The wind blows?

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

Contradiction makes the world go round, dontcha think? The old rubbing against the new, creating heat and friction and, eventually, the fire from which progress, however frail, is forged.

In these days of a highly polarized politics, is contradiction a liability, a place for political foes to irresponsibly attack? We duck and wonder. Enviro change is fraught with contradictory stuff.

Auntie Ruth turns her eyes to Walker Ridge, which is located on the boundary of Colusa and Lake counties north of Highway 20 in the inner coast range. The area is 14,000 acres along an “11-mile, north-south trending ridge,” according to the Sierra Club’s Mother Lode Chapter newsletter. Auntie Ruth’s never been, but it sounds beautiful: Due west of Bear Valley (“a renowned wildflower area”) and north of the Cache Creek Wilderness, it’s under consideration as part of a larger National Conservation Area and was nominated by the California Native Plant Society as an Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.

And it’s threatened by development. That ol’ chestnut.

Condos? Strip malls? Mermaid bars? A new home for the Sacramento Kings? No. “Canadian developer Alta Gas Income Trust has proposed a 29-tower commercial wind development on Walker Ridge,” quoth the newsletter, a “location with only marginal wind energy potential.”

Well, hell. It had to be a wind farm, didn’t it? Just had to be.

And so the Sierra Club outlines the many, many reasons why they are opposed to a wind farm: Walker Ridge is “cherished for its natural beauty”; it is a “vital wildlife habitat” rich in “recreational opportunities, important wildlife corridors, relatively rare butterflies.”

Ahh, the contradictory richness of it all, as we subdivide our way into putting wind farms on pristine natural habitats. It can make you feel old, weary, what does it all mean? Well, gee: pretty much everything. Such craziness puts the overall need to consume less in sharp relief. Gotta use less energy. Period. You and Auntie Ruth both.

For more info on Walker Ridge, try Bob Schneider at And write Jim Abbott, the state director for Bureau of Land Management, at, and just say no. To wind energy.

Then heave a weary sigh and get on with it.