Sunday, February 26, 2006

If You Hold a Shell to Your Ear, You Can Hear Ted Kennedy

ListeningseashellIt's all about views (and whose make news). The latest not-in-my-backyard brouhaha has been stewing longer than a Cape-Cod clambake and Teddy has found someone else to do the heavy lifting.


Rep. Don Young, a Cap’n Ahab look-alike from the seacoastering state of Alaska sneaked an amendment into the $8.7 billion Coast Guard bill on Teddy's behalf. Don, when not otherwise occupied in Abramoff-denial, is the chairman of the House Transportation Committee.


According to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Research Institution web site,

Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are national tourist havens. Many summer homes have outstanding views of the nearby sounds, where the sailing is superb, the stripers and blues run thick, and fishing for lobster, scallops, and squid has been a popular livelihood for ages. If the wind farm is built on Nantucket Shoals, these views, and quite possibly the established pattern of ocean activities, could be altered permanently. Consequently, many Cape Codders and Islanders who otherwise support the idea of renewable energy—just not on Horseshoe Shoals—have become opponents to the wind farmers.

The lineup of those opposed to wind-farming off the romantic coasts of Cape Cod is hotter than the White-Sox infield and growing. That would smack of consensus politics and the way things ought to be done, if it weren’t for the fact that all these concerned legislative heavies own Cape property


  • Senator John Warner

  • Senator Lamar Alexander

  • Rep. William Delahunt (representing the Cape in the House)

  • And, of course, Teddy, most senatorial of all

John Kerry, who also owns property on the Cape is mute as well as moot, ‘cause this isn’t a smart fight for him to get into. One can only wonder what the quid-pro-quo with Don Young is for this neat hand-off in the backfield.


RepdonyoungYoung’s amendment neatly bans turbines within 1.5 miles of shipping and ferry lanes on the preposterous notion that those big (and some think beautiful) blades screw up shipboard radar. He ‘singled out’ the Cape as ‘particularly unsafe’ in case anyone should miss his sledge-hammered point.


Don says the ban is based on research in Britain concerning the radar issue, although wind farms are being developed off the coast of Britain, so I guess Tony Blair must have lost the data in the sofa.


Ever wonder why vague references to radar can kill environmentally friendly wind farms and yet the Navy keeps on killing whales with their sonar without a problem? Whales don’t have a constituency in Congress with names like Kennedy, Warner and Alexander.


OceanwindfarmAgain, according to Woods Hole,

Utilities in Europe have been generating power from ocean wind for more than a decade, ever since the Vindeby facility off Denmark became operational in 1991. Wind farms are being developed off the coasts of Denmark, Great Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands, creating 246 MW of power generating capacity—including 160 MW at the Horns Rev wind farm that came online in 2003 along Denmark’s west coast. An additional 5,000 MW of capacity is planned for northern Europe.

Public opposition to wind farms on the Cape claims to be based mainly on worries that they will spoil seascapes and have detrimental effects on birds, marine animals, and their habitats. Other groups have expressed concerns about the potential impact on sailors and important commercial fisheries.

Tedkennedy_1What a laugh. It’s all about fat-cats and their right to be fat, unfettered, arrogant as hell, with tailored environmental concerns that devastate Wyoming and leave the Cape alone.


The greatest threat to lobster-fishermen along the Maine Coast at the moment isn't pollution or disappearing fish-stock, but the influx of Condo-bunnies from Boston and New York. They don’t like to be awakened by those nasty old smelly lobster-boat diesels cranking up at dawn. The quaint little seaports smell fishy as well, an embarrassing problem when entertaining.


Quaint is always someone else’s idea of working America.
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A bunch more environmental issues muddying the waters on my personal web site.