Letters + Opinion » Mailbox

'A Small Sacrifice'



 I'm writing in response to lamentations about losing our view of the "pristine" Pacific (Mailbox, Oct. 27) due to offshore wind turbines. It's true that, on those rare days when the fogbank is pushed 20 miles out, we will be able to see the turbines on the far horizon from an elevation of 40-plus meters — but not below that, where most of us view the ocean. Even so, it is a small price to pay. The world's seas are no longer pristine, but are well into being acidified by our carbon loading of the atmosphere. The sea's degradation is not localized like our aesthetic "payment" will be. And since it is an aesthetic price, it is subjective. I, for one, like the way an array of wind turbines looks and the way I feel when I see them — as evidence of progress against climate change and ocean acidification. 

We North Coasters, with the material advantage of being able to choose to live here in this economically, aesthetically and climatically privileged region, are uniquely positioned to help save the oceans for everyone — not just for our local aesthetic pleasure. It's a small sacrifice, well worth making.

The death of the oceans would be a global catastrophe, and practically permanent. By comparison, losing the fondly remembered views of the few is inconsequential. When better solutions are found, the turbines can be removed and their underwater structures can remain as the artificial reefs they will have become. 

 Michael Bickford, Arcata

Add a comment