Can’t just blow off energy source

Having recently lost a good dog myself, I can sympathize with the letter writer’s concerns about his dog Annie’s final resting place overlooking the Columbia Basin. (Wednesday letter, “Un-green ‘farms’ ruin landscape”). But it must be noted that the landscape he feels is being spoiled by wind energy development is hardly natural and pristine.

The hydroelectric and reclamation projects in the Columbia basin have had many benefits, not the least of which is cheap, abundant electricity. But weighed in the balance should be the recognition that these projects came at huge cost to fish, wildlife and aboriginal people whose hunting grounds, villages and even burial sites were covered by rising water.

I, too, am disturbed by the intrusion of the wind farms on the landscape but I think it is disingenuous of the writer to completely condemn wind energy as an alternative energy source. Would he rather we increase burning a declining supply of fossil fuel with its proven contribution to global warming? Or should we pursue more nuclear energy with the risk that radioactive waste might poison us in the future? Perhaps the writer’s concern is more “not in my back yard’ since he has “no doubt” that this wind generated power is going to be sold to California.

I think it’s necessary for this country and the rest of the world to pursue an energy policy that looks at the costs and benefits of all energy sources, but we should be prepared to embrace technology that can supply our needs in a clean, sustainable manner. And, I think that wind power can be part of that equation.

Paul Miller