Stories about the adverse environmental impact of wind energy are made in media heaven. What could be more toothsome than reports tying wind farms to bird deaths, scenery stealing and disturbance of animal habitat? Aren’t these things in the exclusive realm of oil, gas and coal? Apparently not. The latest news, from an academic journal called Nature Climate Change, says the massive windmills contribute to global warming by heating up the earth around the base of the 250-ft. towers. This is particularly true at night. Since many large wind farms are in the drier western states, this should be of concern, right? No worries. Parking lots, roofs and highways have an impact on local area heating. Many activities of daily human living do. Whatever adverse impact wind farms have in the small area around them is not that significant and is certainly offset by the benefits of wind energy. In today’s world, there’s no such thing as a free lunch or a free range.
Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman Archives