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I would like to respond to the “Matthew in the Middle” column of June 9, 2019 (“Hippieocracy standing in the way of progress,” Times-Standard, Page A5). First, I am disappointed that Matthew used Trumpian techniques of denigrating his opponents rather that using facts. I would have more respect for his position had he addressed and responded to our serious concerns.

Terra-Gen cleverly says this wind farm will produce enough energy to supply 36,000 homes in Humboldt County, a true statement. What they do not add, but admit when closely questioned, is that the energy produced will go to the highest bidder. The only way Humboldt County can keep that energy here is to outbid everyone else.

There are many valid concerns about the harm wind turbines will cause. But my biggest concern is fire.

These turbines are almost 600 feet tall, the height of a 42-story building, technically a “skyscraper.” To operate, they use diesel fuel engines. The International Fire Safety Science Organization has published an article about the tendency of wind turbines to catch fire, and note that this is under-reported by turbine companies. The Imperial College in London, and the University of Edinburgh, and SP Research Institute of Sweden did a study of 200,000 wind turbines worldwide and found there were 10 times the number of wind turbine fires than the companies were reporting.

Many biologists and foresters call coastal redwoods a fire climax species. Fire in the Bear River and other southern Humboldt areas is a dreadful risk. The hillsides are steep, the timber dry. The town of Scotia is built with old growth redwood. Remember, the reason this area was chosen as a wind farm is because of — well, wind. Combine steep hillsides, dry timber, strong winds, a community built of old growth redwood, then add fire and you have a real disaster.

For the record, I do not drive a Tesla, and do not ride a bike anywhere. Even if I or any other of the wind farm opponents did, it is not an intelligent reason to denigrate any viewpoints they have. I did teach in Scotia for 25 years and I do not want even the slightest risk of disaster to occur in that already battered community.

Ann Barbata resides in Ferndale.

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