I can see 50 windmills from the front porch of my house. I work daily on my farm, with hilltops from which can be seen all of the more-or-less 240 windmills in Columbia County. Clearly, not-in-my-backyard doesn’t apply to me. I cannot avoid being constantly reminded of windmill behavior during the full spectrum of weather conditions that occur during the year.

 It often happens that the windmills are turning full speed when the wind is calm. During those times, the noise of the windmill motors is easily heard from miles away. It takes a lot of power to make that much noise, and, since the wind isn’t blowing, the power must be coming off the grid. At this time of year, when dams don’t have enough water to meet the full demand for electricity, that means nuclear and natural gas are supplying the power to keep the windmills turning.

 Records of wind speed in this area are available to the public, and it is evident that times when the wind blows hard are insufficient to make up for the times when the wind blows soft, so the average power generated from windmills in this area is less than nothing.

 It would do no good to encourage the construction of more windmills in this area, because even double or triple times nothing is still nothing.

 And therein lies the problem with Initiative 732, which proposes an escalating carbon tax on fossil fuels to force a shift to “zero-carbon alternatives such as wind.” Do your homework carefully. Wind is not a zero-carbon alternative.

 Jim Thorn