Dear Editor,

I get that someone wants a lovely view from their home in the country of flowing corn fields, bright green in the early summer and golden in the fall, preferred over a view of a static gleaming solar field.

Why should you have to be burdened with a less appealing view out your window when you can imagine that the golden corn is virtuously feeding the world? Although 90% of the corn crop doesn’t actually feed people; it feeds cattle and makes ethanol.

Oh wait, there’s a yellow airplane buzzing over those fields from the air, spraying, what? Pesticides, herbicides, fungicide, fertilizer. I don’t know which one it is on the days I can hear the plane from several miles away, do you? Is that cornfield a genetically modified crop which most commercially raised corn in the U.S. is now; the Dept. of Ag. states that currently 90% of corn and soybeans in the U.S. are GMO, designed to withstand the spraying of Roundup, which is implicated in causing lymphoma. But that sweeping yellow field sure is pretty and I can close my windows when the airplane buzzes nearby and close my eyes and my mind to the 50 degree temperatures in December and January that are becoming more frequent.

What we experience becomes our normal. To a child of today, rain in January will seem normal. To older adults, we know there has been a shift in our lifetime. My childhood, half a century ago, was frozen ponds and sledding. It appears that the main objection to a large scale solar farm proposed on local agricultural land are aesthetic objections from neighbors who feel it would change their neighborhood with views they didn’t sign up for. Did you sign up for 50 mile an hour wind storms and other climate disruptions?

There can be a rural commitment to the production of American solar and wind energy and away from climate impacting gas and oil. We can act to heal the rural/urban divide that was expressed at meetings where I’ve heard folks say, “Why should we make sacrifices to be the producers of energy for them,” meaning our urban and suburban neighbors. We seem to be good at shutting out awareness of our interconnectedness from one another. I can understand the feeling of being overwhelmed by news and conflict, so just leave me to my illusion of safety in my pleasant view of amber waves of grain.

In order to innovate and improve something you have to put what you know now into practice and innovate from there. I see it as an opportunity for rural farms to become the source of innovation and forward thinking for the country. We can work together to undo the damage we have wrought on the land and on one another and bring about a more beautiful future that sustains life. Isn’t that something you would like a view of from your kitchen window?

— Miriam Marcus