Tough choices


The Feb. 16 issue manages to spotlight the "I want"/"I don't want" schizophrenia of many who claim to love the environment. First, the article "Wind setbacks": How can some of you look in the mirror after expressing rabid support for alternative energy sources like wind, if you insist that the turbines that generate the energy aren't too close to your property line and don't disrupt your viewshed? It doesn't work that way; to get, you need to give. Would you rather have a wind farm a mile from your house, or a coal-fired plant over the horizon that acidifies your rain? We all should be welcoming alternative-energy sources to our part of the world, instead of making it impossible for such sources to find sufficient room to contribute significantly to our energy portfolio.

And second -- yet another letter criticizing Yucca Mountain as the proposed repository for disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Well, let's see. ... You don't want global warming, you don't want nuclear power, and the U.S. cannot be powered entirely by alternative-energy sources. Choices are to be made, it appears. More people are killed on the highways every year than would ever die as a result of radioactive material that might be released from Yucca Mountain, even in a catastrophic eruption. Yucca Mountain would not be perfect, but perhaps you might not spend so much energy fighting it if you objectively weigh your alternatives. Clean nuclear power, with a small (yes, small) risk from the resulting waste, or carbon dioxide-generating power generation? You can't say "neither," if all of us are going to maintain the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.

Fran Nimick
Edgewood, New Mexico