Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Environment Massachusetts treading troubled water
Ben Wright of Environment Massachusetts (the home of MASSPIRG's environmental work) sent out an alert on November 3, 2009 to the groups mailing list titled "The cynical ploy to take down Cape Wind". Wright puts the onus of the "ploy" on the anti-Cape Wind group, The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, but it is Wampanoag spokespeople in both Mashpee and Aquinnah who are making the statement that Horseshoe Shoals is sacred. The Alliance is merely repeating what the native people are saying. That being the case, is Ben Wright going to state that First Nations' claim of Horseshoe Shoals being sacred "is pure farce"?
Wright goes on to say: "Furthermore, the Native American tribe that is working with the Alliance to block Cape Wind recently proposed their own off-shore wind project just hundreds of yards from a real national historic site off of the Gay Head cliffs on Martha's Vineyard." That may be so, but that site is not being identified as sacred, nor would it interfere with their "Eastern Door", the unobstructed view of sunrise so integral to Wampanoag spiritual practices.
Perhaps Ben Wright is not familiar with Native spiritual practices, perhaps he doesn't care. Whatever the case, respecting First Nations and their belief systems, especially given the long history of genocide and repression of them by non-natives, is right up there with other aspects of overcoming racism.
We all want safe, renewable energy, but not at any cost. Ben Wright and Cape Wind proponents need to temper their zeal and get real.