December 12, 2006

Shumlin wants to focus on climate, focuses on wind instead

To the editor, Rutland (Vt.) Herald:

Peter Shumlin seems confused ("Senate leader wants to focus on climate," Dec. 11). It is unclear if he wants to get rid of Vermont Yankee (or at least store its waste somewhere else) or combat climate change.

If he is ready to throw out aesthetics and sacrifice Vermont's mountains for industrial-scale wind energy, how can he complain about carbon-free Vermont Yankee?

He is also mistaken about technological progress in wind energy. The only progress has been that the turbines get bigger, making them more environmentally damaging, not less.

One wonders, too, about his sobriety in this matter when he warns of temperatures rising 30 degrees. Hopefully, it was a typo. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts a rise somewhere between 2 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years.

I share Shumlin's concerns about both warming and nuclear power. An honest assessment of wind energy, however, reveals that it would not contribute even a small part towards solving either of these issues.

With sprawling wind turbine facilities, Shumlin would destroy the state in a gravely misinformed effort to save it. We need real solutions, not fashionable window dressing that will do much more harm than good.

tags: wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism, Vermont