Editorial: “Wind Parks? Really?”

Oct 11, 2010

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—Eric Bibler, WTS.com guest editor

I just discovered that Cape Wind’s 25-square mile industrial plant in Nantucket Sound is in fact not a “wind factory,” a “sprawling open air industrial wind plant” or even a “wind farm,” as I had supposed.

According to Cape Wind, it is officially a “Wind Park.”

This is an inspired choice of words!

I am already drafting letters to my local town selectmen asking if we can change a few names around here, such as: “Trash Park,” “Sewage Treatment Park,” “Coal Fired Electric Park” and “Maximum Security Correctional Park.” (Well, we don’t actually have one of those, but perhaps we can call the local jail a “Liberty Deprivation Park” –- or something like that.)

I’d also like to see if we can’t change the name of I-95, to call it an “Interstate Highway Park,” and I think we should have a few “Cell Tower Parks” and “Water Tower Parks,” don’t you?  Perhaps that strip of the highway that runs past downtown Bridgeport, CT, can be rechristened a “Billboard Park” — to avoid any confusion about its true purpose.

Perhaps wind turbine noise should be renamed “Wind Turbine Mood Music.”

We could refer to the individual wind turbines as “Gleaming Energy Independence Mobiles.”

We could refer to the flicker effect as the “Wind Turbine Prankster Effect,” to recall the antics of an out-of-control eight-year-old who won’t lay off the light switch.

Perhaps the bird and bat kill aspects could be accepted as a “New Age Darwinian Wind Turbine Effect,” that gives a 21st-century twist to natural selection by encouraging the genetic selection of new super-species impervious to blows from the blades (moving at 180 mph) or burst lungs from abrupt changes in pressure.

We could paint numbers on the offshore ones and claim they are an invaluable aid to navigation –- if you can avoid hitting them.

And we could all try to exert some self-control and refer to wind turbines on mountain ridges as “Wind Turbine Landscape Accents.”

·

Eric Bibler is a writer living in Connecticut.  (Yes, the glasses are real.)

  1. Comment by Barbara Durkin on 10/11/2010 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you for this terrific spoof on the most ridiculous wind spin! I love it!!!

    This ranks right up their with Jay Critchley’s ‘Nantucket Eyeland Resort and Theme Park’. This was Jay’s tongue in cheek response to “W I N D S C A P E An Ideas Competition Envisioning Renewable Energy for Cape Cod” sponsored by Boston Society of Architects/AIA. And, yes, many of their more distinguished members cringed to learn that the esteemed BSA was pandering to this daffy INDUSTRY.

    Special Citation:
    Nartucket Eyeland Resort and Theme Park by Jay Critchley of Provincetown, MA and John Paul Raymond of Leicester, MA (see page #8).

    http://www.architects.org/emplibrary/Windscape_Exhibition_Catalog.pdf

    Thank you for this chuckle, Eric. Gotta go! I’m off to the “Trash Park”, LOL!!!

    Very Best,

    Barbara Durkin

  2. Comment by Johana on 10/11/2010 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for the chuckle, Eric, but you’ve hit a RAW nerve.

    Since my first encounter with the Industrial Wind Turbines [IWT’s] along the 20 km of the north shore of Lake Erie–a Major Migratory Bird Corridor–I have mentally and physically cringed whenever I heard or saw in print these machines being called windmills, with all the cutesy images which that word brings to the mind’s eye. The same abhorrence goes for “wind farm” and “wind park” and all the other flowery euphemisms the IWT spin doctors have searched out in their thesauruses.

    So, we the Norfolk Victims of Industrial Wind Turbines [NVoIWT’s] live surrounded within a 3 km [1.8 mile] radius by 18 Vestas 1.65 MW IWT’s in the Clear Creek/Cultus/Frogmore IWT ZONE. Please acknowledge that we live in an area akin to a WAR ZONE. We are in a battle for our health, our sanity (because RIGHT THIS MINUTE, my brain is buzzing fiercely and I am gritting my teeth just to keep writing this) and our very lives.

    All I can add is that anyone who is not yet surrounded by IWT’s needs to fight tooth and claw to prevent what is happening to us from happening to them.

    Keep well and all the best.

    Many thanks to Nina and Calvin for providing this forum for our “rants.”

  3. Comment by Eric Bibler on 10/11/2010 at 8:14 pm

    Johana,

    I just want to say that I am sorry to hear of your plight and I don’t take it lightly. Over the past year, I’ve met many people who have suffered directly, others who just barely managed to fend off the demons at their door and still others who are this moment trying to keep them at bay or, better yet, vanquish them forever. It is truly an awful thing. And we all realize that once they go up, it’s very hard to bring them down so long as the operators have a financial incentive to keep them going.

    I can also say that I know a substantial number of people who view this as a gross injustice and who have worked, and continue to work, tirelessly to prevent new installations, fresh misery and the additional heartbreak that always follows. We’re pulling for you. And even though we are affected less directly, we DO feel like we have a dog in this fight. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to keep wind turbines out of a national park — along with a number of others who continue that fight — but I can honestly say that we are all much more motivated by the testimonials we’ve read, and the people we’ve met, whose quality of life has been so profoundly affected.

    I am also convinced that all of these projects will one day collapse under their own weight for the simple fact that they are utterly useless. Once this becomes common knowledge, the river of subsidies will cease to flow, the blades will stop spinning (because it won’t make any sense to keep operating and maintaining them) and we’ll all move onto the next task of removing their hulking skeletons. But the noise will have ended and we’ll start picking up the pieces.

    How long will that take? Maybe five years. Maybe longer. But the handwriting is already on the wall. Of that, I have no doubt.

    Keep the faith.

    Eric

  4. Comment by gail on 10/12/2010 at 2:45 am

    At a distance of nearly 3 years from the day I was forced to abandon my home near just such a “park,” I can laugh at your very apt comments—but the article re-opened an extremely raw wound.

  5. Comment by peter kenney on 10/12/2010 at 10:05 am

    “Farm” has ugly connotations—fertilizer, manure, plowing, dust, pesticides, etc. “Park” is much more genteel—unless one considers: muggings.

    Cape Wind is a mugging of the public.

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  7. Comment by Debra on 08/19/2012 at 9:24 pm

    That’s a slick answer to a challenging question.

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