Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Kudos for the solar coverage

I just wanted to congratulate the Independent on its fine coverage of the proposed Panton solar development. In particular, Andy Kirkaldy’s story makes clear something that usually gets lost in these accounts: this array would replace an operation that uses huge amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus which then wash into Lake Champlain, and considerable quantities of herbicide which then endangers pollinators, to produce a product (animal feed) that is not in high demand; the solar array would provide a crop we need and use lots of (clean electrons) and do it while giving the underlying soil a rest. In ecological terms such trades constitute real victories in this time of crisis.

I’d add one more bit of math: Vermonters, after a century of intensive fossil fuel use, have a “carbon debt” to the rest of the warming planet that we will never fully make up. But here’s a viable chance to at least help pay down the interest.

Bill McKibben

Ripton

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