don quijote

Global warming is wonderful, short-term. It’s the end of September, and what am I doing? Watching the water glitter and flutter, adding to an already deep skin-bronze, that’s what I’m doing. Yep, it’s 25 degrees out here in the Finnish archipelago of Nagu, and sweat is running from doing nothing but reading something glossy in the sun, while Marvin Gaye occupies the background and the squirrels go nuts over pine cones. Ah, the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

There is one ugly spot on the horizon, though. Literally. The government, bless their incompetent tomfoolery, is planning to build lots of wind power plants in the archipelago… Wind power plants! In the archipelago! Do you know, that one wind power plant is as tall as a 40-storey building?! Oh, they’ll just blend in… Translation: they plan to visually pollute, no rape, the most beautiful place in Finland, if not the whole damn Earth! I just faint!

In the name of global warming, of course, we need to act. That’s what Al Gore says. I understand – I try to understand – I try. Ok, let’s say we all have to make sacrifices – wind power is green, thus good, the consensus seem to be. But then you go and read that the target for combined megawatt production of the wind power plants in Finland in 2010 – that is including the potential destruction of the Finnish archipelago – is to reach 500 megawatts. Aha. 500 megawatts… how much is that?

THAT IS A LOUSY ONE PERCENT OF TOTAL ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION IN FINLAND!!!

Is it really only me that thinks that ruining the extremly sensitive and completely unique mosaic of sea and stone with these horrid white 80 metres tall freakshows is not worth doing for one damn percent? It just can’t be. I am already completely overwhelmed and overpowered by the thought of the government even contemplating this. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

I am trying so very very hard to understand. Ok, let’s say the idea of wind power is so fucking irresistable to the gutless zombies of the government, that we absolutely MUST have them, even if they only could produce one (1) percent (%) of what we need. So, go ahead and build them somewhere else in Finland! There is far too much land here to have to destroy the best we have. I’m sure the wind blows elsewhere too.

What I have said here should make sense, no matter what kind of an idiot you, they, are. So why could it happen? Sadly, one can never underestimate the idiocy of idiots. But I promise you this; if they build them, I will become the new Don Quijote. I will throw my lance in the hearts of these beasts. I swear I will. Bolt for bolt, rotor for rotor; they are going down.

64 thoughts on “don quijote”

  1. Interesting. I can not quite decide if you are serious or not; sarcasm is such a subtle sport. I suspect you are pulling my leg, but if not – please verify the state of your infatuation – in which case I will naturally not settle for a statement, only for a provision of motivation.

  2. !!! I’m shocked. For so little electricity it doesn’t seem to be worth it, especially with the impact on the landscape. I’ll come help you unscrew those bolts. Maybe we can build a jetboat out of the pieces…
    hpy, I guess they look better than nuclear plants but still not in the archipelago…
    I wonder if birds would get chopped passing by … that would be a great case for the environmental court…

  3. Got a link to some online articles about this?

    Dammit… why don’t they stick them up somewhere in Lapland where no one lives or… up their a@@es!

    Is there a petition to sign somewhere?

  4. Unfortunately I don’t think they spin fast enough to chop up birds… hihi… but it is shocking indeed to contemplate. Thanks for helping with the bolts!

    I based my post on a week-old article in Helsingin Sanomat; maybe you can find it, Micke. I threw the article away having written mine, and I still have limited internet surfing capabilites.

    If there is a petition to sign, make sure you link it here. Or I’ll start one!

    Luckily no wind power plants are planned for Nagu, so the fantastic view from ‘The Mountain Of The Seagull’ is safe [PHEW!] – but Korpo is included in the plans… and I fear that you might see a bit of them at the far Western horizon. Not the point, of course, which is:

    JUST SAY NO TO WIND POWER PLANTS IN THE ARCHIPELAGO, PERIOD!!!

  5. I don’t know what to say – we’ve had the same sort of problem for a good ten years now. Being Germans, we found a name for the problem – Verspargelung der Landschaft (asparagusing the country side) – but not a solution. Far from it. For the last ten years or so, our building laws forbid to build anything in the country side that would spoil it except things that belong there, such as pig farms, and especially privileged buildings, i.e. wind farms.

