New Video: Wind Turbines Supporting Hard Hit Rural Economies

October 7, 2019

Spending a lot of time last few months talking to citizens and officials in rural Mid-Michigan, where wind development is transforming hard-pressed small towns and rural areas with new revenue and opportunities.

22 Responses to “New Video: Wind Turbines Supporting Hard Hit Rural Economies”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    That’s what I need to hear right now.

    One thing, though: Nobody mentioned the wind turbines’ role in scaring away werewolves.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      no one’s seen a werewolf in these parts since the turbines came in. Nor Bigfoots neither..

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Fake news—we have virtually NO wind turbines in the DC area, and yet we have no werewolves or bigfoots either

      Unless the presence of lobbyists, dirty money, and corrupt politicians works as well as wind turbines at scaring away ww’s and bf’s?—-I would think the opposite is true—-should be more vampires and flesh-eating zombies here too.

    • If you kids want to get serious about wildlife impacts, do the search below. Insects could end up being the most significant casualties, as they support the low end of the food chain. Old Nils Hellstrom was premature.

      Bats aren’t doing well, either. You can’t just shut down entire arrays when bats fly in, nor eagles, but that’s the current bogus solution. The bird species they kill are different from the “house cats kill more” theme, but that won’t stop you from repeating it.

      It’s like trying to tell AGW-deniers that the 1998 El Nino spike is a devious place to start a “cooling” graph. Their agenda is to deny global warming and yours is to deny any real impact from huge machines all over the countryside, even though anyone can see they’re unnatural.

      I’m old enough to remember when anything that blighted nature or killed species in droves was protested by environmentalists. Webster’s needs a new word:


      [Noun: Shills for Big Wind companies, or naive youth who think they’re only the size of Tinkertoys.]

  2. In Germany every farmer has windmills on his land. It brings in more money then farming. He is harvesting all year around wind energy. Does it make any difference how you make your money?

    • Here’s another counterpoint to this turbine love-fest that only mentions the superficial benefits. Have you people seen what the German countryside actually LOOKS like? The map below (sourced from Wikipedia) is just from 2011 and it was bad enough then. It resembles a case of pox or spiky acne.

      Below is a major German anti-wind-energy site, fairly easy to translate to English. Real environmentalists around the world see what’s going on and can’t just let the blight grow. A graph of Germany’s CO2 output reveals weak carbon-reduction, after they also foolishly scuttled nuclear plants.

      Wind turbine density in Germany is equivalent to over 820,000 in America; about 14 times what we see today. When I see “environmentalists” cheering on more massive sprawl, it’s like being surrounded by pod-people who only care about maintaining growth in any form.

  3. You won’t mention that wind projects are also hitting them hard with spoiled scenery, noise and red-lit nights, which shills dismiss as NIMBYism. There was a time when environmentalists routinely protested big land & ocean developments. Now, you face angry smugness and chants of “global warming denier!” if you don’t worship white giants.

    I was glad to see this Atlantic article mention low-frequencies from wind turbines: (noise is a big deal, folks)

    It could have easily focused on infrasound instead of a noisy data center cooling system, just as the movie “Promised Land” (2012) was originally going to be about wind turbines, not fracking. Natural gas plants routinely back up Big Wind and they should make a sequel tying it all together.

    Nearly 230,000 acres are currently being blighted for two Wyoming wind projects called Chokecherry and Sierra Madre. Environmentalists who protest urban sprawl have some values-reckoning to do. But most prefer to sell-out and post pro-IWT slants on blogs like this, CleanTechnica, etc.

    When you see that the world’s current 355,000+ wind turbines have done almost nothing to halt global warming, you have to ask yourselves whether tenfold that number (aka the Green New Deal) is going to do anything of real value vs. its blatant impact on nature.

    A common rationalization is that wind power can “save more birds and bats” by preventing warming, even as if kills them in droves today. Where is the plausible evidence for that? It looks more like Big Wind wants to grab as many subsidies as they can before the PTC plays out.

    Another popular tactic is using Trump to “prove” that all wind power critics are buffoons:

    • dumboldguy Says:


      • What a mindless shill, as I’ve seen before. You’ve got nothing of substance to say because you lack an honest argument.

        Wind turbines as a “clean alternative” to fossil fuels (from which they’re built) is similar to vaping as a “safe alternative” to smoking. As recent vaping news shows, every new technology is prone to new pitfalls.

      • More content-free stuff from dumboldshill, like a kid spitting up on a rug. All you do is cry fake news when wind power negatives are documented. That makes you no better than Trump and Co. on fossil fuels.

        There are basically four views on Big Wind sprawl:

        1) We need to fix AGW by any “clean” means possible, and to heck with the physical impacts on nature. But lets still call ourselves Green because it sells.

