By JAY MCCARTHY
Special to The Vista
Ever since the beginning of time there have been “Deniers”. I’m sure if your like me your teachers touched on a few of the more famous ones:
There was Doubting Thomas in Jesus’ time,; the Flat Earthers who thought if you sailed over the horizon you would never return again; and, in World War II, there was Neville Chamberlain, who believed Germany was a peaceful nation.
One of the more serious phenomena that our culture has encountered over the years is that fact-based science is often bullied and shouted down. Even the foundation of common sense doesn’t exist anymore.
Back in the early 1900s, European doctors had discovered that cigarettes were linked to lung cancer. But because of “Big Business” with the help of our government, a connection between cigarettes and cancer was not proclaimed loudly until the 1960s and 70s. It took 40 more years before they were banned in most public places.
Again, with Asbestos, our government knew that in the early 1900’s there was proof of problems and isn’t wasn’t until the 1930’s that our government put some minor regulations to protect the public. But it was not until it affected millions of workers did they outlaw it in the 70s and put laws into effect making it required to remove it from your home.
I’m sure you can remember your own examples, but history has taught us these Deniers have been proven wrong over and over again.
In the same way, the case of wind turbines, the “Deniers” have ignored the medical problems reported that have affected all age groups of humans. Many of which we have reported to you over the last year in the many articles which have been published in The Vista. To refresh your memory please visit our website: www. Cumberlandmountaincoalition.com.
You would think the Deniers after examining the overwhelming preponderous of evidence, would admit that there is the minute possibility that there is some validity to these claims. But even after hundreds of thousands of people have been affected both physically and economically that there would be some validity to these claims.
But no, the Deniers continue to march to the same drum beat.
After 30 years and several countries making all-out attempts to control cost and forcing utility companies to build these monstrosities — with total disregard to human safety, the environment and private property rights — you are witnessing history repeat itself.
Those governments have been forced to admit that they made a mistake and are finally putting in strict standards that force this industry to comply. Now some countries have either decided to ban future wind projects or will only allow them to be built out in the ocean away from human populations. Of course, OUR government is lagging behind their European counterparts.
Wind power is called “Green Energy” by some. But the fact is, Europe has had over 30 years of wind power operating and there C02 levels have not decreased by even 1%. Additionally, they are finding out is as these wind projects shut down they are creating giant junkyards of wind turbines worldwide which no longer function.
As far as reducing energy costs, all you have to do is look at the example to our northern neighbors in Ontario, Canada. Despite hundreds of Wind Turbines, their cost for wind power has gone up on average of 13% per year for the past 5 years. They are now considering junking the entire process.
Recent studies have shown to power the entire US in Wind Power/Solar it would cost over $29 trillion. The land needed would be the size of Indiana. Life expectancy for Wind/Solar is 20 years and also they need back up generators since they only work part of the time and, as you know the weather is unpredictable.
Conversely, the cost to power the U.S. with modern AP-1000 light water reactors with a 60-year life span and high dependability, would cost us under $3 trillion. Even the Deniers can’t deny this is a heck of a difference. And, the needed land would only amount to a few square miles. You make the call yourself !
Don’t forget the environmental aspect of wind turbines and how the evidence shows that they cause a massive bird kills of all species — most notably, are golden and bald eagles, ospreys and hawks.
Lastly, even if the Tennessee Valley Authority decides to purchase any Wind energy produced by a Crab Orchard project, that energy does not get used only in Cumberland County — if at all. “ Once the energy is transmitted onto TVA’s transmission grid,” TVA representative Scott Fiedler told The Vista, “ it flows through the system and mixes with the other sources. Because, much like water, it blends together seamlessly regardless of where it came from/the way it was generated, it’s not always the closest source that generates the energy you might get in your community.”
And while the state of Tennessee may use a lot of energy, it has one of the lowest costs per capita for that energy in the country as TVA’s grid is the largest producer of its kind.
So I pose the question to all you Deniers: Would you rather take the chance of denying the people of Cumberland County the right to — at the least — hear all the evidence? The SB 1336/HB1021 Bill that the Cumberland Mountain Protection Coalition has been behind has advanced to the Tennessee House and Senate. The Bill contains language that requires each county in the State of Tennessee to allow the voters to decide whether of not that they want to allow wind projects such as the one planned for Crab Orchard to be built after they here all the facts from both sides.
Or would you just want any company like Apex (would-be builders of the Crab Orchard project) be able to come into our community and expose us to all the many health problems, environmental problems, property de-valuation, fire potential, and over-priced production of electricity that is not needed either locally or nationally?
At present, it is apparent that the majority of our local officials that Fairfield Glade helped elect are ignoring the facts. It seems some of them are not opposed to putting Cumberland County residents at high risk.
This is why is important that you support this bill SB 1336/HB1021 that is currently being proposed in Nashville. You can either visit or email our elected officials. Please visit :www.capitol.tn.gov to do so.
Again, for those of you that don’t believe what you have read here, then please visit other communities that, at first, supported the construction of these wind projects and then — once they were built — found out that the problems they caused far outweighed any benefits.
They are now warning other communities like ours not to make the same mistake.
Even Deniers can’t deny this.