September 9, 2003

A Shift in the Wind?

Cape Wind and its Nantucket wind farm. We've had a discussion on this subject before.

But now there is a new development: Cronkite changes tune on Cape Wind project (via Boston Herald).

Cronkite, the legendary newsman and Martha's Vineyard homeowner who taped TV and radio spots opposing the project, said he's reassessing his stance and asked that the ads be yanked.

     Cronkite stressed he isn't endorsing the building of 130 giant power-generating windmills in the waters in between Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

If you listen to WMVY then you've heard these pervasive ads featuring the famous voice. But Cronkite did some investigating and has decided he may have been too hasty in his opposition to the project. He says " the location of their project is not likely to be quite as unsightly or as much of a hazard to wildlife or recreational use of the sound as I had at first believed.''

It strikes me as manipulative the way the wind farm opponents used Cronkite's voice.

Patti wisely advised that we have good reason to be skeptical, however it is sensible to do as Cronkite is doing and assess all the facts. From what I am reading now, opposition has been relying more on confusion and distortion rather than plain facts. The ads I've heard have appealed to the Cape and Islands' baser nature, sending a strong message along the lines of "we have enough energy already, why should we be exporting energy to other areas at the expense of our view."

I await more information on this.

Meanwhile, knee-jerk opposition to Cape Wind opens the left up to criticism like this from the right. It's just the story the right loves to read -- hypocritical liberals.

If there are good, strong arguments against the wind farm, they need to be heard, and they need to outweigh the damage done to the environment by the more traditional fuels that the wind farm will displace. Otherwise, the harping conservative columnist's words begin to bite a little deeper.

Posted by James at September 9, 2003 6:17 PM
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I took a ferry from Hyannis to Nantucket last weekend and saw the test tower east of the channel in Nantucket Sound. It was a thin, forlorn looking thing and barely visible on the horizon. I couldn't see it at all from the Cape but I didn't go down to the beaches on the south side.

My folks, who live in Hyannis, are still against the project, as were a few people on the boat who also noticed the tower as we passed by. As far as I can tell, however, their argument is essentially, "Why build it here in the path of ferries to the islands?" Not in my backyard, in other words. We agreed to disagree about it and I didn't push the issue since I'm no longer a resident of the Cape.

I would still like to learn more about the research that claims the south side of the Cape generates the most windpower. That sounds fishy to me.

Posted by: Mike at September 10, 2003 8:36 AM

Ah, I forgot another common complaint I heard often. There is considerable resentment that a private company from somewhere else has the ability to control the destiny of public lands without so much as a referendum about the subject. If that's true then I can understand their frustration.

Posted by: Mike at September 11, 2003 8:01 AM

It's true. If those were the objections I heard most often, I would have far more sympathy.

Posted by: julie at September 11, 2003 12:42 PM

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