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“New York’s Thousand Islands Are Being Ruined” (Letter to Sen. Schumer on the blight of government-dependent windpower)

By -- April 19, 2009


April 17, 2009

Senator Charles E. Schumer
Washington, D.C.

New York’s Thousand Islands are being Ruined

Dear Senator Schumer:

We need your help. We and many neighbors in surrounding communities have been concerned for the past several years about the arrival in northern New York of very aggressive developers seeking to build large industrial wind turbine facilities in our small communities. In neighboring Ontario, these large wind turbines have recently been installed on Wolfe Island, just across the river from Cape Vincent, New York. Below is a photo, taken previously, of the Tibbits Point lighthouse in Cape VIncent, marking the point where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence River:




Unfortunately, this beautiful scene will not be visible in this form again due to the construction of large wind turbines, visible in the following photo, just across the river on Wolfe Island in Ontario. Similar wind turbine developments are now under consideration for Cape Vincent, Clayton and Lyme, New York as well as surrounding communities:




Please act to save our communities from such insensitive and destructive development. As you know, the Thousand Islands area is a prime vacation destination, due to its natural beauty. Many people from other areas summer here to enjoy the peace and tranquility that has always been a feature of the region. Many local businesses are supported principally by the summer residents and tourists, drawn by the beauty of the islands and the availability of scenic tours, fishing, and other water based recreation.

Northern New York needs the income it earns from summer residents and tourists. If we permit the area to become an industrial zone, overrun with large and noisy wind turbines, who will want to summer here? I have asked Governor Paterson to enact an immediate moratorium on wind turbine development pending an investigation, , and development of a sensible plan for the proper siting of such facilities.


Albert H. Bowers III


  1. Ed Reid  

    “I’m Chuck-ita BANANA and I’ve come to say…”


  2. Andrew  

    I’m sorry, I cannot agree with the “Oh, but they will ruin the scenery” touchy feely type argument made here. This is exactly the drivel that rich coastalites down here in Florida used to opposed off shore drilling. It might work on Schumer but it is a weak argument with anyone who actually has an IQ.


  3. BuckyDent  

    When the little tourist burgs of remote Upstate can give Chuckie as much money as the turbine manufacturers, then he just might listen. Til then, rue the day NY became a One Party State.


  4. Rob Bradley  


    I thought about that and decided that in situations where government (taxpayer) subsidies make all the difference, NIMBY carries extra weight.


  5. NoNimby  

    Ed, Andrew, Rob: Those who cry “NIMBY” or “BANANA” are usually UNIMBYs. See: http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/ultra-nimby-%E2%80%93-or-u-nimby/


  6. Ken E.  

    Industrial wind projects are politically driven because of the big money behind them. The truth is that they don’t perform as advertised. Wind power is very expensive, intermittent, unreliable, and it doesn’t replace any fossil-fueled power plants which are needed when the wind isn’t blowing. Those fossil-fueled power plants are kept running even when the wind is blowing to provide backup when the wind dies down and because the fossil-fueled plants run on steam, they have a very long start-up time. The European experience is instructive. Denmark has not reduced greenhouse gas emissions at all due to their enormous investment in wind. Neither has Germany. America needs to replace fossil-fueled power plants and wind can’t do that. The only reason they are being built is for the money and that will eventually be coming out of your pockets. Count on it!


  7. Ed Reid  


    Pervasive and invasive government then transforms NIMBY into BANANA.


  8. Andrew  

    Rob, when you put it that way, it does make sense. Nobody should be forced to have their tax dollars go to pay for a project they don’t want, whatever their reason, however silly it may be (and in this case they have a silly reason, but they are entitled to it).


  9. Bert Bowers  

    The argument against these wind turbines is not a NIMBY stance. We know that the wind turbines fail to perform their advertised functions – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage. We are, however, up against public opinion molded by wind industry lobbyists and the politicians they have influenced. We are simply asking for a moratorium to give time to spread the word that wind turbines are not even a portion of the solution to our energy/environmental problems. It would be a tradgedy of enornous proportions if we eventually get the general populace and politicians educated as to the futility of wind power, but in the meantime our scenic treasures including the Thousand Islands and the peaks of the Appalachians have been destroyed. My letter was simply a plea to stop the destruction while we have a chance to examine the facts and debate the policies.


