Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of . . . WIND TURBINES?

My parents’ home borders Illinois farm country.  For decades, we’d sit in the sunroom off the back of their house and gaze out at the sun rising over the undisturbed, majestic wheat and soybean fields stretching for miles into the horizon.  It was the Midwestern version of living at the beach or having a mountain, long-range view.  It was peaceful, constant, and always felt like home.
That was then.  This is now.  Over the past several years, wind turbines have sprung up, filling the previously natural beauty with haunting images of giant robotic machines.  They hover over you day and night, constantly turning.  At night, dozens of red light blink in unison as if from a George Lucas Sci-Fi flick, signaling to beings in space.  
It is unclear, at least to my parents and their neighbors, as to what benefit these turbines provide to them in return for the disturbance to their tranquil views.  Whatever electrical energy they provide is fed into the mysterious “utility grid” and syphoned off at points unknown.  My parents have witnessed no change in their electric bills.  They’ve never received any communication prior to or after the erection of these monstrosities as what to expect.  These turbines just began to appear on the horizon under the guise of progress and “clean energy.”
To me, a regular visitor to my parents’ sunroom, these things pollute a view that was previously pristine.  They alter what had been peaceful and constant.  I hope somewhere, on some balance sheet, the benefits are visible to someone.  


  1. I love the wind turbines, I think they are elegant structures. Isn't it more serene than blowing up huge chunks of real estate to dam up water? There's less environmental impact and more grace in a wind turbine. Perhaps if your parents installed their own personal turbine, they could sell power back to the grid while not paying energy bills.

  2. Yes, every proposed solution to our energy requirements impacts someone. My 84-year-old folks had just hoped Midwestern farmland would be safe. I imagine there's a fair breeze in San Francisco Bay, too. But the Bay probably looks more "serene" without these things sticking out of the water.