I attended the Feb. 16 meeting on wind energy in Grafton. Speakers were divided into two panels – those in favor of rapid build out of industrial wind in Vermont, and those with reservations about this activity. In the ensuing debate, it emerged that the two sides were also divided on a core question: Should we always trust those with political and economic power to make the best decisions for us all?
First, the panel of wind developers and their proponents voiced robust support for their own decisions and those of the Public Service Board. Their manner was jolly, forceful, indeed, almost manic. We were relieved and delighted to hear that they are really great people, and that all their decisions are for our own good. Their efforts bring about nearly perfect protection of everything that needs protecting when wind turbines come to our town. I, for one, was relieved to learn that our dear world is in such righteous hands.
Then, a panel whose expertise lay in physics, government, and community organization expressed reservations. Certain themes emerged: We need to question the assertions of the wind developers and their political backers, especially given the enormous profits at stake; we must find in ourselves the competence to research their claims, look at data, draw our own conclusions; and we can understand complicated stuff. “Question Authority” they seemed to say, echoing distant, more hopeful, times.
So now I’m torn. It is really hard to understand stuff and make my own decisions. And wouldn’t it be so much nicer to believe in those dear, enthusiastic developers, even if most of the stuff they said didn’t make any sense?
So let me exhort the people of this great state to be joyful in the knowledge that our true protectors, Green Mountain Power, Iberdrola, Peter Shumlin, David Blittersdorf, and the Illuminati of the Public Service Board, are in full command of our future. They have only our best interests at heart. And I know because they tell me so.
Windham, Feb. 19
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