Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

Wind farms are eyesores?

Someone mentioned windfarms in Germany in the Old Europe thread, which prompts me to ask...

Who thinks wind farms are eyesores?

That's the reason I always hear from the NIMBY's about wind farms.

But I happen to think they're beautiful - I could watch them for hours. If I had a few square miles of land, I'd pay someone to put up a windfarm.

So - is it really "eyesores" or is there something else going on?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 1st, 2005
I've always thought that we should utilize the useless attic space in homes for just this purpose... Now I just have to figure out how.

I think they look magestic, but that's me.
Permalink _ 
March 1st, 2005
I have heard that there are concerns about noise as well. However, talking to people that live near the one in Toronto (near the Ex) say that it doesn't make any noticable noise at all.

Personally I think they should be anywhere there is reasonable amounts of wind (tops of high rises in urban centers for example).
Permalink 0xCC 
March 1st, 2005
They are eyesores when they are erected in locations where they spoil what is already beautiful natural scenery. If they are erected out at sea it is not so bad, but Britain has little enough natural landscape as it is, so building wind farms inland on what remains is not desirable.

Wind power is being pursued for political reasons, on the basis that it is green and therefore "good" without regard for economic feasibility. We now have the situation that anybody who tries to argue for examination of facts in the debate is labelled anti-environment and pro-global warming. The only reason wind farms get built at all is because of huge subsidies using tax payers' money.
Permalink Ian Boys 
March 1st, 2005
I think they look fine, even the big ones. If they don't want a wind farm, it's no problem. Just build a coal plant or a nuclear power plant on the lot instead.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 1st, 2005
They are actually kind of cool looking. My state has several near where I grew up. These are in the middle of farm fields. They actually break up the monontony of the fields.

http://www.engineering.sdstate.edu/~roppm/LakeBentonPhotos.html
if you want to see them
Permalink hochink 
March 1st, 2005
The one we have in the bay area is an eye sore. There broken parts all laying on the ground and many of the mills are in disrepair.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 2nd, 2005
Parnas, I'll trade you your house overlooking the bay for a condemned lot in Love Canal.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 2nd, 2005
+1 for the beauty of wind farms.

Off topic, I've always wondered how we could use the ocean's currents and tides to generate power. There's a massive amount of energy out there that could be harnessed.
Permalink Cowboy coder 
March 2nd, 2005
Cowboy, it's being done. It requires a fjord with direct ocean access, but then it works much like a dam. There are a few experimental power stations like that somewhere on Canada's Atlantic coast, I believe.

Yeah, I like the look of wind farms. I've been told the vibration is annoying though.
Permalink Flasher T 
March 2nd, 2005
They are definitely eyesores and much more so than coal, oil or nuclear power stations. The point is that to produce the same number of megawatts they must take over areas tens or hundreds of times greater than the equivalent fossil fuel station.

Each windmill is around 400 feet high. Imagine the landscape dotted with thirty storey skyscapers and you get the idea. In the flat Mid-West I can imagine them looking OK in the centre of the cornfields, but on Welsh mountain tops they are much worse an eyesore than the pylons that will go with them.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 2nd, 2005
Or on the Cambridgeshire plain or East Anglia.

I can even conceive of them being pretty driving through the area but oppressive to live with.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 2nd, 2005
They are horrible. They're installing them in parts of southern Australia. They are huge bulking mechanical things in gentle farming country. They dwarf people and houses. They make an awful continuous clanking sound when there's wind.

They also apparently chop up eagles and other birds that don't understand how big the blades are.
Permalink Anti wind farms 
March 2nd, 2005
Aesthetically, from +5 to -5 I'd give them a -1. This is because:

I actually like the field landscape _without_ them.

Due to their size, they look a bit scary to me.

I don't oppose to their use, although it should be with some measure.
Permalink Daniel Daranas 
March 2nd, 2005
I think they're quite attractive.

I worry about whether they'll be kept nicely painted white or if they'll end up being a grungy rust colour after a couple of decades.

