Tuesday, August 26, 2008

For Bloomberg Wind Power Is Political Hot Air

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently gave a speech at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. The Mayor spoke of harnessing wind power with turbines on bridges and skyscrapers across the city of New York. After being mocked in various local newspapers, the Mayor ran from his speech faster than John Edwards retreat from reporters from the National Enquirer.
Here is the Mayor's new position on harnessing wind in NYC : "There are aesthetic considerations," Bloomberg said. "No. 2, I have absolutely no idea whether that makes any sense from a scientific, from a practical point of view."
There are certainly issues from a scientific point of view. Turbulence and the vibrations the buildings would have to endure are a consideration. In addition, the relatively small amount of wind the turbines would be able to harness in the city would limit the projects feasibility. Also, skyscrapers typically are not built to withstand the load of wind turbines.
Scientific sense and practical considerations generally occur before a political speech, idea or proposal, not after. Therefore, the NYC mayors speech is certainly just political hot air.
The truth is that most people don't want to see ugly turbines harnessing wind energy in plain view. In addition, studies of wind turbines indicate there are potential health issues to consider as well.
Recently, Dr. Nina Pierpont of Malone, N.Y., has coined the phrase "wind turbine syndrome" for what she says happens to some people living near wind energy farms. She has made the phrase part of the title of a book she's written called Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on the Natural Experiment. It is scheduled for publication next month by K-Selected Press of Santa Fe, N.M.
In fact, research indicates that low frequency noise and vibrations for people living close to wind turbines can cause sleep disorders, difficulty with equilibrium, headaches, childhood "night terrors" as well as other health problems.
Wind Power sounds like a great idea until you have to look at the ugly turbines up close and consider the negative side effects on human health from their vibration. Key Points for the NYC Mayor to consider before his next major speech on the environment or human health becomes just uninformed political hot air.

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