June 1, 2012
Letters, Vermont

Wind is not the answer

Times Argus | www.timesargus.com 1 June 2012

Vermont’s future lies in the balance, our namesake is at stake. There is a concerted push to erect industrial scale wind towers along our pristine ridgelines.

Towns across the state have recently become the proposed sights for industrial-scale wind development.

After graduating from UVM 30 years ago, we moved to Newark and bought an old farmhouse and raised our family, where we have lived off grid relying primarily on solar power.

Energy, its use and supply, and the environment are the existential challenges confronting the world today. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that will provide a simple solution. It is equally irresponsible to assume that one size fits all.

Instead of relying on huge corporations, we must look to more local solutions. This will require more of us as citizens and the diversion of tax subsidies away from huge corporations to smaller scale interests. Vermonters are capable of assuming responsibility for community projects. The electricity can be fed back in to the existing grid at a net gain for everyone.

Vermont is suited for solar and small-scale hydro-power. Vermont embodies fundamental principles and cherished values. Town meeting, a live-and-let-live attitude, an appreciation for the natural unspoiled environment, combined with a strong sense civic responsibility are worth preserving.

Industrial wind projects threaten our fundamental principles. The process that will turn our ridgelines into the large industrial sites is clearly on the fast track, backed by significant government subsidies. The 490-foot towers will dwarf our towns, threatening human and animal communities. Their scale is best understood in comparison. These towers stand a hundred feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

While rushing to erect these enormous structures we may spend years regretting this action. Vermont Yankee has produced neither clean nor cost efficient energy when everything, including decommissioning, is taken into consideration. We have an opportunity not to compound our errors with regard to commercial wind-power.

Rushing the process disenfranchises citizens, denying them the right to vote on a vital interest. This harms the very system we as citizens must defend, and on which Vermont’s legacy will depend.

The continued development of large-scale wind turbines will cause irreversible harm while negligibly impacting the state’s carbon output, and energy cost and independence.

Elizabeth W Grout

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/06/01/wind-is-not-the-answer/