  10. valary sahrle  

    I totally agree with Bert Bowers! We need a Nation-Wide Moratorium to be enacted so that a thorough study of Industrial Wind Turbines can be done. We need to survey the people living under turbines to see how they are affected. Research needs to be done to find out the turbines effeciency and production out put for at least two years.


  11. He Left His Teeth Next to the Marionette - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com  

    […] complaint that wind turbines will ruin the aesthetics of the many small islands around New York. […]


  12. cknappenberger  

    Certainly, Rob makes a good point about how much clout NIMBYism should have.

    Mr. Bowers’ however claims that that has nothing to do with his argument.

    But showing before and after pictures, seems to me, to clearly makes it a NIMBY stance. Otherwise, what it the point of the photos? You don’t need pictures to argue about efficiency/inefficiency of wind energy.

    And what is the little non-natural thing in the front the picture? A lighthouse? That is likely not the most efficient warning system. But Mr. Bowers seems to embrace that intrusion to the natural landscape calling the scene “beautiful.” So clearly, “beauty” is a matter of personal taste, which is fine. But then don’t claim NIMBYism isn’t in play. It seems to me that Mr. Bowers just don’t like the word, but does like the concept.



  13. rbradley  


    Remind us what “BANANA” stands for?


  14. Tom  

    If I wanted an industrial site in my backyard I would have moved to New Jersey not to this area. But to add insult to injury these stupid machines are not only ugly and destroy the natural beauty of the area they don’t deliver on what is promised. Once they are here, then what is the chain of events that will happen…my bet is it aint going to be pretty. I wouldnt want to take a vacation here and have to look at those things. I will vote with my wallet.


  15. cknappenberger  

    BANANA — build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.



  16. Ed Reid  





  17. Tom Stacy  

    The real message of NIMBY . . .

    Wind Energy: 2,800 times the industrial sprawl and 6 times the cost of affordable, emissions (including CO2) free, thermal power facilities – per unit of guaranteed capacity. Not in my back yard!


  18. Andrew  

    Tom Stacy-can you clarify what you mean by “thermal power facilities”? Do you mean geothermal? I would agree that there is some promise there, but in places like Florida (where I live!) I don’t think it would be much use.


  19. A Concerned Citizen vs. DOE on Windpower (can we stop the hype and talk turkey?) — MasterResource  

    […] Editor Note: This letter from a U.S. citizen/taxpayer to the U.S. Department of Energy is an example of grass-root opposition to government-dependent windpower. For a previous post along the same lines, see “New York’s Thousand Islands Are Being Ruined” (Letter to Sen. Schumer on the blight of govern…. […]


  20. Roger Bailey  

    Interesting what you can do with a long lens. The first picture is taken from the water at sunrise at an angle roughly N 30 E. The second from a point on land a mile or so to the south at N 20 W with an long telescopic lens, perhaps 500 mm. The wind towers are across the St Lawrence, closer to Kingston than Cape Vincent. Can you see them from a few select points along the NY coast? Yes, but not in your face as pictured. I grew up in Kingston and know the area. The winds are strong in the afternoon. As a kid I often had to bike into them. In those days I could take the ferry to Wofle Island, bike across, take the ferrry it Cape Vincent and phone home to say Hi Mom, I am in the US! Times have changed. But this is one area where wind power makes some sense. Get over it.


  21. Craig Goodrich  

    I know and love the Thousand Islands region. This is utterly pointless vandalism. Not mentioned is the fact that this hideous phalanx of utterly useless monsters has also destroyed the atmosphere of the waterfront in Kingston, Ontario, a major center of Great Lakes recreational sailing.

    Since when is natural beauty and tranquility a “renewable resource”?


  22. William  

    To the Bozo who thinks wind generated power is unreliable and expensive, evidently you haven’t factored the cost of mountian-top removal into your kilowatts per hour. Or the cost of mercury in our fish, or acid rain, or thousands of tons of fly ash breaking loose into rivers. What is the cost of global warming? What is the cost of rises in sea level? What is the cost of flooding and increased tornadoes? What is the cost of climate change? Consider the real cost of fossil fuels and it is really much more expensive than wind turbines.


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