Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More on Cape Wind: It's Important

A golden opportunity exists for Massachusetts to stand up and collectively say, "Global Warming is a problem, that's why we're doing something about it." Massachusetts could have not one, but two large wind projects. We could have two sources of renewable energy that collectively produces 720 megawatts of electricity. That would power far more than just Cape Cod.

If these projects pass, developers will realize wind projects in America can be profitable. Soon coal could be replaced by wind in areas of the country where solar power isn't feasible. Soon, pollution from our energy production can be reduced to almost nil. Soon, we can reverse the course of Global Warming.

Let's be honest with ourselves here: the world is dying. Just because people can't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening. However, the evidence is clear.

Global Warming is more important than any other issue. It speaks to the destruction of the planet. It's more important than equality in marriage, more important than taxes, health insurance, education and jobs. It's even more important than nuclear proliferation. Where nuclear proliferation has the potential to do great damage to the planet, Global Warming is already well on its way to destroying it. Just 20-30 years ago, mountains that once were frozen year round are now thawed. Ice Caps have been melted in half. Hurricanes are getting worse and worse, to the point that they're destroying American cities.

There's no time to resist projects that are proven as environmentally sound and effective in producing clean, renewable energy. Support Cape Wind and the Dartmouth project. People from Cape Cod can't view this new project as an alternative: it isn't. Cape Cod needs to do its part in defeating Global Warming and the South Coast does too. Let's build one on the North Shore, let's build one in Western Mass. Massachusetts should be scattered with smaller wind mills too.

I hope, someday soon, that Massachusetts will have dozens of renewable energy projects. We can be a beacon of hope for the entire world if we want. The question is: Do we care about the future? Do we care about our children? Do we care about the realities of Global Warming?


Bugsy said...

Ryan, run some numbers. Do you really think we can afford 2 heavily subsidized wind farms?

These things are not free. They cost over $700 million each and they have trouble turning a profit.

So, you and I have to pay for these with out taxes.

I think it is safe to say that we need one - just so we can learn more about this technology. But, before we go overboard, lets consider this:

If we raised the milage requirement on all new cars by 7 miles per gallon, we wouldn't have to import any oil. None.

And, we can also adopt a european model of taxing cars according to their engine sizes. You'll be amazed how quickly the older cars will come off the road.

Wind won't save the world all by itself. We have to drive smaller cars if you want to cut consumption. I already drive a small car. I sold my bmw and putz around in a little honda when I'm not on the T. Try it. You can save a ton of dough

How do you get around? Are you driving an SUV or a pick-up truck?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with raising the mileage requirement.

$700 million sounds like a lot, but here are some rough numbers that might put it into perspective:

Population of barnstable county: 200k

If the new wind farm provides the estimated 50% of the electricity, that's 100k people

The wind farm is supposed to last 20 years, so that's 20 years x 12 months x 100k people or 24 million people-months.

$700 million / 24 million is less than $30 a month per person.

Bugsy said...

I like the way you are running the numbers. You have to add in maintenance, debt service, taxes, etc..

I think you have to double the $30 per month number to $60. That's mroe electricity than I use. I'll pay that for a wind farm.

I'm not sure I want to buy 2 until we have an operating history to consider.

Hull is operating at only 27% capacity. This is below expectations. Delahunt has proposed ocean research zones to test out various newer technologies. I'd really like to see that happen.

Mark D. Snyder said...

We need to make the sacrifice. If we can spend billions and billions on stupid wars we can spend it on securing our future.

Bugsy said...

let's start by raising the mileage requires on cars and taxing the hell out of anything over 4 cyl.

I don't minf dropping $500-$700 million on a wind farm ,if that's what folks want to do. I do mind putting it in the middle of a marine sanctuary.

I won't destory nature pretending to save it.

lenstewart said...

Plus all the incredible subsidies we currently provide to fossil fuel burning: oil depletion allowance; tax credits for pollution control devices; tax credits for so-called coal gasification; and the cruelist "subsidy" of all: allowing diggers, drillers and burners to dump their toxic waste byproducts into the atmosphere (or into streams of Appalachia, in the case of mountain top removal strip mining).

I bet Truro residents, with the worst air quality in MA, would be willing to argue in favor of tax credits for nonpolluting electric generating sources.

Ryan Adams said...

First, Bugsy, I drive a Honda Civic. The only cars that get better mileage on the road are hybrids.

Secondly, I agree with the concept that wind power deserves subsidization, especially when you consider the fact that Big Oil is subsidized billions.

Wind isn't going to save the Globe, but neither is 7 miles a gallon in better fuel efficiency. Like I said, we *ALL* need to do our part - everything adds up. Wind may not be the most efficient technology, but it works and it doesn't hurt the environment. Solar isn't as effective here as wind would be. I see no other alternatives (unless you're jumping to go put in a few more nuclear power plants?).

I said this to my friend the other night: If Nantucket doesn't want Cape Wind, fine. Let's go build the gigantic nuclear power plant on their island. Let's go build one on Hyannis. Let's see what people would rather have!

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