By Nadin Abbott
August 25, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Watching activists defend "green wind energy" as if it was the only solution turns my stomach. It is like talking to a wall. Facts, and there are facts, make little difference. Green energy is nice and green energy is good, go blindly hug a wind turbine, seems to be the message.
So let me ask these same activists: should Pattern Energy, a division of the Carlyle group, target the Rosecrans National Cemetery for development? How dare I suggest this? Well, it's windy there, in fact, probably more so than Ocotillo.
Oh wait, but it would be on a designated military cemetery? And, Ocotillo and the McCain Valley are places where the local tribes have buried their ancestors for at least hundreds of years, probably thousands. These are sacred lands, just as sacred to our local tribes as the Rosecrans National Cemetery is to many of us. In fact, probably more. These are the lands where the world was created according to their beliefs..think Jerusalem, and you'd be close.
I can hear it now: "Those people need to make sacrifices.” These activists are wearing green blinders. They don’t ask questions. As long as they get electricity piped into their houses, don't look behind the curtain. It really does not matter that Ocotillo is not that windy to begin with, but was fast tracked with fudged data.
There is this wonderful wind corridor in front of Torrey Pines and La Jolla Shores...you even see sailboats out there regularly. Wait, we could not do that...the term eyesore comes to mind. Here is what it would look like.
Why are your views more important than other people’s views?
Oh and fires, we are getting an increasing number of fires that are being tracked to turbines. And we are sure getting more fires due to our historic drought.
You saw the photos the paper ran last week during the Ranchita fire? (photo, left.)
I covered that fire last week. Most of it was in pretty rugged terrain. The term air drops comes to mind. Those tall towers would have made the job of firefighters that much more dangerous.
As a former firefighter and paramedic, this gives me cause for alarm.
There is a reason Supervisor Diane Jacobs voted against the Tule Wind project, public safety. She has been outspoken on the fire dangers posed by wind turbines in our fire-prone backcountry.
Congressman Bob Filner and Duncan Hunter, usually polar political opposites, also both wrote letters to U.S. Interior Department Secretary Salazar opposing this project, citing severe fire dangers among their reasons. Republican Hunter warns the project “increase the risk of catastrophic wildfires.” Filner. a Democrat, urged denial of the project, also warning of “catastrophic wildfires” that can result.
Wind turbines contain hundreds of gallons of oil. They explode. They also get hit by lightning. But no, go hug a turbine, they are green so they must be safe! Don't bother me with details!
I can hear it now, we need energy, and climate change is real. Yes, on both counts, but we need to be intelligent about it. First off, what these large utilities are doing is recreating a 20th century energy distribution model. Remember the great San Diego power outage? Single points of failure come to mind.
Second, we are taking the word at face value from companies that have been known to fudge the data. Third, they really do not want photovoltaic. It would really affect the present business model. What do you mean you might be independent from the grid, or greatly reduce your consumption with solar on your roof? We can't have that. It cuts into the big corporations’ centralized business model.
But hey as long as you turn on the light switch...so how about that wind project on Mission Bay Park? Yup, it's real windy down there. Trust me, it is. I used to go fly kites there.
Oh wait, it's ok if it's in the East County, out of sight and out of mind... What were the words of Governor Brown? "We will crush the opposition."
So it’s okay to blow up mountains and bulldoze deserts, kill wildlife and endanger people’s lives as long as it’s not in your backyard, do I have that right?
What activists and partisans forget is that the opposition is real people, who are having their sacred ancestral lands and the homes they love destroyed. It is a way of life that I guess is worth destroying for the sake of my morning coffee.
What they forget is that sooner or later we will have a fire tracked back to any of these facilities. What then? Does the light still come on? Do I still have AC? I guess that is A-ok. Maybe it will even threaten your backyards—take a look at this photo of downtown in the 2007 wildfires, if you need a reminder of why should really should care.
Meanwhile for the sake of fairness, Pattern and Iberdrola should look into Rosecrans National Military Cemetery, La Jolla Shores, Torrey Pines and yes, my personal back yard, Mission Bay Park. It's all about going green right?
Suffice it to say the kind of green these corporations really want has Presidents printed on it. It’s all about the money they are getting in our taxpayer subsidies.
I guarantee this though, these coastal projects won't happen. The opposition would be far larger and vocal. It gets worst, those people vote, and they do so in large numbers. So as usual, take the path of least political resistance. We’ve got lights, all is well with the world. Don't bother us with the details.
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