Thursday, May 31, 2012

2nd Franklin District state rep candidate Genevieve Fraser Defends Cape Wind at DPU Hearing

Genevieve Fraser
by Genevieve Fraser

NOTE: The following testimony was presented by Genevieve Fraser  to the Department of Public Utilities at a hearing on Cape Wind on May 30, 2012.  The hearing was held at the Department of Public Utilities Headquarters, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, MA.
Docket Reference D.P.U. 12-30

It is small comfort to realize if mankind is rendered extinct through continued, wanton use of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels, the planet may return to the floral lushness of the proverbial Garden of Paradise MINUS Adam, the perpetrator of his own demise. 

Today, California smog threatens the giant redwoods – smog created from energy production and trucking, diesel freight train corridors, motor vehicle exhausts, solvents, pesticides and other fossil fuel derived compounds, along with fires escalated by sustained winds that ravage unmanaged forest landscapes.  Meanwhile, East Coast cities are also shrouded in a cocoon of air-borne pollutants.  It seems as if the natural world has turned against those who would be its master.

DPU Hearing 5/30/2012 - Boston, MA
Though some regard natural gas with its reduced CO2 content as the gold standard of fuels, they fail to measure its true cost – the environmental catastrophe to aquifers caused by fracking which can be likened to blowing up mountain tops to extract coal, or putting our oceans’ flora and fauna at risk through deep water drilling.  Gas, coal, oil are all fossil fuels that generate global warming and climate change.  Their toxins are dead matter, EXCESS carbon exhumed from biomass created eons ago.  These toxins overload the atmosphere and cannot be successfully recaptured – though we are stressing our forests to the max attempting to do so.  Yes, even natural gas is a fossil fuel – not part of the living, breathing world.  It too needs to be phased out if we humans are to survive.

Cape Wind, however, offers hope of a cleaner, healthier world.  The ocean’s wind currents, close to a land base, can harness energy that can be captured without destroying forests and farmlands so vitally needed for food and shelter and fiber-based products.  Offshore wind farms harness more frequent and powerful winds than are available to land-based installations and have less visual impact.  By utilizing ocean borne wind energy - working in tandem with solar, geothermal, hydro and sustainably harvested biomass that recaptures its own gasses as it re-grows and regenerates itself as part of the natural cycle of life – we are using natural resources native to the atmosphere to help power our collective global civilizations. 

The crisp, pollution-free, off-shore Cape Wind, in conjunction with other renewables, can be harnessed to create bio-based fuels for transport and bio-based non-toxic products and chemicals that will produce jobs within the manufacturing, farming and forestry industry.  This, in turn, will help foster clean air, clean water and soil, as well as flourishing biodiversity amid flora and fauna as an overly mature forest is sustainably harvested and put less at risk for disease and fire.

But if Massachusetts is to become part of this legacy, it is critical that the Department of Energy Resource’s (DOER) abide by its stated commitment to apply the best possible science for wind, solar and biomass and all other renewables in the face of the opposition to each of these technologies that exists. 

Perhaps someday - through the use of off-shore wind, solar, geothermal, hydro and sustainably harvested biomass and other non-harmful technologies yet to be developed – we can reduce the territorial conflicts among people so often generated by a fight for resources – and come to live in balance and harmony with nature in what future generations may come to regard as a true Paradise.

NOTE: Genevieve Fraser, a recipient of a Massachusetts Environmental Commendation, is a Democratic candidate for state representative for the 2nd Franklin District.

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