Physician explains why wind turbines should be met by “civil disobedience” (Vermont)

Jan 25, 2012

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Editor’s note:  Watch this video of Dr. Ron Holland, a Vermont physician, explaining why he felt obliged to resort to civil disobedience—leading to his arrest and a court appearance—to protest the destruction of ridgelines by wind turbines.

Dr. Holland, an Internist and Emergency Room physician, was arrested with 6 other protestors, along with (believe it or not) a reporter.

In the words of fellow-patriot, Suzanna Jones (age 50) “who lives with her husband and family off the grid (in Walden),

This is not renewable energy development. This mountain will never recover from the hideous crime committed in the name of renewable energy. Vermonters should come take a look at this crime and decide for themselves if this is what they want for another 200 miles of ridgeline. I certainly do not.


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… the following is reprinted, with appreciation, from Mountain Talk (12/20/11)

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Newport, VT—The six Mountain Occupation activists arrested two weeks ago at Green Mountain Power’s Lowell wind project site were arraigned at Newport Superior Court earlier today. Each of the six pled “Not Guilty” to charges of trespassing on land leased by Green Mountain Power. The legal ownership of the land is disputed and adds an interesting complication to the case. Each was released after agreeing to a singular condition: that they return for a hearing when scheduled.

Prior to entering the courthouse a group of supporters—buffeted by a brisk wind off Lake Memphremagog—convened on the sidewalk holding the Vermont and U.S. flags along with signs saying “Stop Destroying Vermont,” and “Detour to Honest Energy Policy.” The same signs and flags were carried by the protestors when they were arrested on the ridgeline on December 5.

Following the hearing before Judge Gerety the Mountain Occupation group held a press conference with about 50 in attendance. Each defendant spoke briefly as to why they had been at the site and what they witnessed there.

“The ridge has been blasted into a crane path while the legal dispute sits unresolved,” said Anne Morse, 48 year old Sterling College instructor from Craftsbury Common. “I live off the grid and support the transition to renewable energy sources, but after seeing the destruction on the ridge, it’s clear to me that this is not about renewable energy but instead is about corporate profit.”

Ryan Gillard, a 23 year old ecologist and educator from Plainfield, Vermont said he, “Blocked the crane path to bring attention to the massive destruction the project is bringing to the area’s ecology.” He also added that, “The permitting process must be broken if the PSB would approve such a destructive project; these impacts cannot be mitigated.”

Robert Holland, a physician practicing at North Country Hospital and a member of the local school board discussed how the PSB failed to take into account the environmental costs when assessing the appropriateness of the project. “Although the Board is required to include the environmental costs of any project in its analysis, in this case the value of preserving an intact ecologically sensitive montane forest and mountain system was determined to be worthless. This is a tragedy for our state and the future of our environment.”

And Eric Wallace-Senft, 48, of West Woodbury, when asked why he has been protesting GMP’s wind development of the Lowell Mountains said, ” “I’m on the ridgeline for my daughters and their future in Vermont. Elected officials and the PSB have been bought out by Gaz Metro-GMP. It’s time to stand up as Vermonters and defend our way of life from corporate interests.”

“David Rodgers, a stonemason and writer from East Craftsbury, when asked the same question said: “Four miles of blasted ridgeline in the Lowell Mountains is not an example of forward thinking energy policy. It’s an environmental tragedy and an economic disaster. Our mountains are a reflection of our values.”

Suzanna Jones, 50 who lives with her husband and family off the grid–in Walden–said, “This is not renewable energy development. This mountain will never recover from the hideous crime committed in the name of renewable energy. Vermonters should come take a look at this crime and decide for themselves if this is what they want for another 200 miles of ridgeline. I certainly do not.”

At the conclusion of the press conference the six arrested Occupiers led those in attendance in singing the Vermont state song, “These Green Mountains.” As they have done in the past, the group raised their voices for the line, “These Green Mountains are my home.”

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Contact info:

Steve Wright, 802-595-1045 (c), 802-586-7705 (h) salmo@vtlink.net

Ron Holland, 802-754-6354, (H) blackriverfarm@comcast.net

  1. Comment by Melodie Burkett on 01/25/2012 at 1:13 pm

    Makes me believe in people again. Power to the people!

    May God be with them.

    Editor: And may the Almighty be with you, my dear.
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    Blake 2
    William Blake, “Ancient of Days”

  2. Comment by Karen Bessey Pease on 01/25/2012 at 10:46 pm

    Thank you for posting this to your site.

    Citizens like these are leading the way as people all around the world speak up about the high-impact, low-benefit qualities of grid-scale wind development.

    But until we can stand en masse and acquire the ears of those who represent us, we will continue to be ignore or trivialized.

    I urge citizens to become involved. Get educated. And then get mad.

    Kaz

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