June 25, 2022

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debate, climate |  We need more wind turbines, not in the pristine nature, but near where people and industry live

debate, climate | We need more wind turbines, not in the pristine nature, but near where people and industry live

Suspension This is a comment written by a member of the editorial board. Commentary expresses the positions of the author.

Avisa The Times reports that if nothing is done, every street in London in 50 years will be covered in a three-meter-thick layer of horse dung. Behind her 50,000 horses were responsible for transporting the city.

The situation was the same in all major cities. Increasingly large areas had to be devoted to the storage of dung, without solving problems such as odors, flies and diseases that they brought with them.

The situation was the main topic of the Great Urban Development Conference in New York in late 1898, as many believed that urban civilization was doomed to failure.

Ten years later, there was no one to talk about this problem. It is resolved and cities can grow even more.

The reason was the car. A new invention took over the horse’s duties without any of its waste. A little smoke was all the internal combustion engine had left, and it disappeared into an endless atmosphere.

One would think that he created universal cheers, but that was not the case at all. For many, the new car was the opposite of the devil’s work. It brought noise, dust, and accidents with it.

In Vermont, it was decided that a man with a red flag would step in front of each car to warn residents, in some cities people blocked roads with steel cables while others briefly blocked all cars.

Today, the car and the internal combustion engine are as acute a problem as horse manure in the past. Not just for the survival of the cities, but for the sake of humanity.

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There is broad agreement on the need to phase out fossil fuels and use new energy sources. But even this time around, not everyone is equally excited about the solutions that exist.

For many Norwegians, wind energy is also the work of the devil.

It’s noisy, it’s ugly, it takes up space and it’s harmful to nature. As did the car and its accompanying highways and parking lots 100 years ago.

If car opponents got their way, we would have been drowning in horse dung, if wind opponents got their way now we wouldn’t be able to make the green shift.

It caused an uproar when Frederic Hauge of the Bellona Environmental Foundation stated last fall that we will have to sacrifice some nature in the battle for the climate. This applies at least by building wind turbines on land.

The rest of the environmental movement collapsed and the majority of the political environment faced a cold shoulder.

Bellona division chief Christian Eriksen responded to the criticism by saying that when we move from energy production that is partially invisible on the Norwegian shelf to renewable energy, it needs to be marked on the ground.

But nature would notice it even more if we didn’t build wind turbines; Entire ecosystems and landscapes will change with climate change, species will become extinct and wilderness areas will be devastated by extreme weather.

Bellona has always been the “realists” of the environmental movement. On the other hand, the Norwegian Nature Association websites on wind energy state that Norway will be fossil-free by 2040 by phasing out oil and gas, saving energy and reducing energy consumption in the transportation sector.

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You must fly high above reality on the green cloud if you think it is possible.

If the green shift is to succeed, we also undoubtedly need more fossil-free energy. It can be solar energy, wave energy, hydrogen and a more efficient use of hydropower.

But we also need wind energy in the mix. This does not mean that wind turbines have to be built everywhere, and today’s plans to build away from the sea are probably the worst solution.

Specifically, it is more about maintaining invisible energy production – to use the term bellona – than about efficient energy production.

As long as people don’t have to see windmills, it’s easier for them to accept, and it seems like the way politicians think.

The many plans for wind farms of a pristine nature far from any settlement seem to follow the same logic.

Instead, politicians should have the courage to tell us that we must soon get used to wind turbines, even where we live.

This is the case in most other countries that do not have large swaths of pristine nature to boot.

Building wind turbines away from humans is damaging pristine nature, conflict with reindeer husbandry, conflict with outside interests and long transmission lines where electricity is lost.

Instead, place wind turbines close to where the energy they produce will be used; Close to where people live and where industry is located. For example in the city of Bodo.

IIMB – Not-In-My Backyard – has been allowed for far too long to dominate Norwegian politics; To end it would undoubtedly create popular protests, but windmills already do.

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Such a conflict would also be a more realistic one; What would each of us be willing to sacrifice to save the climate?

Now we’re betting instead that nature and reindeer husbandry will bear the entire burden on their own.

If we don’t want wind turbines in the neighborhood, we can always go back to a community based on horses and buggies.

Huge amounts of horse manure.