Why are they called wind farms?
I think by now, most have heard of the arrival of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) in Tipton, Howard, Grant and Madison counties. These projects are called “wind farms,” because, I assume, the idea is to harvest the wind to “grow” electricity. However, the similarity stops there. The idea may have an analogy to farming, but the implementation does not.
These IWTs top out at 492 feet. The blades sweep an area bigger than a Boeing 747, and the little match-box-size thingy sitting behind the hub is actually the size of a three-car garage. So think of constructing 94 three-car-garage-sized industrial buildings in the Prairie Breeze area that are designed to run 24/7, 365 days a year.
However, these are worse than a typical business. This is because, in other places, wind farms have resulted in property value loss, produced shadow flicker and caused light pollution with hundreds of red blinking lights. Industrial wind turbines cause nuisances with audible noise, and the inaudible noise they produce (infrasound, aka low frequency noise) is known to cause severe health issues in some people. One would think an industrial project of this magnitude would require all kinds of scrutiny, including industrial zoning and environmental impact studies. Don’t be silly. None are required because it is a “wind farm.” Tipton County officials have decided that agriculture zoning is just fine, and those endangered Indiana bats, trust us, they will do just fine. This reminds me of the health supplement infomercials claiming the product to be safe because they are “natural.” Well, cyanide is natural, but that doesn’t make it safe. I wonder how different the process would be if it was Duke Energy trying to dot our neighborhoods with up to six natural gas-fired electric generators per square mile.
In reality, this industrial project has nothing to do with farming. A lease-holding farmer will not – actually is not allowed to — touch one of these IWTs as he goes about his farming chores. A typical lease-holding farmer does not know how to erect, use or maintain an IWT and neither does he own a combine to harvest the electricity.
The biggest claim the proponents make is the money that will go to Tipton County schools. Well, the enrollment already is going down, and once these IWTs are here, no one else will want to move to Tipton County, especially those with young children. Tri-Central may end up with some nice buildings – as that is all the money could be used for — but what good would it be with NO students?
Some of the leaseholders in the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm have expressed an attitude typified by a farm owner who called the Male Call show on WWKI on Feb 27. She stated, in short, that they own the land, and they have the right to do whatever they please. This is partially true. Yes, one is allowed to do whatever they please as long as their “doing” does not harm their neighbor. Even Tipton County affords this protection to the neighbors.
IWTs totally go against the reasons people like me built homes in beautiful rural Tipton County. Ironically, most of the residential lots are sold off by farmland owners, usually touting the quiet, serene rural landscape filled with wildlife. I have an October 2012 real estate book offered free at most grocery stores in our area. One such ad reads, “very nice building lots in a peaceful and rural subdivision in Tri-Central School District … build your dream home.” Another one reads, “Nestled in the scenic countryside.”
My wife and I saw an ad similar to this almost 20 years ago and built our dream home in four wooded acres. We enjoy the quiet and the sounds produced by nature. As I write, a screech owl is making the twirling mating call. Dark night skies are great for star gazing, and wildlife is plentiful. I treasure every moment now like never before because I realize how much there is to lose.
Imran Malik, Russiaville
Why are they called wind farms?
- DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i
LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review
Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?
Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014
Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.
Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014
On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.
Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable
One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.
House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'
On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.
Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study
I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.
Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014
At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.
Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids
The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.
Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014
In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.
- More Opinion Headlines