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Wind Farms or Golf - Take Your Pick

The Vineyard Gazette - July 1,2003
By Sam Low

I look out over a golf course, so I know what those folks who look out over Horseshoe Shoals have in store if a wind farm is built there. Every day, I enjoy the vista of enchanting green swards until my view is ruined, beginning about 8:30 AM, by the arrival of golfers. Dressed to make a pimp blush, wielding clubs born in some NASA lab, carried about by absurd little carts - they bounce tiny white balls off my clapboards - all the while uttering profanities and inanities. A wind farm? You think you got trouble? Those towers will be what - 7 miles from the nearest land? A wind farm won't bombard you with flying objects. Nor oaths. What's your problem?

Wind farm opponents, I hear, object that the enterprise will a make a profit - which is like objecting to the air we breath. Is this a capitalist country or what? Where were you when we invaded Iraq to assure our oil supply? When we passed the tax cuts to reward those at the tippy top of our capitalist edifice? When we liberalized the ownership of mass media (airwaves and water waves - what's the difference?) Where was your outrage then? If you don't want folks to make obscene amounts of money move to Estonia or join the Democratic Party - what's left of it. But don't tell me a wind farm is evil because it will produce a profit. Grow up.

I hope you will forgive my Bushian logic - but in this issue you're either for renewable energy or you're against it. All the rest is chaff. Put the windmills somewhere else? Well of course we must. The proposed wind farm will supply just 1.8% of New England's needs, after all. Take a look into the future. Barring any unforeseen technical breakthrough in nuclear energy production - we need dozens of wind farms in Massachusetts just to satisfy our immediate energy needs. If we want to be renewable we're going to have wind farms everywhere.

So what's the choice here? You can agree to have 1.5 children, drive a fuel cell automobile and cut your consumption of everything by a half - or put up with the "industrialization of nature" (as wind farm opponents call it.) Unless, of course, you want to step from Peaked Hill into the lapping waters of Vineyard Sound or choke to death on noxious gasses - or both. So what does that leave us with? The wind farm.

Me - I'm already immune to the natural beauty arguments. From 8 at night to 8:30 in the morning I have all the beauty I want. Then I have golfers. Give me wind farms any day.

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