Organization keeps high standards
Recently I read about the Anti-Wind Rally in Irving in the OBSERVER. In the article one of the organizers stated that Sierra Club had “become aligned with money and politics.” In response to that statement I invite anyone to meet with our treasurer and go over our financial records.
Sierra Club Niagara is a grass-roots led group that is supported by membership fees and donations. We have refused offers of financial assistance from renewable energy developers because our interest is purely in mitigating climate change not growing our coffers.
Our members love our freshwater lakes and have been fighting for them long before I came to this dedicated group of hard working activists. They understand that to protect our lake from further warming, higher levels from excess moisture due to warming temperatures and toxic algae we must ramp up wind and solar energy.
We must harness the least negatively impactful methods of producing energy and we must stop using dirty fossil fuels. We cannot slow down this climate emergency with just energy efficiency, onshore wind turbines or with roof top solar alone.
This is not a political issue but a moral imperative to protect our corner of the world. To me it is a spiritual issue to care for and guard the creation that we have been gifted. There is no left or right to that, only obligation.
John Muir was a highly educated, intelligent activist whom, I suspect, would be pressing for us to support every strongly environmentally reviewed renewable project. Let’s work with facts not fear. Why not wait for the scientific evidence before screaming disaster. I wonder who is being brainwashed in this situation. There is very much at stake for the large oil and gas industries that have been subsidized for years by us. Our members study the science and the history of the technology to make up their minds about what to support. They are too skeptical to be bullied and too concerned about making a positive contribution to the community to waste time bullying anyone else.
Recently I contacted a company that does fishing excursions near Block Island where there is a wind turbine installation in the ocean. The response was very positive both in terms of the fish habitat and the boating community. The turbines proposed for Lake Erie will be at a minimum 3 miles from our shores. Though visible, these majestic towers of hope for our grandchildren will not even be near our shore as they are off of Block Island. By the way, the real estate there has not lost any value either.And after the sediment settles fish habitat actually grows around the base.
I really just wanted to point out that Sierra Club is at the forefront of the work that is needed to ensure that our grandchildren will enjoy the beauty of water and woods that we were so privileged to enjoy as children.
Any attempt to discredit us only makes you look uninformed and out of touch with the enormous changes we will all need to make to save our world.
Sara Schultz is the Sierra Club Niagara Chair and the Amherst Energy Conservation Citizens Advisory Committee chair.