By Mary Kay Barton
The ongoing push by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his pals in the wind industry to cover rural New York State with industrial wind factories is a needless attack on our natural environment, and the health, safety and welfare of citizens and targeted communities.
The diffuse energy of wind provides no firm capacity, and therefore, cannot replace our reliable generation sources that do – hydro, nuclear, natural gas and coal. (Less than 1 percent of the state’s electricity generation comes from coal.)
There is no such thing as wind by itself on the grid. Wind needs constant shadow capacity to cover for its volatile unreliability – typically natural gas. Thus, wind actually locks us into dependence on fossil fuels. Research has shown that instead of replacing fossil fuels, wind energy preserves and increases the need for fossil fuel power generation. Furthermore, as Tang Energy Group CEO Patrick Jenevein candidly admitted, this redundancy “makes consumers double-payers for the same product.” So it’s not hard to understand why there is no scientific proof that wind has significantly reduced emissions.
Ironically, a recent Harvard study has shown that industrial wind factories can actually cause warming, while also causing massive habitat fragmentation, and slaughtering millions of birds and bats annually.
According to the American Wind Energy Association there are more than 341,000 industrial-scale wind turbines installed worldwide, with more than 54,000 of them sited in the U.S. Yet, with estimates of trillions of dollars spent, and countless once-beautiful countrysides ruined, wind is still providing less than 1 percent of the world’s electricity.
The World Health Organization concluded that infrasound (sounds below 20 hertz that the ear cannot hear, but the body can feel) caused by industrial wind turbines is a human health hazard.
New York officials admitted they know the noise and infrasound from wind factories is a problem at a 2009 meeting in Albany specific to industrial wind. Here we are 10 years later, and Cuomo still has not called for any independent health studies to protect our citizens, while continuing to allow multinational wind energy LLCs to dangerously site these giant moving machines.
You won’t find any of these giant machines sited in Albany or New York City – where the power is actually needed, but dumped on upstate, Central and Western New York communities. Where is the “social justice” in that?
Mary Kay Barton is a New York State-certified health science educator (retired) and a member of local water quality organizations in Wyoming County.