Cape Wind: A critical part of the solution

Cape Wind: A critical part of the solution

This past September, we were privileged to attend a conference at the United Nations called “Climate Change - How it Impacts Us All.”  The conference was attended by over 1,700 representatives from 66 countries and over 490 non-governmental organizations.  The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in his welcoming remarks declared, "Few issues match climate change in the threat they pose to all of humanity, or the joint efforts they demand from us."

We heard stories about how the actions of industrialized nations are affecting the most vulnerable citizens of the world – indigenous people fighting for their very survival.  Mikhail Todishev, a representative from the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, shared heartbreaking descriptions of what is happening in an eastern Siberian village.

Mikhail spoke about the steadily declining food supply for polar bears, a result of decreasing ice territory.  The consequences are alarming.  The infiltration of polar bears into local villages has increased tenfold since the artic ice on which they live and feed disappears.  As a result, parents in these villages bring their children to school carrying them on their shoulders with guns in their hands for protection against the hungry animals. 

When we emit pollution into the air on a massive scale, we lose the right to make decisions based solely on the impacts to our immediate environment.  Our actions affect people who not only live half way around the world, but who also do nothing to contribute to these harmful consequences. 

Air pollution does not respect geographic boundaries.  Our pollution on the Cape and islands comes from fossil fueled power plants as far as the Midwest and as near as Sandwich contaminating our land, waterways and estuaries. Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels circulate worldwide, a major cause of global warming.

Time is short and the impacts of our energy use must be mitigated.  People of the Commonwealth know the dangers and the need for a solution. Polls show 84 percent of Massachusetts citizens and 61 percent of those residents on the Cape and islands support the Cape Wind project. 

As Ki-moon said, "We must ensure that we fulfill our promise of a better world for tomorrow's generations."  The Cape Wind Project is an essential part of the solution. 

Barbara J. Hill, Executive Director
Laura Wasserman, Director
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