A grandfather's tale:
Why Cape Cod TODAY and I have backed Cape Wind for nine years
Huge boon for tourism, new jobs and pride in our leadership coming
By Walter Brooks, Editor, Cape Cod TODAY and Plymouth Daily News
I first heard about the proposal to build a wind farm on Nantucket Sound when it was proposed around the same time that United Flight 175 from Boston crashed into the World Trade Tower in New York City. We wrote an editorial shorty after that endorsing Cape Wind and urging our fellow Cape Codders to follow suit.
Listen to WBZ's Jon Keller's opinion of our NIMBY Senator John Kerry here.
That was an epiphany for me, and I knew on that day that the only way to protect America for my grand children from terrorists like these was for our nation was to stop buying Arab oil and find ways to generate enough renewable energy to become energy independent.
It seemed a natural that the recently announced plan to build the Cape Wind project could be a cornerstone for that effort, along with every other way to generate electricity without using the ever more costly petroleum which everyone knew will some day be used up.
After all, didn't Cape Codders back in 1775 become the very first citizens of this new nation's first revolution to take up arms against the British when our sea captains turned their ships into privateers to harass the Royal Navy a year before the writing of our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776?
Why shouldn't this generation of Cape Codders start a Renewable Energy Revolution here as well?
Instead, our Cape Cod quickly divided into two warring camps, and the people who took each side on this most important issue of our time were obvious from the start.
Sadly not another Cape Cod newspaper followed our example, a far cry from the couragious journalists of two generations ago like Malcolm Hobbs of The Cape Codder who supported Jack Kennedy's dream of a National Seashore Park here even as it nearly destroyed his then young weekly.
After a few year or so Bill Hough's Falmouth Enterprise Newspapers began supporting Cape Wind, and they were followed by other great newspapers like the Boston Globe, Providence Journal, Hartford Courant and New York Times.
On one side were people who had the courage to make whatever sacrifice was needed to end America's dependence on fossil fuels. They knew that government wasn't the way to accomplish this, and that only our native, entrepreneurial imagination, and a willingness to invest one's own money instead of the taxpayer's, could solve this problem.
Naturally, businessmen and women willing to take these risks for our safety deserved the same support that the fossil fuel folks get for their new enterprises, and when federally owned land or sea beds are involved, pay they dues demanded by Washington for their use of federally owned property.
This pro Cape Wind group gradually grew until on Cape Cod it included literally every environmentalist and conservation organization and "Green" person.
On the opposite side were politicians who were either beholden to Ted Kennedy or wanted the benevolence of the wealthy, waterfront property owners who cared more about their private distant ocean view than America's safety, and these wealthy had tens of millions to spend to stop any renewable project since much of that wealth came from companies they owned or controlled in the fossil fuel industry.
Sadly this included almost every state level politician on Cape Cod except Matt Patrick, Cleon Turner and State Senate candidate Dan Wolf.
Cape voters like the 14,000 members of Clean Power Now may have a difficult time voting this Fall for any of these cowards who in Colonial times would have been branded Tories and maybe even run out of town on a rail.
Every other elected pol, William Delahunt, Rob O'Leary, Jeff Perry, Demetrius Atsalis, Sarah Peake, all lined up with the wealthy against the best interests of their own constituents as did our daily newspaper the Cape Cod Times.
Even late-comer to Cape politics, Joe Malone, didn't have the good sense to check the facts and offered a gratuitous slap at the project in his Joe's Blog here when he could have simply kept his mouth shut on a fait accompli.
These "public servants" were joined by nearly every other so-called "civic leader" like Wendy Northcross of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and most other chambers with the glaring exception of Spyro Mitrokostas of the Dennis Chamber who not only supported Cape Wind but was a founding member of the now 14,000 member grassroots group Clean Power Now.
Yet all the time they and you and I knew that 99.9% of all the residents of Cape Cod will never be able to see the wind turbines six miles at sea unless they get invited to a cocktail party in Osterville and Hyannisport or take a ferry boat ride to one of the islands.
The politicians have and will be judged by the voters and The Times has already been judged by its subscribers who have left of canceled the newspaper in droves over the past decade.
Our benighted and questionably ethical daily newspaper
The conduct of the Cape Cod Times since 911 has been shocking. Here are a few, but far from all, of the incredibly unethical moves the newspaper has made since the wind farm was proposed nine years ago;
And The Times has paid a heavy price for their conduct
As the news of why 911 happened and how dependent we had become on foreign oil began to fill the news pages of newspapers across America and around the world, The Cape Cod Times could have become the number one source which all media came to for information on America's first offshore wind farm.
Instead the world's media quickly learned that the information supplied by The Times was slanted and even faulty. What could have been a bonanza for them during the worse decade in the newspaper industry's history instead increased their problems as paid weekday circulation fell from over 60,000 to under 40,000, down 8.4% in the last three months alone.
What should The Times do now?
The Cape Cod Times should write an honest front page editorial admitting when they were wrong, apologizing to their loyal readers and promising to change. What they will do instead is slant every story about this victory for America with more drivel about their wealthy friend's law suits which The Times editors know will not stop the project for one minute. The same oily folks haven't won a law suit about the same issues in the past, and the Alliance flunkies are simply trying to continue to suck at their PR firm's trough for a as long as possible with the help from Rubert Murdoch's local publication.
Instead, a more professional Times' editor would assign the same lead reporters who have been covering Cape Wind to investigate the two Indian Tribe's obvious phony claims about their "religious" practices vis-a-vis Nantucket Sound.
Since they have forgotten the things they learned in Journalism School, here are a couple hints as to where to start their investigation.
Soon our tourism will get an enormous boost as thousands flock to Cape Cod as they already do to Denmark's shore to see the wind wonder, and our maritime business on The Sound will emulate the whale watch boats on the bay and offer sightseeing cruises from Harwichport, Hyannis and Falmouth to view the wind farm.
So after almost a decade of fuss and feathers, the Renewable Energy Revolution with indeed start on Cape Cod, and I told you so.