In his column of July 25 Alan Chartock wrote the following: “Virtually every scientist I have ever spoken with tells me that wind energy and solar power are integral parts of the solution to our terrifying problem of advanced climate change.”
However, the “solution” of wind energy is coming from corporations who don’t have to suffer consequences after they set up shop and leave town. All the reader has to do is look at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where the city is strapped with a $400,000 repair job on a three-year-old wind turbine. The warranty expired when the construction company, AAER from Canada, went out of business 14 months after the operation started.
Mr. Chartock also writes: “…when people are told that those wind turbines might show up on their mountaintop or in a nearby farmer’s field, they want nothing to do with it.”
I feel that his reference to people who care about their community (the very place where they chose to raise their families) is dismissive and condescending. Our mountains are not renewable. They will not just grow back after an industrial wind turbine ceases to be operational. This big machinery has been documented to cause fires, leak oil and throw broken blades and pieces as far as 1,700 feet, also lowering property values if built too close to residential homes. Anyone can Google these facts in the news.
Although Mr. Chartock forgives the offending citizens who protest
wind turbines by saying “it’s hard to blame someone for protecting their kids or the value of their homes or businesses…” he then says “…there is something called the common good.”
I ask, does the common good mean that people who are most affected by these “windmills” (his word) then be considered second-class citizens? That they’ll discover that their family’s health has been put at risk or that their investment value of their homes have taken a hit after the turbines are constructed? Is that what the common good truly means?
Getting more information out to the public will be beneficial for everybody. Wise Choices For Lee (wisechoicesforlee.org) welcomes all who are interested in sharing solid knowledge about the subject of wind turbines. As the public may know, the feasibility of an industrial turbine (and possibly two) is being explored close to the Upper Reservoir in Lee by the town’s energy efficiency committee.
Last, before anyone decides that it’s OK for your next-door neighbor or the family across town to pay the price for the rest of us, the message must be put out that we need to learn to conserve, and not just consume. Let’s get educated.
The writer is a member of Wise Choices for Lee.