In a letter printed Wednesday, Aug. 25, Linda Miller calls upon the general public to become more aware of the “honest facts” concerning the wind power.

While I join her in encouraging people to educate themselves rather than basing their views on what is simply fed to them by the news media, I would invite Ms. Miller to take a bit of her own advice.

Miller discusses Maine’s “dependence on oil, which is not used to generate electricity.” Actually, there are dozens of steam turbines and biomass boilers generating power across the state, all of which are fired by either oil or natural gas.

Miller goes on to question the “effectiveness” of wind turbines. Detractors of wind power frequently reference what is informally known as the “energy conversion ratio,” a figure that compares the potential energy of a fuel source to the amount of actual power generated from its consumption.

Wind and solar power plants score fairly low in energy conversion, especially when compared to coal- or oil-generated power. What this statistic does not express, however, is that petroleum fuels, a limited resource, are also used to deliver oil and gas to the power plants by truck, train, pipeline, while wind and sunlight are inexhaustible resources that deliver themselves to the point of generation.

Finally, while Ms. Miller obviously does not approve of wind power, she suggests no methods she would approve of and is apparently ignorant of where much of Maine’s electricity currently comes from.

In my experience, outspoken opponents of virtually anything are able to state very clearly what they do not want, but rarely seem to have put any thought into what they do want. I believe that if more people make an effort to objectively examine things that concern them, we will be much better able to effectively resolve the issues that affect us all.

Anders Benson
Kingfield 

I went to a political rally and listened to speeches by people running for high offices on the state and federal level. I learned that all the candidates don’t like the others’ political party. I learned that they want money and volunteers. What I did not learn was their specific proposals on creating manufacturing jobs.

In Algona, Iowa, the Hydrogen Energy Center makes and sells 2-, 3-, and 8-cylinder hydrogen engines and generators. They can be found on the Internet.

Right now, There are cars, pickup trucks, buses, railroad engines and small airplanes that run exclusively on hydrogen.

Maine has the hydro-electric capacity and manufacturing resources to develop a hydrogen industry and infrastructure, but no one seems to be addressing the issue.

Herbert Twiddy
Yarmouth 

Climate change is here — witness the heat, the recent tornados and other extreme weather events.

A recent Kennebec Journal article, “Warning Sign for Waters,” is one more nail in the coffin of complacency. Those not “believing” in climate change might be interested in resurrecting the Flat Earth Society which disbanded only a few years ago.

Climate change not only has major adverse impact on the environment, as one example given in the KJ article, but is having very serious public health effects as noted by our health commissioner, Dr Dora Mills. Asthma, Lyme disease, water and heat-related illness — all will increase.

This letter is addressed to my physician colleagues all around the state, and any others who care about the future our children and grandchildren will face.

There is no “cure” for climate change, it cannot be stopped. It’s part of Earth’s history, though terribly accelerated in the past century. But we can adjust and prepare for it, and moderate it. Alternative energy, all forms, is essential. Wind power, one of the “stabilization wedges” (solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, hydro, nuclear) described by Princeton University climate scientist Stephen Pacula over a decade ago, is not the silver bullet, but part of the silver buckshot. We need the full load.

Unfortunately there are very well-organized groups that oppose wind development on the basis of view, noise, and claims of adverse health effects, among others. Turbines do indeed change the view, and as well make noise, but there is at this time no medical support of any kind regarding negative health issues, despite anecdotal claims to the contrary.

Thus my plea: We physicians, and you others too, must inform ourselves with facts, not false claims, then spread the word.

It is already late, we must not let it get too late.

Richard K. Jennings, M.D.
Fayette  

Mainers should not be happy to see tourists leave 

The other day I was behind a person purchasing coffee who exclaimed to the clerk, “Thank God all those summer people and tourists are gone!” The short-sightedness of this remark struck me, but did not surprise me.

It did not surprise me because I believe many residents fail to connect the dots between “people from away” and the fiscal health of many communities in Maine.

While they’re not always the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet and the traffic can be tough to take sometimes with summer visitors and seasonal residents, I believe we’re quick to forget how those seasonal folks and visitors benefit our state.

In addition to year-rounders, it’s these folks who do things like make purchases in local stores, buy fishing licenses to fund Inland Fish & Wildlife, and, in the case of seasonal residents, pay a disproportionate amount of property taxes in exchange for the few services they use or receive.

Indeed, seasonal residents in many Maine communities use little, if any, local services and do not place any burden on the local school system, yet their tax dollars fund a sizable part of these local services and school systems.

In light of this, it may be appropriate to take a step back and recognize how much we all gain from these pesky nuisances who darken our doors “from away.”

Consider this: Were they not to choose to visit Maine or to have a vacation home here, I think we’d be awfully disappointed to learn how much we’d need to pay to do things like plow our roads and educate our kids.

It might be productive to consider these points the next time we’re cursing the person in front of us with out of state license plates as we’re crawling along Route 302 on a Friday afternoon.

Kevin Fay
Raymond

Maine’s state parks are committing a profound tactical error by gouging out-of-state tourists an extra $2 to enter state park beaches.

This has been a terrific summer. The weather has, for the most part, been sunny and warm. A short seasonal celebration for all.

Mainers have flocked to lakes and ocean beaches in record numbers.

Many of us take advantage of the state park passes that are, with regular use, a great bargain.

Maine residents who pay for day use only are charged $4.50 per person. Not cheap, when there are four or five kids in the car over the age of 12. That can equal the cost of a tank of gas for the average family vehicle.

The state of Maine, in all it’s wisdom, which isn’t much by my standards, chooses to charge out-of-state residents an extra $2 per person. That same carload of parents, kids and others, is now charged well over $30 or more for the same one-day admission!

Talk about shortsightedness!

My wife and I have frequently witnessed quite a few out of state vehicles making quick U-turns, and exiting Crescent Beach State Park. Presumably, for this reason.

A family from away, returning home with this news, can influence many others not to come to Maine, for this reason alone.

Trying to put the squeeze on tourists is not good business, in the long run.

Dennis Gervais
Portland