Attention: The article below is a piece of mildly satirical fiction.
To Save the Earth, Wind Turbines Must Come Down
Al Fin operatives have known about the native plains Earth Warriors for over 15 years. Angered by wind-turbine deaths of eagles, other raptors, and bats, descendants of Cheyenne Dog Soldiers formed an alliance with latter day warriors from the Sioux and Crow tribes to fight back. Since then, recruitment has been busy, and dozens of wind turbines have been brought down by braves from California, to Texas, to Wyoming, to Wisconsin. By making the turbine falls seem like accidents, the warriors were able to keep a low profile, until recently.
Note to readers: Don’t try this at home!
While on a recent trip through Montana, Al Fin blog administrator Alice Finkel was able to interview a spokesman for the secretive group, Earth Warriors. He asked to be called Ned Stormkiller, for the interview. A short excerpt of their interview is included below:
AF: Thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me, Ned. Tell me how you and your fellow braves decided to go to war against the wind turbines.
Stormkiller: My pleasure, Alice. We are taught as children to revere the eagles and other birds of prey. As the tally of eagle kills rose higher and higher — with no benefit to be seen — so did our anger grow. We held meetings on the reservations, until we could come together in a common cause, to kill the turbines that were killing the eagles.
AF: How did you learn to bring the turbines down? I’m assuming they are harder to bring down than a tree.
Stormkiller: (Laughing) Yep, Alice, you bet they are. The towers are made of steel shells, up to 100 m tall or higher, resting on thick concrete foundations. You can’t just take a chainsaw and bring them down.
At first we used a gas torch to weaken the lower part of the shell, filling the defects with putty and painting over the work. That didn’t always work too well. So we started using plastic explosive instead of putty, using stress gauges to trigger the detonators. That was better, but it was riskier too.
AF: Wasn’t it obvious to authorities what had happened — I mean, after the turbine came down couldn’t they find traces of explosives? Wouldn’t that bring in the news media?
Stormkiller: Of course the developers knew what was happening. But if they made the whole thing public, too many questions might be asked about why these turbines were being intentionally destroyed. The more controversial wind turbines become, the less likely the government will keep subsidising them.
AF: Other than wind turbines killing big raptors and bats, do you have any other grudge against them?
Stormkiller: Sure. Wind farms are ruining previously undeveloped prairies, mountain ridges, and coastlines. And wind power isn’t even reliable power. It’s expensive for utilities, and raises electricity prices for those who can least afford them.
AF: I can understand why you would fight to stop the killing of big birds and the despoiling of native lands and landscapes in North America. What do you think about wind power in the UK and Europe?
Stormkiller: Oh, we’ve done a few jobs in the UK and Europe, too. We get paid to travel over there and do our thing. In fact, it was in Europe that we discovered a way to make our vengeance profitable.
AF: Tell me about that. How can you profit from bringing down a wind turbine?
Stormkiller: People will pay for bringing down turbines, but I’m talking about something else. Inside the turbine housing itself is about a tonne of copper, and machine steel parts that are worth even more. So we strip the turbines first, then we bring them down.
AF: Is it scary being so high up above the ground?
Stormkiller: Well, it can be if you think about it. I can sure sympathize with the maintenance guys who have to go up there on windy days. In a way, I’m doing those guys a favor. Wind turbine maintenance is a dangerous way to make a living, and they’ll live longer if they turn to more honest and safer work, that’s for sure!
In later installments from the interview, we will go into more detail of how the Earth Warriors scout likely farms, identify the target turbines, break into the turbines, strip them, get the loot away, and bring down the turbines after they have driven far away.
Sources for this satirical interview:
http://www.france24.com/en/20140528-france-metal-organised-thefts-wind-turbines-copper/ (via Anthony Watts)
Update: A new tool for Earth Warriors, to help clear the littered landscape of dysfunctional debris.