Home / General / Idaho Anti-Wind Energy Billboards

Idaho Anti-Wind Energy Billboards


A friend of mine saw this on a billboard outside of Boise.


Not sure I really get this one except to say that people ideologically opposed to wind energy have problems.

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  • KmCO

    So wind energy results in STDs and dissolved marriages. Consider me enlightened.

    • Aimai

      No, I think it means that wind energy results in orgasms for customers.

      • JL

        If wind energy is analogous to regular prostitution, what form of energy is analogous to being a pro dominatrix?

        • DocAmazing

          Biomass cogeneration.

          • Hogan

            For an extra twenty bucks you can get switchgrass.

            • Same as downtown.

              • NonyNony

                +1 for oldest joke on the planet

      • Halloween Jack

        Something something blowing hard.

    • GFW

      Seriously ironic, considering the problems in the North Dakota shale boom towns … including actual prostitution.

      • Halloween Jack

        But JOBS JOBS JOBS.

    • SV

      No, results in people getting money and sex! Winners all round!

    • SP

      Wind energy efficiently powers vibrators.

    • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks

      Or, you know, it results in women being able to earn a living because they have no other good options.

      Sex work doesn’t cause “dissolved marriages.” Assholes spouses cause dissolved marriages.

  • JMP

    It’s nonsensical because there is no good reason to oppose wind (or solar) energy production, no rational arguments to make against them. So the fossil fuel industry, which has selfish reasons to oppose them, has turned it into a culture war issue, drumming up opposition to renewable energy based solely off pissing off liberals.

    • Stag Party Palin

      No, there are arguments but this isn’t one of them.

    • Gwen

      To say there are “no good reasons” is not exactly accurate, as there is a pretty short list of good reasons to oppose wind energy development in certain circumstances:

      * Wind turbines kill birds and bats, so putting a wind farm in the middle of a major flyway would be a bad idea.

      * Wind turbines probably shouldn’t be put in your (quarter-acre-lot) backyard lest you deprive your neighbors of natural sunlight. Because they’ve got a solar farm in *their* backyard.

      * In a few cases they might ruin natural scenery (this was the big objection in Massachusetts).

      And that’s pretty much about it.

      • Lee Rudolph

        (this was the big objection in Massachusetts)

        This was the big *argument* put forward against Cape Wind. Whether it was the big *objection* is cast into some doubt by the fact that David Koch was among the objectors.

      • On the issue of natural scenery, it is worth noting that such objections basically protect the viewsheds of rich people, which was the real issue in Massachusetts. They don’t care that the poor have their environments destroyed by energy production. But to actually see energy production, oh no way.

        • Gwen

          Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, I thought it was really stupid and you’re right, there was definitely a class angle to that.

          But I wouldn’t go dotting the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone with wind farms.

          • Sure, there are places where they shouldn’t exist, but I’d keep most of the shoreline open to wind production, as you see in much of Europe.

        • McKingford

          It’s seems to me to be such a strange notion, that the view of turbines is a visual blight. My parents live in Southwest Ontario, which is home to the largest windfarm in the province. It’s absolutely mesmerizing to me to be driving along the highway and see giant turbines slowly turning for as far as the eye can see.

          I just can’t fathom how people think it’s ugly.

  • The prophet Nostradumbass

    Bizarre. That group is, of course funded by the petroleum and natural gas industry.

    • Gwen

      Right, by people who know all about integrity!

  • West of the Cascades

    Sorry, disagreement from the environmental side here. Many (not all) wind energy projects are marginal producers of electricity in areas of weak winds that serve mainly to skim off the Production Tax Credit and wouldn’t be viable without it. There are major problems with siting industrial-scale wind energy projects in important bird or other species habitat (such as desert tortoises or bats) — they can have a disproportionate negative impact on local populations of such species. Location is critical, and too many of these projects are being sited without enough concern for their effects on imperiled species.

    The problem with the “red light district” is a visual one — the aircraft warning lights that blink every four or five seconds at night. It’s a hideous disruption in an area that has dark night skies — try driving I-84 in eastern Oregon at night sometime.

    • FMguru

      Agreed. Let’s burn more coal!

      • Vance Maverick

        That’ll take care of those “dark night skies” for you!

    • It is worth noting that every single source of energy is going to have some deleterious environmental effect.

      • Denverite
        • Autonomous Coward

          Pragmatic, CO2-reducing power generation policy?

