Saturday, November 05, 2005

"Wind Powers American Dream"

Now-freelance journalist Judy Miller is already working again, using her special access abilities to report the real truth, i.e., the truth those in power need us to believe. Fresh from her work to promote the disastrous invasion of Iraq, she now turns to the domestic challenge of pushing unpopular industrial wind facilities onto communities across the country, as this excerpted story from tomorrow's Washington Argus shows.
Wind Powers American Dream

by Judith Miller

Washington, DC -- I have just spent two weeks embedded with the president of the American Wind Energy Association and cannot convey strongly enough the urgent need for massive wind power development in this country.

Randall Switscher took me with him to see site after site that was either totally lacking industrial development or mostly wasted with low-grade agriculture.

"These people desperately need our help," Randy told me. "We need to bring them into the 21st century, get some investment going there."

Randy's model is the transformation of Nigeria by the presence of foreign oil companies who built schools, hospitals, banks, and communication infrastructure. Nigeria now rivals Sweden in measures of equality and health, he says.

During a retreat in the lovely unspoiled mountains of Vermont, I met Keith Dewley, a college-educated architect. He told me how grateful he is to Mr. Switscher for providing a beacon of hope to Vermonters. It is now normal for a Vermont child to hope to go to college, and that is directly a result of the activity of wind developers from outside, he told me.

Keith's interest verges on the artisitic. "What I learned in college was that aesthetics are about social constructs, about what we expect from our lives. Are we defined by hayfields strewn with rotting manure and mountains left to grow wild without any consideration of financial development needs? When I look up, I want to see the future!"

There are, of course, some holdouts who fear the changes Randy represents. Others selfishly want to preserve a system they have benefited from, however backward. Randy admits that the campaign to win their hearts and minds will be long and hard.

"We may not ever convince some of them," he says. "But we're going in there anyway, because that's our duty as world citizens. Sooner or later they'll have to get used to it. Our mission is bigger than any one of us."

Keith Dewley's daughter Hilary, a proud sophomore at the University of Vermont, echoed the enthusiasm of her elders. "The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as monuments to their beliefs. That's what wind turbines are -- just knowing they're there we can feel better going about our business."

Progress wouldn't be possible without a strong government commitment. I am currently embedded with an analyst in Goldman Sachs and will be writing soon about why massive profits are necessary to guarantee the success of wind power development.
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