Friday, August 6, 2010

A Writer When I Grow Up

I want to be a writer when I grow up. That's what I've ALWAYS wanted to be. I've made some progress... at least, as far as the writing part of that goal is concerned. The growing up? Well, that's a subjective phrase, isn't it? Some friends and family members would tell you that I will never grow up, while others will say that I am the most mature, responsible woman in the Township. I suppose there's a little bit of truth in each assessment.

The other day, I caught myself telling my pal Jack that I "missed writing". That I hadn't written anything for a year... not since I completed the third book in the Grumble Bluff series. And when I repeated that comment to Mr. Grumbles, he looked at me as if I'd just grown antlers and a wattle.

"You can't be serious!" he said.

He's right to act bemused and incredulous. To Mr. Grumbles and my children, it seems as if ALL I've done for the last year is write. Letters to the editor, articles for magazines and newspapers, and online comments. Letters and yard-long updates to almost fifty members of the Friends of the Highland Mountains. Requests for support and thank you notes to supporters. Entreaties for help. Rebuttals to this person and congratulations to that one. Papers on one topic and documents on another. Write, write, write...

And that's the truth. I have never, in fact, composed and written more than I have in the past year. And while what I've written might not be that which I dearly long to write, it has all been important, nonetheless. There is a purpose to the work that I've done.

I suppose it's important to every writer that her words are read. But much of what I've written gets buried, due to the nature of the effort I am involved in-- the battle to stop the industrialization of Highland Plantation's mountains, and then...Maine's other mountains beyond my backyard. The Wind Industry has an advantage. They advertize in many of this state's newspapers and magazines and as a result, I believe that their 'side' gets preferential treatment. If I am wrong, I will publicly apologize... but I don't believe I am. Too many times, the arguments FOR industrial wind are given print space, and too rarely is the opposition given the same treatment. So... we do what we can, where we can, and we hope that it has an impact. If an online comment is read by only ten people, and one of those people is in a position to help us, then the time and effort will have been worth it.

Below is a letter which appeared in this morning's Sun Journal. Following that is the online comment I made. Perhaps ten people read it. You make the eleventh.

Thanks for that!

Love, Kaz

Utilize all resources

By Richard K. Jennings, MD

Published Aug 05, 2010 12:00 am | Last updated Aug 05, 2010 12:00 am

Many voices are needed in support of meeting the challenge of our changing climate, with all the accompanying effects on health, environment and the lives of our children and grandchildren. There have been numerous highly emotional pleas from “friends...” of this and that, yet none of them say what a real friend would say, and what we might not want to hear.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change demands every possible resource we have, and wind power is one of those, (along with solar, geothermal, hydro, biomass, nuclear and, most important of all, conservation).

Surprisingly, however, there are highly intelligent folk out there who choose to resist wind for many reasons, only two of which are valid, i.e., turbines do change the view, and they do make noise. A true friend will tell you this, and then go on to say to make a gain we have to make a sacrifice; and the true friend will also tell you that there is no medical support for the claims of negative health effects, even though, to my personal embarrassment, some of my colleagues have stated such.

I recall in the 1950s when seat belts were introduced, it took the support of the medical profession to educate the public to comply. The time has come again when we physicians must educate the people of Maine as to the value of wind as part of the “silver buckshot” that we need, as a friend, to deal with the threat of climate change.

Richard K. Jennings, MD, Fayette

'Friend' speaks up about Big Wind and Health

Submitted by Karen Pease on Fri, 08/06/2010 - 10:19.

Aw, doc. You're doing it again. Do you have any idea how many people ask, "Why doesn't Dr. Jennings get it? Why won't he LISTEN to people... to PATIENTS? " That, sir, is the sign of a true doctor, a good doctor. A doctor who adheres to his oath. He listens to the complaints of the people he's sworn to try to heal and nurture.

