Don’t Denigrate Environmental Efforts

from LARRY BENNETT

Don’t Denigrate

Environmental Efforts

To the Editor,

An as Otsego 2000 board member, I find you putting words in Henry Cooper’s mouth similar to Dan Quayle’s attempts to channel JFK.

Regarding your idea that Otsego 2000 is a job killer and, by extension, a take-the-food-out-of-the-mouths-of-children villain:

  1. New York State’s dumping of state-required but unfunded entitlements on towns and counties push our local property taxes ever upward. This has proven to be a much more effective way to kill jobs than fighting gas or turbine projects.
  2. California’s poverty rate is 19 percent. NY State is 15.5 percent. The USA average is 14 percent. The 25 percent rate in Otsego County is appalling and, if to be believed, an indictment of the county and towns’ collective set of managers, civic leaders and business developers. To equate Otsego 2000’s work with this institutional failure is at best shabby scapegoating. At worst it’s another page of the Trumpian playbook, which says, “If you are going to screw up big time, first be sure you have someone else to blame it on.”
  3.  The total number of turbines to supply all New York’s energy would cover less than 1/100th of one percent of the state’s total acreage. Siting turbines next to historic sites, including the 147 that would have been next to the Holy Trinity Monastery and visible from Otsego Lake, is just mindless development. Turbine field developers need to understand and take that into consideration, just as they understand they can’t put turbines in valleys if they want to harvest the winds on the ridges.
  4. The transition to a green economy must happen and is being successfully pursued in many nations. The USA and New York State both lag behind, saying that green is too expensive. As icecaps melt and sea levels rise, as our skies fill with massive storms and hurricanes, as our rivers, lakes, pastureland, homes, and seafronts flood, as wild fires ravage the West, as other environmental disasters loom, the expense of pumping and pimping gas and other fossil fuels makes green look cheap.

Otsego County and Upstate NY need bigger and better solutions than those offered by gas pipelines and poorly sited wind or solar farms. We need solutions that enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for everyone. We need leaders with exceptional vision, not leaders denigrating environmental efforts. Leave that to Trump and his professional anti-science team.

LARRY BENNETT

East Meredith

 


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