Letter: “Wind backer: Look forward”

Tipton County Indiana (east of Kokomo, IN).

(The following was originally published in The Rochester Sentinel of Rochester, IN on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.)

Voice of the People

Wind backer: Look forward

Mr. Mulligan’s previous letter to the editor concerning the financial sustainability of wind energy is a fair one to consider. However to cite wind power’s current state in regard to its subsidies without including the rate at which fossil fuels have been subsidized for decades is unfair and excludes the reasons and history behind why such subsidies exist in the first place. The subsidies now being put into renewables rather than fossil fuels are in effort to alleviate the cost of changing our electrical system over to a more environmentally sustainable one. This is a righteous use of subsidies as we now know these dirtier forms of energy are leading to carbon dioxide levels that if continued will make the environment inhospitable to our current lifestyles. Subsidies can not only accomplish a quicker and necessary change in the energy market they also make food cheaper and healthcare more affordable. For all of these reasons we should be grateful and not so quick to condemn. The merits and wisdom of systems built on subsidies is surely worthy of discussion but as we live now they should be utilized to bring about necessary change and aid in helping in ways only a large government can do with such buying power.

If we choose not to move forward with the rest of the developed world we will lose out on the market and the jobs that come with it. We will lose our place as pioneers in the realm of innovation and technologies. More so we will be placing the uncomfortable reality of a more severe climate change upon our children. Fossil fuel prices will increase as the world moves away from them with or without us. This leaves us with expensive foreign oil bought at higher prices with a higher cost to the environment and indigenous communities, proxy wars in unstable regions in efforts to lay claim on their natural resources, and furthering moves to open up our public lands for such destructive extractions of oil, gas, and coal.

As such, I as a Fulton County native, would be proud to see a wind farm go up in our community. Knowing that we chose to move towards a better (not perfect) means of producing electricity without as many costs. It is sign that we are willing to do not only what is more environmentally responsible but that we are willing to change our own landscape in efforts to lessen the burden other communities would have to shoulder with extractions of fossil fuels. Mountain top removal and fracking come with much heavier costs than a change in scenery the windmills will bring as coal country and neighbors to fracking sites can attest. May we be such a community to welcome this little step we can contribute to such pressing issues in efforts to do our part and lessen our burden on the greater world at large.

Claire Cumberland

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