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Don’t sacrifice self-governance

February 10, 2013

http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130205/OPINION02/702059933/1018/OPINION
February 05,2013

Regardless of your position on industrial wind, it is essential to recognize and act upon a much more important societal challenge. Specifically, our response to the urgency of global warming points to systemic marginalization of unalienable and vigilantly protected rights of self-governance. Under a banner of hopeful scientific theory, the compassionate concept of “greater good” is being dangerously distorted. Rights for some individuals are being sacrificed for betterment of others.

I respectfully ask, which is more dangerous? Which is more essential? Which is more urgent? A hope that industrial wind atop Vermont’s precious ridges will reduce global climate change? Or protecting unalienable rights of self-governance from powerful precepts of bigger government and proven propensity for corporate takeover of individual rights and smaller communities? Who decides? Who is next?

Think about these questions and then ask if a careful, thoughtful reassessment of current policy for industrial wind is needed.

If you still think not, I urge you to visit the Hubbardton Battlefield and Taconic Ridge. It is this irreplaceable, sacred region where brave men and women gave their lives to protect and ensure our rights to self-governance. The same sacred region where, last year, individuals worked together and empowered local government to legally and clearly ban industrial wind in their communities. The same sacred region where individuals are now being forced to deplete their resources in a new battle against each industrial wind speculator loaded with millions of dollars in financing, forthcoming tax credits, and urging of state government to “build as fast as possible … for the greater good.” The same sacred region where 20 power plants — each almost 200 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty will soon stand in irreverent opposition of the democratically empowered will of the individuals who live there.

We are missing the mark. Our freedoms do not depend upon energy sources. Our freedoms depend upon vigilantly protected rights to self-governance. If we forget this, even the best scientific theories for saving the earth will have no benefit.

MITCH FRANKENBERG
West Rutland

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