Surely, you can not reasonably ignore the many, many people who have legitimate complaints? Have you ever actually SPOKEN to any of them? If you are TRULY interested in being a friend and a doctor, please contact me. I can put you in direct contact with many people whose health is being adversely affected by industrial wind. No human being could listen and not be moved... not be concerned. No matter how often you say it isn't so, the facts don't change. You do the people of Maine a disservice by using your degree to try to sound like an expert in the area of industrial wind and its associated health risks without first treating the patients affected. We are inclined to believe the words of a man with an MD after his name. Please do not take advantage of the PEOPLE by speaking on this topic until you have interviewed a host of individuals who are suffering from maladies associated with industrial wind turbines.

You did your best to disrupt the forum I spoke at in Brunswick. I allowed you to have your say, even though a true gentleman would have gone to the trouble to arrange his OWN forum rather than try to take over one which was put together by hard-working activists who BELIEVE what they are doing-- who BELIEVE they are right. Because, you see... we listen to the experts... those who are unbiased and have nothing to gain (and often, much to lose) by speaking out and sharing the FACTS they have discovered. Your 'silver buckshot' reference, sadly, makes me wonder if you have a stake in Angus King's projects, as that is one of his standard tag lines when trying to sell his product. I hope that's not the case. I hope it is simply that you are too set in your ways, or too stubborn to listen to opposing views and give them credence... For a stubborn man can relent, and will gain the respect of his peers by admitting he was wrong. Some of our legislators have done that very thing.

You belittle your fellow citizens who have spent months researching industrial wind by pretending to know what our motivations are. While scenic impact in this beautiful mountainous region is certainly an important factor to take into account, due to the potential economic fall-out and Mainers' hard-sought 'quality of place', the 'view' is simply NOT the issue of paramount importance to many of us.

If it was proven to you that IW was NOT economically feasible, if we could show you research done by scientists and physicists that shows IW does NOT reduce dependence on fossil fuels or reduce carbon emissions-- would you then begin to question the intelligence of destroying our high terrain and fragile ecosystems? If we could show you that property values in the vicinity of IW plummet-- sometimes as much as 40% or more, would that convince you to stop touting Big Wind as 'silver buckshot'?

Seriously, sir... we have access to FACTS-- facts that the people of Maine deserve to know. If you are a caring man and professional, surely you will avail yourself of the resources we can provide to you. Surely you can then put your title of 'doctor' to its best possible use, and begin to help heal the wounds this misguided plan has created across this wonderful state.

I urge you not to be stubborn-- not to be too set in your ways to consider information from sources other than the wind industry. They have millions of dollars at stake-- they are biased and have a huge conflict of interest. Please give heed to those who are selflessly trying to educate a public which has been misled and taken advantage of. Simply tell me what specific topics you would like to learn more about, and I will put you in touch with experts and reference materials. You will grow in the estimation of many if you keep an open mind and disseminate the facts rather than the Industry's propaganda. I look forward to working with you on this issue, if you so desire. I am not an expert, and have no title with which to garner respect. But I am an American and a Mainer who is committed to taking care of my native state and those who call it 'home'.

Respectfully Submitted, Karen Pease, Lexington Twp., ME

A quick 'hello' and thank you to gempaint, a follower of GAG from South Carthage and another wind warrior who commented on Dr. Jennings' letter. Keep up the good work, woman!!!

The two bottom photos are of just a few of the many 'friends' who do not agree with Dr. Jennings. I warrant that any one of them would be more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences with the good doctor.


  1. Dr. Jennings stated: "I recall in the 1950s when seat belts were introduced, it took the support of the medical profession to educate the public to comply."

    This is, perhaps, off topic. But I do believe that it took legislation...many times over... to get the public to 'comply' with the wearing of seatbelts. While I agree that seatbelts CAN save lives, they also can take them. As can airbags. Americans are forced to pay for the addition of these 'safety devices' to our automobiles, and we are now law-breakers if we choose not to wear them.

