We can’t keep waiting for renewable energy

To the editor:

I have recently read numerous articles and saw the ads everywhere for saving Jacks Mountain from the deadly wind turbines. The idea that these turbines are not needed is a laughable idea.

While I have enjoyed reading opinions about this subject in The Sentinel and on numerous websites, I like to base what I believe on facts.

One fact that nobody has addressed is our nation’s growing need for renewable energy. For too long we have pumped dangerous amounts of carbon into our atmosphere and it has had devastating effects on our planet. For all who do not know it, carbon actually traps heat in our atmosphere and does not let it escape. Now while our planet does go through warming stages on its own through times the effects of the increased carbon from us processing energy and manufacturing is quickly adding to the negative effects of the change in our global climate. Petroleum and coal plants are a huge factor in carbon release. Neither industry has done anything substantial to curb these emissions, not to mention the disasters that are constantly occurring with relations to spills in the Gulf Coast and elsewhere because of the lack of regulations to protect our environment. These impacts on our water sources are much greater than the chance that there might be a negative impact from the wind turbines. The laws are made to protect the big energy companies by politicians that are paid for their vote by the lobbyists in Washington that have no love of their environment and that could not care less about you as a individual or your family. There is no money in clean air – it’s as simple as that.

Then people say “well we have to start focusing on natural gas.” Really? Water is the one natural resource we have that is already scarce. While desalination efforts have been started again in California and elsewhere the fact is that 1 percent of the planet’s water is actually safe for drinking. Natural gas processing uses massive amounts of water to produce just modest amounts of natural gas for use. Not to mention the gas that is released from this process into our environment is methane. While methane does not last as long as carbon in our atmosphere, it is a much more potent greenhouse gas. It is far more effective at trapping heat in our atmosphere.

There are numerous negative effects from the pollutants that we continue to pump into our atmosphere. The problem with this is that nobody cares until it impacts their lives directly. But what they don’t understand is that by the time it affects their lives it will already be too late to really have a strategy in place to do anything. But that’s what this country is good at, putting things off until it affects them personally. Don’t get me wrong, I love this country and go to lengths sometimes to try to stick up for the idiots we put into office that are supposed to have our best interests in their heart. The truth is there is no such politician, that I can think of, that truly does the right thing. They would rather create a law that nets them the most money or gives them a new term in office.

So here is my question. If we are not going to focus on renewable, green energy then what is your plan on curbing the emissions that are killing our planet? I went on the website to Save Jacks Mountain and there they have no ideas listed. I realize that technology to capture energy from the sun and wind is expensive at this time (renewable sources receive no federal subsidies) but at a time in our history where we spend in excess of $6 billion on picking a president I think we can afford to put our money where our mouths are and lead the world in green energy production.

These are the reasons I hear for the need to stop the wind turbines:

“The turbines will kill lots of birds and bat species.” The truth is that these turbines are not any more dangerous than other tall structures such as buildings and cell towers. Will you give up your cell phone to get rid of these towers that far outnumber wind turbines? Why don’t we talk about the real dangers to birds? Almost 3.7 billion birds die annually from feral and domesticated cats worldwide. Want to get rid of all the cats of the world? The emissions from pollution in this country hurt far more birds than wind turbines. The idea that more oil and coal plants are safer for birds is ridiculous.

“There will be a decrease in my property value.” The truth is yes there will likely be a small decrease in property value when groundbreaking starts, most likely from buyer apprehension in the area. The fact is though that, after production starts at these facilities, the property values will actually increase.

We can continue to live in the past in this country or start to think about our future. If we continue to do nothing to curb the effects of the emissions we continue to dump into our air and water, we will no longer have to worry about birds or property taxes or water. Our planet is hurting and it will only continue to get worse. We need to wake up and realize there are more important things we have to focus on as a population. To stop renewable energy from coming to our area would be a huge mistake and to say that we need to do it to protect our environment is a joke.

Business as usual, with regard to energy production, is a far more dangerous path than doing whatever we can to make sure our future and the future of our kids and grandchildren is protected from our continued pollution. The idea that these turbines will take away from natural beauty of our area is just another simpleminded approach to our problems instead of ideas to make changes for our energy independence and the protection of our environment.

I know that there are a lot of you that blame President Obama for the mess we are in with our energy resources but the fact is for the first time in our history we have a president that is looking toward the future for our energy needs. He has problems passing any legislation to help, for the fact that our Congress is there to block any law that he supports. It’s not because his ideas are bad but rather they don’t want to work with a Democratic president. A lot of people will say race is not an issue but I disagree with that also.

So we can continue to produce huge amounts of carbon producing energy or we can look toward the future and come up with real ideas to solve the problems we have as result of our continued pollution of our planet because all I keep hearing is people that want to continue with the same old ideas which are killing us and our planet.

Jason Lynn Sr.