          Where we’re going we don’t need pragmatic, CO2-reducing power generation policy…

          • Autonomous Coward

            *Minimizing not reducing, damnit.

      • Even Mako energy!?

        • FourTen

          Don’t believe that AVALANCHE propaganda!

          You can trust the Shinra Electric Power Company for all your world domination energy needs.

      • cpinva

        “It is worth noting that every single source of energy is going to have some deleterious environmental effect.”

        that could be said for nearly every human endeavor, regardless of attempts to make them benign. that said, wind & solar probably have the least deleterious effects on the environment.

      • allium

        All protoculture produces are pretty flowers!*

        * Which eventually attract the Invid, but who cares about externalities?

      • njorl

        The smart stat is the EDAR, environmental damage above replacement.

    • The Tragically Flip

      Funny how hydro & cellular transmission towers located in rural areas don’t draw the same objections, despite having most of the same hazards.

      • Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoenhenheim den Sidste

        I live at the foot of a mountain that is topped by a great big communications tower with flashing lights and guy wires and everything. It’s been there for years, no problems.

        On the next mountain over, there is proposal to install six turbines and you would think they were made of high level nucular waste the way people are freaking out. Some of the good yeomen of the town went so far as to hire a faux expert to conjure up a report insisting that we are all going to die of wind turbine syndrome if the project is allowed to move forward.

        There was a time when I lived near wind turbines in Europe and I found them to be a great big non problem, but nobody here listens to me because I am a dirty hippie communist.

        • cpinva

          “Some of the good yeomen of the town went so far as to hire a faux expert to conjure up a report insisting that we are all going to die of wind turbine syndrome if the project is allowed to move forward.”

          is this (wind turbine syndrome) an actual thing? it sounds like something made up?

          update: it turns out, someone did:


          dr. Pierpont’s husband, calvin luther Pierpont is a self-described “anti-wind power activist”. the “syndrome” isn’t recognized by anyone other than dr. Pierpont, M.D., who described it, and its symptoms, in a self-published, non-peer reviewed book. she claims it’s the result of close proximity to wind mills (though most people living near them experience no problems), basing her conclusions on a study criticized for its questionable methodology.

          • Don Quixote

            I take it you’re on the side of the windmills?

            • Sancho Panza

              They might be giants, Boss.

              • John F. and John L.

                They might, at that…

          • MattT

            Windmills do not work that way!

        • owlbear1

          If you can see the electricity being generated it stops being magic.

        • Doug M.

          My very tentative hypothesis is that we’ve all gotten really good at editing out cell phone towers, microwave relays, grain elevators, cranes, radio and TV antennas, and all that other stuff. We just, whoop, mentally wipe it out of our skyline and all is well.

          But for some reason it seems to be harder to do that with wind turbines — either because we’re just not as used to them, or perhaps because it really *is* harder (they move, then they stop, then they move again, and this triggers some deeply wired “pay attention” circuitry in the visual cortex).

          OTOH, for generations millions of rural Americans grew up with a windmill pumping water from a well into the cow trough and sometimes turning a generator too. You never heard any of /them/ complaining about how loud and ugly their windmills were.

          Doug M.

          • “My very tentative hypothesis is that we’ve all gotten really good at editing out cell phone towers, microwave relays, grain elevators, cranes, radio and TV antennas, and all that other stuff. We just, whoop, mentally wipe it out of our skyline and all is well.”

            I think it’s slightly more than that. Whatever we grew up with is naturalized into the landscape. I was reading something about cell phone towers (I think) a few years ago and what an eyesore they were. The story had a picture. The view was already filled with telephone and electric wires.

            • Jon C.

              Or even more so, the New Jerseyans who were outraged a couple years ago at a utility company installing solar panels along roadsides in several towns because, supposedly, it would hurt home property values. The panels, of course, being mounted on existing telephone poles.

          • BobS

            Unlike cell phone towers, turbines frequently occur in groups of dozens or hundreds, sited as little as 1300 feet from each other (depending on local zoning regulations). Collectively they have a large footprint (their foundations are approx 30 cubic feet), construction of the turbines as well as access roads can be disruptive of endangered species habitat, they can be particularly harmful to migrating birds (expecially raptors) and bats, and they are relatively inefficient compared to other sources of energy.

            • Bartleby

              When are you going to propose the elimination of windows on building? Windows kill several orders of magnitude more birds per year than wind turbines.