    Slowly but steadily, wind wheels appeared and till last year, you could even get tax breaks investing in them. Thousands of doctors, lawyers and consultants hadn’t to be asked twice and started investing in wind farms besides their stakes in Hollywood movies (don’t ask). I know a lawyer personally who is fighting wind wheel companies and invested in them on the other hand. Gah, godless.

    Besides, German energy suppliers are required to feed a certain amount of wind energy into their networks. Since the wind farms to this day do not produce enough energy economically (produced energy – building costs – running costs), the suppliers would be losing money – were it not for our government who comes to the rescue and makes the tax payer pay the deficit. Nice one. Ironically, the lack of energy is balanced by energy from nuke plants.

    Coming back to the laws, though: local administration and communities who are reliant on the beauty of their unspoilt nature (e.g. spas), tried to fight the wind farms. The government’s solution: Come up with building plans that confine wind wheels to a certain area of the local community and you’ll be free of them in the rest of the community. Unfortunately, the wind wheel companies started legal action wherever they could, claiming that planning by the local administration wasn’t according to the laws. They succeeded (and still succeed) in a fair number of cases – meaning that they were free to build wherever a farmer sold land to them within the community (since they are legally privileged).

    Despair not, though, said the Bundesverwaltungsgericht (the highest administrative court in Germany), if your country side is extraordinarily beautiful and worse comes to worse and higher matters are at stake, it may just be that within the boundaries of your community, wind farms may not be built. The other community, the next door neighbour? Well, his matters aren’t as valuable, are they. And there they are-wind wheels on the horizon.

    Ever heard of geothermal energy?

    (This got fairly long, considering I initially didn’t know what to say.)

  6. Excellent!!! Thanks so much for the German experience – yes, it’s well-know that Germany is one of the fore-runners in this epic race to save Earth by defiling it. It is commendable and ridiculous at the same time. What a dear mess, my friend and attorney!

    Our building laws are similar – and particularly strict in the archipelago. Zum Beispiel, the house here at The Mountain Of The Seagull [MÃ¥sberget] is built in compliance – does not disrupt the flow of the forest and the marriage between cliff and sea at all. You can barely see it from a boat. It’s harmony: people can enjoy the sensational nature, without having to stomach the The Canary Islands look. Win-win.
    With that in mind, it is with unbelievable repugnance I imagine it all thrown away; completely topsy-turvy with 80 m tall wind wheels fistfucking the horizon… the blindness is raging, and I want to punch someone.

    It does not surprise me one single tiny itty bitty that wind power is heavily subventioned by the government… always so damn eager to make a loss if it just makes them look holier than thou. Disgusting.

    [Geothermal energy? Earth heat, drilling holes, using the heat… heard of it, don’t know much about it. What about it?]

    Man, if this continues, and wind wheels keep on popping up like this, Planet Earth will soon lose control and fly away into space……. hahaha!

  7. My rhetoric question was actually adressing our own government – apparently (not an expert on this at all), geothermal energy ressources could produce enough energy to replace all wind farms plus all nuke plants. Sounds good to me, if true. This knowledge though, dates back to my Trier days (beginning of 2004) when I worked for a regional politicians who felt like wind wheels shouldn’t be built in one of the most windless regions of Germany. I thought he had a point. Anyway, back then at least, technology had still to be worked out and since I haven’t anything about it, so I guess (or hope) that someone somewhere in a lab or at the helm of a drilling machine is working real hard right now.

    Another interesting bit of wind power trivia came to my mind after I went to bed last night – over here, green activists and supporters of course hoorayed the way things were going since ca. 1996. But suddenly, they weren’t that enthusiastic anymore: precisely when the companies (yes, the same ones that run coal kraftwerks and – gasp – nuke plants) suggested that it would only make sense economically to build giant wind farms OFFSHORE. In the national park that is our North Sea coast, in the mud-flats and beyond. Where the birds and – are you holding your breath? – the seals live. Dig that. And since the world is evil, the companies got their wish. What now – wind power or seals?

    Try and find Brigitte Bardot’s phone number – maybe you’ll have to become friends with the seals after all.

  8. Horrific. “It makes economical sense to build giant wind farms offshore?” Why, that sounds extremely expensive to me!!! I suppose the truth is: it makes economical sense FOR THE WIND POWER COMPANIES to build on the sea.

    Apparently we are in the same boat. Our sea is under fire, and we have to defend it from untouchable wind power zealots with frightening moral might.

