Connect the dots before history repeats – September 2020
Some people are good at connecting dots to get the picture, some are not, and some can connect dots on some things but not others. Just ask my wife.
There is a controversy in southern Albany County with a wind development proposal that may help illustrate this point. Some of the adjacent landowners are up in arms about the proposal and have sought out government help to try and stop the development. Of course, the wind energy company is just responding to the call for so called renewable energy requests by folks who are concerned about carbon emissions. I say “so called renewable” because one of the best sources of renewable energy, hydro-electric facilities, are not on the list of approved renewable energy sources. Yet, the only way these facilities can run is because of the sun, rain, and gravity.
Currently the top two favorite renewable sources of energy are wind and solar. Here in southern Wyoming we are well known for our wind. Wyoming also has some pretty cloudless days so I’m sure that solar will be increasing as well. The thing that seems to be overlooked or ignored in all of the discussion about renewable energy is what the impacts will be of the developments. The folks in southern Albany County are learning that wind energy can’t come without wind turbines. Likewise, solar energy won’t come without solar farms. Should we seek a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio there are some estimates that predict the land area necessary to achieve that goal will mean wind turbines and solar panels on 25 percent of our land mass.
I have no idea whether some of the folks in southern Albany County were big supporters of renewable energy or not, but I know we do have a number of residents who do support renewable energy. In the various letters published in the local newspaper, there doesn’t seem to be many of the renewable energy crowd stepping forward to remind those residents in the area of the wind development how lucky they are to be on the forefront of the renewable energy effort.
Here’s another illustration. At the same time we are watching this unfold we are also watching the elections. On national, state and even local levels we see politicians advancing several of the ideas advanced by Karl Marx. These are the same failed ideas that were in vogue in some countries in the last century. The implementation of those ideas has led to countless suffering by millions and state ordered deaths on a scale never experienced before in human history. Yet we find people still advocating those ideas. They justify their support for Karl Marx’s ideas by saying those previous efforts were just not done correctly. This time if given the chance, it will work. One commentator noted that it wasn’t that the previous efforts failed; it was that they succeeded.
Once again, we see some people can connect dots and others cannot. Let’s just hope enough people get enough of those dots connected to keep history from repeating itself.
By Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President