              But yeah, make the “environmental” case for burning more fossil fuels…

              • Stag Party Palin

                Bad scrivening. False dichotomy.

          • BobS

            I hit submit too soon.
            Doug M, these aren’t the windmills farmers used to use to pump water. They’re 500 feet tall and the low frequency sound waves and shadow flicker can be bothersome to individuals forced to live nearby.
            Wind, solar, and geothermal should be targeted at individual on-site production rather than a centralized energy grid.

            • Individualized on-site energy production will never produce at the scale needed to transform us to clean energy. People are going to have to live with having energy production around them. People already do–the Nigerians and Venezuelans where we have outsourced our oil production to.

              • Sancho Panza

                And South Dakotans…

              • DrDick

                And Oklahomans and Texans, not to mention the good folks in West Virginia and Kentucky.

                • coconino

                  Don’t forget us here in NM.

            • Mao ZeDong

              Wind, solar, and geothermal should be targeted at individual on-site production rather than a centralized energy grid.

              The capitalist running dog is correct. We can use on-site production to power our backyard steel furnaces, and society will make a Great Leap Forward.

              • Brandon

                So exactly how large of a piece of property would google need to have filled with wind and solar to power one of their massive server farms?

          • In rural Indiana, I actually found the windmill farms very pretty. I was glorious in the sunlight. Way more interesting than the corn field around it.

      • Davis X. Machina

        My fave is the letters to the editor, and comments after newspaper stories, about the health risk from smart electric meters that you know were posted with the help of the endangered person’s whole-house wi-fi network.

        • Brandon

          I had read the (nonsense as far as I can tell) privacy concerns before and at least understood where those were coming from, but the health “concern” ones are just straight up chemtrails-and-fluoride nonsense

    • I’m sure nobody would be complaining if they were oil rigs.

      • DrDick

        Or heaps of coal tailings.

    • Warren Terra

      I’d be interested to hear about cost or environmental problems associated with wind energy, or even for example habitat destruction associated with the red lights. But if all you are saying is that the nighttime vistas in some parts of the Dakotas will be less idyllic I do have to wonder what you think about the mountain top removal projects in West Virginia.

      • Zamb

        Lets not forget that all the oil pumps and what not in these pristine enviroments, hell driving through North Dakota you’ll even see the occasional pillar of flame jetting up into the sky. Hard to imagine that keeps your wonderful natural view intact.

      • Stag Party Palin

        Besides the impact on birds (different ones than the ones that fly into lit windows) it’s no different than any construction project (roads, concrete pads, etc.). The problem is when good areas for wind are also environmentally sensitive (desert tortoises, birds, etc.). It comes down to siting. IMHO there is enough land out there to site solar panels and wind towers without doing it in sensitive areas, but when those areas offer the largest profits, you got trouble.

    • Pseudonym

      It’s truly tragic how so many endangered desert tortoises are killed by strikes from wind turbines.

      • Anthony

        “Maybe the wind from those Windmills can blow them over”

        • Phil


          • MattT

            Should have read down.

    • Doug M.

      “It’s a hideous disruption in an area that has dark night skies”

      Presumably because people in those areas don’t use cell phones, watch television, make long-distance phone calls, or listen to the radio. Because if they did, they’d have cell phone towers, microwave relay towers, and TV and radio towers. Also, apparently these people are getting along without grain elevators, water towers, cross-country electricity pylons, factories with smokestacks, bridges with towers, and construction cranes.

      Nobody ever complains about blinking red lights on any of those things. But attach one to a wind turbine and suddenly it’s a “hideous disruption”.

      Doug M.

    • ajay

      The problem with the “red light district” is a visual one — the aircraft warning lights that blink every four or five seconds at night. It’s a hideous disruption in an area that has dark night skies

      This is why we should be lobbying for airliners to turn off their ACOL lights and fly dark. The only side effect would be two airliners colliding, and that would only disrupt the night sky for a few minutes until the last bits of flaming wreckage had guttered out.

    • SP

      Idaho- not an area of weak winds.
      Lolcats probably lead to more bird deaths than turbines (by convincing more people how cute kitties are and increasing the cat population)

    • Halloween Jack

      Well, here comes the FUD.

  • Joseph Nobles

    I for one don’t want smutty windmills waving their extremities in the breeze for all to see in my neighborhood. Take that pole dancing back to the smoky pits of Hell from whence it came.