We came across a batch in Cornwall last year -- rounded a corner on the side of a hill and there's a cluster of brilliant white turbines slowly turning and catching the sunlight. They looked fantastic.
Permalink Katie Lucas 
March 2nd, 2005
I bet people waxed lyrical about the pylons when they first appeared. Now we just accept them and can't imagine what the original landscape must have looked like.

They *are* impressive, though, in an "I don't have to live next to them" kind of way.
Permalink Paul Sharples 
March 2nd, 2005
"I worry about whether they'll be kept nicely painted white or if they'll end up being a grungy rust colour after a couple of decades."

I was under the impression that they're either made of, or coated in, white glassfibre. Which doesn't go dull too quickly.
Permalink Flasher T 
March 2nd, 2005
The issues, as stated above, are with maintenance. If they are broken down and there are parts littering the ground, that's an eyesore.

If they're erected on what used to be beautiful natural cliffs, that can be an eyesore.

If local bird species are constantly smacking into the blades, leaving bloody stains and entrails lying about for carrion eaters, that's DEFINITELY an eyesore.
Permalink muppet 
March 2nd, 2005
I don't mind the looks too much, but some of them are noisy as hell.
Permalink Just me (Sir to you) 
March 2nd, 2005
Here's a picture of what they do to a landscape.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/09/26/1096137096664.html
Permalink Anti wind farms 
March 2nd, 2005
Ummm... yeah - I really don't have a problem with that. I think they look majestic. It's even better when they're turning, all in sync.

More wind farms:
http://www.mse.arizona.edu/faculty/birnie/engr102/turbine/MVC-283F.JPG
http://www.sei.ie/uploads/content/9Turbines.jpg
http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/wind%20farm%20180_tcm3-18780.jpg
http://www.smh.com.au/ffxImage/urlpicture_id_1054177672760_2003/05/29/30bizwindfarm,0.jpg


These one's don't look quite as nice:
http://www.thetravelgal.ca/Portals/c976e753-6901-4cd5-80f9-2a7ecfbe5280/wind%20farms%20psp.jpg

And let's compare some alternatives:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~txrober2/Pictor14.jpg

http://whyfiles.org/130nukes/

http://www.uic.com.au/graphics/tricastin.gif

http://home.online.no/~gmorgan/cv/images/2002-01-29-field-400.jpg

http://www.xenophilia.net/caucasus/caspianbeach.jpg


Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 2nd, 2005
All I know is that Windmills generate 5 power and don't wear out as quickly as coal or nuclear plants in Sim City 2000, but you need a lot of them.
Permalink muppet 
March 2nd, 2005
They're putting something like this at the top of the new WTC. Since nobody wants to work too high (I doubt that would stay true for long), the building only goes up about 50 stories instead of 100+, and the top is a wire mesh, supposedly reminiscent of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty and it will contain some sort of turbines that will convert wind into electricity, about enough to power the entire building.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Northeast/12/19/wtc.plan/
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
Actually Mark, the article you linked to says that the office space occupies 70 stories, not 50, and that the windmills will supply about 20% of the building's power.

Sheesh.
Permalink muppet 
March 2nd, 2005
Eh. I knew I was off, and I didn't care how much.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
Just like your 230 mile bike ride. ;-)
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
See, the difference here is that my bike ride was actually as long as I said it was. :)
Permalink muppet 
March 2nd, 2005
Just keep telling yourself that.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
=b~
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
OH MARK, I can't keep up this charade any longer! Let's have babies!
Permalink muppet 
March 2nd, 2005
Oh dear.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
HA HA HA, I just realized that could be read in two ways, and considering the large international contingent, I suspect they'll all get it wrong.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
*groan*

As for birds smacking into the blades... just how fucking STUPID does a bird have to be? It's not like the blades are spinning all that fast...
Permalink Flasher T 
March 2nd, 2005
> just how fucking STUPID

Um... As dumb as a bird?
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
> Parnas, I'll trade you your house overlooking the bay
> for a condemned lot in Love Canal.

