I was very surprised to see the big ‘thumbs down’ for windmills in last week’s “Record Conventional Wisdom,” especially when the comments supporting that conclusion consisted of such uninformed side notes as, “Oh yeah. . .and [windmills] kill birds.” A great deal of thought and energy has already gone into examining the possibility of wind power for Williams; however, complete research has not yet been conducted. At this point, we students are only urging the college to consider windmills on Berlin Mountain as a viable energy source. You need only to look around to discover why many have begun considering such alternate power sources around the world.
You can easily peruse the development company’s website (www.berlinwind.org) and access the true information concerning Berlin Mountain and windmills in general. In reference to bird killing, the website says: “Birds occasionally collide with wind turbines, as they do with other tall structures such as buildings and radio towers.” However, studies have found that at most wind sites, no more than a few birds are killed each year. “Moreover, at a ridge-top installation similar to the proposed Berlin Wind Project in Searsburg, Vt., a recent study found no evidence of bird fatalities (Kerlinger 1997). In the future, a more detailed study of the impact of the Berlin Wind project on local birds and wildlife will be conducted and information will be posted as it becomes available.”
Few to no bird deaths have been found; it certainly seems that it would be more useful to publish true facts; for example, the seven wind turbines would produce 140 percent of the college’s energy. Maybe a little more research on the part of the Record next time would help Williams students and others make informed decisions. I look forward to some real wisdom in next week’s paper.
Alexis Saba ’06