        2) We think there can be a balance, aka “careful siting” of massive wind projects that won’t interfere with nature too much. (This is a longstanding farce on a finite planet with fewer spots to put them every day).

        3) We should use energy sources with the smallest footprint possible, which means nuclear and rooftop solar, and small wind turbines only. The other part of that strategy is degrowth, not “green growth.” It means people need to scale down as individuals and a society. Not very popular, since it questions innate greed.

        4) Global warming is a hoax and oil is infinite, therefore wind turbines are a total scam. (This is the main strawman on blogs like this.)

        If you actually read for content, you’ll see that far more wind power opponents favor #3 over the other views. Then, there’s view #3a, which says nothing’s going to stop the industrial plague except a global economic collapse.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      The “eyesore” argument is just petty.
      When a pulmonologist sees a wind turbine, she sees lower cases of black lung, children’s asthma, and other combustion insults.

      When a rural county resident sees a wind turbine, he sees better funding for schools and county services.

      When a hydrogeologist sees a wind turbine, she sees lower demand on local water sources.

      As for wildlife damage, I don’t see it as at all likely that the per-Megawatt damage from a wind turbine is worse than the per-Megawatt damage of coal (mountaintop removal, combustion poisons, ash slurry pits, CO2 ghg effects), or even gas (fracking-damaged aquifers, CH4 leaks, pipeline routes, CO2 ghg effects). There is growing research and expertise on tricks to reduce the likelihood of flying vertebrates hitting wind turbines as well.

      • Those are standard rationalizations, you know. Appeals to aesthetics go right through proponents of the new Manifest Destiny with green branding. “Build, build, build!” is all you care about. Buy off a few farmers and claim nobody else protests. Wreck a 10-mile mountain ridge and call it “beautiful” as if you have the last word on everything. It’s got the same smugness as the fracking invasion but at least that infrastructure can be removed when it plays out.

        Your paragraph with the typical windspeak of “per megawatt damage” writes off potential extinctions with vague techno-fixes. Sensors to shut down a wind farm are the current panacea when bats or eagles are drawn to blades (no cats to blame). Does anyone really think that’s pragmatic? The bloated contraptions are idle often enough already! Wind turbines get built where there’s wind, and they can’t be too concerned about flyways. We’d see vastly restricted development if they truly cared about birds, bats, and don’t forget insects (wind engineers mainly care about blade efficiency when bugs splat; food chain be damned).

        Even if wind had a chance to the replace fossil fuels that allow it to exist, the blight and carnage wouldn’t be worth it. Nuclear SMR (e.g molten salt) is far more pragmatic. Small footprint, much more reliable, much safer than older nuclear plants. Fear of nuclear is a major enabler of “clean” energy sprawl. France needs to speak up more about its nuclear success.

        The page below has rebuttals to all your denials, but they won’t register with wind geeks. The wind industry should disassociate itself from environmentalism altogether. Say what you’re REALLY about and stop riding the coattails of Thoreau, Muir, Leopold, Carson, Stegner, et al. With so much pressure to develop “empty, wasted” desert lands, a guy who’d really knock wind power was Edward Abbey. His cherished deserts are looking more and more like this:

        • dumboldguy Says:

          False P’s overreach is so long that his arms must be long enough to scratch the rear ends of anyone within 25 feet. It’s not worth the time to respond, so I’ll take a nap instead—–ZZZZZzzzzzzz…….!!!!!

          • Pardon my German but you’re really quite a Kotbeutel. A classic Wind Bastard, per C.L. Martin.

            But it only hurts the image of this rapacious industry and its Manifest Destiny continuum of developing all frontiers for “growing needs.” Who needs unfettered scenery and safe flyways when you’ve got an overstuffed civilization to sustain with non-dense energy sources? Don’t ask said civilization to downsize because people will get indignant.

            I also include fracking in that sprawl equation, but wind power is more visible and claims eco-sainthood through successful lobbying. Manifest Destiny has always needed psychological branding, and now it’s Clean, Green and so bloody wonderful. As with Donald Trump, Big Wind is always right to its supporters.

            By the way, you’d make the perfect CEO for Pinhead Planet, Inc.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            ZZZZzzzz…..(LOUD fart)….!

        • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

          I like wind and PV solar for a number of reasons. Unlike steam power plants (nuclear also needs it for cooling), they don’t need water. They don’t need coal trains or pipelines. They don’t need exceptional security. They can fit on odd patches of brownfield. They are scalable either to meet community needs or investment availability. They can support grid-isolated places like islands or remote valleys. They can be constructed and maintained with little training. They displace coal plants, both in early retirement of existing plants and canceled construction of new ones. They’re good for poor countries and poor communities.

