Development of alternative energy is a complex issue and demands a response that is well researched, investigated and debated.
It does not call for a kneejerk reaction, giving an enormous handout to an industry (wind) whose contribution to our quest for clean energy is at best minimal, leaving in its wake a heavy widening scar across our land.
Sensitive ecosystems are being disrupted. Bird and bat mortality is a fact the industry can no longer deny. Human health and safety, and the basic right to enjoy our homes in relative peace, are being jeopardized, while industrial wind complexes are springing up as unwanted and intrusive “neighbors” in residential areas.
Yet, the industry attempts to trivialize valid concerns by labeling those who oppose as NIMBYs (“Not in MY back yard!).
The ridge tops of Potter and Tioga counties represent much more than just a back yard. Our unspoiled natural beauty is what makes us unique.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and professor at Pace University Law School, writes:
“All of us need periodically to experience wilderness to renew our spirits and reconnect ourselves to the common history of our nation, humanity and to God. The worst trap that environmentalists can fall into is the conviction that the only wilderness worth preserving is in the Rocky Mountains or Alaska. To the contrary, our most important wildernesses are those that are closest to our densest population centers.”
We are the home of the Pennsylvania Wilds. We are her caretakers.
To close, I’d like to borrow from a quote by Mark Walsh of Manchester, Vermont:
“Potter and Tioga County mountain ridges may not be as impressive as Yosemite’s El Capitan or the Grand Tetons, but something very real would be sacrificed on the questionable altar of renewable energy for profit. Potter and Tioga County mountain ridges are not just a back yard. They are a heritage and a legacy. And they are as good a place as any to make a stand.”
Preserve the beauty of our region. Say no to industrial wind.
Beth Ann Steffy
12 July 2008