Sunday, January 3, 2010

The legacy of NIMBY

Ranting isn't the best form of constructive dialogue between two opposing view points but the wording used in an Op-Ed piece in the Cape Cod Times describing the disastrous results of going ahead with the Cape Wind project spurred me to write this retort. Visit Casco Bay Boaters to read the editorial or the Cap Cod Times and read on to hear my rant...

I can only assume Mr. Beaty would agree that the socially inhumane legacies of offshore wind farms already foisted on the poor children and grandchildren of Spain, the U.K., Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Holland have forever ruined the maritime heritage of the English Channel, North and Baltic Seas.

I would disagree. I have safely navigated these waters and wondered time and time again why the U.S. is so slow to pick up on what European, Mediterranean and Asian nations have already figured out. We will pay a pretty penny for foreign oil and gas but thanks to the guardians of real estate value and preposterous ideals regarding nautical legacy we will be left with no wind sites of our own.

What nautical heritage will our grandchildren speak of when diesel is too costly to fish and merchant mariners such as myself are left without the boom of constructing and maintaining these massive wind sites? What will your view be worth when your utility bills keep on going up? We'll I guess then we will just have to be thankful that the Canadians put up a few offshore wind farms of their own to offset America's dependence on Iraqi crude oil.

I'll admit that I'm generalizing by saying that NIMBY is a great acronym for those who have waterfront properties and sailing yachts. But the last thing I want my grandchildren to remember is that my generation robbed them of the chance to transition into a post peak oil era of renewable energy in their own back yards. That is a nautical legacy I could live without.


  1. Well we are all entitled to our opinions my friend. Happy New Year, all the same.

  2. I was very much against the Cape Wind project when it was in the early proposal stages a few years ago. It would take money out of the hands of many of Massachusetts' commercial fishermen, and some smelly hippies from out of state would reap the bulk of the benefits... I could give a rat's A about the very debatable issue of economic impact on real estate values... now however, as NOAA fisheries has finally legislated New England's small boat fleet out of existence, it's a moot point. It's time to allow wind power projects to proceed, now that the area in question is off limits to the only folks who actually have a vested interest in the marine environment.

  3. The alcohol on ships debate has been going on since I first shipped in the mid 60's. I don't know the reason, but is doesn't work on American flag ships. My own obsevations were several:
    1)Any time I ever had major problems with crew members alcohol was always involved.
    2) Many seafarers exist in the nether regions of sanity. Any barriers should be left up.
    These observations are not for moral reasons, just obervations from a 40 year career at sea.

  4. The nether regions of sanity. So true! I have worked with numerous good fellows who I'd rather never see with a drink in hand, especially at work.