On oil derricks and windmills

Transitions are hard.

When oil derricks first graced the western landscape, they were greeted with mixed emotions, depending on who profited and whose landscape was blighted.

Today, we face conflicts as windfarms elicit similar emotions. The “No Wind Farms” signs posted around the Palouse are counterproductive, though. Communities must have a meaningful voice in issues of land use, wildlife impacts, cultural values and aesthetics, but a costly delay only prolongs the inevitable.

There’s a concern windmills kill birds. The reality is modern turbines kill a small fraction of birds compared with...


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