From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com
'Southern New England squid fishermen worry that Vineyard Wind’s plan to put up as many as 100 wind turbines in 250 square miles south of Martha’s Vineyard will hurt their business. It almost certainly will not. For one thing, most sea creatures thrive near wind turbines, whose supports act as reefs. The Europeans, which have massive offshore and coastal wind facilities, have shown how commercial fishing and such clean energy can co-exist.
And Vineyard Wind has contorted itself to make the big project easy for fishermen to live with, such as by promising to space the turbines eighth-tenths of a mile apart and to create special transit lanes for fishing boats.
With any project in public space as big as this, constituencies will sometimes engage in fierce debate. And ancient industries tend not to like change.
Fishing is an important sector in southeastern New England’s economy. But far more important than fishing for a single species is for the region to gain much more energy independence. It’s dangerous for New England to depend so much on fossil fuel from outside the region. And burning that fossil fuel causes massive pollution, global warming, and acidification of the oceans. The last is already killing some life in the ocean.