Friday, July 30, 2004

"Collaboration"

"In collaborations, all affected stakeholders come together to attempt to reach consensus-based decisions regarding the appropriate location and development of proposed wind facilities. The strength of a collaborative process comes from its flexible, inclusive, voluntary, and participant-driven nature. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of collaborative decision-making is that locals can gain more control over wind-siting decisions. Wind developers also can benefit from collaboration as the process helps to inform local communities on the real benefits and costs of wind projects, rather than on speculative, sometimes incorrect concerns about lowered property values and ruined views."

--Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), "Guidebook for New England Inland Wind Power Siting," June 2003
The approach described in the CLF paper is summed up on page 6:
"For the process to be seen as fair ..."
Not "for the process to be fair" -- only to be "seen" as fair!

In the whole paper, it is assumed that opposition based on the fact that wind turbines don't do what they are claimed to do is "misinformed," so the purpose of the "collaboration" is to give the developer one more chance to do their "objective" PowerPoint show and then leave any remaining opposition right out of the discussion. It is not about whether the developers ought to be sent packing, but only about giving the people the feeling that they are helping to guide the project. It is only between the developers and people not yet ready to believe that the whole thing is a sham and a con and so can be pacified by a symbolic gesture or two (and plain old money!).

Bravo to the Glebe Mountain Group in Londonderry (Vermont) for rejecting this game.