Intellect before emotion
For the publisher:
Peter Wirth’s recent letter in support of building solar parks was well written, informative and compelling. In his writing he followed the decision-making guide that has served me well in my 70+ years of life. And when I strayed from it, the results were problematic. This guide is “me before E” – or “intelligence before emotion”.
It doesn’t mean ignoring the emotion. After all, it is a powerful part of our makeup as human beings. But emotions come and go. They vary with the moment. They can appear very strongly at one point and fade like a haze the next. But our intellect is a constant.
And for those who allow it, their intellectual domain can widen and deepen. It is a more reliable basis for decision making than emotion.
An obvious example of allowing E to go before I is the traffic mess we are experiencing in the I-690 / I-481 interchange and exit 3E. The severe bottleneck that piles up an overload of traffic past Dewitt Wegman and along Route 5 through Fayetteville and Route 92 through Manlius could have been avoided.
From what I understand, the plan during construction of I-690 was that it would extend east into the town of Manlius with ramps along the way. The beginnings of this extension are the reason the “exit to nowhere” exists at the eastern terminus of I-690.
But this extension was never built. Why? The great local voices of the time didn’t want that in their backyards. The objections are pretty much the same whenever a project is proposed to respond to growth and change. These arguments almost always fall into the “I like things as they are” category. Some even go further and say, “I like things as they were.
These are emotional reactions that usually don’t allow reality to have a loud voice.
The city of Manlius would be much better off today if its rulers planned for the future instead of planning for yesterday, where their emotions lived.
We cannot go back and undo the tangled mess this decision has left us. We can’t completely undo the mess the high part of I-81 has left us – and in trying to fix it, we hear the same type of ‘I like it as it is’ arguments. . We cannot undo the mess of global warming and climate change that our inability to act left us decades ago.
But if we allow the “I before E” to be our guide and accept the reality of what extracting countless tons of carbon from the soil and pumping it into the atmosphere has done for us, we can plan more wisely. future instead of planning for yesterday.
Just as we now pay the price for the actions of the decision-makers of old, our descendants will pay the price for our decisions today. This price, however, will not be booming traffic. It will be, in very real terms, a matter of life impacted by the devastation of climate change.
Reverend Bud Adams
Solar energy discussion revolves around land stewardship
For the publisher:
Peter Wirth recently proposed analogies comparing solar power generation facilities to water and public road requirements. Its analogy to public water for New York City in the 1800s is very different from the positioning of solar power generation facilities in 2021. Water is one of our most vital human needs; solar energy is not. The collection and transmission of water have very strict requirements as gravity and topography dictate where reservoirs and pipelines can be located.
Manlius’ discussion of solar energy is not an argument about climate change or the common good. The disagreement between residents of the impacted city and solar energy developers is over where to place these facilities and under what conditions. This is good management of the lush farmland and planning for the future when thousands of signs and ancillary equipment are removed. Sometimes stewardship of the land means simply letting the land provide habitat for flora and fauna or provide food for people and animals. It is also forbidden for anyone to destroy an owner’s view of a beautiful field. There is more flexibility when considering the location of solar power generation facilities than the location of roads or water reservoirs. Progress often means that we have to embrace change, but that change should not override common sense and responsible land use.
Salt Springs Road
Petition to Manlius City Council
For the publisher:
In 2019, New York State, in recognition of the crisis we all face, enacted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CLCPA requires that 70% of electricity production come from renewable sources by 2030, which is less than nine years from now. As part of this, 6,000 megawatts of solar power capacity must be online and serve New Yorkers by 2025. It is only in three and a half years.
Despite this timeline, strong opposition has been raised against a proposed project on Salt Springs Road in Manlius due to factors such as the destruction of the pastoral view, negatively affecting property values and some misunderstood and misleading ideas about the solar panels.
Community solar projects are under intense scrutiny. There is no fast track or compulsory passage. They are controlled at both the city and state level, by the local planning council and local residents, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Authority of New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA). Innovating takes years, not months. Permits are needed, funding and tax implications need to be determined, and the process of getting electricity from the solar farm to the grid is another regulatory hurdle.
I am proud to support the initiatives of the Manlius City Council by taking the initiative to make it a climate smart community and look to the future to ensure an ecologically sustainable climate for our children and grandchildren.
Submitted by Peter Wirth
Climate change awareness and action
Editor’s Note: This petition has been submitted to Manlius City Council and signed by over 350 Manlius residents.