October 17, 2006
Editorials, Massachusetts

Out on the horizon a future run aground

Ford Motor Co. didn’t increase the size of the Edsel.

Coca-Cola didn’t repackage “new Coke” in larger bottles.

A bad idea doesn’t get any better by making it bigger.

But a group that wants to construct 130 giant wind turbines in Nantucket Sound off Cape Cod apparently doesn’t feel that way. Cape Wind Associates had proposed a bad plan, looking to build the nation’s first offshore “wind farm” in the pristine waters off the Cape. Now they are proposing that the monstrous windmills be made even taller – rising fully 440 feet above sea level when the blades are at their highest point.

By way of a bit of perspective, the Statue of Liberty, from the ground to the top of her torch, stands at 305 feet.

Lady Liberty, of course, was meant to shine as a beacon for those arriving on our shores. The 130 wind turbines that would be built in Nantucket Sound would stand as testimony to nothing but the triumph of commerce over all else, the sale of the public waters to the highest bidder.

Those behind Cape Wind have repeatedly tried to tout the project as an environmentalist’s dream. They talk of renewable energy, of reducing the need to burn fossil fuels. In theory they may be onto something. But their proposed project would not be built in theory; it would stand in the middle of Nantucket Sound.

It would threaten marine life and birds, fisherman and recreational boaters. And it would do irreparable harm to Cape Cod’s vibrant tourist business.

To visit Cape Cod is to return in many ways to an earlier time. Even today, after decade upon decade of development, Cape Cod and the Islands stand apart from the rest of the Bay State – and not just geographically. On a visit to the Cape, people may well end the day with sand in their shoes. And they’ll be happy to have it there. Lunch may have come from a tiny clamshack, unchanged from the previous visit. Even if the previous visit had been years earlier.

No one ventures over the canal to stand upon the shore and gaze out at an ocean of wind turbines.

While we believe strongly in the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, we also feel certain that such alternatives cannot be constructed willy-nilly, with caution thrown to the wind.

Nantucket Sound is the wrong place for the planned development.


URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2006/10/17/out-on-the-horizon-a-future-run-aground/