It is fascinating when newspaper editors and policy makers afford special attention to opponents of change who shout loud enough. However, this dynamic slows the progress of renewing the infrastructure and attracting the investment we all rely upon for community and economic development.
This has been the case with wind power for some time now. Project and legislative hearings include some carefully thought out and valuable input from the public, but also emotional and outlandish statements that sour the tone and sometimes require significant effort to investigate.
A recent example of loud voices requiring action is the follow-up editorial (Feb. 8) focused on reader comments about the earlier piece on the importance of a $1 billion investment in clean energy here in Maine (Feb. 5). Opinions are an essential part of our public discussion, yet as Mark Twain once wrote, "Opinions based on theory, superstition and ignorance are not very precious."
An example was the reader who claimed we will be seeing turbines everywhere.
Some turbines are and will be visible from some places. But given Maine's vast acreage, rolling topography and thick forests, the view from most places in this beautiful state will not change — including the one from the windows in my house.
The Sun Journal is leading the way in cleaning up reader comments. Hopefully, in the future, this newspaper, and the decision makers who rely on its reporting, will discount, rather than encourage, the shrillest voices.
Hugh Verrier, Eustis