Utilize all resources

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

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Comments

 's picture

no way

4out of 5 doctors claim smoking menthol cigarettes is good for you , according to ads from the 60's.

 's picture

Sacrifice??????

Yes, let's all sacrifice our quality of life, property value, homes, wildlife, rights, and our tax dollars so that environmental criminals like First Wind, Trans Canada, Agnus King, et al can reap profits from subsidies, grants and tax credits.
Pre-emptive destruction of mountaintop forests, streams, wetlands, and wildlife in the name of now discredited global warming is insanity.
I'm glad you're not my doctor. I feel sorry for your patients.
Use Less

Brad Blake's picture

Dr. Jennings is wrong

I see Dr. Jennings is back with his diatribe about how we have to save the planet with wind turbines and, as usual, is wrong, wrong, wrong. We in Maine do not have any reason whatsoever to sacrifice the beautiful mountains of western Maine and the uplands in the lakes region of northeastern Maine to save the planet. Wind is not the answer, Dr. Jennings.
I am amazed that someone with the intelligence to earn advanced degrees can bemain so narrowly focussed on the wrong solution. Wind is bad public policy. It is bad economics. Maybe its good policy and economics because Dr. Jennings has a financial interest in wind development?
I ask everyone, as individuals, the following economics question: would you ever buy anything that only works at best 30% of its capacity? Would you buy anything on which your way of life depended that was totally unpredictable and unreliable, that is, it could quit on you just as you were depending on it? Would you buy anything that, in its useful lifetime, would never save you the money you invested in it and, indeed, need complete backup? It is irrational to say yes, yet that is exactly what we get with wind power! Seems to me that is a valid reason to oppose widespread destruction of hundreds of miles of our ridgelines.
We have a $13 trillion national debt. Yet the government continues to subsidize wind at $23.37 per megawatt hour; the next highest subsidy is $1.59 per mwh (USEIA, 2008). Where does the subsidy come from? TAXPAYERS! Or, we simply add it to the national debt. Here's a nice piece of irony. China buys much of our national debt. Money we borrow from the Chinese goes to subsidize wind companies, which buy their turbines from---you guessed it---China! Anyone else believe that is bad public policy? Dr. Jennings, there is another vaild reason to oppose industrial wind deveklopment.
Without heavy subsidization, there wouldn't be a wind turbine erected anywhere, and especially not in a poor wind potential area like Maine. Private investors will never touch it. The government needs to stay out of it, drop the preferential treatment and subsidization of wind and let free markets determine from what sources our electricity is generated. As for Dr. Jennings, if you love wind turbines so well, I suggest you move to Altamont Pass in California.

Karen  Pease's picture

A 'Friend' speaks up about Big Wind and Health

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

Alice Barnett's picture

anti IW

Karen,
why are we being censored? Why is the only education through the back door as comment sections?
Please keep writing, it is one of our tools.
I am educating door to door this month with a petition for wind ordinance in hand. I am an IMFY and i have lived off the grid for 10 years.
Allice Barnett, south carthage Maine

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