Charles Komanoff


Wind Power: The Anti-Fossil Fuel

Many pieces here were composed as appeals to "environmentalists," whether genuine or merely self-professed, to stop obstructing specific, actual wind power projects on alleged ecological or "visual intrusion" grounds. The most eloquent and detailed is my long-form article for Orion magazine from 2006. The most acerbic is my Providence Journal 2003 op-ed lambasting Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. -- yes, that Kennedy -- for obstructing the Cape Wind project. The most poetic, in which I invoke the legacy of the late great champion of wildness David Brower, is my 2005 Albany Times Union op-ed. Links to each are directly below.

In August 2023, I composed a valentine to my late mother, Hannah Komanoff, for the Long Island paper Newsday, hitching her civic and political legacy to sorely needed wind power development in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Beach, the seaside city where I grew up and which she represented on the school board and the Nassau County legislature for several decades. Click here for a readable snapshot of my short but sweet essay.

I followed that essay with Don't fear the future, embrace the wind farm. This piece, published in September 2023 in Long Island Business News, called out a pair of state legislators from nearby towns on Long Island's south shore -- Republicans, naturally -- for spreading disinformation and sowing fear to oppose beneficial, carbon-free, job-creating offshore wind. "Delusional thinking reaches a whole new level," I wrote, "when officials representing fossil fuel-dependent, storm-vulnerable and barely-above-sea-level communities seek to block Long Island's and New York State's first significant offshore wind power array."

These two posts represent my return to wind-power advocacy after a long hiatus that began in 2008, a year after I co-founded the Carbon Tax Center and also began modeling and advocating congestion pricing for New York City. As these pieces show, I remain steadfastly committed to the siting, building and operating of large numbers of large-scale wind and solar power projects.

-- C.K.

Whither Wind? A Journey Through the Heated Debate Over Wind Power", feature article in Orion Magazine (Sept/Oct 2006)

In The Wind, Op-ed in the Albany Times Union, pondering an Adirondacks wind project through eyes of wilderness champion David Brower, Sept. 18, 2005

Bixby's Landing, the Robinson Jeffers poem excerpted in my Albany Times Union op-ed

Even Wind Power Can't Be Invisible, Providence Journal op-ed, June 6, 2003 (pdf paste-up of the op-ed as it appeared in the paper's print edition)

Letter to Riverkeeper director Alex Matthiessen, decrying Riverkeeper founder Robert F. Kennedy Jr's obstruction of wind power projects, May 2003

Open letter #2 to environmentalists on behalf of the Cape Wind project, Jan. 2003

Open letter #1 to environmentalists on behalf of the Cape Wind project, Dec. 2002

Wind power's benefits outweigh risks to scenery, Op-ed, Hill Country Observer, 2005

Letter to neocon intellectual Stanley Fish, Sept. 2007, zeroing in on the fatal flaw in his NY Times anti-wind op-ed published ten days earlier, that "Even if large wind farms were in place throughout the country, the electricity produced would be a very small percentage of the electricity we use."

Wind Power Works, Op-ed, Berkshire Eagle, Jan. 8, 2005

Exposing an Anti-Wind Fraudster, my 2008 letter to the publisher of the Adirondack Explorer, which had provided a platform for the nefarious anti-wind-power propagandist John Droz Jr.

Correspondence w/ Eleanor Tillinghast, a prominent western Massachusetts windpower opponent, in which, most notably, she refused to back up her false claim that wind turbines wouldn't reduce fossil fuel dependence, Fall 2004 (pdf)

Brief PowerPoint (5 slides) summarizing data and policy issues pertaining to U.S. wind power. Presented at May 2012 panel discussion on offshore (Atlantic Coast) wind power.

Non-technical paper rebutting false charge that wind turbines displace little or no fossil fuels, April, 2009