The following has submitted by Jacinta Faber to the Hays Daily News. It has been slightly revised from the form that was posted on April 21.
A gentleman named G.J. Warnock described empathy as “moral imagination.” He viewed putting oneself in another’s shoes as one of the components of a moral compass leading to the good life. I am married to a philosopher, and as a family, we have spent many an evening around the dinner table discussing what living the good life means. When our kids were younger, our son tended to equate the good life with the number of toys he owned. His acquisitiveness was scorned by his older sister, who thought that there must be more to living the good life than acquiring things. She seemed to be more on the path of developing her moral imagination.
The industrial wind project is challenging the moral imagination of
In our zoning laws, for example, a 1000 foot setback for turbines from residences is required in
What about the land leasers? One argument given is “It’s my property. I can do what I want with it.” Another is, “My Dad wants ‘em.” These arguments fall more in line with property rights and desire, but don’t speak to the “walk a mile in another man’s shoes” theology. In fact, the zoning chair is leading the consideration of the rules that could help determine the number of turbines he could profit from on his property during phase two or three of the project. He even went so far as to indelicately rub his fingers with his thumb (the money sign) when discussing the optimum setback to allow for the most turbines. Self –interest tends to dull the moral imagination.
Add to this, three more zoning commissioners with substantial interest in the wind project, aided by Iberdrola blowing hot air, and we now have a collective moral imagination dangerously close to withering on the vine.
Would a wind company like Iberdrola base its decisions for
This leaves us to our last resort: the county commissioners. It is time for them to use their moral imaginations. The law cannot demand that someone uses his moral imagination. The county commissioners are in the unique position to seek the welfare of the people of the county. They have been given an opportunity—and responsibility—through their elective office to exercise their moral imagination.