  • RobertS

    Well, it’s too late for the morals of eastern Idaho then, ’cause there’s ton of wind towers near Idaho Falls.

    And sure there were some several years ago, but it really blew my mind in (IIRC) 2012 how many had sprouted NE of town.

  • LosGatosCA

    If electricity is cheap and plentiful then small and large electric appliances become ubiquitous and pretty soon the women folks don’t need a man at all. Do I have to draw you a picture to get their point?

    • Serial Point-misser

      Ooooh, a picture! Yes! Yes please! Can the picture have a doggy in it?

  • Gregor Sansa

    I came to this comment thread to see if there was any good snark. But I suspect that in this case, Poe’s Law will triumph. We can’t hold a candle to that.

    • Warren Terra

      It will blow out, for one thing. Indeed, both activities are known for their dependence on blowing.

  • trollhattan

    The soft bigotry of aviation warning lights. Are the Citadel folks worried it will disrupt their nighttime target practice?

  • John

    Just to be clear: They’re saying that wind power attracts sad, lonely, horny men?

  • ASV

    Wind energy: It blows.

    • THANK you, ASV. I was waiting for that.

  • Mike G

    Given the predominance of Mormons in Idaho and their predilection for porn, maybe the billboard is actually meant to promote wind energy by associating it with one of their favorite things.

  • What are they doing with those windmills up there? Definitely not recommended.

  • The prophet Nostradumbass

    Chris Hayes had an interesting segment on his show this evening about wind energy in Kansas.

  • Matthew Stevens

    So wind development is like … a farmer?

    (Apologies, a WKRP reference.)

    • The prophet Nostradumbass

      The Chris Hays segment I mentioned just above your comment features a farmer who has wind turbines on his property :-)

    • Guggenheim Swirly

      Never apologize for a WKRP reference.

    • An always welcome reference.

      I wish they would get the music rights figured out so that show would finally get a proper DVD release.

      • Shout! Factory just bought the rights to the entire run of the show. No word on the music rights but here’s hoping.


        • Just Dropping By

          I’m excited to hear that. Hopefully they’ll do a better job of it. The original DVD releases were practically unwatchable.

  • MobiusKlein

    Another related bboard in Idaho – “Meth – it’s not the Indian Way”

    • Autonomous Coward

      I’m confused.

      Rural drug use especially among First Nations peoples (and yes, I’m going to use that phrase, it’s better than the terms we’ve developed down here) actually is a problem.

      Unlike wind energy which is a problem only for the purpose of fossil fuel producers concern trolling the rest of us.

  • Manju

    Just a guess…but they are protesting govt subsidized energy. Cleantech often entails rebates to make the product completive, and grants to develop the technology.

    Politicians can provide such things in return for cash. They are prostitutes for a clean future. We RWingers oppose this. We like out hookers dirty.

    • Pseudonym

      As opposed to oil, which never receives subsidies, Gulf War notwithstanding.

      • ….and NEVER socialises the costs of its environmental impacts. do NOT think of the Exxon Valdez or the Gulf spill(s)….

        • Manju

          “We like out hookers dirty.”

    • Joanna

      Oil companies get subsidies to the tune of $500 billion globally every year. Wind and solar have a loooong way to go before they get that greedy.

      • Manju

        “We like out hookers dirty.”

  • LosGatosCA

    Oil gets incentives, solar gets handouts.

    See the philosophical difference?

    Me neither.

    • Oil gets incentives, solar gets handouts, wind is just a cheap whore asking for cash for services rendered.

  • Standing Eagle

    Wow, nobody gets it? “The result is the same” (not only in that people put on the red light but also) in that you get screwed!

    Maybe regionally more people would get it. It took me a second.

    Notably both in the case of wind-generated electricity and that of prostitutes the typical consumer has no choice: he is FORCED to partake.

    • Funny, I don’t recall getting a choice of how to have my local electricity generated.

      I have the same choice as Idaho folks: buy it from my utility, or do without.

      So your silly post won’t fly, Standing Ea- oh. So sorry. Just an expression.

      • Walt

        And yet when it comes to fracking, you have to lie back and take it while the earth moves.

      • So-in-so

        Don’t you get the monthly samples for your custom generation? I usually go with Light Sweet #2, but sometimes you just want HARD COAL!

