Thursday, July 29, 2010
The 99th Post in the 11th Hour...
Wow. It was almost one year ago that I created Grumbles and Grins on the advice of my marketing coach. In the last 11 1/2 months I've written almost 100 articles to post to GAG. Some of them were simple, foolish, silly things designed to bring a smile to my readers. And a few of them were serious, and were intended to make people think about issues which are important in today's world.
In August of 2009, I was not yet embroiled in the effort to stop mountaintop industrial wind. Truthfully, I knew little about it. And when I was first told that Angus King and Rob Gardiner were going to put a "wind farm" on Highland's mountains, I thought it was most likely a good idea. After all, I believed what I'd heard and read in the media-- those words which the administration and the wind developers hope the public will take to heart and accept as truth. Words like 'renewable' and 'green', and phrases like 'reduce our dependence on foreign oil', 'strengthen our national security' and 'help reduce global warming'. What was not to like?
And then, in October, I went to a meeting at the little one-room schoolhouse in Highland Plantation and listened as Rob Gardiner outlined Independence Wind's plans for Stewart, Witham and Bald Mountains, and Burnt and Briggs Hills. More importantly, I listened to the questions asked by those in attendance. And I recorded the forum, too, so that I could have a record of all that was said.
I began to have concerns about the wisdom of such a development. So did many others. Folks began to read up on the problems surrounding other wind developments, both here in Maine, and around the globe. One month later, the Friends of the Highland Mountains was formed in a small living room in Lexington Township; the tiny community adjacent to Highland Plantation. For me, this was a 'first'. I've never been officially involved in any 'activism', per se. I've always voted. And I've always made an effort to educate myself on that which was to be decided in the voting booth. I had always encouraged others to exercise their right and responsibility to 'have a say', and I'd written a few editorials when an issue seemed to warrant a bit of extra attention. But I'd certainly never waged an all-out campaign like the one in which I am now involved.
Why am I doing this? It's certainly not because it's enjoyable. I sometimes think I'd rather get a poke in the eye with a sharp stick than to be doing what I'm doing. This type of effort is all-consumming, because the opposition has money, power and influence. They also have very few scruples. But scruples are something which the Friends of the Highland Mountains DO have. It's easier for us in that regard. Because, you see, we have the FACTS on our side. In order to even scratch the surface of this important issue and get the facts of the matter out to the people of Maine, it takes a tremendous amount of time and resources, and committments from many, many people. We've been so fortunate with our human resources. Many folks from around this state have joined together to protect our natural resources, as well as our wildlife, our quality of place and life, our economy... and our right to 'have a say'.
As an American, I was incensed when I realized how much information was being kept from me and my fellow citizens. I was enraged as I discovered the amount of corruption that is imbedded in my government. And I was appalled at the amount of disinformation and downright lies which were being floated to THE PEOPLE in the hopes that we would accept those lies and roll over quietly. Our administration and the Wind Industry do not want THE PEOPLE to have the cold, hard facts about the misguided and expensive plan to erect 350+ miles of massive wind turbines along Maine's beautiful and unique high-terrain areas.
For if THE PEOPLE knew the truth, they would stop their plan in its tracks!
So, that's what we've been trying to do-- tell the truth. We've written letters to the editor, and articles for magazines. We've gone out into the surrounding towns and given out written information, DVD's and links to other resources.
We've also spoken with some of the gubernatorial candidates and three out of four of our congresssional delegates. We've been trying to educate the general public on the science and economics of Industrial Wind. The facts say: IT DOESN'T WORK. The facts say there are very few redeeming qualities to industrial wind, and that the negative impacts far outweigh the positive benefits. You've heard me say it all before. Ad nauseum. But because our opposition spreads half-truths and sugar-coated tales of the salvation of our planet through wind energy plants, we have to work even harder to debunk those standard tag lines. We have to be tenacious. We have to be committed to being in this for the long haul. And we have to be brave.
This isn't a game. And we aren't selfish people. If anything, I am convinced that our membership is made up of many selfless people who give up their time and money-- and sometimes, their peace of mind-- to do what we believe is RIGHT. What we are is a group of people who are fighting to spread the facts-- the TRUTH-- about this and other industrial wind projects, before our mountaintops are altered and our way of life is gone.
If you are not yet convinced that industrial wind development is a mistake for Maine, I encourage you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (207)628-2070. I would be happy to share what I've learned from experts in every field pertaining to this topic. Rest assured, there will be no pressure. I believe-- and have found-- that every citizen who has been empowered with the facts agrees that the governor's plan is a colossal mistake for the state of Maine. Only those with some kind of a financial stake hold out for 'wind'... and I understand that. I don't like it, but I understand it. Whichever way you lean, you have the right to factual information, and I encourage all citizens to make up their own minds, from a position of knowledge.
My next posting will be my one-hundredth. How wonderful it would be if it was an article announcing that LURC had denied Trans-Canada's application to develop the high-terrain ridges of Sisk, in our Boundary Moutains, which cast their wild and unspoiled shadows over western Maine's Chain of Ponds!
Cartoons courtesy of Windtoons.
Photos courtesy of ME.