Blown away by Sierra Club's backing of Big Wind

Mary Kay Barton

Sierra Club founder John Muir must be rolling over in his grave!

Recent news reports and advertisements regarding the Sierra Club's support for Apex Clean Energy's proposed industrial wind project along the shores of Lake Ontario — despite the massive environmental destruction such a large-scale industrial project will cause — are simply disgusting! Apparently the Sierra Club is ignorant of the local citizenry's overwhelming opposition to the project. Or, like the Big Wind bullies Apex, they just don't care.

John Muir (1838 - 1914) was one of America's first and most highly regarded advocates for environmental protection. Muir dedicated his life to exploring, writing and working tirelessly to make sure the beauty of our natural environment was preserved for the generations. Muir was instrumental in the founding of one of our nation's oldest national parks, Yosemite. He helped draw up Yosemite’s proposed boundaries in 1889, wrote magazine articles that led to its creation in 1890, and co-founded the Sierra Club in 1892 to protect it.

Muir believed God was found in the beauty of nature, declaring to a person he was guiding through Yosemite, "Listen to the voice of the Lord; how he speaks in the sublimity of his power and glory!” (From Smithsonian Magazine). His message was that “God wants humans to care for nature and not destroy the systems of life,” a belief that guided his life’s work of educating people about the importance of preserving nature.

Today's Sierra Club has strayed so far from Muir’s original mission of protecting life and our natural environment, it is unbelievable. We are greatly saddened to see the Sierra Club (a group many of us used to support) now lobbying for the destruction of vast swaths of rural America with industrial wind sprawl, while also shamelessly advocating for abortion and other far-left ideologies that have nothing to do with protecting the environment. (See:

Things Apex and the Sierra Club are not telling you when it comes to the industrial wind debacle include, but are not limited to:

1.) The diffuse energy of wind provides no firm capacity, and therefore, does not provide reliable, dispatchable baseload power, and can not replace conventional power generators that do.

2.) The hydro plant at Niagara Falls is producing an excess of emissions-free power that is being sold on the open market because we do not need it here. Building new generation in the face of this excess supply is a blatant rip-off of New York State taxpayers and ratepayers and an unnecessary assault on our environment — something the Sierra Club used to rail against.

3.) The World Health Organization (WHO) and others have stated that wind turbine noise and infrasound are a human health hazard. Despite WHO guidelines being recognized as the "gold standard" worldwide, New York State officials are ignoring WHO recommendations and the negative impacts being experienced by citizens across the state, instead choosing to place their "green" agenda above the health, safety and welfare of the citizens they are in office to serve and protect.

4.) Towns in Iowa and Massachusetts are tearing down wind factories because they have so negatively impacted their neighbors.

5.) In Wyoming County, New York, 308 industrial wind turbines in five towns have provided no meaningful permanent local jobs. Wyoming County's tax rate has skyrocketed by over 85 percent since 2000, in direct correlation with the installation of wind factories here. Properties in the wind company-owned towns are selling well below their assessed values (if they sell at all), while the county’s population has steadily declined.

6.) Miles and miles of industrial wind sprawl cause massive habitat fragmentation. Habitat loss is cited as one of the main causes of species decline worldwide.

7.) Bird and bat populations are natural insect controllers and pollinators, and are being decimated by industrial wind factories. Farmers will deal with the resulting insect problems by having to apply more insecticides.

8.) Irony of ironies, Harvard recently released a study showing industrial wind factories are actually causing warming.

All of this information, and much more, is accessible online.

New York state residents (and residents across the nation for that matter) have a message for the Sierra Club and its' Big Wind Bully pals:

We love the natural environment that God has blessed us with here in western, central and upstate New York! We have no intention of allowing money-grubbing Big Wind Bullies to force us to destroy the beauty God has blessed us with in exchange for the consumer fraud that is industrial wind.

We hope and pray the Sierra Club will return to the group’s original mission of appreciating all of God’s creation and working to protect it, as John Muir intended. However, regardless of whatever the Sierra Club does, we will fight anyone who tries to force these “monuments of subjugation” upon our communities.

Mary Kay Barton of Silver Lake is a lifelong Western New Yorker, a New York State-certified health science educator (retired), a Cornell-certified Master Gardener, and an advocate for reliable, affordable electricity.

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