Recent letters and articles in The Buffalo News promoting industrial scale wind and solar power make many assumptions. Wind and sunlight are free, but they have built-in downtimes and their conversion to electricity requires expensive spans of machinery. The petroleum and mining industries these writers decry have simply expanded into wind turbine, solar panel and battery production, manufactured in other countries where the accompanying environmental destruction is out of our sight. We maintain our ignorance and profess our cleanliness with the finished products here.
The March 27 editorial “Look to the Lakes” claims we are economically and environmentally irresponsible if we don’t examine offshore wind turbines for Lakes Erie and Ontario. What logic assumes nothing will go wrong with massive generators containing oil and toxic, carcinogenic rare earth elements suspended over the fresh drinking water we share with Canada? Will we have another Flint, Michigan, where officials ignored complaints and poisoned the water and health of its people?
None of the articles mentioned the awesome gift of Niagara Falls hydropower we already have, truly emission free and available 24/7. No mention of improving its infrastructure or conserving its use. We are told we must sacrifice carbon consuming forest and farmland, and now precious fresh water to buy these new generators that work only part time and made from what we already know damages Earth in the first place.
Objectors are NIMBY-shamed and criticized for not understanding science. Let’s do some science then, on the existing facilities that we already have, like the Steel Winds turbines in Lackawanna. Give us a complete, independent analysis with costs, components, environmental impacts, subsidies, tax breaks, payouts to their promoters, actual electricity output and times they stand idle under dark or windless skies. No assumptions made.
Flint, Michigan officials, including the ex-governor, are now facing criminal charges with theirs.