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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, And The Battle for Our Energy Future On Nantucket Sound » User review

Cape Wind

2007 non-fiction book by Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb

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April 28, 2010 .....The first offshore wind farm in America has finally been approved!

  • Feb 13, 2010
Rating:
+5
 
I say it is just what you would expect from the "limousine" liberal set.  People like Al Gore and Ted Kennedy preach ad nauseum to the masses about the threat posed by global warming and the obvious need for this nation to replace fossil fuels with clean renewable energy technologies.  But then you discover that these very same people live opulent lifestyles with absolutely no regard to how much energy they use themselves.  This hypocrisy has never been more apparent than with the opposition that developed when energy developer Jim Gordon proposed a wind farm on Nantucket Sound in the late summer of 2001.  All of a sudden the elites and super-rich who summer on Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket thought that renewable energy might not be such a great idea after all.  What it all boiled down to for these folks was the NIMBY syndrome (not in my back yard).  "Cape Wind:  Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, And The Battle for Our Energy Future On Nantucket Sound" is essentially the play-by-play of the down and dirty battle to prevent this project from ever getting off the ground.  It seems that the well-heeled opponents of this project were willing to stop at nothing to see to it that this proposal would never see the light of day.  Indeed, it is a sad commentary on our political system.

They were there from the very beginning.  Co-authors Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb certainly were no strangers to Cape Cod.  Both have deep roots on the Cape and were quite familiar with the players in this drama.  Both Williams and Whitcomb were on the scene covering this fascinating story from its first days.  They were present at the meetings of the concerned mansion owners and at town council meetings.  They observed the extremely one-sided coverage given by the local newspaper the Cape Cod Times.  Williams and Whitcomb saw highly respected individuals like Walter Cronkite, author David McCullough, Teddy Kennedy and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney line up in opposition to this project.  The arguments offered by the opponents of Cape Wind were specious at best and it quickly became apparent that these folks were willing to use just about any means at their disposal to defeat this project.  In "Cape Wind" Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb introduce us to all of the players in this long running saga.  You might be surprised to discover that both a Senator and a Congressman from Alaska would get involved in the fight to defeat the Cape Wind project.  You will learn first hand about all of the obstacles developer Jim Gordon has been forced to dance around just to get this project a thorough public hearing.  And you will discover the particulars of just what it is that Jim Gordon is proposing to do in Nantucket Sound.

I must tell you that by the time I finished "Cape Wind:  Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, And The Battle for Our Energy Future On Nantucket Sound" I was thoroughly disgusted. The behavior of the opponents to this project has been absolutely reprehensible.  Indeed there may well be very sound reasons to oppose this proposal.  But the Cape Wind project should be allowed to sink or swim on its own merits.  The obstructionist opponents of this project will stop at nothing to deny Jim Gordon a fair and open vetting of his proposal.  I found "Cape Wind" to be extremely well written and absolutely compelling.  I simply could not put it down.   Very highly recommended!!!

UPDATE:  On April 28, 2010 Interior Secretary Ken Salazar finally approved this project.  At long last the Cape Wind project can go forward!
Despicable behavior by the Cape Cod elite. Despicable behavior by the Cape Cod elite. Despicable behavior by the Cape Cod elite. Despicable behavior by the Cape Cod elite.

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February 18, 2010
I suppose I will have to read this book. :-) While the elite of Nantucket appear to be firmly opposed to the project, I can't imagine that the "not so rich" would be more open minded. Is that the case or did the elite drown out all other voices but their own? Just wondering.
 
February 13, 2010
I'll have to agree, when it comes to green living and the environment - many of those that advocate it are not great examples at all. Wasteful is the first word that comes to mind when I think about most super-rich people. In the time when simple people like you and I will not leave a car idling or an unused light on, they live in 'green' homes that average 2,000 square feet per person! ;) Of course I am sure there are exceptions :)
 
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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This acidly funny account of the battle over an offshore wind farm is both a fascinating window on the business and politics of energy and a scathing portrait of the ruling class.

When Jim Gordon set out to build a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, he knew some people might object. But there was a lot of merit in creating a privately funded, clean energy source for energy-starved New England, and he felt sure most people would recognize it eventually. Instead, all Hell broke loose. Gordon had unwittingly challenged the privileges of some of America's richest and most politically connected people, and they would fight him tooth and nail, no matter what it cost, and even when it made no sense.

Cape Wind is a rollicking tale of democracy in action and plutocracy in the raw as played out among colorful and glamorous characters on one of our country's most historic and renowned pieces of coastline. As steeped in American history and local color as The Prince of Providence; as biting, revealing and fun as Philistines at the Hedgerow, it is also a cautionary tale about how money can hijack democracy while America lags behind the rest of the developed world in adopting clean energy.



Wendy Williams has written for many major publications, including Scientific American, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The Providence Journal and The Baltimore Sun. She has been journalist-in-residence at Duke University and at the Hasting Center; a fellow at the Center for ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 1586483978
ISBN-13: 978-1586483975
Author: Robert Whitcomb and Wendy Williams
Genre: Energy
Publisher: PublicAffairs;
Date Published: May 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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