The Powers That Be

I’m in the middle of a dilemma. Most of us on the East Coast recently experienced one of the largest power outages in the modern age. My family and I were fortunate that we didn’t lose power, but millions were not quite so lucky. Living in the country briefly without electricity is a minor inconvenience, especially during the warm summer months when there is no need to keep a furnace going. But residents of large metropolitan areas experienced real danger. Some souls were stuck in very hot subway cars, some were stuck in elevators. Traffic lights were out, and traffic was unmanageable.

No one knows exactly how this happened, and we live day-to-day wondering how soon we will lose power again. Statistics show that we as a nation have increased consumption of electricity by 30 percent in the past 10 years, while the power supply has only increased by 10 percent, therefore not keeping up with the demand.

Should we be looking for alternate sources of power? Electricity is a necessity in the age that we live in. Hydro­electric dams provide a vast quantity of power, but apparently it is not enough. Fossil fuel-burning electric plants provide power, but at a cost of pollution and using a fuel that is finite. Nuclear power has proven to be efficient, yet very dangerous if an accident happens on the premises.

Recently, wind-driven power supply has been a hot topic of discussion in the Finger Lakes region. One camp states that creating power from these turbines is clean and replenishable. Another group doesn’t want unsightly towers on the top of scenic hills. I understand the arguments of both sides. I am the first person to promote the unchangeable landscape, to keep scenic views from being scarred, but I also think that if we continue to use electricity as we are now, we need to address the power needs that we, our children and our grandchildren will experience. Perhaps we need to look to other areas of the country that are already using wind turbine power and learn from them. I would like to hear what you have to say about this.

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