False rumors in the wind


Editor’s note: The following is an article written and reported by the New Bedford Light. We are co-publishing this in-depth piece, which first ran on Feb. 12, with the New Bedford Light’s permission, as we believe it can enlighten our readers on the sprawling and complex story of offshore wind — a massive new industry that is already having a significant impact on the coastline shared by New Bedford, the South Shore, and all of the Cape and islands. 

On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 28, Edgartown Police on Martha’s Vineyard received a call reporting a dead whale had washed up near a private beach. The news was bad: It was a North Atlantic right whale, a critically endangered species numbering fewer than 360. Worse, it was a young female, meaning that the species had lost not only her, but potential future generations of offspring. 

Officials and scientists faced winds and cold temperatures, venturing into the water at times, to ensure the whale stayed anchored with a line. Immediately, they saw that the whale had rope embedded in her tail — a clear sign of entanglement, a leading cause of injury and death for right whales.

When weather conditions improved a few days later, they moved her to a more secure space on land and started a thorough postmortem examination. Close-up photographs taken by scientists and reporters at the beach show the rope dug into her flesh.

The day the whale’s body was reported, NOAA Fisheries’ first online notice about her death included the detail about the rope. A few days later, NOAA Fisheries announced investigators’ preliminary finding: The young whale suffered from chronic entanglement.

But by then, misinformation about the whale had spread. People and organizations, some not based in Massachusetts, were quick to draw conclusions on social media that denied or minimized information from the scene.

Facebook posts and comments claimed, without evidence, that reporters were lying in their coverage of the whale death, that NOAA Fisheries and others were engaging in a “coverup,” or that someone “added” rope to the whale’s tail after it washed up, to “spin” an entanglement story.

Instead, they claimed, without evidence, that offshore wind development was responsible for the whale’s death.

It’s just the latest example of how some opponents of offshore wind development create and disseminate misinformation. These opponents often call for stopping wind projects entirely, and now are using the latest whale death to support that argument. 

They also make unfounded or speculative claims about wind power’s impacts on commercial fisheries. Such forms of misinformation continue to challenge the wind industry and the government agencies regulating it at a time when Massachusetts is counting on offshore wind to produce more renewable energy to address climate change.


Misinformation at Cape Cod conference

A day before the dead right whale was reported on the Vineyard, a Cape Cod organization, Save Greater Dowses Beach, hosted a conference in Hyannis on offshore wind development. More than a dozen speakers shared their concerns about offshore wind. Their comments ranged from caution to unequivocal opposition.

The speakers’ backgrounds varied — physicians in orthopedics and gynecology, a psychiatrist, and members of the fishing industry. Some are residents of the Cape, where cables land (or may soon land) underneath local beaches to connect offshore wind electricity to the grid. Others traveled from Maine, New York, and Rhode Island, where offshore wind is also setting roots.

At the click of each slide, some of the more than 200 attendees took notes and snapped photos of detailed charts, report excerpts, and pictures of dead whales projected onto a big screen. There were head shakes and concerned expressions. One man whispered to another attendee, calling offshore wind deplorable: “They’re going to build something that’s going to fail, is what they’re essentially saying.” Other attendees said they were not opposed to offshore wind, but came to the conference out of curiosity.

Some speakers were either implying or more explicitly stating that offshore wind projects on the East Coast will indubitably fail and create net harm for the environment, that project work has killed whales, and that wind farms will destroy the fishing industry.

Many scientists disagree with those claims. At a minimum, they state that we don’t yet know what some of offshore wind’s impacts will be, and that more research and data are needed. 

Scientists speak in measured ways; they note the knowledge gaps about potential impacts and operate under a key scientific principle, that correlation does not equal causation

Some opponents of offshore wind, however, including presenters at the January conference, speak with confidence about what offshore wind’s impacts will be, or have been. At a microphone or on Facebook, they present possibility as certainty and correlation as causation. 


