March 4, 2012

ECOLOGY, NATURAL RESOURCES AND SUSTAINABILITY: Not in My Backyard

Print More

In 2003, members of KyotoNOW! submitted a proposal for a study in wind technology for the Cornell University campus. The selected location would be on the adjacent Mt. Pleasant hill on land generally free of tree foliage and in favorable location to gain the most wind efficiency.

Several concerns were raised by the impacts of the wind turbines on the nearby visuals for the Harthrung- Boothroyd Observatory and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in terms of bird migration. But the primary theme in response to the study seemed to be a public distaste for the placement of the wind turbines associated with declining property values and a shear disapproval for the new aesthetic views.

Eventually plans for the wind farm began to fade along with many other proposals across the United States after petitions and public outcry in response.

Once again another chance for a renewable energy source is lost .

Wind turbines are often captured by the public eye as being bird-killing, noise-making, aesthetically-ugly machines. They have a bad reputation. But in terms of renewable technologies, they offer hope. Hope that we can eventually move beyond the use of fossil fuels. Whether or not you believe in the idea of climate change is not the key argument; instead we need to all take a proactive approach. We are altering Earth whether in terms of big or small factions; the simple act of paving a road is changing the landscape of this natural planet.

Renewable energy does not come without sacrifice. Whether this means the disruption of a scenic mountain overlook or perhaps something else, it is important to bridge the gap from fossil fuel and foreign oil reliance to renewable energy technologies.

Many people take a quick stance to argue, ‘not in my backyard,’ but beginning this transition begins with everyone taking a step for change. I don’t consider myself an avid climate change believer or ‘tree hugger,’ but we all have to live on this planet and I am willing to do my part to preserve it. Are you?

Zachary Labe is a freshman in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He can be reached at zlabe@cornellsun.com. Ecology, Natural Resources and Sustainability runs on Mondays.

Original Author: Zachary Labe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *