Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 26, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Change blowing through Washington

Wind farms alter the landscape

Mark Harrison/The Seattle Times

Riders on horseback move cattle through the Wild Horse Wind Farm on Whiskey Dick Mountain east of Ellensburg.

Editor, The Times:

Soon I will be returning to Goldendale to drive a water truck for wind farm construction roads. This will be my third season driving at Washington state wind farms.

I enjoy my work; still, I’ve grown more ambivalent about being a part of the industry.

Excepting several stints in major cities, I’ve chosen to live in rural areas all my life. When I return home to Nebraska to visit, my eye gladly takes in the familiar contours of the land. I think people’s relationship to the land is in our cells and in our souls.

The wind farms change the landscape — perhaps not forever like strip mining does, but for a very long time. We are cutting roads in hillsides. We are digging giant holes for each windmill and filling them with concrete. We are erecting structures that alter the horizon and fill the night sky with blinking red lights.

I love the windmills — and they make me sad. I’m glad they create jobs and clean energy and economic growth. But they bring up some challenges: They are big, a typical big American solution.

Might we as a nation be ready to look at our perceived right to overconsume resources? Can we look for less-invasive ways to tap the wind and the sun? And can we find creative ways to reuse the concrete and steel once the 20-year life span of each windmill is finished?

I look at the windmills as an interim solution.

— Marian Claassen, Selah

Comments | More in wind farms

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►