Whale No. 5120 and the rope that entangled her 

The right whale that died, No. 5120, was first reported with rope around her tail in 2022 in Canada, when she was only a year old and not yet fully grown. She was sighted again entangled in Cape Cod Bay in 2023. Attempts to disentangle her were unsuccessful.

NOAA Fisheries said the initial necropsy of whale No. 5120 showed no evidence of blunt-force trauma, which would be a sign of vessel strike. They did conclude, though, that the whale suffered from chronic entanglement. And while the results of a final necropsy are still pending, NOAA officials have confirmed that the rope is consistent with fishing rope used in Maine.

Entanglement is one of the two leading causes of injury and death for right whales. Sources of entanglement include fishing gear (commercial or recreational) and other marine debris. The source can be domestic or from Canada.

The other leading cause is vessel strikes, an issue that may be worsened by climate change, with warming waters potentially pushing the whales closer to busy shipping lanes. 

Whales expend energy to swim, migrate, feed, keep the body warm, breathe, grow, and reproduce. Being entangled takes away some of that finite energy, contributing to a poor body condition and slower growth. It can also preclude females from reproducing. 

Per NOAA, No. 5120 was last sighted by aerial observers in June 2023; they reported her overall condition had declined, and that the wounds near her tail appeared more severe. 

Whale No. 5120’s official cause of death remains pending. Scientists are running tests that can take weeks to complete. A necropsy (just like a human autopsy) can take weeks or more to yield final results, which may be inconclusive. Generally, marine scientists take tissue samples and measurements to send to specialists in labs. They scrutinize the whale’s muscle and blubber for bruising or abnormalities. They look for bone breaks or infection.

Meanwhile, in the absence of a conclusion, opponents to wind development (several from out of state), including members of the fishing industry, have filled social media feeds with their assertions that the cause of death was offshore wind.

Some have exaggerated or misinterpreted scientists’ concerns about the right whale’s food supply. Others have claimed, with no proof or evidence, that the sound from offshore wind construction activity hurt No. 5120. 

One form of misinformation is cherry-picking, a type of confirmation bias in which a person selectively focuses on data that appear to confirm his or her position while ignoring data that contradicts that position. 

The recent right whale death offers an example of this: ignoring or denying the rope. 

Wind opponents have shared unfounded claims that there was no entanglement of the young right whale, or that the rope was planted. 

Dr. Michael Moore, a veterinarian and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Marine Mammal Center, arrived at the Edgartown beach in the early morning on Jan. 29 to see the whale. The previous day, law enforcement had collected some of the rope, say Moore and NOAA. Rope that was deeply embedded remained. 

“It was heavily embedded in rope on what we’d call the dorsal aspect,” Moore said, adding it was near the “peduncle,” or the part where the tail connects to the body, “and that’s something we typically see in some right whale entanglement.” 

Eve Zuckoff, a reporter with WCAI who for years has covered right whales, also shared what she witnessed Jan. 29: rope on the whale’s tail that cut about 4 to 5 inches deep. 

As a journalist, she said, she values people’s instincts to question authority and be curious. She said she will ask scientists conducting the necropsy if they see any indication of a possible impact from offshore wind on right whales.

However, she says, the claim that a rope didn’t entangle whale No. 5120 is a denial of fact captured by photos and corroborated by several organizations: “I know what I saw.”

“This isn’t healthy skepticism, what’s happening online,” Zuckoff said. “We have to agree that the sky is blue and the grass is green, and let’s question what shade of blue and what shade of green. But if the sky is red and the grass is purple, where do we go?”

The Light contacted two organizations who shared false and unfounded claims on social media about No. 5120: Save the Dolphins and Whales New Jersey, and the New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association (NEFSA), whose CEO and founder, longtime fisherman Jerry Leeman, spoke at the Hyannis summit about potential losses to commercial fisheries in the Northeast.

Save the Dolphins and Whales New Jersey, in a Facebook post dated Jan. 31, claimed that No. 5120 did not have rope around her tail, and that rope was “only added afterwards.” 

The group did not respond to several email requests and queries through Facebook for comment. As of Feb. 12, its Facebook post with several false statements remains online, shared more than 200 times.

