Sunday, August 21, 2005


In 19th century England, a fellow named Ned Ludd lead a insurgency against the Industrial Revolution. His followers were dubbed “Luddites” – a term now applied to describe those opposed to technological progress and cultural change.

It could be argued we are living in a Luddistic age. It is an age marked by the last vestige of irrational superstitious belief, and references to a nostalgic “way of life” which, if it ever existed, has long since vanished.

We are in a new century, a new age, one in which those who “want-a-be-poor” are doing everything in their power to ensure that the rest of us suffer as a consequence of their self-destructive desires – these are the modern Luddites. Some us the terrorist tactics little different from those used by Ned Ludd.

Eric Rudolph – who received life for bombing several abortion clinics and a gay club – justified his deeds with the Biblical quote "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." Bin Laden cites the Koran to support his murders. Still others would deny human and civil rights based on their scriptural misrepresentations – all seek societal deconstruction.

It is a “want-a-be-poor” mentality which misrepresents reality for the sake of il-informed, and often an irrational, ideology. We see those who “save” the environment by destroying that which would allow its survival – who work against necessary change so as to facilitate disastrous change. Luddites all!

Luddites favor intransigence – the are appalled by long-range planning, or visions of a better time. It is clear that, rather than be part of the solution, they would see our population dwindle, our taxes rise – and those children who remain be deprived of both education and opportunity.

The argument against LNG is encapsulated in the Save Passamaquoddy Bay dictum: “Because no person or entity can absolutely assure human or technological safety.”

Sadly, there are no absolutes – only trends to be accepted, or reversed.

I seriously doubt any of us want that to significantly alter the natural beauty of Washington County – it is, however, important that we preserve communities which have been here for our 200 plus years. Our way of life will perish, without an economic base to replace shipbuilding and timber.

The lobster and blueberry industries are on a precipice – even healthy, they cannot sustain our county.

Economic self-sufficiency gave rise to our communities. They were founded on our ability to create, or harvest, products the world needed. Energy and education are the 21st century commodities. The LNG transfer facility will interject us into the economic mainstream, and provide economic opportunity.

Solid economic opportunity will allow our children to stay and raise families. It will provide a basis for properly funding our schools – something the state seems unwilling to do.

There is, of course another factor – LNG burns clean, and its availability will address our Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction requirements, at a savings to all of us. By 2010, those requirements will add 61 cents to gasolene prices. As that price pushes toward $5 a gallon; the importance of cleaner electric – LNG, Solar and Wind – becomes self-evident. And now, ala Monty Python, for something different.

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