Sacrificing scenery

May 31, 2009

Until the last few days, I hadn’t traveled through the Columbia River Gorge and seen the new price of protecting the planet. For several miles east of The Dalles, the bare ridge lines that for eons had starkly demarcated earth from sky now are scarred with wind turbines. Aligned like robotic sentries, they look like a science fiction future set in the prehistoric past.

Later, driving west on I-84 toward home, I could see Mt. Hood framed on either side with the phalanxes of whirring blades. What would the Indians have thought when they arrived thousands of years ago and seen such a sight? Or white settlers after enduring a cross-continent trek in wagon trains?

But sacrificing scenery may end up a small price to prevent this future.