Opinion: Colton resident dismayed by Meade Road solar project approval
To the Editor:
I was surprised and dismayed that the Town of Canton Planning Board ignored a negative State Environmental Quality Review and decided to approve a solar project on Meade Road. Do they feel they are experts in the field of wetlands and wildlife, more knowledgeable than the professionals who are entrusted to inform them? I fear that the Planning Board is being swayed by the siren song of "greenwashing".Canton residents need to wake up and learn that you can't believe corporations that claim to be saving the earth in one place while destroying it in others. People need to look at the entire picture- where the materials come from, the damage from extraction, the conditions under which the workers produce them, and the hidden costs to consumers and those who have to live near them. Have you heard of the Morris, Illinois lithium battery warehouse fire? You probably should check it out, and you might not want to park that EV in the garage, if you're lucky enough to have a garage. There's no free lunch, and someone wants us to buy them theirs.
Yes, solar panels create electricity, but they can do it just as well in the built environment, where they're needed. St. Lawrence County has been exporting electricity for a long time. A very few of you will remember the controversy over the construction of the 765 kV line back in the 1970's. That was all about losing farmland to transmission lines to transport hydropower electricity out of the North Country to other parts of the state. Then came the wind turbines, and the cities in the south want that power, too. So, another project to take more electricity down there. And here they come again- more, more, more, make it for us, store it for us and then give it to us when we want it.
Why not turn off the neon, and those glaring soccer field lights, and minimize electricity use? Don't buy more electrical and electronic devices, and get that kid to quit the video games and get out there into the labor force. Well, maybe I'm going a little too far there...don't want those kids out getting into trouble like some of us did, back in the 1970's...
Still, we shouldn't let corporate, industrial scale solar projects destroy what we love about the North Country- woods, fields, wildlife, and the open space it needs to live.