Political activism, wind turbines, and a reminder to oneself

Of late, I’ve studied many different philosophies, most of which focus on improving oneself, that the only actual control you have in life is your control over your thoughts.

In pursuing greater understanding and personal development, we tend to shut the world off. We become myopic in our view, and sometimes things are happening around us that we should stop and discuss with others.

Recently I was reminded that being passionate about the world around you is sometimes necessary to maintain your sense of self. My lovely fiance has a beach house in the coastal town of Brigantine, New Jersey, and she had to go through a lot to get that property, as most people do.  

Property ownership is the “American” way of life. We work tirelessly to save, we go through great hardship to maintain, and for many, it’s our only real financial investment. What if I told you that you don’t really have a say in ownership? That the government, at any given time, can enforce eminent domain on you, or they can come up with some hair-brained scheme that ruins the ownership of your property, destroys the reason you bought the property in the first place, and all because of political agendas, boogie men, and fear-mongering.

The conversation about wind turbines started a few months back, with whales washing up on the shores and other seemingly unusual circumstances. Was it the wind turbines? The topic started there and soon expanded into this more extensive discussion of how wind turbines will be commonplace on the horizon of the east coast of America.

Currently, there are only seven operational wind turbines off the shore. By the end, there will be nearly 1500, and the most critical question is: Is this a good idea?

At face value, it’s renewable energy, and we all know that we can never question anything that sounds like it might save the planet, but what if we’re actually…destroying the ecosystem that we want to keep?

Let’s look at all this and see if it is worth it!

Noise Pollution, Marine Life, and Disruption of their Ecosystems:

Ah, the relaxing hum of a fan blowing, nothing like that white noise to get you all zen-like, but imagine something three times the height of the Statue of Liberty, with each of its blades being about the size of one Statue of Liberty.

That goes from calming white noise to a health hazard for individuals and even more deadly for our sea life. Do we have real evidence that this will not dramatically affect sea life? Are we just trusting the scientific studies these companies produce that are shilling people this “safe” energy?

Let’s rush to put up these turbines and apologize later when whales no longer roam the seas, and we go, oopsie, made a mistake, my bad. That is the completely irresponsible actions of people trying to gouge money out of the buzzword of renewable energy.

Let’s not listen to data collected by people with a vested interest in making money from something. I’m sick and tired of us getting spoon-fed lies from companies and their research saying something is 10000% safe when we only find out later that it wasn’t. Research should be done over decades to ensure we’re not once again destroying the very thing we want to save because some corporate shill intends to earn a few billion.

Bird Collisions:

We don’t have current estimations; the last real studies were done in 2013 and 2014, but go here and see:

How Many Birds Are Killed by Wind Turbines? 

To quote Joel Merriman, “Adjusting for this industry growth, we can project that approximately 538,000 wind turbine-caused bird deaths occur in the U.S. each year.”

That might cause an environmental impact, but we can’t say anything about the ecological saviors of wind power.

Shadow Flicker:

Picture the enormous wind turbine blades rotating in the bright sunlight. As they move, they cast rapidly shifting shadows on the surrounding area, including the water’s surface, creating a flickering effect, almost like a strobe light.

Marine organisms are sensitive to changes in light, as it plays a significant role in their daily rhythms, migratory patterns, and even breeding habits. This shadow flicker, which is unnatural and unpredictable, could disrupt these rhythms and behaviors.

For instance, certain fish species might be startled by the sudden changes in light and shadow, affecting their feeding or migration. Or consider sea turtles that rely on moonlight for nesting activities. A flickering shadow across their nesting beach could be disorientating or disturbing.

In essence, while the shadow flicker of wind turbines might not seem like a big deal to us, marine life that is finely tuned to the rhythms of the natural world could be a source of significant disruption.

Interference with Radar:

It’s fascinating but problematic how wind turbines can mess with radar systems. It’s not something you’d think about immediately, but these big spinning blades can create static on radar screens, making it tricky for air traffic controllers and even the military to spot and track aircraft. They’re throwing up a cloud of confusion on the radar – not ideal when trying to keep the skies safe!

I want, as a New Yorker, a bunch of radar anomalies happening over the busy skyways of New York. Mmm, I feel safe already.

The life span of sea Wind Turbines:

20 to 25 years. That’s all, folks. What are these messes made of? Steel, Concrete, Fiberglass, plastics, and remember lubricants, rare earth metals, etc.  

Also, as they get older, they require more and more maintenance, and the blades are made of fiberglass and will most likely end up in a landfill somewhere. 

You know, a big question pops up when we talk about these massive projects like wind farms – what happens when they’ve lived their useful life? It’s not like you can leave these huge turbines in the ocean forever. Taking apart and removing these offshore turbines is no walk in the park – it’s complex and pricey, and a whole other side to consider: the environmental impact. The removal process itself could cause damage to the marine environment, and that’s something we can’t ignore.

The Seabed:

When we talk about the impact of offshore wind farms, we often need to remember what’s happening beneath the water’s surface. You see, setting up these giant turbines is a complex task. It involves driving massive piles into the seabed to create solid foundations for the turbines. But this process only happens with consequences. It significantly disturbs the sea floor.

This disruption can significantly affect benthic organisms, creatures living at the very bottom of the sea. We’re discussing various species, from tiny microbes to crustaceans, worms, and other invertebrates. Some of these organisms play a crucial role in the ecosystem, contributing to biodiversity, nutrient cycling, and providing food for larger animals.

But that’s not all. Pounding these piles into the seabed could release toxins trapped in the sediments. These toxins could then circulate in the marine environment, potentially affecting a wide range of marine life, including fish populations, and even making their way up the food chain. Its ripple effect could lead to long-term consequences for the entire marine ecosystem.

The wind turbine companies say it’s safe, so it must be. Let us not question. We must pray to the spinning wind god and hope for salvation.

Visual Impact and Tourism:

They’re just fucking ugly. I’m sorry, but they are, and you have the whole east coast of America during the summertime wondering if those ugly ass wind turbines are going to affect tourism.

In conclusion:

Well-meaning people are sometimes the best target for corporations looking to earn billions on their investments. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and sometimes in our efforts to be saviors, we become destroyers.

Will this writing lead to anything? Who knows, but I told my fiance there was no point in fighting against the powers that be, and then as I heard her frustrated voice say, “You’re probably right,” it led me to one conclusion that I was most definitely wrong.

As long as you have a voice, use it, and whether you win or lose, you are present and not sitting, just letting the world happen around you. 

  1. You can contact your U.S. senator or Congressman by calling the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the office you request.
  2. https://www.congress.gov/contact-us — you can also find the contact information here

Also, check these links for Defend Brigantine Beach:

Defend Brigantine Website
Defend Brigantine Beach Facebook
Defend Brigantine Instagram

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