NEFSA reshared the New Jersey group’s post, and other posts that make unfounded claims about the rope. NEFSA’s Leeman, in a phone call with The Light, said he would not say anything “conclusively” about the rope.

“I was in Maine and the whale was in Massachusetts,” Leeman said. “I can’t speak specifically on something I wasn’t there for.”

Conspiracy theories have cropped up online, questioning why some rope was removed from the whale before the examination began. But it’s a standard approach. 

“There is plenty of precedent for rope disappearing from carcasses during the transportation to a necropsy site,” Moore said. “We had one case that was clearly entangled … and there was rope on it when it was at sea, but by the time we came ashore, the rope was not there.” 

Moore added, “The sooner you can collect the evidence … the better,” he said. “You collect whatever evidence you can when you can. You don’t leave evidence lying around on the beach.”


Whales’ hearing and pile driving

Whales primarily communicate, navigate, and appraise their environment through sound. Some offshore wind critics claim the sound from survey vessels operating for wind projects is loud enough to damage right whale hearing, which could have impacts on a whale’s behavior. 

The noise from construction activities, such as pile-driving for wind turbine foundations, can be loud. 

Erica Staaterman, deputy director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Center for Marine Acoustics, who has a doctorate in bioacoustics, explained that the sound that survey vessels create for site characterization surveys, which identify the seafloor conditions and any hazards, is a narrow and directional beam that doesn’t spread far. 

Pile-driving, in contrast, makes a sound that’s louder, and radiates in every direction around the pile, Staaterman said, so it presents more risk to marine species than the survey work. Because of that, there are restrictions on when developers are allowed to undertake this phase of construction. 

In its Jan. 31 Facebook post about the right whale death on the Vineyard, Save the Dolphins and Whales New Jersey falsely stated, “Only a few miles away, pile-driving is going on for the Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Project.” 

In reality, Vineyard Wind has not conducted pile driving since Dec. 28, 2023, per its agreement with NOAA Fisheries, said Craig Gilvarg, spokesperson for Avangrid Renewables. This pause in pile-driving will continue at least through April, while right whales are in or near the lease area.

Scientific understanding of hearing damage in right whales has shortcomings. It’s made harder by the fact that the ear decomposes after a whale’s death. Further, investigators are sometimes unable to study or determine a cause of death or inspect a whale’s ears because the body is too decomposed, or unreachable. 

Staaterman said it is difficult to ascertain hearing damage, because it would require dissection of the ear. She said that like humans’ ears, whales’ ears sustain damage with age, and that it would be impossible to know whether hearing damage was sustained from acute exposure to pile-driving for wind turbine foundations, nearness to a lightning strike, or aging. 

“It’s a really tricky thing to try to diagnose,” she said. 

Staaterman noted an ongoing environmental assessment for multiple projects off the New York and New Jersey coasts seeks to establish more restrictive limits on construction noise to address cumulative impacts. 

BOEM is planning to enact limits on pile-driving noise in order to protect the hearing of baleen whales. BOEM would enforce it by requiring developers to record the noise level for every pile installed. 


Wind farms and right whales’ food source

Some scientists have expressed concerns about how offshore wind might affect right whales’ food source, zooplankton. Critics of offshore wind have spread misinformation that exaggerates and mischaracterizes those concerns.

Arunima Krishna, a communications and advertising professor at Boston University who researches disinformation, described a “continuum of falsity” with misinformation. 

Misinformation is a broad category that includes disinformation. The difference between the two centers on intent. Misinformation is false or inaccurate, but those who share it may not realize it is incorrect. Disinformation is false information shared with intentions to deceive or mislead, often to induce fear or anger. 

Sometimes, aspects of misinformation may be factually correct, but stripped (sometimes intentionally) of necessary context, and thus deceptive.

The Light first reported in 2022 that federal scientist Sean Hayes recommended that offshore wind development south of Massachusetts be shifted some 12 miles to avoid a right whale feeding ground around the Nantucket Shoals. Hayes’ memo questioned how offshore wind might negatively affect right whales’ food source, zooplankton. 

