Who speaks for Earth? Renewable energy also carries costs and perils


Windmills on the ranch,
groaning with wind gusts and shifts,
blend into landscapes
Will wind farms atop mesas
destroy the West’s majesty?
Let us be mindful
Everything carries a cost
There’s a price to pay
A photo of a lone windmill on a ranch near San Saba, Texas in the Hill Country contrasted with a photo of a wind farm atop a west Texas mesa.
I am all for developing renewable, and happy Texas is formed its own independent grid (with the bumps and bruises along the way appropriately noted), but there will be costs and choices to made with regard to our environment as we transition to a cleaner economy over coming decades, including our aesthetic environment.
Just as cities are burying power cables and other transmission lines underground, are we creating a new forms of visual pollution along our shores and across our rural landscapes?
How can we mitigate this loss and preserve the essence of our landscapes from shorelines to Western canyons, basins, and ranges?
This is not a new problem, developers have blighted seashores for decades, and dams and power lines already carry electricity across our countryside. Still the preservation of landscapes os not something we should simply sweep aside in our quest for a cleaner “greener” economy. There’s a place and need for aesthetics in engineering.
Emerging beamed energy technologies may eventually help preserve landscapes, but even with green energy we will always be forced to consider the environmental impact related to gathering, transmission, and distribution, of energy.
We can develop better, with a higher regard for aesthetics than in the past. Europe has faced this issue far longer (and usually with more sensitivity) with regard to preserving visual aesthetics. Our shoreline and Western landscapes are an essential American treasure. They deserve a voice to speak for them.
As always, who speaks for Earth?
Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant perils part of novel challenges regarding nuclear safety
Honor due: Queen Elizabeth II

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