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Maybe it is the ‘view’

February 10, 2013

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130205/OPINION05/302050004/1006/OPINION/Maybe-view-

Feb 4, 2013   |  

The comment has been made that those of us who are opposed to industrial wind have taken this position because we don’t want to lose our views.

My initial reaction was that it is about so much more than the views, but perhaps there is merit to that comment.

The view in Vermont is more than what we see when we look out the window, it is the very essence of who we are as Vermonters. The “view” represents our rural heritage, our self-reliance and self-determination, the solitude that can be found in our mountainous terrain, freedom from noise and light pollution, clean air and water, and the quality of life and peace of mind that is living in Vermont.

The “view” is what attracts people to Vermont as tourists, as transplant Vermonters, and it is what keeps many of us here even when we could be more financially well-off elsewhere. In terms of tourism revenue and property value, an actual monetary value might even be attached to the “view.”

When I visited Lowell this fall, and spoke with the Nelsons at their home in the shadow of the wind turbines, I was struck by how much they have lost as a result of the loss of their “view.” I imagine that every time the Nelsons look out their window at that view, they are reminded that in addition to the loss in property value they have suffered, they have also lost their solitude, peace of mind, peaceful sleep at night and healthy quality of life. I imagine they have also lost faith in our state government that the state would allow this to happen to them and their neighbors, that the state would dismiss their objections to this destruction of their neighborhood, and that the state would take away their town’s right to self-determination via local democratic control.

So maybe it is about the “view.” Before we destroy our views of our mountains, and destroy with them the quality of life in much of our state, perhaps we should try to calculate the tremendous value of our views.

Lisa Wright Garcia lives in Florence.

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