Friday, December 10, 2010

Seeing With New Vision: Wind Vision 2010

"First, there is the power of the Wind, constantly exerted over the globe.... Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it! It only serves to turn a few mills, blow a few vessels across the ocean, and a few trivial ends besides. What a poor compliment do we pay to our indefatigable and energetic servant!" ~ Henry David Thoreau, from Paradise (To Be) Regained [1843]
Last weekend, my green partner in crime at Eagle Cove School went to "Wind Vision 2010: A Maryland Citizens' Conference for Offshore Wind Power" in Annapolis.

What is "Wind Vision?"  From their website ( it is:
WHAT: First-ever citizens' conference on offshore wind power in Maryland. Sponsored by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the National Wildlife Federation, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Environment Maryland, the Maryland Sierra Club, and the United Steelworkers.
WHY: Because federal and international leaders are moving way too slowly on clean energy. It’s time to make Maryland a wind power example to the world.
 From the 6 hour conference, here are my eco-cohort's notes/key points:
  • Just in case you still don’t “believe” that the world is warming … The warmer temperatures means that there is an excess of water vapor in the air. Last winter, we had the 3 highest snowfall events since 1850 ALL WITHIN A 6 WEEK PERIOD! And we had the hottest year on record in Maryland.
  • The Mid-Atlantic Bight is a coastal region that goes from North Carolina to Massachusetts. It is 600 miles long and covers 9 states.
  • If wind turbines were in place throughout the Bight they could produce 70% of the power used in the U.S.
  • A connector cable for the East Coast is being planned right now. It will be underground and be able to handle 6,000 megawatts. This system could easily be up-graded to carry more wattage.
  • After “Inconvenient Truth”, Al Gore gathered a group of scientists to discuss how long it would take this country to produce all its energy without fossil fuels. Their answer was 10 years.
  • This same thing was done at the beginning of WWII. In 1939, 2,000 warplanes were produced in this country. By 1946, we had produced 257,000 warplanes.
  • The same thing happened with putting a man on the moon.
  • It’s not a matter of technology; it’s a matter of will.
  • Today, 60% of our energy in Maryland comes from burning coal, 30% from the Calvert nuclear plant, and only 7% comes from renewable sources.

  • Based on both legislation by Gov. Martin O'Malley & Maryland's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards [Maryland is 1 of 33 states to have one of these], Maryland's goal is to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022. The current projections are: 2% from solar, 2% from burning biomass, 2% from onshore wind, and 2% from offshore wind.  (Of course, by my GTG calculations, that math doesn't get us to 20%!)
So Maryland is taking the position as a leader among states.  By "greening the grid," more jobs and cleaner energy will come our way...2 rather important things for this congested, populated area in a time when CNN reports a near 10% unemployment nationwide based on November 2010's statistics.  Way to go, Maryland!  Based on the Space Race and WWII warplane production, clearly we all can do it....IF we put our mind to it. 

Let's hope Gov. O'Malley energy initiatives & leadership goals for renewable energy production will "blow" Maryland toward a grand success, and not just be "hot air." 

For more on Maryland's 2022 intentions, check out the news article at

Dance With Wind

Wind is the fate we are facing
Wind is the life we are touching every second
Wind is the love we don’t understand but feel
Wind is the bridge we cannot see but feel
Wind is wind is wind is wind is wind
Wind is the rope we to ourselves not to be free
Wind is……… Wind is…………. Wind is…………
Driving into human imagination unknowingly

~ by Nyein Way

Mid Atlantic Bight image from

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