Shameful view of Cape Wind


To the Editor:

Choosing the lovely metaphor of an anaesthetized colonoscopy regarding the Stop & Shop project set the stage for what I knew could not be any good news regarding your thoughts on the Cape Wind project [At Large: The windy 10-year war, April 23].

Shameful, really. When we have knowledge, and we don’t employ it, we are rendered obstinate. We have an energy crisis and have had one for a very long time.  We have renewable and alternative energy making resources, and when we don’t plan for that, we seem unintelligent. Cape Wind is part of that knowledge.

I am always brought back to the notions of former president Jimmy Carter because, to me, he saw the facts about our energy crisis in the 1970s, presented a fair solution and predicted that, in fact, we would be exactly where we are today, which is nowhere when it comes to our oil consumption and energy production.

President Carter said, “Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the president and the Congress to govern. This difficult effort will be the ‘moral equivalent of war,’ except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not destroy.”

The greatest principle of Carter’s plan was that our solutions must be fair. We must “ask equal sacrifices from every region, every class of people, and every interest group.” Conservation was the cornerstone, of course. Here, on what you termed our “remote (but not remote enough)” Island, where SUVs and contractors abound, I see a whole bunch of consumption and waste and very little, if any, conservation.

Of course Cape Wind has costs, and clearly they will be passed on to the consumer in some form, but the alternative, which is to continue doing what we have been doing, is disastrous to our future, our environment, and our economy.

The price of our electricity generation and infrastructure, from wind in this case, must reflect a “true replacement cost of that energy, because we only cheat ourselves if we make it artificially cheap and use more than we can afford,” according to Carter’s plan.

Seventy percent of our electricity yields from coal and natural gas. We are purposely making cars less efficient than they were 40 years ago. How can you talk about the footprint of some turbines, in the ocean, when on any given morning, you can watch the JP Noonan trucks get off of the ferries full of gasoline? This Island has almost become a poster child for a profligate footprint.

I agree that we should not give up, only I think that we should unite our efforts to do the right thing in terms of our energy needs.

Jill Murtha

West Tisbury