking at nature on slick 4K screens, with a narrow view of their turbine-free garden outside. But they tend to get upset when LOCAL aesthetics are threatened:

        4) Completely smug urbanites, like this guy, who exhibits some reverse racism: (Charles Mudede)

        This blog seem to fall into all 4 categories, with emphasis on #2 and #3.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          you give yourself away with the “reverse racism” comment.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Why don’t you just ban him and free us from having to look at his incessant bullshit—-he brings NOTHING to the climate change discussion beyond what an anti-RE paid shill for fossil fuels would bring.

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