          Nuclear plants require very expensive up front investment, and in the US tend to involve a cluster of municipality politics, multiple jurisdictions, and a lot of contractor and vendor relationships established de novo (unlike France, where they had the gov’t as a single payer, similar designs, and the advantage of longer-term construction/fab relationships). Nobody wants to invest in nuclear power plants in the US today if only because of the massive cost overruns. Your best bet to get it fast-tracked—or even tracked at all—are via fiat governments like China or Russia. [Note: Several European nuclear reactors were shut down during the 2019 heat wave because the coolant water was too warm.]

          BTW, the plumbing used in standard chemical plants and refineries is expensive enough, but molten salt requires special high-temp non-corrosive enamel-lined pipes and pumps, and need frequent inspection to watch for cracks in the linings.

          A lot of those wind turbine “hellscapes” seem to be shot from altitude. Would you be happier if there were lines of trees along the road to save your tender sensibilities from the view, like the bands of trees lining the highways in the Pacific Northwest to hide the view of razed forests? And do you really think they’re worse for wildlife than the Extra-high Voltage (EHV) and Ultra-high Voltage (UHV) power lines that criss-cross the countryside?

          For over a century, coal plants were fine to site in impoverished parts of towns, but interrupt the view of one of the haves and it’s all about “desecrating nature”. BTW, I’m a YIMBY if you haven’t figured it out yet.

          • Again, you only talk about the benefits of wind turbines, as if their huge physical presence is essentially invisible and all that matters is people getting juice. “Wind is free” is a common hypothetical refrain, but harvesting it requires enormous mechanical bulk. Wind power proponents aim to save civilization, not nature in general. If a few scraps of scenery remain, they’ll point to only those. If a certain bat species isn’t wiped out, they’ll cite it as a success.

            This paragraph is classic dismissal of Big Wind’s impacts:

            “A lot of those wind turbine “hellscapes” seem to be shot from altitude. Would you be happier if there were lines of trees along the road to save your tender sensibilities from the view, like the bands of trees lining the highways in the Pacific Northwest to hide the view of razed forests?…..”

            So what if some views are from above? It just shows more of what’s really going on. Giving a damn about natural scenery is “tender sensibilities” now? That’s like something Rush Limbaugh would say. Wind turbines are like inverse logging (adding something artificial vs. removing something natural) and a lot of trees are clear-cut for wind projects; dual impacts.

            At ground level, due to their height and albedo, wind turbines are the most visible energy structures ever invented. They stick out for dozens of miles and you can’t miss their red lights at night (goodby wilderness experience when you see them from remote camps). The oceans are a major target of Big Wind. Offshore oil rigs usually protrude just a few hundred feet, are much sparser, and can be removed by design. Just wait until offshore wind gets built up. Read about places like Ocean City, MD refusing to blight their view. You’ll probably call them whiners, since the new “green” means all but the most iconic views are expendable.

            And you continue with this line:

            “…And do you really think they’re worse for wildlife than the Extra-high Voltage (EHV) and Ultra-high Voltage (UHV) power lines that criss-cross the countryside?”

            What a load of disingenuous dross! Wind power is one of the biggest sources of NEW transmission lines cutting through wild areas in places line Maine, Vermont and Appalachia, to name a few. You don’t seem to grasp what’s really going on out there. Wind by nature only occurs where nature puts it, so the power is rarely localized.

            The impacts of wind power are NOT displacing existing (or growing) impacts from other energy projects. For example, natural gas fracking is common source of wind power backup energy. Many “wind” farms are functionally gas plants with wind assistance. All of it adds more desecration to a world already cluttered with man-made junk, serving no purpose to other species. The weak theory that Big Wind will stop AGW, thus saving more species than it kills, is treated as a given. It’s like saying “We’ll disfigure your body with permanent acupuncture needles but less of your hair may fall out later. Trust us. We have no money stake in it.”

            Germany has a wind turbine density equivalent to about 820,000 units in America, and their ~30,000 turbines have barely reduced carbon output. The math gets complicated because they’ve shut down nuclear plants. You’re dwelling on old nuclear technology vs. molten salt designs that can be far safer and cheaper. The footprint of SMRs is much smaller than wind factories, and they don’t fail when the wind dies. Solar on rooftops is fine by me, but not covering open land.

            When you frame wind turbines solely in an electricity context, you’re like global warming deniers who try to frame CO2 as “plant food.” A true assessment must include Big Wind’s many aesthetic problems. It’s environmentally traitorous to fill so many horizons with machines and dismiss wildlife decimation as collateral damage.


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