Gib Brogan, campaign director with Oceana, an ocean conservation nonprofit, said the organization supports the proposal for a buffer between wind development and this area, noting those waters in Southeastern Massachusetts are critically important year-round to right whales. 

“We are concerned about the effects of the presence of the turbines on the whale habitat and the oceanographic conditions,” Brogan said. 

The government convened a panel of scientists to review potential effects of wind turbines on the whales’ food. The panel has since concluded that more research is needed: Turbines could cause an increase in the whales’ food source, a decrease, or have no appreciable impact. 

Amid that uncertainty, those opposed to wind development have drawn their own certainties, creating misinformation. 

In a mischaracterization of Hayes’ concerns, a tweet inaccurately stated his memo “linked offshore wind turbines and dead whales”; the tweet included a photo of a humpback whale washed up on a New York beach. 

Hayes’ memo did not link wind turbines to dead humpback whales (or New York). Its focus was on potential future impacts of turbines on a particular species — right whales — and their food source in waters south of Massachusetts: the Nantucket Shoals. 

Federal agencies recently issued a final strategy for mitigating impacts of offshore wind development on right whales — a “living document” that will be regularly updated.


Some in the fishing industry spread misinformation about wind

At the Hyannis conference in January, representatives of some fishermen’s groups shared inaccurate information about wind development and commercial fishing. 

On New Bedford’s waterfront, some fishermen have made their feelings clear about offshore wind, flying flags with a red circle and slash cutting through a turbine. 

To be sure, commercial fishermen have genuine concerns about potential impacts of offshore wind development. Wind farms may preclude survey vessels from conducting accurate or sufficient federal fishery surveys, which ultimately determine how much the industry is allowed to catch in a given year. Fishermen also worry that wind farms may cause gear loss and damage, loss of fishing grounds, and negative impacts to fish habitats.

Developers and states have established compensation funds for anticipated gear loss or damage, or loss of access, during the 30 years of future wind farm operations. States are also working to develop a regional compensation fund, in absence of a federal one (which exists for the oil and gas industry). 

Most recently, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released a discussion draft for a bill that would establish a compensation fund for fishermen at the federal level. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) tried something similar last year. 

However, some fishermen, amid these concerns, have been sharing inaccurate or false information to argue for a moratorium on wind farm development. 

Jerry Leeman — the CEO of NEFSA, which reshared the false post about the Edgartown whale — also spoke at the Hyannis conference. In remarks to the audience, Leeman claimed that if “all energy resources were to be built, we would lose 68 percent commercial fisheries displacement” — in other words, two-thirds of the fishing industry. 

Using that figure, he went on to assert that could mean a $680 million loss for Maine’s lobster industry. 

He cited a 2023 report from NOAA and BOEM for the 68 percent figure.

However, the 68 percent figure from the report is actually a reference to a 2016 survey of U.K. fishermen. The fishermen were asked, “What is the main negative impact of the [offshore wind farm] on the fishing industry?” — 68 percent of respondents said “displacement.” 

Asked for clarification on his incorrect statement at the conference, Leeman, who was traveling, would not comment on it, stating he didn’t have his report notes with him. 

Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, has for years been a prominent voice of criticism and opposition to offshore wind. She also presented at the Hyannis conference, stating that wind turbine blades will need to be re-fiberglassed yearly due to pitting damage from rain. She didn’t specify any projects in her presentation.

The claim about turbine blades needing to be re-fiberglassed yearly is false, said a company spokesperson for wind developer Siemens Gamesa in an email to The Light. Siemens Gamesa manufactures the turbine components for the South Fork Wind project, which is now partially up and running, connected to Long Island, N.Y.

Brady was named in a recent report from Brown University, titled “Against the Wind,” which says that several East Coast groups and individuals opposing wind development are linked — either through membership, staffing, funding, or other relationships — to conservative and libertarian think tanks or fossil-fuel interests.

