That bizarrely spun news release from the Alliance
Stringing out their paychecks for another few months
By Chris Stimpson
Timing is everything, especially when the referee with the stopwatch is trying to rig the game for your team's benefit. That and other apposite metaphors were on my mind as I observed the sequence of events surrounding the release of the recent DoD report that confirmed that the planned wind turbines would not interfere with the PAVE PAWS radar system.
It would be churlish of me to suggest that a certain politician would have alerted his supporters to the report contents ahead of time
It would be churlish of me to suggest that a certain politician closely involved with wind farm/radar issues (or his aide) would have alerted his supporters to the report contents ahead of its issuance. Our elected representatives invariably act with such transparency and rectitude that questionable behavior of that sort would be unconscionable. And yet, that bizarrely spun news release from the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound ("this further confirms that this is just a bad location for this project") seemed to hit the streets within moments of the DoD report being made public. Even Cape Wind only learned about the report at the same time as the rest of us mere mortals. Did the Alliance acquire a particularly speedy typewriter?
As a retired military aviator I am well aware that when aviation authorities establish a boundary it already has a significant margin of safety built inAs a retired military aviator I am well aware that when aviation authorities establish a boundary it already has a significant margin of safety built in, whether it's restricted airspace established for air combat training or missile firing, a minimum fuel reserve for flight planning, or an aircraft's final approach speed before touchdown. When we calculated the minimum safe altitude for a flight we would take the highest object within thirty miles, add 10% for map error, throw in another 1500 feet for altimeter error, then round the whole thing up to the next hundred feet for good luck. So if we were anywhere near 6288' Mt. Washington, for example, we'd have had to have flown at 8500' just to stay legal, never mind alive. And traditionally, a ‘buffer' zone is an extra layer of airspace wrapped around restricted airspace to allow for the kind of aviator who checks wind direction by sticking a wet finger out of the cockpit window at 200 mph.
So when the DoD establishes a ‘buffer' zone of 25 kilometers around PAVE PAWS, it doesn't mean that a turbine hub within smooching distance of the periphery of the zone will allow unreconstructed Soviets to launch ICBMs at us undetected. And if said turbines are 2.5 kilometers outside the periphery, not to mention 2,600 feet below the main radar beam, they really don't qualify as ‘too close for comfort'. If Mr. Vinick of the Alliance really feels that, he must have an extraordinarily low comfort threshold.
With all this said, I know that a lot of people were upset about the timing of the Alliance release and the amazing level of expertise on radar issues that it contained (far more advanced, apparently, than that of the Defense Missile Agency experts). For me, however, that word ‘bizarre' that I used in the second paragraph kept bobbing up like untreated excrement in Nantucket Sound. Finally, I realized why.
In Bizarro World ANYTHING can be spun upside-down
Do you recall the 'Bizarro World' episodes in the Superman comics from many years ago? This was a world in which everything was upside down, worked backwards, and made no sense. Black was white, good was bad, hard work was frowned upon and laziness was rewarded. A nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. And it occurred to me that, since the Alliance had interpreted a report that categorically absolved the wind farm from threatening PAVE PAWS as having done exactly the opposite, the Alliance has finally relocated to Bizarro World, a place where anything - ANYTHING - can be spun upside-down.
And that's fine with me, because now it's clear that they're just going through the motions, stringing out their paychecks for another few months. They have never had a moral basis for their existence, and now the world knows they have no intellectual foundation either.
Perhaps, Cliff, since you lost this one, I can help you with your next thrust. How about suggesting that turbines cause cancer in rats? Or that they'll interfere with space shuttles making emergency landings? Perhaps you can come up with something that gives us even more amusement than this one did, but I really doubt it.