Travel Theme: Environment

nature 2 - wind farm wales
A wind farm in Wales

Compared to the environmental impact of traditional energy sources, the environmental impact of wind power is relatively minor. Wind power consumes no fuel, and emits no air pollution, unlike fossil fuel power sources. The energy consumed to manufacture and transport the materials used to build a wind power plant is equal to the new energy produced by the plant within a few months. While a wind farm may cover a large area of land, many land uses such as agriculture are compatible, with only small areas of turbine foundations and infrastructure made unavailable for use. Wikipedia

What are your thoughts about wind turbines? Do you think they spoil the environment?

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

65 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Environment”

  1. I don’t see them very often, so the occasional sight of them doesn’t really bother me. Reading some of the previous comments though, it sounds as though there are some real negatives, but on the whole, I’m sure they do a great job. The ones in your photo are so far away, that the beautiful landscape took my eye away from them. 🙂

    1. It is obviously a divisive subject Sylvia. I know that from living here in Shropshire. Personally I don’t find them particularly ugly. Whether or not they are effective is another matter and not one that I am qualified to answer 🙂

  2. I love wind turbines, Jude! They safe the environment and, call me crazy, but I actually like the way they look.

  3. Until my most recent drive to Scotland (two weeks ago) I was quite a fan of wind turbines – I thought they looked quite majestic, standing proudly on the hillside and turning slowly. However, my opinion is slightly changed because there just seemed to be so many of them at one point on my journey north. Hundreds of them, perhaps, quite close together, and I started to think that maybe they did spoil the look of the landscape. So, I am now in two minds about them (aesthetically).

  4. They make me think of War of the Worlds but they do serve their purpose. Your photo is stunning Jude, and to be honest, I didn’t even notice the turbines until I looked a second time, so you prove an excellent point 😉

    1. I seem to have opened a can of worms here Sherri. I can’t honestly say I see them as being any worse than the ugly pylons we have striding across the countryside and the noise they make!

      1. Turbines are a touchy subject in blogland Jude, I’ve seen other posts about them and they bring out both sides of the argument. Just like global warming :/

  5. Many of our midwest and southwest states, including Colorado, have multiple wind farms. The turbines – as others have said – are mesmerizing. Like giant alien creatures is a good description. I could stare at one for hours.

    If you’ve never seen a wind farm, your first opportunity is a wow moment. Even second or third time is a wow. After that, thinking about them in proliferation I wonder about sight blight, bird kill (they do in large numbers) and the growing complaints about noise pollution from neighbors when the turbines are near residential areas. I am also skeptical about the degree of subsidizing required, and the probability it will never be a financially sustainable energy source. Colorado is a mining and oil and gas state. We’re clean; we’re environmentally conscious and we have a thriving economy without requiring taxpayers to subsidize the industry’s jobs. And we’re not destroying the planet. I’m a proponent of a balanced, environmentally sound approach to energy independence, but it has to be financially self-supporting within a reasonable timeframe.

    1. You obviously know much more about this than I do Sammy. My point was whether or not the “look” of them was offensive or not. I don’t know enough about the energy industry to pass comment on it. I do think there is a lot of misinformation about wind turbines though and perhaps governments should address this.

      1. Yup, getting honest answers from politicians with agendas is never easy (impossible?). I always say “follow the money – who’s giving it; who’s receiving it; how are the taxpayers being dinged”. That usually gives a pretty clear picture of how facts might be twisted.

        Fortunately here in Colorado, we have a governor and state legislature who care deeply about both the economy and environmental issues. I feel like we are lucky to strive for a balanced approach ( that probably doesn’t satisfy anyone 100%). If only the federal government would keep their bureaucratic paws off our states’ rights!!

        Sorry, wouldn’t have jumped into the politics if other commenters hadn’t 😋

        Back to your original photo and question – the turbines are majestic and surreal. And there’s no question they change the scenery (for better or worse remains to be determined).

  6. I don’t mind them at all but I wonder why they are never decorated. Don’t you think they could be painted to look like trees or something? Or maybe I’ve lost the plot!

  7. I like them! There seems to be a lot of opposition to them here in Australia, but I think they are much less unsightly and better for the environment than the alternative…I’ve often stopped to photograph them when doing road trips.

  8. I think Gilly’s lost the plot 🙂 🙂 Well, just maybe- for Christmas? What do you think, Jude?
    You’ve certainly started something here, lass! I’m wishing I lived in Colorado with Sammy’s sensible folk 🙂 I’ve always rather like them, myself. There’s a big one up at Hart Village which contrasts rather nicely with an ‘old style’ windmill. It doesn’t appear to me to make a noise. There’s also a big wind farm off our coast at Redcar, and from this distance I do’t mind them either. And I love looking out for them when I’m flying south . I guess I like them 🙂 🙂

    1. Oh, Jo, and it started as just a lovely Welsh picture (a nod to St David’s day) with a link to the environment! Shall stick to cake and kittens in future 😦

  9. As an environmentalist I should be all in favour of wind turbines but I’m still not convinced, whilst they do have a place in energy production does the cost outweigh their actual usefulness. Aesthetically wind turbines don’t bother me at all, in fact I find they quite enjoyable to watch, there’s two 2MW turbines a couple of miles up the road from me, 2MW ones are the ones you see most onshore at the moment, they’re 100m tall , the blades are 50m long and the housing at the top is about the size of a double decker bus . In terms of bird deaths, the newer turbines (2MW) being bigger than ones installed 10 years ago or more (0.5MW) are bigger and less likely to be hit by birds, the main issue which is now addressed through planning in the UK is not sitting them on migration routes or nesting sites. The one big drawback is there’s no way to store the electricity they produce for later, so unless you need the electricity now, essentially they can be turning for the sake of it, also they’re dependant on the availability of wind which may blow at times when you don’t need the power and doesn’t blow when you do need the power, that’s a bit simplistic but I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m trying to say.

    1. Thanks for the clear explanation Kev. It looks as though there is some way to go to making them more effective. I didn’t know that the electricity produced isn’t able to be stored, that does sound like a failure in the system. As it was the aesthetics I was after opinions on I’ll take yours as an OK. 🙂

  10. Wow Jude, you sure stirred up a windstorm with this one! I have mixed feelings about them. Aesthetically I think they’re kind of cool, especially as they are always so symmetrically placed. But my brother used to run a big power company in the midwest and he told us they simply cant generate enough power generation to make it worth deploying them more extensively. He says the best answer is nuclear energy but people are too afraid of it (and from my perspective probably rightly so!)

    1. Hi Tina, thanks for joining in with the discussion. If wind farms aren’t the answer, aesthetically or not, then we are going to have to explore other methods of generating power.
      I think I’ll keep away from discussing nuclear energy though… 😉

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