June 04, 2007
MY EARLIER POST on Cape Wind reminded me of something I had read a while ago, and this column on the Cape Wind affair brought it back: "A tip of the hat to author William Tucker, who wrote an essay for Harper's magazine in December 1977 titled, Environmentalism and the Leisure Class: Protecting birds, fishes, and above all, social privilege." That article, on how rich landowners who wanted to protect their views used bogus environmental claims as a smokescreen, fits the Cape Wind scenario pretty well, too.
UPDATE: Speaking of which, this federal legislation looks pretty suspicious. Notice that it's sponsored by a representative of a coal state. And though the bill purports to protect birds from wind turbines, note these figures on bird deaths from the article sidebar:
Human-caused bird deaths
Domestic cats: Hundreds of millions a year
* Striking high-tension lines: 130 million - 1 billion a year
* Striking buildings: 97 million to 976 million a year
* Cars: 80 million a year
* Toxic chemicals: 72 million
* Striking communications towers: 4 to 50 million a year
* Wind turbines: 20,000 to 37,000
Source: National Research Council
MORE: Read this, too. And this.