    One more right to make a personal decision taken from us. One more way in which the government can take away our hard-earned money. And one more reason to stop honest, contributing members of society and have 'cause' to search our private property.

    Does Dr. Jennings want me to thank him? I'm sorry. But while I usually CHOOSE to wear my seatnelt, I resent a government telling me I HAVE to.

    Off topic, yes. But the root of the problem is still the same, and the good doctor didn't convince me otherwise by using that example.


  2. If this is the same man who interupted the Brunswick forum, then I would say that you are being way too polite, Karen.

    I believe in hearing all sides, and giving everyone their chance to speak; but to claim professional credentials, and then to publicly display such ignorance, and arrogance, as the good Doctor has done on more than one occassion, is completely unaceptable.

  3. I really, really hope that he is simply a stubborn man, because he CAN see reason if that's the case. During the last year I have seen legions of people change their minds about industrial wind when they have become educated on the realities of it. The only ones to remain unconvinced after seeing the studies and data and listening to the testimony of inividuals who are living with these things are those people with some sort of financial stake in Industrial Wind.

  4. I didn't think your meeting was so fragile as to be disrupted by my comment, but in any case, I apologize. I'm flattered by all the attention, though to be honest, I wish you were more honest.
    Richard Jennings

  5. Good afternoon, Doctor. Welcome to GAG. I'm very pleased to see you here.

    Please, tell me exactly what you would like me to be MORE honest about? Seriously, there is no sarcasm here. I am being genuine. I welcome the chance to share facts with you. Would you like me to put you in contact with some doctors who are treating those living in the vicinity of IW? Or with wildlife experts? Soils scientists or environmental engineers? I know a physicist and have the address of a nuclear engineer, too, who have some scientifically based information on IW.

    Please, sir. Name the area of interest, and I will do my very best to hook you up with experts who will be able to convince you that this is NOT simply about 'the view' or a little bit of 'noise'. There are legions of people across the country and around the world working on getting the facts out to the public, and I welcome you to approach this with an open mind. This that I am doing is NOT fun-- not enjoyable. The people who are trying to educate the people of Maine are not selfish people-- most of them are giving up their time and money and comfort zones to bring the facts to Mainers. So please, Doctor... please make an effort to listen to and learn from others. You simply can't dismiss people's ailments and honest health concerns and quality of life, out of hand.

    My email is, if you would like to have a positive and fact-based conversation about this topic. I would be happy to meet with you, as well, and can bring reams of reports for you to read.

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog. I'm please to see that you are interested enough to take the time to weigh in with your opinion.

    P.S> DOn't have time to proof-read-- headed out the door. Sorry for any typos! :o)

  6. Funny how these people show up claiming that Mountain Top Industrial Wind is good for Maine, and demanding that we show them facts to prove otherwise; but when they are offered real facts, suddenly they don't want to talk anymore................................

    This isn't the first time that has happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last................

  7. Now, DC... are you trying to rouse rabbles?

    (What exactly IS a 'rabble', anyway? I've gotta check with CP. If anyone knows, he will.)

    The good doc may have an agenda which we don't know about... or he may surprise us and be studying up on the facts as we speak. I have faith in human nature...he might come around, yet!

    I've got to have faith in human nature, don't I?

  8. I hate to inform you Dear Lady, but to those in power 'WE,' that is, You and I, and those like us, are Rabble. And if it takes a little 'rousing' to get people to open their eyes and pay attention, then I supose I must plead guilty to that offense.

    As for the good Doctor, I can only hope that you are right, and that he will surprise us, but unfortunately, I have had too much experience with humans to put much faith in humam nature.

    "Never appeal to a man's 'better nature.' He may not have one. Invoking his self interest gives you more leverage." [Robert A. Heinlein]

    Sad, but true.................

  9. But DC... WE-- you and I-- are human beings. Don't you have faith in yourself? I have faith in you... more than you realize.

    Most of us are redeemable. You're too young to be so cynical. And... I'm sorry for that.

    Night, sweetie.