The Case for Wind Energy

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Wind off the coast of Eastern Long Island is among the most consistent in America.
Energy powered by the SOUTH FORK WIND FARM’S 15 wind turbines 35 miles off Montauk will not be seen and will provide electricity to 70,000 households.

DO WE NEED MORE POWER?
Yes. We risk frequent brown outs during the peak summer season. Our energy grid cannot keep up with increasing demand. If power is not provided by wind turbines, use of dirty fossil fuels will continue to rise.

WHAT WILL THIS COST ME?
The average household monthly bill will go up by only about $1.50. The good news: because wind is renewable and free, the cost will be stabilized unlike the volatile cost of fossil fuels. This is a small short term cost for a long term solution.

WILL THIS HURT OUR FISHERMEN?
After listening to commercial fishermen, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management made sure that wind turbines and cable will avoid Cox’s Ledge, a valuable commercial fishing area. In fact, existing wind turbines off Block Island attract marine life to them, imitating an artificial reef.

THE NATIONAL & GLOBAL CASE FOR WIND ENERGY:


Scientific evidence continues to mount as to the urgency of reducing carbon emissions before it is too late:

SPECIES EXTINCTION
Due to Climate Change, one million species will face extinction and humans will suffer as a result unless action is taken. (United Nations report). The Audubon Society supports the use of wind power and reports the greatest threat to birdlife is Global Climate Change.

THE WORLD’S FISHERIES
are undergoing tremendous stress as the marine environment is altered by Climate Change. 93% of global warming heat is absorbed into our oceans, dramatically reducing marine life. Acidification of our surface waters is spelling extinction for some fish and shellfish. Eel grass forms the base of a highly productive marine food web. (NOAA). Locally, our commercial fisheries that depend on eel grass for spawning and protection, are threatened.

RISING SEA LEVELS
Caused by melting polar ice sheets, threaten coastal communities around the world — including our own.

VIOLENT WEATHER EVENTS
Climate Change is producing stronger storms and more intense hurricanes that are wreaking havoc on communities with high public and personal costs, including loss of life. Our towns are on the front line.

PUBLIC HEALTH
Warmer winters are dramatically increasing infectious disease-carrying insects as they
migrate north due to higher temperatures, causing untold costs and hardship. Locally, the
rise in Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is alarming.

By Cate Rogers

Please Connect With Us

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Our electricity currently comes from a mix of sources: Aging fossil fuel plants on Long Island, imported energy from “dirty” plants in neighboring regions and states,
and small local peaker plants in East Hampton and Southampton. These sources all contribute to air pollution and the Climate Crisis, and are subject to volatile “rate shock”. Doesn’t it make sense to begin the move to clean, renewable Offshore Wind Energy?

PLEASE CONNECT WITH US.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

You can reach WIN WITH WIND
by email: weneedwindenergy@gmail.com
On Facebook: winwithwind
Web: www.winwithwind.org

on this blog: winwithwind.blog

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is
success.”
Edward Everett Hale

Authoritative Data

APPEARED YESTERDAY IN THE EAST HAMPTON STAR.

Fourteen Percent
Amagansett
September 1, 2019

To the Editor:

If you were enjoying a glorious ocean beach day, or hoeing your garden in hot sun, you might think East Hampton could achieve energy sustainability just by exploiting solar power. You would be wrong. Gordian Raacke, former executive director of the federal court-appointed citizens advisory panel created in 1993 to represent Long Island’s electricity consumers, has been studying the options for the last 26 years.In 2014, Raacke advised East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell and the town board that they could not reach their goal of full sustainability through solar power alone.

In 2018, Raacke updated his research in a highly technical study of the estimated achievable potential of renewable energy sources over five years within the geographical boundary of East Hampton Township. Using authoritative data sources, the study assumed solar panels of every known type covering every feasible site in East Hampton, whether on rooftop or ground. It estimated that solar could provide a maximum 14 percent of annual electricity consumption over the next five years. For full sustainability the bulk of our power would need to be generated by offshore wind.

The reasons are plain. Much of East Hampton, ground and rooftop, is covered by woods and forests. Most of the sunny open space that could support panels on the ground is protected by law from further development. The rest is privately owned property too expensive for the town to rent or buy.

Our town board faced hard facts when it decided in 2014 that the town would need a major infusion of wind power to meet its sustainability goal. The current town board is doing the same. So should members of our community to resist the impacts of climate change on our beautiful environment.

Sincerely yours,

JEANNE FRANKL

Our Planet is Gasping for Breath

Appeared yesterday in the EAST HAMPTON STAR.

