Saturday September 8, 2012

Last weekend, my wife and I hiked around Mount Greylock. As we hiked, we were treated to majestic views of not only the surrounding mountains but also the gleaming white towers of wind farms.

Hiking along an old ski trail an idea flashed -- like a thunderbolt -- in my brain. Everyone knows wind generated electricity requires strong winds and where in the Berkshires are the winds the strongest? On Greylock, of course and the ridge that accompanies Massachusetts’ highest mountain. As we continued to hike, visions of a massive wind farm blanketing the Greylock massif began churning, like so many turbine blades, in my mind.

It would be foolish not to use the best wind resources the Berkshires have to offer. So why not clear and flatten the highest points along the Greylock ridge and use our best winds to keep the TVs on. Mount Greylock has another advantage; a scenic road already exists to the mountain top. There will be no need to build a costly road to the summit to transport the construction equipment and those glistening white turbine towers.

Some naysayers may be critical of this proposal. They think we need un-fragmented for ests, natural vistas, wildlife habitat, birds, bats and unspoiled ridgelines for the tourist trade. That’s just NIMBY talk. Heaven knows we don’t need more tourists looking at the natural beauty and clogging our stores and roadways.

What we really need is electricity. It doesn’t matter if it’s noisy, intermittent, inefficient, costly, and heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars. We need electricity at any cost. People living near turbines are asked to sacrifice their health and property values. The least we can do in the Berkshires is sacrifice our highest mountain.

ED STOCKMAN

Plainfield