I went to Long Beach, Long Island on Saturday, June 14th, hoping to get a chance to hoop and holler and raise my voice to the wind, cheering a runner at the finish line of a grueling 100 mile race.
Instead, I got amply blasted by sand and wind, and the lovely picnic supplied by the three families from the Sustainability Committee at 4th Universalist Society, my Unitarian Universalist congregation, was packed away relatively quickly: Case closed by the Element of the Air: wind power works.
The occasion was Wind 100, a Sierra Club event to put pressure on Governor Cuomo to make due on promises to develop the off-shore wind potential of Long Island. We were there to rally and to await the arrival of Matt Kearns- an activist for the Sierra Club who was running the length of Long Island in one day in order to draw attention to wind power.
As we sat on the bleachers on the board walk and watched local officials speak, we had a reminder of how grave the fight to promote renewable energy-rather than fracking or other fossil fuel infrastructure- really is. The entire board walk was brand new- rebuilt after Sandy over a year and a half ago, a storm many believe has heralded the tipping point of the climate crisis. With the proposed LNG/Port Ambrose port for the Rockaways poised to bring greater amounts of dangerous fracked gas into our area, there is no time like the present to pressure Governor Cuomo and other government officials to make wind farms a reality. If you want, you can start doing that right here.
Matt Kearns made it safely to Long Beach that night, but we have a long, long ways to go to making renewable energy taken for granted in New York. We have Matt and countless others to thank for the tireless efforts. Although the turn out at the beach was somewhat smaller than expected, I took a lot of hope from seeing the range of generations there- from the kids to the old stalwart environmentalists I have seen at other rallies. Let’s continue to lift our sails, and send our voices out to the powers and spirits of the wind!
Valerie Freseman, MDiv