- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Mountaintops are fragile

I have a significant gripe with your editorial “Sound waves,” specifically, this statement: “The odd thing is that wind opponents, too, count themselves as environmentalists.” Huh?

What is “odd” about Vermonters rallying to protect their most sensitive mountain terrain from destruction? Are they not more in the tradition of such Vermont environmental stalwarts as George Perkins Marsh, Shirley Strong, Hub Vogelmann, Deane Davis and others? And why should the term “environmentalist” be the default description for groups that actively promote the destruction of our mountain ecosystems for marginal wind? Again, huh!

I know that Orwell’s book “1984” is again on the bestseller list, but I hope that Vermont is not becoming infected with its own environmental Newspeak where destruction is good, preservation is bad, mountains are good, but wind turbines are better.

As Charles Johnson, once Vermont’s state naturalist, wrote in “The Mountain Manifesto”: “Ironically, the ages-old toughness of our mountains translates not into durability, but just the opposite: fragility. The environment at higher elevations is far more vulnerable to outside disturbances, both natural and human-induced, than at lower altitudes: any damage takes a greater toll on resident life, takes longer to self-repair (if it ever does), and the effects compound downhill (or, if towers and wind turbines are involved, higher, for creatures that fly).”

Lastly, you buried what should have been your lede: “Maybe wind is best left to the rangeland of Texas or offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.” On that, I completely agree.