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Wake up on wind power  

If Miss Vermont could speak, she would probably cry out for help. It is our duty as responsible caretakers not to let these wind vultures rape our hills.

I am a ninth generation Vermonter with native Abenaki blood. For 300 years, my family has made their home in Vermont and New Hampshire and I am a genetic mix of the history of this place, a mélange of French and Indian, Scotch and English, a modern daughter of this great state.

I’ve traveled the globe and seen a few things. Like a salmon swimming upstream to spawn, I recently returned to the Green Mountains with purpose and for good reason: Vermont is a beautiful place to live, a last resort of natural culture and a safe haven for families.

It’s shameful to see what ‘renewable energy’ developers and proponents want to do to our mountain tops. Who will benefit from these towers as big as 747s, jutting skyward at 2,500 feet? It won’t be the collective ‘you and me’ that’s for sure.

Who benefits when wildlife leave town? Who benefits when songbirds, insects and bats are ripped to shreds when they fly into these ridgeline monsters? Who benefits when tons of cement get poured into our mountains, creating hideous scars for eons. I know we won’t benefit when visitors stop coming and tourist dollars dry up.

Imagine how ugly our highways would look if billboards littered the roadsides. People always say how different they feel when they cross the state-line into Vermont. They often use words like relieved, relaxed, refreshed and calmed. Aren’t these qualities are worth preserving? Years ago, our friends and neighbors fought hard to keep our byways free of advertising clutter. All Vermonters deserve to be born into a natural world, free of industrial eyesores. It is our birthright.

For all those who only look at the economics of this issue, I say to you, aesthetics do count. Vermont is famous for her breathtaking views. It’s why travelers visit year after year and why tourism is one of Vermont’s main revenue generators. Writers, artists, farmers, athletes and nature lovers have chosen this state for its beauty and inspiration, delicate aspects that are perhaps intangible to the corporate über-industrial mindset that is destroying the planet.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out there are more cons than pros in this debate. The safety issue of frozen ice chunks flying off the blades, decreased property values…and low-level noise that drives away wildlife including bear, deer, moose and other woodland creatures. If you are a hunter, you should oppose Big Wind!

Building mammoth wind towers doesn’t solve our energy crisis and reliance on foreign oil either. I wonder if Vermont’s pro winders also want to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The energy debate should be focusing on how we can CONSERVE our resources, waste less, and reuse more by building energy-efficient homes, schools and companies. We should drive smaller cars with better gas mileage. Let’s install solar panels on every Vermont home and give people tax breaks for doing it. Vermont is a creative state, the land of Yankee ingenuity, and we should protect rather than sell-off our natural inheritance.

If Miss Vermont could speak, she would probably cry out for help. It is our duty as responsible caretakers not to let these wind vultures rape our hills.

The lyrics in the Vermont State Song say:

These green hills and silver waters,

Are my home, they belong to me,

And to all her sons and daughters,

May they be strong and forever free,

Let us live to protect her beauty

Viva Vermont!

Kristin Calkins Rowe lives in South Royalton.

Kristin Calkins Rowe

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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