Fossil fuels hurt wildlife, people, too

I read with sympathy the dozen letters from opponents of the proposed Seneca Wind project published in the last several weeks. From the deaths of bats and birds to the annoyance from blade flicker, some rural people have good reasons to wish the turbines elsewhere.

From a different perspective, though, the visual effects can be mitigated with curtains and ignored over time. Then, people can consider that wind power most effectively diminishes pollution from fossil fuel burning, many times deadlier to bats and birds than turbines. Coal, gas and oil require vast amounts of water to drill and burn, so renewables will save great amounts of this precious resource. Many new, well-paid jobs come along with green energy. So the wind farm planned in our area has much more substantial benefits than drawbacks.

Pollution sickens and kills prematurely millions of people worldwide in a year, and the United States ranks eighth among the most polluted counties. Besides threatening thousands of animal and plant species, pollution contributes to increasingly destructive droughts, wildfires, floods, insect infestations, widespread diseases, islands disappearing and seashores eroding because of rising sea levels, mass migrations from farm jobs lost, even in some places armed conflict over scarce water.

Climate disruption can be kept from getting much worse if all people do their part, even if it must mean that some of us have to endure some difficult circumstances.

George R. Marsh,