Several of the organizations and individuals named in the report were presenters at the Hyannis summit, including Meaghan Lapp, ACK 4 Whales (formerly ACK Residents Against Turbines), and Green Oceans.

The Brown researchers say some anti-wind-power groups spread misinformation, particularly about the causes of right whale deaths, while others share connections with think tanks that have published falsehoods about climate science and offshore wind.

“The big pattern is that local groups, who are often, I think, well-meaning and sincere in their concerns about the impacts of offshore wind … are receiving information from very biased sources,” said Timmons Roberts, a Brown University environmental studies professor whose climate lab published the report.


Addressing misinformation

Both developers and federal agencies are grappling with countering misinformation. 

But opponents of wind development may wholly distrust developers and the government as sources of information.

“I’m not gonna sugarcoat this — this one is hard,” said Ken Kimmell, chief development officer at Avangrid Renewables, a partner in Vineyard Wind, during a panel discussion on offshore wind in December. “You can’t go in and pretend that there’s no impact … You have to acknowledge it.” Kimmell also said developers need to create benefits that mitigate the industry’s impacts. 

For example, Vineyard Wind has created separate compensation funds for Massachusetts and Rhode Island fishermen who may suffer economic loss due to the wind farm. The project also has a multimillion-dollar agreement with funds that will go to Barnstable, where electric cables land, to offset impacts and disruptions such as noise and roadwork for onshore construction. 

Vineyard Wind, one of the country’s first commercial wind farms, delivered its first power in January. Its developer estimates that the project will reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, or the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the roads.

Offshore wind is critical to Massachusetts’ plan to generate clean energy to fight climate change. “The commonwealth anticipates offshore wind will be the primary source of electricity for its decarbonized energy system,” Massachusetts’s 2022 clean energy and climate plan states. 

“You really have to counter the misinformation that is spreading like wildfire,” Kimmell continued. “That is worrisome, because we really can’t be there 24/7 to counter everything … and people in the town don’t necessarily believe our experts.”

The federal government is staffed with not only regulators, but also in-house experts in key research areas. But wind critics may distrust them, too. 

Fishermen already have a fraught relationship with NOAA Fisheries, their regulator, and that tension has extended to BOEM, the lead agency reviewing and greenlighting the wind projects that some fishermen view as a threat to their livelihoods. 

Brogan, with Oceana, the environmental group, said government agencies and developers can improve their transparency to address concerns about offshore wind. 

“Oceana has been calling for the federal government to boost its transparency of oversight responsibilities so it doesn’t have to be a mystery of what’s happening out there,” Brogan said. “Those are very important for both the industry and for the whales, and it shouldn’t be an opaque process.”

The Light sent a series of questions to NOAA Fisheries and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) about the ongoing investigation into the Edgartown right whale’s death, including whether there are any signs that offshore wind could have affected the whale, and how investigators could test for any potential effects.

A NOAA Fisheries spokesperson declined an interview, saying it is the agency’s “longstanding practice to not comment on enforcement techniques or investigations.”

NOAA Fisheries has stated there is no evidence at this time that noise from offshore wind site surveys could cause mortality of whales, and that there are “no known links” between recent whale mortalities and ongoing offshore wind survey work.

An IFAW spokesperson did not respond to questions by email. 

“These projects need to be respecting all of the promises that the developers made for doing this responsibly,” Brogan said. “I think that that may do a lot of good on injecting facts into these scenarios — like when we have the tragic death of that whale that was very quickly connected to offshore wind, even though there are no facts that could back it up.”

Brogan took to X (formerly Twitter) after the right whale was found, asking if any shutdowns have been triggered, or if construction has continued for the Vineyard Wind project, which sits about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. 

Offshore wind development does increase risks to the right whale, particularly with regard to vessel strikes. 

Brogan shared screenshots of marine trackers, which showed both right whales and vessels associated with the wind project, respectively, in or near the lease area. 

