From NewScientist.com, an essay by Canadian environmental expert David Suzuki entitled “The Beauty of Windfarms.” Suzuki addresses most of the criticisms we’ve seen here at sustainablog, and eloquently places them in the perspecitve of the threat of climate change. He also puts aesthetic considerations into a proper context:
Are windmills ugly? I remember when Mostafa Tolba, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme from 1976 to 1992, told me how when he was growing up in Egypt, smokestacks belching out smoke were considered signs of progress. Even as an adult concerned about pollution, it took him a long time to get over the instinctive pride he felt when he saw a tower pouring out clouds of smoke.
We see beauty through filters shaped by our values and beliefs. Some people think wind turbines are ugly. I think smokestacks, smog, acid rain, coal-fired power plants and climate change are ugly. I think windmills are beautiful. They harness the power of the wind to supply us with heat and light. They provide local jobs. They help clean our air and reduce climate change.
I hope our wind power critics will address Suzuki’s argument, as I think it’s pretty perceptive.
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