The Final Inning
Springs
August 30, 2019

Dear David,

Baseball fans like to check the box scores. Unlike people, the numbers never lie. As a fan of the planet earth, I like to check out the NASA website Global Climate Change, climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide.

The June 2019 box score for earth is depressing: 412 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, three parts higher than one year ago. For those who may not be avid earth fans, CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas driving climate change. A graph on the NASA website shows that it never exceeded 300 parts per million in 400,000 years of earth’s history. Then we started pumping fossil fuel emissions (CO2) into the air, and it has been rising steadily since. If earth were a baseball team, fans would be clamoring for the manager’s head, lambasting the owner for being too cheap to pay for decent pitching.

The self-appointed manager of the Wainscott opponents of clean wind energy is Simon Kinsella, who claims to be an earth fan, but he thinks a buried cable in his neighborhood is too big a price to pay to improve our chances of winning against climate change. Winning is not guaranteed. In fact, all indications are that humanity is already assured a grim century.

Scientists now project that we must reduce fossil emissions by 45 percent in 11 years to avoid dire consequences. Generalize from resistance to clean energy, like what we see from Mr. Kinsella, and one must conclude that there is scant chance of reaching that goal. So it is bad news indeed that we are still turning earth’s thermostat up. And it is puzzling that Mr. Kinsella persists in telling his team they need not do anything different. They should not accept even a small inconvenience. And it is galling that some residents blithely follow this pied piper of petrochemicals.

Pay no attention to forest fires now raging north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, Greenland, Siberia, and the Amazon, releasing an unexpected rush of additional CO2 that scientists didn’t count in their calculations. Simon says ignore the 197 billion tons of ice melted from Greenland in the month of July 2019. Ignore 109 degrees in Paris. Mr. Kinsella must feel that we have plenty of time to resist any local disruption and force others to bear the burden.

But the box score scrupulously kept by NASA scientists is crystal clear. We are in the final inning in which we can do anything to forestall the coming chaos. Pay attention, kids. You may be privileged to live at a great inflection point in planetary history, the point at which we humans, through scientific illiteracy, oblivious self-interest, and greed, doom ourselves to be just another dead end on the merciless map of evolution.

Simon might tell you it isn’t him; it’s Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell. But Trump and McConnell can’t do it alone. They need thousands of Si Kinsellas, whether paid lobbyists or useful idiots, on the front lines fighting every local effort to build the infrastructure for clean energy, saying, “Wait! Don’t be rash! WE don’t need to sacrifice even a little of our bubble of comfort.”

Recently Simon sent an email to 800 town residents, impugning the integrity of Gordian Raacke, a man who for 26 years has been fighting for renewable energy in all of its forms. This email was riddled with false statements. Suggesting that solar and microgrid can render Deepwater unnecessary, he appends a document called “Community Microgrid Project,” and suggests this was a town solution to climate change that was diverted by Mr. Raacke. In fact, Mr. Raacke fought hard for this type of project, but it failed for economic reasons to gain state approval. I suppose Kinsella figured nobody would read it, because it actually is an unsolicited study that calls for 15 megawatts of solar. Deepwater is for 130 megawatts. This is like suggesting the new batboy renders the home-run hitter unnecessary.

I don’t know anybody supporting the wind farm who is opposed to microgrids and solar. We are for both. If we are to achieve net zero, even the wind farm is not enough. But we are in the midst of a climate emergency. The wind farm is shovel ready, with private money willing and eager to build it at negligible cost to ratepayers. The microgrid and solar solution is at this point a flying-horse fantasy, unplanned, unsited, and unfunded, and is simply being used as a distraction by those, like Mr. Kinsella, who resist even the smallest inconvenience in their neighborhood in the town’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

I urge the signers of Kinsella’s petitions to visit the NASA website and read the box score. Tell him to find another hobby, if it is a hobby. Maybe it’s a profession. We don’t know who is paying for the phalanx of lawyers and engineers on his payroll. A suspicious sort might wonder if fossil-fuel money is involved, but I suppose it could be just homegrown ignorance.

Our planet is gasping for breath. Don’t be fooled by fantasies.

DON MATHESON

Make our Town a Role Model

Appeared yesterday in the East Hampton Star:

Fulfill Its Goal
East Hampton
August 30, 2019

Dear Editor,

I am writing to voice strong support for the South Fork Wind Farm. Environmental studies continue to be done, safety concerns have been addressed, and given the climate crisis that exists, this project cannot start soon enough. I feel that it is all hands on deck in the sense that wind power, solar power, reforestation, and sustainability in the way we live, all must play a part to thwart the harm being done to our environment by the continued use of fossil fuels.

