1) Watch the door, Governor
An open letter to Peter Shumlin:
To the emperor wannabe, Peter Shumlin. You want to call people who question rotten government CAVE (Committees Against Virtually Everything), but it is you who are creating virtually useless committees. You, Pete, are so willing to be taken in by foreign wind turbine developers who feed your ego and lead you to believe you are something you are not. You are not an honest man and you have never had the courage to represent the people of the state of Vermont.
Every department of our Vermont government has been poisoned by you and the people of Vermont have suffered. The small towns of the Northeast Kingdom have come under a relentless assault by destructive foreign developers and you sit back on your plush throne and call those townspeople derogatory names. You rigged a governmental system that rips the power from small towns and leaves them helpless to attack. The systems that were intended to protect us are now being used to squash us like bugs.
In a way, Pete, you are like the emperor in that old story who is taken in by foreign charlatans. They feed your vanity and dress you in imaginary robes of majesty. Imagination, Pete, is all you have. Come November I doubt there will be much to see as you come slinking out, naked, onto the streets of Montpelier looking for a new job.
Don’t let the door hit you …
Kathleen J. Nelson Brighton/Island Pond
2) Shumlin’s support for wind misguided
In a recent article, the governor suggested that Vermonters who oppose the destruction of our pristine ridgelines for large-scale wind development are against “virtually everything” (“Candidates take opposite tacks on energy,” by Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press Bureau, Oct. 24).
These remarks are not surprising coming from a governor who won the Democratic nomination by less than 1 percent, believes wind power can somehow replace conventional power, and believes he may have been responsible for Tropical Storm Irene cleanup. (Don’t forget this spring he thought he was “almost” mauled by bears.)
Vermonters who oppose wind development are quite oppositely pro “everything” except large-scale wind development. Many are conservative and place a high value on the landscape that historically Vermonters have worked so hard to preserve.
So why is the governor so hellbent on destroying Vermont’s most valuable natural resource for one single alternative?
For the same reason he believes he was “almost” mauled by bears – he “thinks” it will work.
Vermonters oppose wind for more practical reasons. It simply doesn’t work. It is destructive to small rural communities and it damages human health and the wild and natural resources around us. And most likely will make the carbon dioxide problem worse.
Here’s a more practical question: How is the governor doing with his energy footprint?
With 17 homes valued at over $4.5 million, it most likely would dwarf most rural Vermonters’ (Al Gore ring a bell?).
The governor is traversing the country sounding the perpetual climate change alarm while Vermonters struggle with unemployment, high taxes, higher electric bills and medical expenses, made worse by these “pie in the sky” fantasies he is creating while the bears chase him around his yard trying to eat his brownies.
It’s time for more balance, a moratorium on wind, and pragmatism in Montpelier.
Greg Bryant Sheffield
3) Shumlin arrogant toward his critics
Gov. Shumlin’s recent scornful and intemperate remarks regarding folks concerned about mountaintop destruction (“Candidates take opposite tacks on energy,” Vermont Press Bureau, Oct. 24) detract from a rational debate about what is emerging as perhaps Vermont’s greatest environmental battle of the decade.
The governor has many laudable ideas. For example, the deliberative process he has established for health reform is commendable. What is not admirable, however, is his palpable arrogance toward people who challenge him. Two weeks ago, he insulted journalists probing his recent land deal in East Montpelier. More recently, when confronting criticisms about industrial wind’s assault of Vermont’s mountains, he lashed out at critics, calling them “the committee against virtually everything.”
Vermont needs an urgent and informed debate for dealing with climate change. Yet, it is hard to have such a discussion when Vermonters who adopt views contrary to the governor’s are dismissed with an imperial wave of the hand.
Back in the mid-1960s, several prominent Vermonters sounded alarms about development above the environmentally fragile 2,500-foot level of our mountains. They included Hub Vogelmann of UVM, Bob “Mr. Audubon” Spear and Shirley Strong, first female president of the Green Mountain Club. Their work helped lead to the 2,500-foot standard in Act 250. Their findings and concerns remain relevant and deserve consideration. I shudder to think what Peter Shumlin would have said about them.
Bruce S. Post Essex Junction
4) Think critically about wind power
In spite of attempts by many very smart Vermonters to create a dialogue where Vermonters could effectively and honestly debate the pros and cons of industrial wind, we are still being fed nothing but campaign rhetoric and some outright lies. Critical thinking is not taking place, and we are being sold a bill of goods by Peter Shumlin and company.
When Gov. Shumlin states that “bats will be displaced by wind turbines,” someone should call him on that statement, which is incorrect. Bats are not “displaced” by turbines, they are killed. Doesn’t Gov. Shumlin read the papers and know about the kill permit issued to First Wind? Perhaps he only reads the parts where he slanders those who question the logic of his grand vision to save us all from global warming?
Instead of engaging in a productive dialogue and listening to the voices of Vermonters who question his vision for very good reason, Peter Shumlin chooses to slander those people and use the sophomoric labeling and call them “CAVE” – “the committee against virtually everything.” Isn’t that clever, Mr. Shumlin? While we are researching the facts and producing solid data that questions the logic of your vision for renewable energy for Vermont, you can respond only with belittling labels. Perhaps that is because you cannot connect the dots between industrial wind and the sacrifice of our ridgelines inherent in that vision with any science as to how that will save us from global warming.
Lisa Wright Garcia Florence
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