Sacrificing land’s sacredness
Several hundred taxpayers in one of the remotest areas of the Northeast Kingdom are voting their opinion on an industrial wind project proposed for Seneca Mountain in the town of Ferdinand. It would be the largest wind development in Vermont. The financial inducements offered by Eolian Energy of Portsmouth, N.H., the developer, are substantial but questionable. The benefits in terms of efficient alternative energy production and distribution are dubious. The environmental impacts on land, water and wildlife are certain. But more is at stake.
These mountains have been here for eons, slowly accumulating soil, growing mosses and ferns and finally forests that were here long before we human were here. Animals made their homes on this land, fish in its streams, birds in its trees, long before we were here. Native peoples hunted and foraged and built shelters, knowing that their lives depended on the health of the natural world around them, long before our ancestors came. We have “developed” our way into climate change, endangering not only our own health and lives but all other innocent forms of life.
Blasting mountain ridges to erect huge wind turbines is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem: our lack of respect and kindness and love for the natural world and, ultimately, for ourselves. Instead of sacrificing our extraordinary consumption of energy, we wrest sacrifices from the earth, again and again, without restraint. We have lost a sense of the sacredness of all life.
And so I will stand with the voters of Newark and Brighton, who have strongly opposed such proposals, and vote against the siting of industrial wind turbines in our mountains. The soul of the Kingdom is not for sale.