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Wind Turbines, Power For The Future

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As hurricane season approaches once again it would be mindful to consider ways to combat the destructive power of these storms. To save lives and spare the monumental costs associated with the aftermath it would behoove everybody to consider any substantial contingency to negate the effects of any hurricane no mater where it makes landfall. It is not just hurricanes either. During last springs violent tornadoes homes and businesses were destroyed and lives lost due to the fact that so many buildings weren't constructed to meet the requirements capable of withstanding any storms impact. The recovery costs alone have only soared. When Hurricane Sandy hit where too many lives were lost and an astronomical recovery cost at over $70 billion that storms impact could have been greatly reduced and prevented needless deaths if there was in place a plan of action that would have greatly reduced the storms impact. When we look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when New Orleans was hit several years ago the recovery cost soared to an overwhelming $150 billion. That's not counting the hundreds of lives that were lost either. New Orleans and all the other states along the Gulf Coast would have been spared most of the wrath of one of natures most violent storms on record if there were in place preventive measures to reduce the full impact of any storm, and in that case Hurricane Katrina.

Someone once said "When money trumps human life that's the beginning of the end of a civilized society." Are we doomed to become what we thought we never be? It seems we have always headed in that direction where human life has taken a back seat when it comes to any preventive measure. Whether it is putting in place storm surge barriers in the advent of an approaching storm, building buildings capable of withstanding the wrath of nature, or putting in place upgraded building codes that allow for the safety of all inhabitants. In the end today monetary constraints have pushed the envelope to far. It is time to put human life far ahead of the constraints of monetary concerns that have always dictated policy.

To put this all in perspective the facts are indisputable that the upfront costs to put in place preventative measures that would save lives, reduce drastically the recovery costs, and provide renewable green energy are pretty steep. But, to keep doing what we have always done by the money pit agenda following every storm is so futile. We have to look to the future security and stability of our country and not continually send tax payers money overseas where it just goes up in smoke. One of the newest innovations to help offset the damage caused by immense storms lies in our energy equation which consists of non fossil fuel sources. And, that includes wind power. To supply whole regions with enough lower cost energy while negating any storms full impact many now are firmly convinced that Wind Turbine towers just might be the answer to our prayers.

When several scientists have unilaterally reached the conclusion that Wind Turbines would effectively reduce any hurricane's winds while at the same time eliminate over 80% of the storm surge associated with tropical storms and hurricanes it makes for a very compelling argument to start erecting wind turbines around known areas that are prone to hurricanes and storm surges, like New Orleans or Miami. Major opponents continue to insist the wind power is not worth the cost of constructing and does not produce enough electrical power. Tell that to the people in Norway when they have already agreed to spend more than $3.5 billion to implement more wind turbines to generate electricity. Speaking of costs, to say that wind turbines cost too much which for many probably do should not be a reason to delay their construction. Each 300 ft. turbine would cost about $100,000. When Professor Jacobson of Stanford University used a computer analogy of the destructive power of Hurricane Katrina found that it would take 78,000 300 ft. turbines at $100,000 apiece around New Orleans to reduce Katrina's wind to under 48 mph and reduce the storm surge by more than 80% showed the effectiveness of wind turbines in combating major storms. Think of the consequences if these wind turbines were actually in place. The city would have been sparred and the levy's would have held virtually eliminating the devastating flooding that caused so much damage and loss of life.

When we consider the cost just for guaranteeing the safety of New Orleans then multiply the number of wind turbines it would take by the cost of each wind turbine comes to a staggering sum to say the least. Compared to the astronomical cost of the aftermath though that $150 billion and counting comes to less the actual cost of construction and implementing the wind turbines around New Orleans. Like the rest of our infrastructure the bridges and highways all are in great need of repair to insure the safety of our citizens, and our economy remain stable. But, it has always been that budgetary constraints have hindered any real effort to secure our infrastructure. When necessary the band aid fix is always applied. This does nothing but delay the inevitable. That old saying pay now or pay a heck of allot latter is a good reason why we have to start to use our resources now so that we don't have to pay much more latter in lives lost and commerce delayed because of our reluctance to come up with the effort to secure the safety and stability of our country.

When wind turbines are implemented the shear numbers deployed will produce reoccurring benefits that will outweigh the current costs. When we look at other alternatives wind turbines are by far the most cost efficient and have a much greater return of investment that any other contingency now being offered to combat major storms. When we look at the prototype scenario developed by Professor Jacobson those wind turbines would generate enough electricity equal to five and a half nuclear reactors. That is enough power to cover practically all of the state of Louisiana without all the extra cost associated with waste and the likelihood of an accident threatening the population.

It is time we start to realize that just because 300 ft. wind turbines stand out that is no justification to deny the importance of their beneficial impact on the environment, produce lower cost electricity, create good non outsourceable jobs, lower the costs associated with recovery efforts after a major storm and save lives. When we look at the economical benefits associated with the implementation of wind turbines it really is cost effective. Do we have the combined will to invest upfront funding to create a lasting much greater return on our original investment, save lives in the process and guaranteed the future stability of our country? That old business proverb of, it takes up front money to create more money in return, is rule of thumb that will always hold true.


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