I love, love, loved this book. Cape Wind is a local issue for me and my eyes widened as I read the story behind the story as described by Cape Cod resident Wendy Williams. We citizens who are sympathetic to wind energy stood by in stunned silence as the opponents of the project slandered the project and its developer Jim Gordon. Even when we knew the assertions weren't true (like New England having a power glut), they raised doubts.
From afar, the coverage of the proposed windfarm on Nantucket Sound might seem balanced. In Massachusetts, however, it's apparent that the coverage is hysterical and a little irrational. When the windfarm was first proposed and an opposition group was created, this didn't seem different from any other large project. However, the opposition to the Cape Wind project combines money and emotion in an unprecedented way.
Cape Wind, the book, is the back-story of the opposition and the web that connects privileged property owners with one another, with elected officials, and with the flaks for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. In the middle of the web is Senator Edward Kennedy, with a great track record on every environmental issue except Cape Wind. It also provides previously unreported insight into the motivation of the project's developer Jim Gordon. Gordon's motivation for persevering with the project is more than a businessman's greed. The book describes him as being incredibly dogged, and genuinely environmentally aware, as well as being an entrepreneur.
Don't come to the book expecting a textbook on windfarm development, or much specific scientific or technical detail about the project. This is a story about one stubborn guy opposed by a stubborn group.
The characters are broadly portrayed in black and white. The portrayal of developer Gordon is generous, perhaps to a fault. Jim Gordon is a smart businessperson who has a huge stake in the project's success. If the project is built and makes energy, he will, quite fairly, profit. However, to have succeeded in business as he has, and being a human being as he is, he must have a less appealing side that the author did either not uncover, or did not report on. Similarly, the opposition members are easy to dislike. Who doesn't love to hate a bunch of isolated, get-off-of-my-beach bunch of rich people? But they probably have a lighter side that also was not portrayed.
This book is recommended for anyone wanting to know more about the ins and outs of the Cape Wind project. It also puts the microscope on the seamier side of "how a bill becomes law".