Editor’s note: This commentary is by Lynn James Edmunds, of Wallingford.
No matter what you might think of its content, the Wallingford Energy Committee has done an extremely professional job presenting their energy plan to Wallingford residents, and given the quality of their presentation, it seems likely to garner wide support. However looking closer it appears much more is in play here than just a benevolent goal for clean energy.
If you are wondering what enhancements are included in your new energy plan and how they will impact you, it’s time to discuss section 1 of this plan, entitled “Why Wallingford Needs an Enhanced Energy Plan.”
If you were under the impression your community visit with the Vermont Council of Rural Development (VCRD) in 2018 was the catalyst for enhancing Wallingford’s energy plan, you would be wrong.
The impetus for this plan originated years before, with the introduction of United Nations Agendas 21 & 2030. Ordinarily such agendas are communicated to municipalities through your Regional Planning Commission as sanctioned by Vermont statutes like Act 174, which is also inspired by UN goals and now serves as a basis for enhancement of your newly proposed plan.
It is important to note you did not originate these goals: they are brought to you by the state of Vermont and numerous other organizations seeking your support for their implementation.
As with your community visit in 2018, such goals can also be reinforced by organizations like VCRD, generating an illusion to suggest such enhancements were your ideas, thus creating a vested interest for insertion into your plan.
Pride of ownership for an idea can also be misconstrued as mandate; sometimes goals or plans are easily confused with actual state law. This in turn paves the way for special interest agendas to creep into town ordinance, and thus become part of local regulations, even when no statutory mandate is present.
There are many entities promoting the agendas you are asked to author, such as government agencies, non-profits, non-government organizations (NGO) and businesses, all collaborating and in pursuit of a singular benevolent goal known as clean energy. However, it is by adding enhancements to this singular narrative for clean energy that special interests will seek their controlling advantage for profit. Know these enhanced agendas are all dressed up to be appealing in their support of the main goal. But will they limit your individual flexibility, or negatively impact other systems you rely on in your daily life?
Forcing technology too rapidly is a manipulation designed to benefit those seeking personal gain as their motive. But hardships will be the likely outcome of such premature control mechanisms that mandate change with enticement of carrots, or enforcement-wielding sticks, which could then perhaps manifest in such things as limiting the scope of your mobility or your freedom to live in a rural setting.
Be careful benevolent goals for clean energy enhancement are not extorting your liberty or infringing on your rights when evaluating this proposal. A patient plan will allow for a more organic and harmonious transition, thus reducing the likelihood of nefarious schemes for profit. Recognize your goal is to attain both clean energy and to preserve your liberty.
In the long run a shared sacrifice may only mean you are about to be left behind financially, and usually for a notion of some greater good or the promise of subsidy. When embedded agendas are present at state and local levels of authority, governance flows to you, not from you, and your options will be diminished along with the false promise that is kept out of your reach, and based primarily on controlling.
There are winners and losers in top-down governance, otherwise known as central planning. Don’t be surprised when your input or approval is no longer needed, because compliance has evolved into mandated enforcement, primarily for the benefit of those who will profit most.
As you consider the many goals set forth in this proposal, make sure they align with your goals before you lose your flexibility to do so.
Remember we have been told we must have a plan. Then it must be approved by those telling us we must have it. Only then do we get a certificate of energy compliance that entitles us to substantial deference. But isn’t substantial deference something we should already have as a sovereign town in a constitutional republic?
Perhaps you should ask yourself, does this energy plan need you more than you need it?
If the answer is yes, then two key questions remain: is it really your plan, and how will it enhance your life in the near future?
To learn if this plan is something you can support, improve or afford, visit Wallingford’s website.