energy and the sea

I don’t often get into controversial issues online, but I feel compelled to say how I feel about America’s first offshore wind farm. I welcome it with open arms!

I just don’t understand why the late Sen. Kennedy and others were and are so opposed to it. Because it would supposedly spoil the scenery of our beloved Cape Cod? (No one loves Cape Cod more than I do!) Every day our views are marred all over this country by telephone wires and power lines, yet we’re willing to put up with them so we can have all the conveniences electricity brings into our lives. Certainly a wind turbine looks better than a telephone pole!

And what about these off-shore oil rigs which are so dangerous and cost so much to use even when all goes well? I feel anger and horror when I see pictures of the catastrophic mess in the Gulf of Mexico. What have we done? What were we thinking? I cannot imagine a wind farm doing anywhere near as much damage to our little spaceship Earth, even if it failed to be used correctly. And I cannot imagine that in the long run the energy harnessed from the wind would cost any more than the energy we get from oil.

wind farm off the coast of Denmark

Looking out to sea I would rather see a wind farm than an oil rig. Aren’t theses turbines beautiful?

Cape Wind

11 thoughts on “energy and the sea”

  1. Barbara,

    I agree with you whole heartedly!! Once again this is about who got who’s hand in who’s pocket!
    Yes it does change the landscape or sea scape but so did oil well all over Texas and a lot of the west, so do coal mines, that strip the land or set fire under the ground.
    Good for you, are you glad you got that out? I am !!!

    I am Love, Jeff

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. I am glad I got that out! We’ve really got ourselves in a corner, ruining our home… In a way, it would be good if the greedy people/corporations could be convinced to focus their money-making schemes on cleaner energy, since that is what seems to motivate them…

  2. Hi Barbara, we live in north/central California and our north and south views include wind turbines dotting the high ridges. The images are quite beautiful, stark and surprisingly elegant outlined against the sky. We are temporary Californians and will eventually go home to Vancouver Island where they have been debating the issue of off-shore wind farms for several years now. Living where we do now has given me a different appreciation and I find the towers and what they represent quite beautiful, at least in the context of this particular landscape and considering the all too familiar alternatives! There are issues with birds, particularily the local raptor populations, but they are working on improving the design and apparently making headway.
    I appreciate what David Suzuki has to say about them: “If one day I look from my cabin’s porch and see a row of windmills spinning in the distance, I won’t curse them. I will praise them. It will finally mean we’re getting somewhere”.
    Yes, I do agree, they are beautiful. Not perfect but beautiful in a way that inspires hope and vision.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Colleen! It’s nice to hear from the other side of the continent! I was wondering what the drawbacks to wind turbines might be… Do the birds get hit by the moving blades? I saw a program recently that brought up the problem of storing excess energy produced, where and how to save it until it is needed. But still, it seems solving those problems would be less costly than the damage caused by drilling for oil or digging for coal.

      We have a single wind turbine in our town at the regional technical high school. I agree with Suzuki, when I see it I feel like we’re taking a step in the right direction. Hopefully the students will keep the ball rolling as they take their place in society as voters and decision makers. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    1. Thanks for the great link, Jeff. Are you a member of Care2? I know someone who is a member of Care2 and I keep checking it out, but wasn’t sure about joining. It looks like a huge place to navigate! Wondering what you think of it…

      The article sums it up perfectly: “a situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently, and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen.”

      We are killing Aesop’s golden goose…

  3. Barbara,

    I have been a member of Cara2 for sometime now! There are different pages, so you don’t have to read all this stuff, at once… Sometimes I pay attention, sometimes I don’t.

    The quote you used is from a piece written many years ago “The tragedy of the commons” by Garret Harden, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons. I hand done research on the history of environmental progress for a paper on ethics class. It gave me a lot interesting fact and ideas… and how we have come to look at the world/nature with a voice and purpose!

    I am Love, Jeff

  4. Barbara,

    Couldn’t agree more; wind turbines are an inherently beautiful form of energy production. There are drawbacks, it’s true. Where I live in Greece there are plans to locate a wind farm on a ecologically sensitive mountain ridge, home to a unique range of flora and fauna. Migrating raptors and pelicans will potentially suffer losses, the relatively pristine habitat will be opened by roads, and thereform access to hunters (a major problem here), and rare communities of plants and butterfly host plants will be disturbed by the construction. However, I don’t object to the idea of wind turbines at all, as long as they are placed with concern for sensitive ecosystems. But perhaps like you, I have laugh when I hear people say how the turbines will ‘destroy’ the view. As if mountain-top removal for coal extraction doesn’t! Oh, and I don’t suppose the view from the beaches of Louisiana is particularly beautiful at the moment either…At least the turbines have an elegant and magnetic pull about them, at least for me.

    Thanks for dropping by and adding me to your links! Looking forward to your next post from your part of the world.

    Best wishes,
    Julian

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Julian. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems to me that BP could have sealed off that oil pipe by now. It seems like all their ideas are focused on finding a way to salvage the oil and get it to the surface without actually plugging the pipe up. My heart goes out to all the sea life that cannot escape and to all men and women who fish for a living – what will they do now I wonder? It sounds like you know a lot about ecosystems… Off to visit your blog now…

Comments welcome...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.