In photographs, Maple Ridge Wind Farm is beautiful and beguiling. In person it’s an abomination. When you come upon them straddling rural Route 177 in Lewis County you can hardly believe your eyes. The giant wind turbines stretch as far as you can see on Tug Hill. There are 195 of them. When you see several wind turbines together it is an inspiring sight, but when there are nearly 200 of them it leaves a ravaged landscape —as ugly and out of place as the most unsightly factory. If fact, the towers are considerably worse than many industrial sites, rendering a vast stretch of farmland into a ruined landscape. When I came over the hill and saw them for the first time I had to slow down or else I would have driven off the road. I used to think that the people who opposed wind turbines were cranks —wackos and Luddites standing in the way of something clean and wonderful. After all, look how pretty they are in my pictures. Get out of your car and stand among the monsters and you might not feel that way.
Rob Madeo writes this stuff.
rmadeo (at) gmail.com
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