Alternative Energy Sources
St. Andrew is an Earth Care Congregation, committed to improving its relationship with nature and the quality of life of its inhabitants. This commitment involves attending to Environmental Stewardship, responsibly using and protecting the environment, using an intergenerational approach to educate and empower all ages in creating a healthy, just, and sustainable community at the intersection of ecological and social justice. Kathy Poynor, Jim Garrett, and Steve Crane compose the St. Andrew Earth Care Task force.
We are interested in the pros and cons of wind energy because we care about the environment and our health. Wind Energy lessens reliance on fossil fuels, is a clean source of power that doesn’t pollute, can create jobs, and is renewable as long as the wind blows. It will become more popular in open areas and neighborhoods as the expenses in creating, installing and maintaining it continue to drop.
Wind energy technology can also help the economy as it creates jobs. Farmers and ranchers and can lease their land to generate electricity. Wind turbines do not take space that farmers and ranchers need to work the land and raising cattle.
The opponents to wind energy note that the necessary turbines and supplies are expensive and are suitable only for certain regions but not feasible as a national alternative. Transmission lines are needed to bring power to a city, requiring extra cost in setting up infrastructure. Remote sites that may be good for its use but are difficult to access and use. In urban areas, compliance with city codes can be a barrier when installing wind turbines. Wind turbines can be noisy and unattractive in a neighborhood and can tarnish the beauty of the environment as they replace trees or ocean views. When wind is not reliable and adequate energy cannot be stored, an energy company’s electrical support may be needed.
When manufacturing wind turbines, special attention is needed to prevent the edges of fins from damaging flying wildlife in the area. Safety is an issue when severe storms and high winds damage turbine blades and hurt people nearby.
The National Academy of Sciences contends that wind turbines probably would not reduce the pollutants that cause smog and acid rain but would slow the growth in emissions of heat-trapping gases.