Written in snarky response to a Daily Mail editorial about an MIT professor’s talk on how we in West Virginia should embrace our fossil fuel destiny.
Tuesday December 07, 2004
Professors at MIT do not know W.Va.
So many people have written to complain about your editorial of November 15, “West Virginia is an energy state,” citing the advice that MIT’s Richard Lester was kind enough to come and dispense. I believe these people may be missing the point Lester was trying to make.
You see, MIT is in eastern Massachusetts, and while that area has a healthy, diverse economy — well, we can’t aspire to any such thing here in Appalachia, because it simply isn’t our place.
Our place, historically, has been to supply cheap power for the rest of the nation to industrialize upon. If we were to forsake that role now, it would be quite inconvenient to people like Lester.
Lately there has been an ugly proposal, for example, to build a whole phalanx of windmills out in Cape Cod bay. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, this will not harm wildlife or add to pollution or global warming, — but just think what it will do to the view. A very expensive view, I might add.
People who buy vacation homes on this exclusive shoreline should not have their view sullied by windmills. The windmills will also interfere with the freedom of yacht travel in the bay. Unacceptable. The least we can do for them is rip up our mountains so they won’t have to suffer such a thing.
It’s true that the sulfur dioxide, mercury, carbon dioxide and ozone will flow downwind towards Massachusetts — but most of it will settle on less expensive real estate, on less important people, before it gets that far.
It’s also true that the carbon dioxide will eventually cause a sufficient rise in sea level that those homes will be flooded out — but that’s also a problem for unimportant people, people who haven’t even been born yet.