      • dk

        Please check your sarcasm meter.

    • Standing Eagle’s Wife

      Notably both in the case of … prostitutes the typical consumer has no choice: he is FORCED to partake.

      I didn’t buy that line of malarkey the last time you trotted it out either, SE.

    • NonyNony

      Notably both in the case of wind-generated electricity and that of prostitutes the typical consumer has no choice: he is FORCED to partake.


    • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks

      Notably both in the case of wind-generated electricity and that of prostitutes the typical consumer has no choice: he is FORCED to partake.

      Oh, horseshit. Nobody is forcing men to purchase the services of sex workers. There is this thing called one’s right hand. There are also these things called sex toys.

      Oh, and also, there’s this thing called “Get a few social skills and learn to bathe.”

    • Malaclypse

      CAPSLOCK and stupid nyms remain a dumbprint.

    • Brandon

      The jonhs–the true victims of prostitution!

    • Standing Eagle

      My joke baffled people both ways. Some people thought I was serious about the johns being forced to partake, and some thought I was being sarcastic about the utility customers.

      I was being sarcastic about the equivalence between the two. Unlike the utility customers, the johns are not (despite what I tell my wife) forced to partake of the prostitutes.

      Weird that everyone got all discombobulated so easily about reality.

  • Standing Eagle

    It’s a classic equation: NIMBY = NIMP (not in my pants).

    No means no unless it is a haggling tactic.

  • Conservative POV:
    For a proper screwing, you need oil!

  • Crunchy Frog

    So, for the funders of this stuff it’s all about the race to be the first trillionaire. They’ve all got more money than they can spend in a lifetime but all that means is they need MORE dammit – and that means stopping non-fossil fuel energy.

    For the rank-and-file wingnuts who believe this shit, any hint of green energy or something being good for the environment generates an intense negative emotional reaction because they associate it with the left wing. That’s really all it’s about. If we think something is good then it must be bad.

  • Karen

    Wow, Texas is more progressive than Idaho! Who’d a thunk it?

    Seriously, wind turbines are a huge business in West Texas and have gotten very little opposition. For one thing, blocking the view from Ft. Stockton is a feature, not a bug, and someone finally figured out a way to make money from the constant annoying wind out there.

    • Gwen

      Texas is pretty progressive if you exclude race issues, gender issues, sexuality issues, class issues, and any issues that would otherwise offend businessmen or the baby Jesus.

  • DrDick
  • J R in WV

    I think the primary benefit of wind-mill energy generation is that it slows the incessant and terrible western wind down just a tiny bit. There are many places out west where the standard method of getting in and out of a vehicle is “One Door at a Time”.

    If you open both doors of your truck at the same time, the wind will remove your paperwork, books, tickets, maps, luggage and tools instantly!

    So as we head west each winter to escape the typical snow-bound cloudy weather, when we hit the Mississippi River [actually a couple of hundred miles west, but what the heck, I’m trying to make a point here, not be scientifically accurate about gergraphy] we remind each other to never open both doors at once.

    Our personal rule is the passenger gets to go first, while the driver is shutting things down and letting the turbos spin down before killing the ignition switch. Then, after the paper work is taken care of, the driver can get out and proceed to stoke up.

    I bought my first western -style hat after my eastern ball-cap style hat had flown across a truckstop in 3 seconds flat for the third time. The western style hat has a chinstrap to keep the hat on your head in the incessant and strong western wind.

    I invented the One Door Rule after an expensive set of maps blew out of the truck, requiring much chasing, no doubt extremely funny to on-lookers but tiring and stressful to me.

    So the more windmills [and there are many more wind mills every winter when we head west] the better, until they begin to slow the rotation of the Earth, thereby throwing nuclear-timing clocks off their storied accuracy and ruining TV schedules for everyone.

  • LittlePig

    Dr. Toffler called it quite a while ago. I’ve always found it remarkable what a blueprint that turned out to be.

    Particularly the information overload aspect. Overwhelmed folks want that rigid rule set they can cling to, no matter how goofy. Thus the literalistic readings of the Bible, Tea Party shenanigans, guns uber Alles, etc. etc.

    Malthusian reading I’ll grant you, but very instructive in the mindsets of these folks.

  • So-in-so

    Don’t you remember; if we haven’t got all the oil and gas out of the ground when Jesus comes, we are in big trouble! They told me that when Reagan was Pres.

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