    There is no way we’ll manage this alone – it’s like killing Jesus. Even trying would make us look like Pontius Pilate.
    You are right – this is a case for loud animal lover Brigitte Bardot. Man, if I could only remember where I put her phone number…

    Witness turnabout: I love seals. [Can always buy Norwegian fish].

  9. Seals are cool. Seal is not so cool. But he’s got Heidi.

    Besides, apparently wind power feeds start to make sense economically (i.e. you don’t have to add other energy from less green sources to make up for wind power’s inefficiency) when you’ve got a certain large number of large wheels which are constantly fed with, well, wind. And since Germany tends to be densely populated in most areas and people don’t feel like having 150 wheels around them while walking their dog, the only place where you can build sufficiently large parks is offshore. Plus, there’s enough wind, at least in the North Sea.

    And because seals love mud-flats (imagine Seal loving Heidi in there), they’ll start building out there where the sea is deep and water doesn’t vanish every 12 hours. And noone sees them, except Norwegian fishermen who catch your fish.

    Prove me wrong though, but I think that in the North Sea there is more wind than in the Baltic, at least where you are and offshore as in OFFshore would in Finland’s case mean Sweden or at least Swedish waters, I presume. And one thing’s for sure: there ain’t no seals in the middle of Lapland. And who gives a damn about wolverines? (Except me – they eat everything (great concept!) and run around as if on acid)

  10. I was just flabbergasted by the actual building/logistical costs of constructing a fleet of wind power plants out at sea… ok, they are not THAT costly to erect.
    Still, there’d have to be millions of them buzzers to eek out a bit of power? And trillions of them to even rival a tiny nuclear power plant!
    Bah. Double-bah.
    Wind power per se is a truly wonderful concept – but it should not be called wind “power”. May I thus introduce the term wind “pincher”……………….

    Sure, the more open the sea, the more wind. That’s a no-brainer. However, I mistook the North Sea for the Baltic sea earlier, I now notice. Was reading too fast. Always in a hurry. Quicker. Oh no. I’m late. Like that rabbit with the pocket watch… Haha!
    Well, in that case… blimey, the North Sea is already full of oil rigs, so… be my guest. The visual impact is quite small.

    Sadly, here, on the other hand, the impact would be gargantuan.

  11. The only way to fight it is to be greener than they are. And show them what other source of renewable energy is actually more efficient. I guess solar panels are problematic in winter in Finland 🙂
    As for geothermal energy I’d be surprised if that doesn’t f..ck up the environment. From what I read it seems quite a lot of work: http://geothermal.marin.org/ … but at least it wouldn’t mess up the landscape …

  12. Perhaps I watch too much Simpsons [altho that ought to have the reverse effect], but I like nuclear myself. Now that’s POWER. Finland is building another N-plant at the moment, did you know? If only waste management could be sorted…

    … like make use of the radiation from the waste. Radiation is energy, dammit?

  13. This is just a story about wind power plants here from the Inkoo archipelago – but it does indeed give some hope that you can affect where they place the plants. Or?

    A couple of years ago they build three wind power plants not far from the IVO CoalKraftwerk (so they could use the already built distribution net) in Bar̦sund. After a while, the neighbours claimed that the noise was just too loud. And of course Рthe neighbours had indeed said NO to the project in the beginning, but nobody cared about their complaints back then.

    But indeed, since the neighbours lived very close to the plants, the noice was well over what a close (living) neighbour is allowed to generate. So, the decision: two of the plants had to go away. Jiihaa.

    So now we have only one running plant in Barösund. It generates quite a lot of electricity… or not.

    Nevertheless, I sure think alternative energy is good for all of us, so we can´t be too selfish… but then again. If it does not consern you, it does not matter. But if it comes too close, of course you will make a noice about it.

    The problem will always be the distribution net, that´s why they won´t go to Lapland with them…

  14. Good, good. I’m writing complaints in my mind already. That is another negative aspect that I never gave thought – noise. Ha!
    [I won’t hear them from the Nagu house, but still… one can always complain. Just like those grandmotherfuckers who complain when there is a motocross track within a 50 km radius!!! It’s well and truly payback time.]

    Of course renewable alternative energy is good – but if it can only power one electric toothbrush, then we ought to go forward to the next alternative.

    If Germany can build a fleet of wind power plants out at sea, then distribution should not be a problem in Lapland, I s’pose.

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