(Editor's Note:?Due to its length, Cynthia Berkland's letter is being printed in two issues to meet the guidelines of the newspaper. The first part of the letter was printed in The Reporter, March 28.)
To the Editor:
Why does Mr. Lutat compare wind turbines to hog facilities and claim that we have foisted them onto our neighbors? This is apples and oranges. The two undertakings are entirely different. True, hog confinements have an occasional terrible odor, but they don't kill millions of birds and bats each year, nor do they throw ice OR PARTS thousands of feet, create both audible and inaudible noise that damages people's health, or destroy the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Further, what does Mr. Lutat's military service have to do with this issue? My family also served in the military. This is irrelevant. We also grew up in "the cradle of liberty," and we are doing exactly what he supports-"confronting those who seek to control our thoughts and actions." We are defending our homes from the highly effective snake oil salesmen who have come here and tried to convince us that they are doing this for our benefit out of the goodness of their hearts. We are simply trying to publicize the other side of the issue so people have the opportunity to make an informed choice. Another small point: Much of the land that has been signed up is owned by people who live elsewhere. Why should their desire for easy money outweigh our desire to safeguard our homes? Why are we the bad guys?
As to "borrowing this earth from future generations," perhaps he would like to explain to them the 2.5 million cubic feet of topsoil that this project will permanently remove from our land, or the tons of rebar and concrete filling each enormous hole (a 60-foot diameter circle 40 feet deep on the best soil in the world), or the rusting monoliths that will be left dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see, or the hundreds of thousands of dollars each that SOMEONE will have to spend to tear them down (you can bet it won't be the energy companies or the college wind tech department!).
As you can tell, I do oppose wind turbines. I believe they are a terrible hoax being perpetrated upon the American people. Wind is indeed "clean," but the collection and conversion of wind to electricity is neither free nor clean nor economically practical. But this is not the position of the CRPR. Our mission is to minimize the damage to our homes, our health, and our way of life. Because our board of supervisors failed to create safe setbacks, our only option is to make people aware of the realities of wind energy and educate landowners as to the one-sided nature of the contract being offered. I understand Mr. Lutat's concern for his job, but this is about more than a job. This is about my home. My husband and I have spent forty years improving the land for us and the creatures around us on our Century farm. We cannot, nor will we, give up this fight to safeguard our home.
(signed) Cynthia Berkland