Not in my backyard is a well-known phenomenon where an activist group gets together to stop projects that they consider will have negative consequences for their immediate environs. This can be good or bad, depending on your viewpoint:
- If it's the Atlantic Yards monstrosity, those of us against the destruction of the neighborhood feel we are on the side of the angels. That's another story, well discussed on the blogosphere.
- If it's wind turbines a few miles off the coast, it's harder to understand the opposition.
There has been plenty of negative side-effects from large wind farms which are proliferating in many areas, particularly the south-east and the west, where wide-open spaces make it easier to find room for the huge machines, which now are typically 300' high.
But who can be against wind turbines situated far off in the ocean? NIMBY-ism is a well and alive on the Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind "is proposing America’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Miles from the nearest shore, 130 wind turbines will gracefully harness the wind to produce up to 420 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. In average winds, Cape Wind will provide three quarters of the Cape and Islands electricity needs." These will be barely visible from the shore, and may even prove a thing of beauty at that distance. There's something viscerally attractive about the slow turning of the giant blades.
But Save our Sound is opposed. Having the backing of many local Chambers of Commerce (a red flag right there,) and even Sen. Edward Kennedy, who knows which side his bread is buttered, they have tried all kinds of roadblocks, including claiming it would interfere with our missile defense. The US Dept. of Defense found it would not, but SOS obstinately says it proves otherwise. It deliberately misreads the DDD report, which merely "recommends a zone of approximately 25 km around the radar," a far cry from SOS's overblown rhetoric "Given the national security implications of Cape Wind’s location right up against DOD’s proposed offset zone, siting a project like Cape Wind on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound, just 27.3 km from PAVE PAWS, is simply too close for comfort."
I guess the wealthy and privileged folk of Nantucket Sound don't care much about the environment. Read an excellent article about the whole controversy here.