As I was driving around through farmland and hilly landscape today, I noticed a strip of about a mile with several yellow "No Wind Turbines" signs posted in some lawns. The signs also had a web address for "Save Upstate New York," a self-described "concerned citizens' group."
Personally, I enjoy windmills of all sorts. Granted, the power-generating windmills are more practical than aesthetic, but it still seems visually pleasing to me.
The only people who I could imagine disliking wind power are corporations providing alternate sources of power and Don Quixote.
Oh, and lest we forget the typical NIMBYs ("Not In My BackYard"-ers) that crop up over any such issues. The reason that this issue has become so overblown is because one of the NIMBYs down in the Chautauqua Lake area happens to be ever-unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Thomas Golisano. He has more than enough money to throw around, giving lousy signs to hapless folks so that he doesn't have to have windmills in his area.
For additional information, read the (northeastern NY paper) Press Republican's article "Wind-farm opponents step up efforts." Irreverent Buffalonian magazine The Beast also has an insightful article titled "A Mighty Wind: Wind Power Threatens Corporate Bottom Line."
If you have read my blog for any period of time, you'll know that I am categorized on the right half of the political spectrum on most issues. The articles I have read finger the Republicans for being corporate jerks and not wanting the windmills to drain any revenue from the oil companies. Oddly enough, however, most of the arguments against wind turbines are environmental and ecological in nature: Soil erosion, bird and bat collisions, noise pollution, ice throw, flashing red lights (plane warning lights), and the deadly "shadow flicker."
They argue that birds and bats have collisions with structures, turbine blades and wires causing death or injury. This is hyperbolic, but even if it weren't we really need to make sure we keep all the bats alive. They are endangered, and we need all the bats we can get!
They also use the Liberal tactic of class envy by noting that "wind power is made financially viable and–in the short term–highly profitable for wind developers through multiple tax incentives." Yeah, let's protest wind power because wind developers might make some money! No one should make money!
Another crazy item is that windmills will have a negative impact on tourism. Ever hear anyone say "My family had planned on vacationing in ______, but then we realized that they had windmills there now, and it's just not the same." Anyone?
For more wind power information, feel free to check out windpower.org