Gilvarg of Avangrid said turbine installation and other above-water construction work have continued at Vineyard Wind in recent weeks, during the pile-driving moratorium. Like other vessels, boats working on the wind project are subject to speed restrictions or are required to carry protected-species observers on board, and other monitors that can detect by sight or sound the presence of an endangered whale. 

“As these projects get more real and less hypothetical, the volume that we’ve been hearing in terms of disinformation has been increasing,” said Rebecca Ullman, director of external affairs for SouthCoast Wind, which intends to develop a different lease area south of Martha’s Vineyard. “And I say volume to distinguish it from breadth and depth.” 

She continued, “I think it’s natural to have questions, and it’s our job to answer them as best as we can.” 

Email Anastasia E. Lennon at alennon@newbedfordlight.org

The New Bedford Light’s newsroom is scrupulously independent. Only the editors decide what to cover and what to publish. Founders, funders, and board members have no influence over editorial content.

The story from the New Bedford Light can be found at newbedfordlight.org/false-rumors-in-the-wind.



  1. It is just not fair that Islanders have to see means of production of the energy they consume.
    That kind of thing belongs in the Gulf of Mexico.

  2. Believe me– I know that you can’t fix stupid with
    the facts. But that doesn’t mean we have to
    enable stupid.
    Thanks for running this one.

  3. Thank you MV Times for co-publishing this article. Journalism is NOT social media. The lies on social media are huge and widespread. When the AP (and others) pulled the photo of Kate a few days ago, I learned a little about the standards that newspapers use to uphold truth in the world. I’ve seen some of the propaganda that was published in Europe in the early 1930s, and I’m horrified that we are seeing that level of propaganda in the United States right now.
    Sometimes I think that we hear or read things that satisfies our view of the world and so we jump on the band wagon without investigating further. (For instance, someone recently told me that they wouldn’t buy an electric car because they saw something on Facebook that if the battery dies while driving the doors won’t open. Neither will the electric port open to recharge the car or the trunk or glove box. All lies. But my someone believed it!)
    When we have knowledge that oilmen like Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence you and me with lies on social media or texting campaigns, then we can ask questions about, why?
    I would like to know the originator of the lies about the whales. The biggest problem for the whales might be ropes, but it also might be warmer oceans from burning oil.
    Once again, thank you MV Times for publishing facts; the truth.

    • Untruths and false opinions from all manner of people regardless of ideology. 2 plus 2 is 4 is truth and correct, however opinions on taxes and whales and gender and climate disasters and almost everything discussed here is worthy of differing views. To tell someone they are lying or shameful or use condescension to reply to people is arrogant prideful and shouldn’t be posted.

      • andy– Part of the problem with all the things you
        mention, is that some people can’t recognize or
        handle the truth when it is presented to them.
        I agree, everything is worthy of different views.
        Take gender for instance– you have a very low
        opinion of people who wish to choose their
        gender– Is it worse to refer to someone as
        immoral or sinful if they change their gender ?
        How about if they choose to marry within their
        gender ? Outside their race? Their religion?
        There are opinions, and there are truths.
        We landed on the moon
        trump lost the 2020 election
        there was an insurrection on Jan 6
        Vineyard Wind is subject to all coast guard
        No whales have died as a result of offshore wind.
        We are experiencing a sharp rise in weather related disasters
        Do I have to accept it when people lie about them ?

        and then we have opinions–
        The Flying Spaghetti Monster created the earth
        Being a member of the LGBTQ community is
        as much of a FSM given right as doing dress up
        in sheets and being a racist.
        Giving trillion dollar tax cuts to the wealthy will
        help the economy.
        Migrants coming across the border want to
        kill us.
        Electric cars will not help the environment.
        We can debate those.
        But regardless of where we disagree, you and
        I are entitled to our opinions– we are not
        entitled to alternative facts.
        Would you tell me I was lying if I said
        that I was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam
        and that my co pilot was Joe Biden ?
        Come on buddy– are you saying that
        the Times shouldn’t post it when someone
        points out a lie ?
        We can debate about censorship, also.
        That’s one for the opinion column.

