Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Solar editorial was off mark

I normally read Greg Dennis’s opinion pieces with a wry smile, impressed by his ability to poke fun both at himself and others in a light manner. But not this time.
Yes, partly it was because Greg in the guest editorial in Monday’s newspaper was skewering me and mine who oppose the development of college-owned land on South Street Extension for solar collection. But partly it was because this article was lopsided, mean-spirited ridicule of those who disagree with him.
We could debate whether this is “greatly needed.” We could debate whether we are “small.” But what is not debatable is that we do not paint solar energy as “dark and foreboding,” nor are we “doomsayers.” We are not “claiming that clean, green, locally produced energy might destroy our local landscape.” We’re not proposing that the college double-down on natural gas.
Maybe it is better that this be located in some other part of town. Maybe this is not necessarily the “best” site, as Greg and others claim, but the cheapest site for the developer and, thus, the most beneficial to their bottom line in the long run.
Maybe, if I were to be as sarcastic as Greg, I could say that the college should develop every bit of its available 300-plus-acre campus for solar production, knowing that surely they would blend the arrays into the same aesthetic they strive for with all their architecture. The fact that “someone might be able to see solar panels” shouldn’t be an argument against it.
Maybe the college should purchase the land adjacent to his no-doubt handsome home, and develop it to the property line for the purpose of solar power production. I think he would not write romantically of that, as he has eloquently in the past, of how he has husbanded his landscape in concert with his neighbor.
I, and people like me, are in violent agreement with Greg: we’re facing a climate emergency. Our house is on fire and we’re running out of time to agree how to put the fire out. I just don’t agree that, to paraphrase a Vietnam lieutenant, to save the village we have to destroy it. We need not subjugate the neighborhoods of the few for the perceived benefit of the many. And we certainly need not resort to name-calling and fear-mongering among neighbors.
I know editorials are not debates, and there is limited time and space to make a point, but it’s unfortunate that the Addison Independent chose this particular guest to be their centerpiece op-ed on the week the Middlebury selectboard will decide this issue.
David Pistilli
Middlebury

Share this story:

More News
Op/Ed

Editorial: DeSantis, culture wars, and politics perpetuating grievance

It’s hard to ignore Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Republican firebrand and likely preside … (read more)

Op/Ed

Climate Matters: Too late for business as usual

Do you remember when Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” came out? I saw it in a crowd … (read more)

Op/Ed

Ways of Seeing: Bolivia trip offered thrilling sights

My family takes a trip together nearly every year. Once the trip is over we immediately lo … (read more)

Share this story: