Cape Wind: Corporate privatization of The Commons
The designation of the Cape Cod National Seashore, made possible by the Kennedy family and others decades ago, was an effort to save what is left of the fragile eastern U.S. coastline from the forces of development. Anything erected within the boundaries of the Cape coastline detracts from its unparalleled beauty and ecological fragility.
The proposed Cape Wind project is an industrial-scale wind plant the size of Manhattan slated for Horseshoe Shoals in Nantucket Sound, off the southern coast of the Cape. It is another example of the corporate privatization of The Commons. Nantucket Sound is public property and Cape Wind is a private for-profit corporation. Do we really need to lose more of the commons to the corporados? Some find it curious that outfits like Greenpeace and other progressive organizations who have railed against corporate America in the past and privatization in general, make exceptions for Cape Wind.
It is also an odd position for environmentalists to take given that The Wampanoag Nation has identified Horseshoe Shoals as sacred ground. They have stated publicly that Horseshoe Shoals was once above ground and that some of their ancestors may be buried there. In addition, as Keepers of the Eastern Door, the Wampanoags must have an unobstructed view of the water as part of their spiritual practices. Would supporters of Cape Wind deny First Nations their heritage?
Also, there is the issue of the project's potential effects on wildlife living in and passing through the Great Atlantic Flyway in Nantucket Sound. The Humane Society has highlighted many of these effects and is part of a coalition of environmental groups opposed to the sitting. Bill McKibben and others seem to be making the argument that non-humans would benefit in the long run from Cape Wind's project due to its possible lessening of the effects of climate change. Some would say it is most humane to protect our non-human neighbors here and now from potential death and maiming by the construction and operation of this industrial facility.
We can say yes to wind power, but put it where there is wind AND existing development. Buying into the development of fragile coasts; continued corporate privatization of The Commons; further marginalization and disrespect for First Nations; and God Squad trade-offs on non-human life forms in the name of "saving the planet" sounds a lot like destroying the planet to save it.
Links of interest:
http://www.usetinc.org/_searchfordocument.aspx (gateway to PDF)