Windschmerz: Can The Planet Survive Industrial Wind Energy?

“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.” – Edward Abbey


This is the aptly-named Hatchet Ridge, a formerly nice vista south of Mt. Shasta, CA. It was built by the same outfit that ruined the remote view from Great Basin National Park.

A newly coined word, windschmerz, describes the sinking feeling of witnessing a huge industrial plague being spun as good for the environment despite its obvious negative impacts. If this is the new environmentalism, nature has little chance of remaining intact, on top of all the other pressures Man applies. Wind power has gained a momentum that’s hard to stop because an Environmental-Industrial Complex has grown around it. When thousands or millions of jobs depend on something, moral objectivity becomes nearly impossible. Germany has been a test-case for this misguided form of progress with its Energiewende mandate that caused alarm decades ago with only a fraction of today’s turbine numbers. The landscape destruction is so egregious that many people literally can’t perceive what they’re seeing, especially if their incomes depend on it. A whole government/industry PR wing is dedicated to muting the continual protests over new projects.

Windschmerz is a variant of weltschmerz (world pain or sadness) focused on a specific technology that’s destroying nature while claiming to save the planet. Are there any safe vistas where the wind blows? The industry seems happy to keep trashing scenery and wildlife until these eyesores are too thick for even the most deluded Greens. It used to be conservatives who didn’t respect landscapes but liberals have been successfully brainwashed by these scenery-eaters. It happened on the sly without adequate warning, mainly in Europe at first. Clean energy is looking quite dirty to objective eyes.

There are several main ways people create unnatural landscapes:

  • Gouging or drilling into soil & rock (mining, blasting, road-building and wells)
  • Removing plant cover (logging, fire-clearing for farms, etc.)
  • Building structures on the land (cities and everything that supports them)

Wind energy projects do all of the above except for deep drilling, and they are now the tallest structures in rural areas and especially on mountaintops; taller than many city skyscrapers. Wind power advocates ignore or downplay those obvious impacts, and ride on the psychological notion that anything fighting carbon (truly or ostensibly) must not be causing harm. It’s a very narrow definition of harm, convenient to the wind industry’s agenda of grabbing subsidies for major construction projects.

No matter how many zealots call them “beautiful,” wind turbines will always impact millions of people and animals in negative ways. The industry wants to expand what we see today by orders of magnitude if they can get away with it. These machines are a colossal aesthetic blunder that doesn’t require number-crunching to analyze. All you need is eyes, ears and environmental awareness. They aren’t replacing older industrial scars like coal mines; they’re just adding to the total human impact. The moment wind turbines began expanding beyond their experimental beginnings and corporations got involved, it was inevitable that this would happen. The goal is to make them as tall as possible to catch elusive winds, which means they will never become less visible. It’s also a pipe dream that they can be made quiet or safe for flying animals. Most people in the industry must know this, which makes them doubly full of it.


One of the few locations where wind turbines don’t look out of place, though these are not the largest models. Seen at ground level they still loom over most structures.

Wind energy is the opposite of small-footprint thinking that real environmentalists should favor. It thrives on a single-action bias that fails to consider total environmental impact. It’s part of the same engineering mindset that destroys nature for money in the fossil fuel business. The standard ploy is that carbon is THE environmental demon and must be fought at any cost, though many wind farm workers are interchangeable with frackers. They are industrial mercenaries who do what they’re told and cash their checks. At least the old environmental villains weren’t overtly trying to fool people.

The next time you look at a horizon full of mutant pinwheels and windschmerz hits you, just let it happen. Then get angry and join the fight to stop them. Here are some links to help with that.


A scene suited to an H.G. Wells novel, with people as the enemy. Green word salads can’t mask this ugliness.


“In some way or other, the human race has to learn how to leave the world alone.” – Alan Watts


3 thoughts on “Windschmerz: Can The Planet Survive Industrial Wind Energy?

  1. WindBlasted

    Whoa! Or woe! That exact word occurred to me a few weeks ago while driving in a newly developed farm zone. Without royalties I can’t see how farmers would put up with them. They seem to be taking over the psychosphere as well as the physical one. People slowly become accustomed to atrocities, then accept them as normal. We who keep resisting are considered eccentrics over time – it’s a damned shame.


      1. Respect Silence Post author

        It’s been commonly observed that these quasi-farms are built in marginal wind areas just to grab subsidies. They put up test towers to do wind studies but who’s really monitoring the monitoring? Itinerant workers have no conscience about the aftermath of a project as long as they get paid. Truckers and riggers surely split work with fossil fuel projects. Such people have been in the land-trashing business since industry began.

        Ugly as they are already, the industry wants them even taller to milk every last gust in places like the U.S. South with its marginal wind speeds.


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