Energy from wind turbines, as has been shown in Europe, can move our community along to fulfill its goal of becoming 100 percent sustainable, make our town a role model for our country, and help on the overall path to a healthier planet.

NANCY S. KARLEBACH


Misinformation: “Save the Beach”?

Appeared yesterday in the East Hampton Star:

Dear David,

My son and his family were out for the Labor Day holiday. He and his wife went to Wainscott’s Beach Lane beach to enjoy the day and the ocean. On leaving the beach they were approached by a young woman wearing a “Save the Beach” T-shirt. She asked them to sign a petition to “Save the Beach.” My son asked what we were saving the beach from? She responded that the beach had to be saved from the windmills. He asked where the windmills would be located, and she said directly in front of the beach. She also said that the windmills would require the beach to be closed. When asked for more information about the petition and the windmills, she said she did not have any.

Beach Lane has less than two dozen houses. The cable would be buried under the road in the off-season. Beach Lane would then be repaved. The cable will bring enough power for 70,000 typical South Fork homes. The wind turbines will be about 60 miles east of Beach Lane and will not be visible from the beach. The beach will not be closed, and the public will have access to the beach throughout the process. The cable installation will not disturb the surface of the beach as it will be done using horizontal, directional drilling, so the cable will be at least 30 feet beneath the surface of the beach.

Climate change is real and is closing fast. We all, including Wainscott residents, need to join forces to deal with this existential problem.

JERRY MULLIGAN

A letter from Ashley: I am mobilizing (19 yo Riverhead student)

My name is Ashley Ambrocio. I am a member of Drawdown East End and Riverhead EAC (Environmental Advisory Committee).

When I learned of the magnitude of the climate crisis, I decided that I will not sit and watch.

When people hear about the negatives on this topic, they often cocoon or ignore it, because it seems like a problem to big too solve. It’s not “their problem”. I could not be one of these people because I do not have the luxury of not being affected by this crisis.

I have dreams and aspirations, things that, when I am older, I would like to say that I did during my life. Greta Thunberg once said “That she was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; she could become whatever she wanted to. She could live wherever she wanted to. People like herself, had everything they needed and more. Things their grandparents could not even dream of. They had everything they could ever wish for and yet, now, we may have nothing” This is a reality all too real for those that are millennials or younger.

Many young people are becoming aware of this crisis and are taking action in the form of the Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, and many more. I am mobilizing with these kids because we want to ensure that we have a safe and happy future to complete these goals that we all have.  Although we are not the ones who caused the problem, we are very determined to fix it. But we need allies. We need those who have been alive to see this crisis unfold, to help us to ensure that my children and my grandchildren have the opportunity of a future. There are solutions that involve individual action, collective action and moving governmental policy.  

What I ask is to find that passion and curiosity, to lend some of your time and energy, and to join a group like Drawdown East End or Win With Wind and help solve the crisis.

We aren’t winning against this challenge. We need to see that this is the time to act. We need to seize the opportunity and turn climate change around. We need to help the younger generations that are inheriting this crisis and the generations that will come after us. We need to give them a stable, safe, and thriving world.   

Are Offshore Wind Developers Responsible For Fishing Gear Damaged In A Wind Farm?

The short answer is YES. It is the law. South Coast Reporter Nadine Sebai has been extensively covering the issue.

You can ask her direct questions here: Fill out this form.

In spite of the fears voiced by some fishermen, its interesting that major offshore cables have been in existence in the Long Island sound and the New York Harbor for over 20 years. Initial concerns about dangers to the fishing and shell fishing industries in the relevant areas have not materialized. Its strange that no one talks about this… Check my earlier post on this story.

Coming to a seafloor near you

“In 2016, when an oil tanker off the British mainland came upon a patch of stormy weather near the Channel Islands, it dropped anchor to wait things out. Moments later, internet speeds on the UK island of Jersey plummeted.

It turns out, as the anchor hit bottom, it snagged a few network cables on the seafloor and severed them, leaving internet users across the island temporarily out of access.

Internet cables aren’t the only form of underwater wiring vulnerable to snags on the seafloor. High voltage cables supplying power from the mainland to offshore wind farms are also easy targets if they’re not adequately protected. These black, rubber-coated cables are not the most glamorous components of offshore wind—but they’re critical veins of power that wind operators, developers, and coastal communities rely on to keep this brand new source of clean energy in the U.S. going.”

Now there is new way of checking existing cables for damage as reported by Evan Lubovsky and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It makes use of autonomous underwater vehicles!

Researchers test ocean robots to make subsea cable surveys faster and cheaper