Dave Erb's May 26 guest commentary ["Wind Power or Hot Air?"] laid out some good reasons to prohibit industrial ridge-top windmills that will enrich a few while forever stealing our heritage of beautiful unspoiled vistas. Here are a few more reasons:
1) The enormous sums of money needed for windmills could be better spent on conservation and efficiency; once the demand is reduced as much as possible, we won't need nearly as much power.
2) Solar is a better option for many reasons: a) it has no moving parts and won't wear out like windmills; b) solar can be decentralized on individual buildings, cars etc.; c) the centralized power grids needed by industrial windmills are vulnerable to disruption by weather, computer error, malevolent greed (think Enron's "rolling blackouts," or even terrorists; d) wind-power proponents have typically overstated the efficiency of proposed windmills (see below); and e) windmills sporadic output does not actually reduce power-plant usage or emissions.
I know this is all a little hard to swallow, but I also know the multinational windmill industry is garnering billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and is not to be trusted. I have lived with wind power in Washington state, and I know what I'm talking about. Please, do yourself and our region a favor, and take a look at the cons before you invest our future in an unproven, unsightly resource with lots of downsides. There are many good sources; just Google them. One example is "A Problem with Windpower," by Eric Rosenbloom. I dare you to read that; it gives the statistics to back up the efficiency claims I mentioned earlier, as well as tons of problems I haven't the room to mention.
— Michael Kohnle