OPINION: Quibble With ‘Con With The Wind’

by Andy Leader, North Middlesex

won’t argue pro or con with David Kelley’s opinion piece, “Con With The Wind” (June 15), but I do have some quibbles.

First, his comment that Vermont was “blessed to be bypassed by the industrial revolution” is only partly true. In fact, Windsor County and other Vermont manufacturing centers were, one might say, instrumental in powering the industrial revolution for more than a century.  Precision Valley, as the Springfield/Windsor region is known, was so important to the production of machine tools during World War II that the U.S. government ranked it as “the seventh most important bombing target in the country,” according to Wikipedia.

During the 1800s, the Robbins and Lawrence factory in Windsor was a major arms producer for the U.S. Mexican war, the Civil War, and other military engagements. Both the Winchester and Smith and Wesson firearms companies can trace their origins to that factory.

Second, it has become fashionable to assume a negative connotation for the adjective, “industrial,” as applied to wind turbines in Mr. Kelley’s piece. Industry and brilliantly inventive machinery have helped greatly to make our country prosperous and egalitarian (relatively, of course), and to keep us free. Woody Guthrie’s motto, famously emblazoned on his guitar, was “this machine kills fascists.” The same might be said of the United States’ industrial core.

Finally, I find it irksome that Mr. Kelley, like others who oppose Vermont wind turbines, seems particularly upset that a private, “multi-billion dollar industry” seeks to make money from its investment.  We don’t, and must not, live in a moral vacuum. However, we in the U.S.A. should be aware that the chance to make money is a driving force behind many of the life-enhancing accomplishments of a dynamic society.  I believe all Bridge readers are beneficiaries of that dynamism.