Wind project raises serious concerns

There is a tide in Maine that is threatening to sweep away many of our state’s treasures. The mountains of rural Maine have been targeted by our lawmakers and the wind industry for rapid development.

A proposal to build Maine’s largest wind complex in Highland Plantation, at the doorstep of the Bigelow Preserve and the Appalachian Trail, is under review by the Land Use Regulation Commission.

Prior to 2008 changes in site laws, this project would have had slim chance of being permitted, given its proximity to important Maine scenic assets. Under the new law, it could slide through in a process that has been greatly abbreviated.

LD 2283 set goals for wind power growth that will require that over 1,000 turbines – most, over 400 feet tall – be installed in the next 10 years. Maine’s beautiful mountains are the favored site and have been set aside, statutorily, for this purpose.

I appeal to Mainers to take action. Unlike organized towns, those of us in LURC’s jurisdiction have no way to protect ourselves from these developments with local ordinances.

Over 1.6 million yards of mountain will be blasted and excavated to build the ridgeline roads and 48 turbine pads.

More than 500 acres will be cleared. Flashing lights will eliminate the dark sky to which we are accustomed. The developer’s data indicate that these mountains, in the dead of night, have sound levels expected in remote tracts of national forests, according to acoustician, Rob Rand.

In correspondence with local residents, he stated: “This soundscape is every bit as important as its visual counterpart. These mountains are at once strikingly beautiful, naturally quiet, and easily accessible. They deserve our preservation and stewardship.”

We all want clean energy, but we must not liquidate our greatest assets in pursuit of expediency. To learn more, visit highlandmts.org.

Alan Michka

Lexington Township

 

 

Maine has a lot of beautiful places. Many of those places are beautiful because of mountains. The Baldacci administration is intent upon selling the beauty of our mountains.

The deal, of course, is rife with conflicts of interest as politicians, their friends and relatives line up for free money.

This phase of the selloff involves industrial wind power. Wind power has never been feasible on a commercial scale for two reasons.

First, wind is unpredictable and unreliable. Because the wind stops blowing at intervals, we would have to store some of its power for use during those lapses to make it really useful. But there is no way to store that power on a large scale.

We want to think that wind power is free and doesn’t harm the environment, so it must be “green.” It is not free and it does hurt the environment.

Various European nations have been building wind farms for several decades.

Studies of their effects do not show a decrease in carbon emissions. They do not show a net increase in employment. They do not show lower energy costs.

So why should we pay for Maine’s beautiful mountains to be deforested and blown up and covered with huge metal eyesores that will become industrial garbage in a few years?

Maine can contribute to green energy in two ways. We already have an infrastructure to use water power for the creation of electricity. We also have an extensive forestry infrastructure that can provide huge amounts of wood for conversion to either electricity or liquid fuels.

Both of these uses of Maine resources make much more sense than paying someone to destroy our mountains.

Gerry Sawyer

Dixmont

 

 

Column on climate dangers spread falsehoods, confusion

 

Unbelievable.

European newspapers dutifully report on the “worst scientific scandal of our generation” (the falsification, omission and deletion of data at the influential Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia) and inform us of absurdities in the ballyhooed U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (including conclusions drawn from such rock-solid scientific sources as a mountaineering magazine and an offhand remark in a phone conversation).

But American media continue to treat us to nonsense like the column the Telegram ran on Feb. 21, “Record snow falls on a warming planet” by one Bill McKibben.

McKibben’s novel thesis – that global warming causes both droughts and precipitation – is standard oxymoronic fare for warmists.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. complained last year that global warming was making Virginia sadly snow-free; now McKibben tells us Virginia was buried in snow as a very predictable (in hindsight, of course) result of global warming.

It’s nearly as absurd as their confident assertion that Hurricane Katrina was but the first in an imminent wave of catastrophic storms.

Instead, hurricane activity hit a 30-year low (I’m sure some other warmist will helpfully point out to me some arcane mechanism by which global warming reduces storm frequency, and how this is disastrous because it prevents the natural destruction-renewal cycle of the tropical Louisiana towering cypress).

The article tells us Mr. McKibben is a “scholar in residence at Middlebury College.” It does not tell us his discipline. Nor does his online biography, although it does mention that he is “active in the Methodist Church, and his writing has a spiritual bent.”

Of that I have no doubt. Like that failed divinity student Al Gore, his belief in global warming has all of the hallmarks of quasi-religious zealotry.

David Schipani

Saco

 

 

Images in book on Portland intentionally showed beauty

 

The Telegram’s Feb. 7 Audience section printed a review of the new book, “Portland: The City by the Sea.”

Because I am the author of this book, I would like to make clear its intent.

My goal was to capture in images the uniqueness of Portland, showing its relationship to a stunningly beautiful natural setting, and inhabited by a broad mix of people who work hard to bring an improving life to the entire community.

The reviewer felt that “there was something wrong with these images. There is no litter, there are no panhandlers, no lines at Preble Chapel and no falling-down houses or outbuildings.”

He complained that “every view is sparkling, magical and clean.” He continues, “and I am not sure any of these wonderful views ever really meet the eye in real time and space.”

The simple fact is that these images – which the reviewer terms “beautiful” – are of Portland. They capture scenes that are there to be seen by anyone, any day, not false images conjured up by digital manipulation.

As a professional photographer for 50 years, I have constantly sought to find beauty in our world. I challenge myself to find fresh, new scenes in commonplace settings.

In my book celebrating this great city, there was no room for photographs of derelict cars, overflowing trash cans or dirty piles of snow. Things such as these are warts on our landscape.

I believe that most people would prefer a book showing “sparkling, magical and clean” pictures – to quote the reviewer himself – rather than photographs showing flaws or warts.

William B. Hubbell

Cumberland Foreside

 

 

Why task private law firm with public investigation?

 

Can someone please explain why a Portland law firm is the only agency delegated to investigate the infamously taxpayer-funded purchase of land by the Brewer Housing Authority, from its own former chairman, at a thrice-inflated price?

Seems like it should be officialdom’s responsibility to find out how this deal hatched, and who benefited from it. Curiously, there’s no stomach for that.

No reflection on the private law firm, but its findings must serve its municipal client – not a reliable formula for full disclosure.

Dan Namowitz

Bangor