State Sen. Joe Benning, in his Jan. 12 commentary, “Big wind, take two,” is spouting the usual fear-mongering of demagogues (who sometimes seem to think of themselves as demi-gods) in attacking wind power in Vermont. Up go the palisades.
Benning is pandering to the very small but extremely loud minority fanatically opposing any of the small steps being taken to deal with the threat to life on planet Earth due to climate change, produced and exacerbated by the carbon dioxide poured into our fragile atmosphere.
Sadly, he is resorting to gross hyperbole in attacking supporters of wind energy. He states that wind proponents “claim these projects are the magical silver bullet that will solve our electric needs and cure man’s contribution to global pollution.” I have never heard an alternative energy proponent make any such fantasmagorical claim. Wind power utilization is a small start toward weaning ourselves away from the self-destructive burning of fossil fuels that produce the carbon. We must use every tool, and we had better start now. As I’m sure the senator knows, it is always expensive to put new technologies on the line. Look what televisions, computers, digital cameras, even ballpoint pens cost when first introduced (when the first ballpoint pen came out it cost $17 in the mid 1940s — and it was terrible).
Wind projects are not causing “environmental destruction” of our mountains as Benning rants. There is always some local disruption of the landscape in any construction project, but it can and is cleaned up and things are put back to normal. Where is his voice shouting against ski areas and mountainside high-rise condominiums?
Make no mistake, this is not about “destruction” or cost; it’s NIMBYism taken to a high degree. Maybe he would rather see a large coal-fired power plant within his home view, or a nuclear power plant.
Or better, simply go without electricity altogether.
Tell your senator to vote “no” on the wind-power moratorium.
Edward C. Day
East Montpelier Center
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