Seeking support for renewable energy

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Oak Park Area ClimateAction (OPACA) seeks the support of other green groups for the "Ready for 100% Renewable Energy" Resolution.

The relatively young environmental action group in our community respects and admires the many environmental initiatives of long-established "green" organizations, which gathered on May 15 at the invitation of the village of Oak Park:

The Interfaith Green Network, which provides programmed green initiatives with important moral support from its member religious institutions.

Green Community Connections, known for partnering with other "green groups" in its always-inclusive events and activities, including its regionally renowned One Earth Film Festival.

Seven Generations Ahead (SGA), with its rich history of providing a "green path" for the village through its PlanitGreen sustainability plan for Oak Park and River Forest.  

We especially want to salute SGA for its hard work and expertise in marshalling important data for the Renewable Energy Roadmap Workshop, hosted by the village of Oak Park through its Sustainability Coordinator, Mindy Agnew.

It has now been more than a year since OPACA volunteers joined with Sierra Club to support Sierra's national renewable energy campaign called "Ready for 100% Renewable Energy by 2030." The campaign has since been embraced by over 100 U.S. communities — including Evanston and, most recently, Chicago. On May 18, the two organizations  shared a table, for the third straight year, near the entrance to the Oak Park Farmers Market on Lake Street.

Last year, on a sunny 2018 Saturday morning in May, our table volunteers began soliciting Oak Park area citizen support for "Clean Renewable Energy" through postcard petitions filled out by people entering Farmers Market. By the end of October, we had collected over 1,000 cards, which were presented to village trustees at a late-January village board meeting.

Since then, the campaign has received generous community media coverage in both Wednesday Journal and Oak Leaves newspapers.

At that January meeting, we presented the "100% Renewable Energy Resolution" to the trustees for their consideration and support. We want to recognize just-retired Trustee Bob Tucker for advocating it.

The two-page document calls for official endorsement of its admittedly challenging, aspirational goal — and one, we believe, is well worth working toward. We hope other local environmental organizations will support it.

I'm an old Chicago ad man. Leo Burnette, founder of the great Chicago advertising agency known by the same name, aspired to great things when he told his creative team to "Reach for the Stars."

Oak Park is ready to reach for 100% renewable energy. That might seem like a stretch. But it is one goal worth reaching for.

David Martin

Member of Oak Park ClimateAction

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Ray Simpson  

Posted: July 13th, 2019 5:38 PM

(Continued) Palm Springs has enacted an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio Pass, but unless something else changes abandoned turbines will remain a rotting eyesores, or the taxpayers who have already paid through the nose for overpriced energy and crony-capitalist tax scams will have to foot the bill for their removal. President Obama's offshore wind farms will be far more expensive than those sited in California's ideal wind locations. Salt water is far more damaging than sun and rain, and offshore turbines don't last as long. But nice tax scams for his crony-capitalist backers will work well as long as he can blame it all on saving the planet.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: July 13th, 2019 5:35 PM

nteresting! "The towering symbols of a fading religion, over 14,000 wind turbines, abandoned, rusting, slowly decaying. When it is time to clean up after a failed idea, no green environmentalists are to be found. Wind was free, natural, harnessing Earth's bounty for the benefit of all mankind, sounded like a good idea. Wind turbines, like solar panels, break down. They produce less energy before they break down than the energy it took to make them. The wind does not blow all the time, or even most of the time. When it is not blowing, they require full-time backup from conventional power plants. Without government subsidy, they are unaffordable. With governments facing financial troubles, the subsidies are unaffordable. It was a nice dream, a very expensive dream, but it didn't work. California had the "big three" of wind farm locations ?" Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio, considered the world's best wind sites. California's wind farms, almost 80% of the world's wind generation capacity ceased to generate even more quickly than Kamaoa Wind Farm in Hawaii. There are five other abandoned wind farms in Hawaii. When they are abandoned, getting the turbines removed is a major problem. They are highly unsightly, and they are huge, and that's a lot of material to get rid of. Unfortunately the same areas that are good for siting wind farms are a natural pass for migrating birds. Altamont's turbines have been shut down four months out of every year for migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society 75-110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-Tailed Hawks and 333 American Kestrels are killed by the turbines every year. An Alameda County Community Development Agency study points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont wind turbines. The Audubon Society makes up numbers like the EPA, but there's a reason why they call them bird Cuisinarts. Palm Springs has enacted an ordinance requirin

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