Offshore wind farms have been bitterly opposed by residents of Cape Cod and Nantucket, among others. My question is why?
After having lived for a week in view of five wind turbines three miles off the shore of Block Island – the first wind farm in the U.S. — I am baffled by the “not in my backyard” reaction.
Because not only do they make ecological, environmental and economic sense, but the turbines themselves are visually beautifully, gorgeous pieces of immense sculpture that, depending on the light, subtly change shape, form, mood, and yes, power.
Interestingly, too, according to an exhibition at Block Island’s Historical Society, during the process of laying down the turbines’ power lines, archeologists have uncovered “projectile points” dating from between 4,000 and 6,000 B.C. That is when Block Island was still linked to the mainland.
Gradually, the rate of sea level rise began to decrease and the top of that landmass – Block Island – emerged, no longer connected to the mainland. Carbon-dated recovered remains from shell heaps (or middens) around today’s Great Salt Pond indicate that from 500 B.C. on, the Island was inhabited by year round settlements of the Manisses tribe. Natives dined on and prospered from riches of the sea, including sturgeon, cod, harbor seals and migratory waterfowl.
So three cheers for tiny Block Island, whose citizens are pioneering a clean, efficient fuel source in America, while at the same time uncovering and documenting the lives and history of its earliest inhabitants, among America’s first pioneers.
Photos by Eleanor Foa Dienstag