While advocating for increased production and use of renewable power may make you well-heeled "environmentalists" feel good, your green addiction may not be sustainable.
In order for you to trick yourself into believing the lie that you are helping the environment when you flip on your centrally generated and imported "wind power" light switch, you may be denying the true effect of your actions.
Sustainability is defined as:
"Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.
Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment."
Centrally generated electricity that is shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to end users is not sustainable. New land based wind turbines take thousands of acres of farmland out of production every year. What are you going to eat when wind is the Midwest's only crop? But, at least farming wind is voluntary and those who choose to do so are financially rewarded for their efforts.
New transmission lines proposed to ship this "clean" wind power to market in eastern states also take thousands of acres out of production. However, farmers forced to sacrifice acreage to transmission lines must settle for one-time pittances under the threat of eminent domain. Eminent domain is a compulsory sale of property for the common welfare. The "common welfare" here is improving the green footprint of environmentally conscious easterners who don't want the troublesome burden of wind turbines or transmission lines mucking up their own backyards. Farmers are forced to bear a huge burden by hosting transmission line after transmission line after transmission line. How much is one person supposed to bear for another's comfort in the name of societal good?
It's not that easterners can't produce their own renewables. It's just that they don't want to. Therefore, they conveniently refuse to see the true impact of importing renewables.
Here's the true impact. Read it. Think about it. Why should these farmers have to sacrifice for your environmental conscience? Why can't you help yourself?
As a society, we have recognized the concept of social and environmental justice. The dirty, the troublesome, the inconvenient and ugly infrastructure necessary to maintain our standard of living has been inequitably foisted off onto those less fortunate and powerful. Just because it's "green" power and not a coal-fired generator, or a chemical factory, does not make it any more acceptable from a social or environmental justice standpoint. The more fortunate classes are once again expecting others to bear the brunt of sustaining their lifestyle instead of providing for their own needs by hosting their own power producing infrastructure.
An environmental conscience that does not consider sustainability is just a comfortable lie the well-to-do tell themselves. It's time to take responsibility for your own needs. We must find better solutions.