This past weekend....I got "junk-mail" in my mailbox, from the local Green Party here in Hessen. It was an update over local things that they support or fight. Somewhere in the middle of the large colorful package.....was this cartoon over the Taurnus Ridge fight with the windmills. It involved the pesky anti-windmill crowd, global warming, and what might happen if they beat back the current project planned for the ridgeline here in Wiesbaden. The Greens are heavily into supporting the entire windmill project....but some segments of their group.....feel the exact opposite.
I noticed in today's local newspaper from Wiesbaden.....fair-sized write-up over a poll conducted in the region. What they found among 1,000 local residents (over the age of sixteen) was that a majority (roughly eight out of ten) favored windmills and the clean energy they brought. The Wiesbaden Kurier even reported that barely thirty percent of the group were against the Taurnus Ridge project.
Around the third week of November, barring unexpected events.....the regional council will make the final decision if the windmill farms are allowed on the Taurnus ridge (the northern side of the Rhine River Valley).
It's an odd group with the anti-windmill crowd. Some utilize large segments of environmental data to take apart the support. There's the precious beetle which only is noticed on the Taurnus Ridge itself. There's the acreage of trees which must be cut, which is a terrible thing for the tree-crowd. There's also the group which talks up the number of birds killed weekly and how it'll be a disastrous event for mankind if the windmills are erected. The landscape crowd? Throwing vast amounts of support behind the entire idea of stopping the windmills from going up.
One segment of the Greens versus another segment of the Greens? It would appear some elements of the Green movement have gotten up and grasped problems with renewable energy.
When I arrived in 1994, the trip between Kaiserslautern and Mainz was dominated by two or three windmills along the autobahn trip (a one-hour drive). Yesterday, I made the trip and probably noted almost sixty windmills. I noted at least five or six under construction, and would likely be functional within sixty days. I would make a wager that by 2020, there will be a minimum of one-hundred-and-twenty windmills along this stretch of road between Mainz and K-town.
The landscape crowd might win, but it might make people think over how one region of a community can refuse windmills, but then feed itself into a frenzy about clean energy, no nuke power, and the need for more grid power.
Being an American in the mix, I tend to watch these kind of events because it involves two segments of society that regularly use and abuse the news media to tell their story. I could actually sit and listen to both arguments and find both curiously supportable. It'll be hard to imagine an entire ridge existing forty years ago, without anything beyond castles, towers, or houses, and now you have a dozen windmills potentially lining the ridge. And in this case, the windmills will never go away. But if you want clean power, you have no choice but accept this.