The Wind Turbine Siren Song

Dear Editor:

Orleans County residents—including those who live in Yates—should be thankful that Jim Simon and John Riggi have shown such unselfish commitment to promoting the best interests of the residents of their town. They are doing their best to educate their neighbors regarding the Siren song of wind energy development in a County as richly endowed with lush wildlife habitat as ours. I recall when researchers from the Nature Conservancy described migrating warblers “dripping from the trees” in Lakeside Park just a few years ago. Bernie Daniels, the President of the North American Bluebird Society, told me about a month ago that the only place he had ever seen a gallinule (such as the one found on our road and sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology a few months ago) was in Costa Rica! He asked me to affirm three times in a half hour conversation where I lived (on the Atlantic Flyway)!

Some will fault any democrat for taking issue with the Governor by opposing wind energy development in Orleans. But, as someone who is tired of seeing the County’s assets frittered away by those in power locally, I am unequivocally opposed to clearing hardwood woodlots for the purpose of siting wind turbines. Having gone through this when, as I recall, Jack Gilman was Kendall Town Supervisor, I have concluded that is inevitably what will too often happen due to wind turbine setback requirements.

As Dr. Richard Perez from S.U.N.Y. Albany told us last summer, the future is in energy generated by increasingly more efficient solar panels. According to Dr. Perez, the Chinese get it, even if many here do not. In the not too distant future, wind turbines will be regarded as the energy equivalent of dinosaurs better suited to moonscape environments than one that is as rich as that of a County such as Orleans.

But, make no mistake. For some, the “joke” will be on the vast majority of Orleans residents. Sound familiar?

Quite sincerely yours,
Gary Kent, Town of Albion