I noticed in the Daily News that the consultants that gave the overly optimistic evaluations that resulted in the "Monster Wind Turbine of Newburyport" are at it again in Newbury. Meridian Associates of Beverly recommends more and more towers. And then there are the "energy committees". Similar to Newburyport’s, they can hardly contain their enthusiasm. "Small turbines don’t deliver, big ones do" says one and another member claims they’ll make money for the citizens if one is put in right amongst all the homes on Plum Island.
They say history repeats itself. At the same time homeowners are pouring money into residences on the island, they can now look out and see a monster looming above them. A noisy, light-flickering monster that drives away birdlife and their quality of life too! Lawsuits anyone?
Think I am being unfair? I don’t think so. When people get on a fad, reason and science is usually the first thing that is sacrificed. Consultants make their money by feeding on those beliefs. Look at the Cecil Group. By the time they were done, the Waterfront was practically a disneyland. How about Tainter Associates. Their visions of the Little River Transit Village had shopping complexes, rows of two-storied buildings and elevated garages, etc.
The first thing that must be done is to seek after hard facts and review counter arguments. Too long we trust that these companies will tell us, "The Right Thing". That approach is all wrong. Nor should we depend solely on "energy committees" that already have a predisposition toward an end goal.
It is going to be citizens who in their desire to obtain the complete picture will do the independent research. It usually ends up being a small handful who sacrifice their private lives to achieve this.
The developers have consultants, engineering firms and lawyers. On the other side are citizens often with little cash who have a love of the city and a desire to preserve the high quality of life.
It’s Cash against Life.
I would hope that life wins out in Newburyport everytime but if no one stands up, we will be guaranteed to get more "landfill-type solutions" in our future.