Because people arguing against offshore wind farms have plenty of ammunition at their disposal, we should dispense with unproven contentions that just won’t go away.
Among the legitimate assertions opponents have employed during hearings — as opposed to the puppet show staged in Ocean City recently — is how turbine materials will be disposed of at the end of their useful lives.
That’s a real question. Although wind turbine components can be recycled, that doesn’t mean they will be. The success of that approach will depend on whether recycling makes more financial sense for all involved than just walking away.
And what about the big upfront costs, subsidies and such of wind farm creation? How long will it take to recover that expense and who will be paying it? Many research firms, analysts and engineers have answered that question … differently.
Opponents’ most sincere argument, however, is that these rows of turbines will trash the clean horizon of sea and sky. That’s a sentiment anyone should understand and accept. It’s just the way it is.
But no matter how opposed one might be to wind farms offshore, it isn’t accurate to raise the specter of dead whales and birds. There’s no evidence that this is a problem. Anecdotal accounts as heard through the grapevine don’t count.
Besides, if people were so concerned about killing birds, they would save millions every year by insisting that tall buildings in the paths of migratory birds go dark at night to prevent the light from confusing them. That’s a fact.
Similarly, if people truly valued marine life, they would stop using plastic products anywhere near a body of water (discarding it on land isn’t good either, of course). Plastic products kill an estimated 100,000 marine mammals — including whales — every year, according to the World Wildlife Fund. It’s a continuing disaster.
Opposed to wind farms offshore? Fine. But let’s stick to real questions and concerns instead of invoking emotional appeals that have no basis in fact.