You could move.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 2nd, 2005
Bird brained?
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 2nd, 2005
There's always a jackass ready to complain.

Near my home plans are in the works to widen a highway and replace its noisy concrete surface with rubberized asphalt, they also plan on adding a flyover exit ramp to reduce truck traffic on a particular avenue.

What do the people nearby do? Bitch.

They claim that "dust" will give them asthma and the truck noise forces them to keep the windows shut...
Permalink Duff 
March 2nd, 2005
Philo, it's true that oil fields look much worse than wind farms.

But oil fields already exist and they're a long way from homes and farms, and people can avoid living near them.

Wind farms on the other hand just arrive one day in the middle of beautiful farming country, usually near towns and farm houses. That's the difference. They represent an active degradation of good country.
Permalink Anti wind farms 
March 2nd, 2005
I still maintain that it's a subjective thing. I'm entranced by wind farms, and don't see a mountain ridge or huge empty plain as "better" or "more beautiful" than one with a wind farm on it.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 2nd, 2005
Californians with ocean views aren't too keen on seeing another form of energy - natural gas:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050207/RLNG07/TPBusiness/International
Permalink trollop 
March 2nd, 2005
---" Philo, it's true that oil fields look much worse than wind farms."---

Do they? Form a distance I think tney look neat, particularly just before dawn if they're burning off the surplus gas.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 2nd, 2005
"Wind farms on the other hand just arrive one day in the middle of beautiful farming country, usually near towns and farm houses. That's the difference. They represent an active degradation of good country."

No, they represent the potential rebirth of the american farm. Nobody gives a shit anymore, but the american farmer (not the agribusiness) is going bankrupt. Higher taxes brought on by urban sprawl and collapsing prices for farm goods continue to kill the farmer.

The opportunity to lease abundant land for windmills or cellphone towers may not look pretty for the local do-gooders, but the put the land to use and throw some cash towards the farmers.
Permalink Duff 
March 2nd, 2005
Won't the weather eventually stop if we keep slowing down the wind with our turbines?

(kidding)
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 2nd, 2005
Stop? No. But change, yes.

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6608
Permalink mb 
March 3rd, 2005
"They claim that "dust" will give them asthma and the truck noise forces them to keep the windows shut..."

Doesn't one solve the other? (Keep the windows shut, don't breath dust.)
Permalink Flasher T 
March 3rd, 2005
Oil Fields look great to me especially the one I live in the middle of. Giant cash registers going ca-ching.

Having mineral rights and receiving royalty payments does make a difference.
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 3rd, 2005
Hmmmm, do you do holiday cottages Sam?

Well they wouldn't be called cottages I guess.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 3rd, 2005
> Doesn't one solve the other? (Keep the windows shut, don't
> breath dust.)

Yes, because when you close the windows you get no air from the outside whatsoever. After a couple of days, you suffocate from lack of oxygen.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 3rd, 2005
Not only that but why should you be forced to live with your windows closed?

Sam - I hope you die of petroleum poisoning.
Permalink muppet 
March 3rd, 2005
muppet

I hope that you are banned permanently from using any petroleum product ever for any reason.

Your death would be even more miserable than the one you wish on me.
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 3rd, 2005
" Not only that but why should you be forced to live with your windows closed?"

One of the benefits of the road construction is to replace the concrete roadway and gravel shoulder with rubberized asphalt.

The end result will be a quieter road with less dust. Unfortunately you always have some dust in the spring due to road salt... but the end result will be better.

But the NIMBY folks don't care -- they're against anything and everything. The same group is fighting the construction of a standalone Walgreens because it is a "regional shopping destination" that will "cripple traffic in the area".
Permalink Duff 
March 4th, 2005
------" muppet

I hope that you are banned permanently from using any petroleum product ever for any reason.

Your death would be even more miserable than the one you wish on me."------

Taking away muppet's vaseline is much too cruel :)
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 5th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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