Sunday, February 13, 2011

Green Energy or Visual Pollution?

Last week I drove to the Yakima valley in south-central Washington to visit a potential project.  Although the trip was work-related I seldom travel without my camera and I have no qualms over stopping at an unusual sight or interesting vista.  It had been some time since I traversed Satus Pass on Highway 97, so you will forgive my surprise as I saw all of the wind turbines planted on the hills. 

This has always been one of my favorite drives and I love the velvet-covered rolling hills on the Washington side of the Columbia River.  I was not prepared for that vista to be peppered with a crop of wind turbines sprouting out of the verdant hills...and quite honestly not so sure I liked it.  Please bear in mind I am very much in favor of green technologies and philosophically agree with the development of wind power wherever possible.  However, I am also very nature-minded and do not like to see beautiful scenery visually polluted with objects that really do not fit in.

So therein lies my quandary...and I don't have the answer.  I will toss the question back to you, dear reader.  I would love to know what you think.  You can leave your 2 cents' worth (or more if you want) in the comments below.  Don't be shy.

Of course, Washington isn't alone in developing wind power.  As I drove south (on my way home) towards the Columbia River, one can also see various wind turbine farms across the river in Oregon. 

This was taken from a point on Highway 14, near the town of Biggs, Washington.  Across the Columbia River is Interstate 84 curving along the base of the basalt cliffs.
Biggs Junction is a major switchyard for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.  Looking down from my vantage it looks like a model railroader's dream
This probably should have been the first photo.  It is sunrise taken while hurtling down the Interstate at 70 mph or so.  It's nice having an automatic camera...though I must admit it took a few tries. 

Remember...let me know what you think.

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