Which way the wind blows

Letters to the Boston editor, August 28, 2009
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  August 26, 2009

The venting of wind-power skeptics in the Phoenix piece “Why wind power blows” really misses a major point: global warming. When we finally get down to grappling with dangerous climate disruption, all forms of non-carbon emitting power will rise. The slogan “No New Electric-Power Generation” cannot be our salvation, because America must decommission 1100 coal-fired power plants or spend large sums capturing and storing their emissions. On the other hand, finding space for solar installations will get easier as deserts expand, opening up new expanses of dry, uninhabitable real estate. It looks now like wind and solar power, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and, above all else, breathtaking new energy-efficiency techniques will be key. Maine needs to get wind power right, but I say, “Blow, baby, blow.”

Jon Hinck
State Representative, Co-Chair Of The Utilities & Energy Committee
Portland, Maine

Wind power should be permitted on a large scale, like the farms mentioned in your article, and on a smaller scale on private property, including in back yards, on chimneys of houses, and behind barns. We should be pursuing solar and wave energy, as well.

I am old enough to remember waiting in line on odd/even days for gas while I was in high school in the ’70s, during the first gas crunch. I would never have imagined that 35 years later we would still be sitting on our hands on this issue. It is inexcusable that we put up roadblocks while we mindlessly consume electricity and gasoline processed in some other community, sickening someone else’s kids and wildlife for our benefit.

I want wind power in my back yard but I can’t build it. South Portland will not allow it.

Talk to Bothel’s Auto Repair on Route 77, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The man there put up a windmill more than 25 years ago, behind his shop and his passive solar house. He has replaced the turbine, but still uses the power daily in his business. Today, he would not be allowed to put one up. What’s wrong with this picture?

Steve Childs
South Portland

Resurrecting Woodstock
Beginning? Or End?”, your article on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, by alleged rock expert Ed Ward, is an unrelenting verbal assault on the famous festival, its ongoing anniversary celebration, and the wild ways of youth today. It’s so full of roiling clods of contradiction and crap that it feels as muddy and cruddy as I imagine the fields of Bethel to have been when the weekend’s two-inch rainstorm socked it to it. Ward’s holier-than-thou negativity rains down hard on parades of nostalgia and fields of dreams of togetherness, but he cannot stop the perpetual pursuit of freedom, peace, and music.

Like Ward, I was not at Woodstock, but some of the best days of my life have been spent dancing dazed at outdoor music gatherings: Lollapalooza in 1995 and Lilith Fair in 1997, both at Great Woods. It’s too bad Woodstock’s major anniversary celebration was at 40 and not at 50, for maybe by then this old fart Ward would have been pushing up daisies for days of fun in sunshine, instead of thrusting on us his dying-on-the-vine, whining contempt for “come on, abandon!”

Michael Burwell
South Weymouth

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