One of the more interesting aspects of liberal behavior is what happens when their direct interests are affected by a piece of legislation or even a local ordinance. If their own lives will be discomfited in any way, they are none too ready to make the sacrifices they call upon the rest of us to make in the name of their progressive politics.
This is glaringly on display in the case of the Nantucket Wind Turbines project ( titled Cape Wind). For nine long years, Jim Gordon of Energy Management, Inc. has been attempting to build a wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound, six miles offshore from Cape Cod. The company has proposed building 130 wind turbines on the shoal which will produce up to 420 megawatts of renewable energy. In average winds, Cape Wind will provide three quarters of the Cape’s and surrounding islands’ electricity needs.
A great idea, no? I mean, what liberal could possibly resist the construction of a facility for a renewable energy source which promises to at least partially alter this bluest of blue liberal states’ dependence on fossil fuels?
Well the problem is that the turbines would be erected within eyesight of the Kennedy Family’s Hyannisport family compound on Cape Cod, transforming this much needed alternative energy project into a much feared eyesore. No Kennedy naturally wants to get up inthe morning and have his or her Atlantic Ocean vista ruined by a series of ugly wind turbines spinning incessantly on the horizon.
Desperate to stave off the construction of the project, the Kennedys and many of their super wealthy compadres on the Sound have now enlisted the local Wampanoag tribes to declare the entirety of Nantucket Sound a “traditional cultural property.” The Wampanoag tribes claim they have a religious duty to view the sun rise over a flat aquatic horizon. Its too really too bad for the Wampanoag that they are rarely seen lined up in the morning on the oceanside watching the sunrise. Their claim has been treated with scorn by environmentalists and conservatives alike.
There is some reason to believe that the Wampanoag have been dragooned into service by the project’s main opposition group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. The Alliance includes many local people but has been largely underwritten by wealthy homeowners from Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod who hate the idea of having 440-foot windmills on the horizon.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. , who is not only a scion of the famous Kennedy family but one of the most prominent environmental activists in the country, remains adamantly opposed to the project. He wrote in a New York Times editorial in 2005:
“All of us need periodically to experience wilderness to renew our spirits and reconnect ourselves to the common history of our nation, humanity and to God. The worst trap that environmentalists can fall into is the conviction that the only wilderness worth preserving is in the Rocky Mountains or Alaska. To the contrary, our most important wildernesses are those that are closest to our densest population centers, like Nantucket Sound.”
Since then he has come under withering attack from not only conservatives but environmental groups, bitterly disappointed by his hyposcrisy. His uncle, the late Edward M. Kennedy, was no less of an opponent, said in April, 2006:
”We had an opportunity to right a wrong,” he said of the provision in the Coast Guard bill, he sponsored. ”The people who ought to be irate should be the citizens of Massachusetts. I don’t shrink from my advocacy for them. I welcome it. I’m going to continue to make sure that . . . a wealthy developer is not going to ride roughshod over the state’s interests.”
His Senate bill to block the construction of the wind farm was never passed.
Much of the objections to the project from the locals – that it will harm tourism, fishing and will intefere with communications and with naval navigation, have been consistently rebutted by the project’s proponents, as well as numerous environmental groups.
So much for alternative energy advocacy. I have no opinion on the efficiency of the wind farms nor their likely benefit in creating clean, renewable energy. But I do have to admit that its kind of interesting to see the global warming alarmists duking it out among themselves. Their quest to save the planet from the depredations of man-made global warming, seems to have given way, at least in this instance, to bickering over scenic views.