        • What is truth said Pontius jestingly and did not tarry for an answer. Keller you are not an arbiter of truth. You should not call people liars if you dont agree with them. And you should not say shame on you to a person you dont agree with. I have not said shame on you for being anti semitic. Is it true that you are not. Am I lying about that? Now we have an article about microaggressions.

      • I agree with you, Andrew, about pots shaming kettles. This was a personal attack, the usual from the usual. Personal attacks are something the moderator tries to weed out. He has a lot of know-nothing yammering to wade through. One person can hog all 5 “Recent Comments” and say absolutely nothing of value and the moderator still has to read them all. Some attacks slide in. Which is not to say the moderator’s gage of what is a personal attack would be mine. For example, accusing a Jewish person of a blood libel (supporting live incineration of babies of a different religion) while telling that person they like their artwork is the worst kind of personal gaslighting attack I can imagine. This would not be allowed in my view. The people who tell others they are a “disgrace” and to “give it a break” from standing up for good and fighting against evil and ignorance are intolerant of other views– and can and do fly into personal attack rages when you disagree. I would not allow those personal attacks here. But you have to take with a grain of salt all the yammering from people who think they have the intelligence, experience, or education to defend what they are talking about. The issue, and I agree with you about it, is the arrogant dismissal and personal attacking of different viewpoints. And it’s always from those who insist they are “tolerant” liberals. Which is not to say the truth, as in calling out someone’s obvious antisemitism, is ever a “personal attack”. It is simply fact based on truth.

  4. New Bedford Light does excellent work. They’re one of the nonprofit news outlets that are being established across the country to replace the local coverage that corporate-owned commercial papers are no longer providing. Partnering with them on issues that affect the Vineyard is such a great idea!

  5. Thank you for running this well-reported piece. Michael Moore, quoted here, is one of the world’s leading experts on right whales, and his book We Are All Whalers is definitive. He’s exactly the kind of authoritative source needed for stories of this kind.

  6. its all a bunch of garbage…. like they said, they cant do any kind of research with whale ears because they are too damaged or gone by the time they get the whale…. SOOOOOOOOOOO…………….. I guess this explains the fact that THEY DO NOT KNOW THE DAMAGE DONE……. and where’s my DECREASED(?) electric bill?????????????????????????????????????? BIG EYE ROLL

    • Dolores, you can buy your own electric system and get off the grid. Ask me how. It’s not too hard and it’s way cheaper than an electric bill. Usually a solar system for a modest home will cost about $13k. Double that and you can run an electric car and/or a bigger house. If a home is not heated in winter, it could pay 💰 for itself even faster. For people building new projects, they should absolutely use passive solar in the design. Let’s do this!

      • Going off grid is more expensive, You have to have a big battery and generator for windless, cloudy days. Purchase and maintenance is costly, they require some knowledge to operate, You have store and handle fuel.
        Please provide installation and maintenance costs.
        I appreciate your enthusiasm, now for the financials. .

  7. Dolores– Take a deep breath and think for a few seconds.
    A whale gets hit by a ship, and you wonder about their
    ears ?
    It seems that in reality you are only concerned about your
    electric bill, and have no concept of mathematics.
    The 5 turbines that V.W has up and running produce
    about 1/2 of one percent of the power to the grid
    on a good day. They have been operational for about 2
    months. How much of a drop in your electric bill do you
    think you are going to see ? They could give it away
    and you wouldn’t see any change. Conversely if they were
    putting it in for a dollar a kwh it wouldn’t make any difference.
    By the way, they are selling it for 9 cents per KWH, which
    is below the 15 cent per KWH average that suppliers are getting.
    Come on– Turn off one light bulb for a few hours a day
    and you will see your bill go down.
    Happy Pi day, by the way.

    • “A whale gets hit by a ship, and you wonder about their
      ears ?”

      Of course.
      If a whale’s ears are damaged that would probably affect its ability to hear.
      It might not hear a ship that it would otherwise avoid.

