Reconsider wind-turbine opposition for the greater good

PUTNEY — When a wind-power project like Stiles Brook is planned, property owners will be concerned about their lovely ridgeline views and their property values. That is normal self-interest.

On the other hand, some opponents go on to say they are concerned about endangered species, such as our bats, or about black bear corridors.

That seems like hypocrisy. What's missing here is the bigger picture: The greatest threat by far to all living things in Grafton and Windham is climate change!

Spinning turbine blades will knock out some birds, true, but human endeavors are now starting a mass extinction of countless millions of life forms that inhabit the planet with us.

A decade ago, the powerful Kennedy family, and others with oceanfront property, blocked the very promising Cape Wind project on Nantucket Sound. These opponents made similar environmental and aesthetic arguments. Because of their NIMBY-ism, a lot more carbon dioxide went into the atmosphere.

Now we are living in exceptional times. Opposition to sustainable energy today is tragically shortsighted. The ice caps are melting fast, the ocean is acidifying, and the weather is getting dangerous.

We need all the wind and solar we can get - right now. Because our carbon-intensive lifestyles are unsustainable, reasonable sacrifices today will prevent more-desperate measures in a generation or two.

Ridgelines and the wind blowing there should really be a public good, like the ocean. Wind turbines' health effects are rare and would affect only a very few close by, and they should, of course, be compensated.

The wind developer recently proposed to downsize and sweetened the pot with increased payments to citizens of both Windham and Grafton. In my opinion, wind opponents in the area, and the Windham Foundation, should reconsider their opposition to Stiles Brook, or they may end up on the wrong side of history.

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