Cape Wind's Approval is a Clean Energy Triumph!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 (Listed under Environment)

Below is my online response to a Letter to the Editor (Wind turbines off Cape Cod will ruin national treasure) objecting to USA Today's endorsement of Cape Wind. The letter and readers' commentary can be viewed by clicking here:

Barbara, you say that you're for clean power, but not in your backyard? That's simply hypocritical. It's time that we all move beyond our own preconceived notions about what is aesthetically pleasing if we are to embrace a sustainable, inhabitable, manageable future. You may be surprised to know that Parisians called the Eiffel Tower “a monstrosity” when it was built. It's now a beloved landmark attracting millions of tourists each year. What was once thought to be a misguided faux pas is now viewed as a courageous architectural triumph.

Barbara, you suggest that 130 windmills spinning ocean breezes into nearly carbon-free electricity is the "industrialization" of the sound. I say, “No it's really not. Windmills are the antidote to industrialization!” If you need a few examples of what industrialization really looks like, consider these: the mega-oil plume expanding in the Gulf; the rapid extinction of species worldwide; global deforestation; melting polar ice caps; acidification of the oceans as a result of coal-fired electrical power plants, like those in Fall River and New Bedford; agricultural and factory farming runoff creating marine “dead zones;” oil wars; increasingly alarming levels of chemicals in our food and water supplies; and the millions who suffer from lung and heart disease because fossil fuel lobbies rewrote their own industry's air quality regulations! This is what industrialization looks like to those who view the world realistically. The fact is that we all experience “industrialization” on a daily basis because we introduce more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere than our planet is capable of neutralizing. The earth is a fixed system, after all. It can only bounce back if its resiliency isn't abused. When one chooses to look beyond their own backyard, the full scope of Earth's challenges is evident. Our planet—our only home—the place we all love—is showing evidence of serious destabilization because of our unimpeded and uncontrolled appetite for carbon-based energy. Just because it's familiar and just because it's what we know doesn't make it a smart choice. If we destroy our planet because we refuse to change, then we really don't deserve the privilege of life on this magnificent blue-green sphere.

So, I say “Yes!” to windmills wherever their presence will replace deadly, destructive, carbon-based sources of energy—anywhere that air and water quality will improve—and anywhere that can help our communities, states, and nation transition to a more sustainable clean energy economy.

Quite frankly, it's just not about your personal aesthetic preferences or mine, for that matter. The state of our planet necessitates that we get over ourselves and come together to address the very real threats resulting from a world already altered by the remarkable burden of atmospheric carbon.

130 wind turbines can thus be viewed as a turning point—a courageous clean energy triumph. Cape Wind will usher in a new century of cleaner, greener power that will one day reveal the fossil fuel cartel, and its insidious dominance in our lives, for the monstrosity that it is.

Stacy Clark
Dallas and Jamaica Plain


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