      If a whale’s ears are damaged that would probably affect it ability to navigate. Whale navigation may be facilitated by or respond to sounds in the natural environment. The latter may be drowned out by mechanical noises of ships.

      • Katherine– I would agree with you if there was any evidence
        that the construction of the windmills as they are building
        them could even possibly cause any damage to the ears of whales.
        There is no evidence to suggest it is even remotely possible.
        Of course, the ears of whales can be damaged by loud noises,
        as can the ears of all living creatures.
        But we know that some species of whales do not respond to an
        approaching ship even when we know their ears are fine.
        I have a friend who blames the windmills for every marine mammal
        death, and he thinks that fish and marine mammals do not have
        the ability to tell which direction a sound is coming from.
        I can’t convince him otherwise.

  8. Just one more thought: We’ve been talking about whales, which I don’t want to minimize. At the same time we are facing a collapse of the Gulf Stream Current. Scientists (one of them, Christopher Piecuch, is in Woods Hole) have claimed that we have evidence that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has been slowing down. It could shut down as early as 2025!

    What will happen to us if that occurs?



  9. Now that is a well-reasoned response that is factually supported! I don’t agree with you on everything but this gets a “well-done”. Happy Pi Day

  10. James and Albert,
    Thanks for the humor! 🙂
    Yeah, yeah, I get it, nobody wants to hear that we’re going to be negatively impacted by the ocean.
    Here’s a quote for you: “The Gulf Stream, which heads north along the eastern seaboard of North America, brings warm water to subpolar regions in western Europe, keeping them warmer than countries at similar latitudes. However, the Gulf Stream—as well as larger ocean circulation patterns—is slowing down as a result of climate change, which may ultimately damage the ecosystems that rely on it.”

    Here’s another article that says the Gulf Stream will always move, but the AMOC is distinct from the Gulf Stream. Answering my own question, it will have profound impacts on fisheries. (As we have already noted in real life.)
    “The Gulf Stream will not shut down, but it is not immune to climate change,” Todd says. He has collected data showing that the current is warming and shifting closer to the coast, which could expose marine life to sudden temperature increases and have profound implications for fisheries. The rate at which it transports water may also change. But it will always continue to flow.”

    And how the currents move:

    The Study:
    “These ocean currents move a lot of heat around, and a weakening or a changing in how the ocean moves heat around has a lot of impacts for our climate here in southeastern New England,” said Piecuch.

    “We know, for example, over the past 100 years that southeastern New England has been warming really fast compared to the rest of the eastern United States. And folks believe that that is related to gradual changes in ocean currents.”

    Does anyone else get a sense of foreboding about a rare sighting of a gray whale in our waters? The suspected reason that the whale was here is because the water north of here is warming dramatically. Anyone else worried about that? I mean, we can get all excited to see a rare whale but it isn’t a good thing necessarily.

    I would like to hear from Jacob Steinberg, Lisa Beal, and Christopher Piecuch, or other scientists, who know more about this than we do. Why? Because the real-world consequences of burning oil are showing up all over the place. Let’s discuss what might happen right here.
    Is the Sky Falling? How do we know?

    • Mary. Thank you for taking the time to clearly and thoroughly
      explain this topic. I really appreciated it. It’s quite interesting
      to read about it, and quite scary to contemplate the consequences.

    • Of course it is falling.
      Ask anyone. Wind turbines, housing prices, illegal immigrants, our wretched schools, SSA, MVC, VTA, I could go on…

  11. Can we all just be honest and admit the ONLY reason people on Nantucket, Edgartown, and Hyannisport hate wind power is because it “damages” the view from million dollar properties.

    • Anyone who owns a home on the Vineyard is a so called millionaire. That’s teachers, bus drivers, truck drivers, landscapers, in essence, all homeowners. So yes, we work hard to live here because it’s beautiful and no, we don’t want Big Energy destroying the environment.

    • Thanks Don.
      Thanks Albert.
      Brian, Yes, you may be right. Let’s all engage a little more to reduce the temperatures on our planet by using less energy when we can and use renewables when we need to use energy.

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