Christopher O’Neil, a professional lobbyist with a talent for hyperbole, thinks there is something wrong with 2,000 wind turbines dotting Maine’s landscape (“King’s wind power project: Bad math, bad policy for Maine,” May 9). He says that it “would forever scuttle the ‘Maine brand’ for our robust tourism industry.” But before the wind turbine, there was the windmill.

They were prominent along the Northeast coast, not for their picturesqueness, but to grind grain, to pump seawater into evaporation ponds, to do work. They weren’t the sole source of mechanical energy in the economy, but they contributed their fair share. Nevertheless, they were beautiful in their own way and the ones that still stand are sought out, as lighthouses are, for that “quality of place” that Mr. O’Neil thinks that wind turbines would extinguish.

He and other modern-day Luddites like him are doing a disservice to Maine. They don’t recognize that we are in a new period, that of peak oil and global warming. Instead of quixotically jousting with wind turbines, any self-proclaimed “friend” of the mountains should embrace them.

Large-scale wind generation should dot the mountain ridges with turbines even in our precious parks and preserves. Small-scale wind generation should make smaller turbines as ubiquitous as television antennas used to be before the advent of cable television.

When we find a more practical method of electricity generation, we will take them all down. But today, the Europeans and the Chinese are ahead of us in wind power investment and manufacture. They may soon be economically ahead of us, too, if we don’t use our common sense soon enough and get on with it.