Some people, feeling pressure from the rise of the Chinese economy, have suggested that the Chinese model for growth and development might work in this country. It would make it easier for our government to do what it wanted. If the government wanted to build a road, they could. If they wanted to build a building, a high speed rail, or a monolithic industrial wind project it could be easily done. No permits, no debate, no process. If there was any resistance or opposition, you could be jailed.
Unfortunately, in this country and state the democratic process keeps getting in the way of real progress. Whether it be wind towers or cell towers or road repairs after a storm, people keep getting in the way. You can buy up some of the opposition with empty promises. You can dismiss some of the opposition like misbehaving school children or you can try to derail the entire political process by refusing to have fair and open meetings, but these people keep getting in the way.
The recent battles with VELCO over cell towers in Derby and the Sheffield, Lowell and Derby Line Wind Projects all have one thing in common. People keep getting in the way. The powers that be try as hard as they can to bypass the process, but these people keep getting in the way. Failing to coerce the Derby Planning Commission, VELCO went to the selectboard to get what they wanted. I don’t know how the wind tower promoters in Derby Line can know a majority of the village favors this development without a public forum or at least a survey. It is interesting that they are now promoting this as a future tourist attraction.
Then comes the question of who these people getting in the way are. They are usually the people most affected by these projects. They bring aesthetic, ecological and health concerns to the table. It seems that people who won’t even see these monolithic structures in their backyards and won’t be impacted by any environmental impacts that may ensue before, during or after they are built, are determined to tell people who will have to live with them the rest of their lives, what they should do. Oh, if we did things more like the Chinese, things would be so much easier.
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