The Economist's Democracy in America blog has a good item today on the offshore wind farms that are planned for the waters off Cape Cod and the stereotypical liberal elitist folks from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Cape who are trying to block them:
There's a modestly sympathetic way to read this kind of resistance, and it has to do with the way that environmentalism straddles different strands of American romanticism, which can sometimes conflict with each other. Historical preservationism and the romantic mythologising of indigenous cultures have both played valuable roles in American culture, and they grow from the same "On Walden Pond" roots as environmentalism itself. And that's all fine and good; but CO2 is at 370 ppm and rising. Enough is enough. If we are to have any hope of reducing carbon emissions, we are going to have to change our energy infrastructure. That requires some modicum of willingness to tolerate public action that affects one's own lifestyle. If we can't even get an offshore wind-farm project running, after eight years, because of a bunch of wealthy, self-indulgent whiners, there is absolutely no hope for reducing carbon emissions, and the heirs of those privileged preservationists will be able to watch the sun rise over the pristine Atlantic waters covering what used to be Nantucket Island.
DiA also points to an editorial on the subject that appeared in the New York Times last week. Unfortunately, our friends at the Economist either forgot about or are not aware of the definitive take on this controversy: a Daily Show report from over two years ago. The Kennedy-bashing dates the segment, but it's pretty brutal and dead-on:
Mother Jones' Kate Sheppard will have more on the Cape Wind project in a blog post later today.