There Is No Free Lunch

Jonathan Green •

To the editor: Chris Perry neglects one important aphorism in his article discussing the Vineyard Wind project: there is no free lunch.

Mr. Perry professes support for renewable power but omits any detail as to how, what and where. Presumably, we should not object to building wind turbines on the pristine hilltops of California, the unspoiled vistas of West Texas, or the pastoral farmlands of the Berkshires, hoping that renewable power will magically make its way to Nantucket. Unfortunately, certain facts are indisputable. The demand for electricity will continue to grow and that growth will only accelerate with the proliferation of AI and Big Data. It is also certain that economic imperatives will ensure that demand for electricity will be filled, if not from renewable resources then from burning carbon.

I have no idea if the Select Board maximized the benefits to Nantucket in negotiating the good neighbor agreement. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. If we are to bend the curve of adverse climate change, our society must truly commit to renewable power, not oppose it. That commitment will require trade-offs, and even sacrifice, not wishful thinking. Unfortunately, the NIMBY approach of Rick Meehan of Ocean City, Mr. Perry, and other voices in beachfront communities is effective in slowing the progress of off-shore renewable power.

But make no mistake, when a person insists that a windmill should never be viewed from Nantucket upon the distant ocean waters, they are making a choice. They are accepting, and even encouraging, the retreat of the Arctic ice mass, the relentless waterfront flooding in downtown Nantucket, and the ferocity of the storms lashing the eastern seaboard communities.

There is no free lunch.

Jonathan Green
Whitetail Circle

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current Opinion