What have we on the Central Coast wrought?

May 26, 2023

Floating windmill designs


There are times in our lives that the universe stares us straight in the face and delivers a powerful message, one that if recognized, has the power to elicit a personal existential crisis: a crisis so demanding that everything up to that time seems to be leading us to a place of understanding and is the focal point for action.

It is what I would call a “critical mass” experience. Three days ago, in of all places, Sacramento at the Pacific Offshore Wind Conference, I had such an experience. As I exited the conference building in search of fresh air and a way to mentally process and reconcile what I had been hearing, I looked up to see a powerful sculpture with the words ‘What have we wrought?” written underneath. This simple question shook me to my core.

What have we wrought? Although I so wanted it to be the answer, I now believe the world of offshore wind is one in which just like other big energy enterprises, profit supersedes humanity, and all other living beings are expendable.

Will we continue down the path to this world where big business and governments use an environmental crisis termed “climate change” to dupe the public into accepting an ill-advised, costly, unproven and destructive technology? A world where the term “acceptable mortality” is tossed around without understanding what that mortality represents and its effects on an ecosystem? A world where the wasteful American public cares more about their creature comforts, (having all three tv’s, junior’s play station, countless appliances, and mom’s hair dryer all running at once) and supporting an incredibly wasteful energy industry that is decimating marine species and killing off countless migrating birds?

I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to live in such a world and I refuse to condone creating a new energy industry that embraces just such ideals!

Many locals are not aware that offshore wind leases have been signed by three separate companies encompassing 376 square miles 20 miles offshore, in the area between Morro Bay and Cambria. This area is one of the most productive and pristine marine environments in the world. These proposed floating offshore wind facilities could not be located in a more damaging area.

They are smack dab in the middle of both marine mammal and fish migratory paths, and are additionally right on the Pacific flyway, a major avian migratory route.

The damage wrought by citing and operating these huge turbines will be considerable and devastating to already dwindling wildlife populations. We’re talking a footprint the size of the giant stadium, for each of hundreds of turbines with heights of over 1000 feet, almost twice as tall as Morro Rock.

The feds, the state and the numerous energy companies drooling to be part of the windfarm windfall, collectively have not learned from the industry’s past mistakes which include citing power generation facilities in coastal communities where damage to the wildlife has been ongoing for decades, and facilities and grid transmission infrastructure is subject to the extreme damage and costly degradation that a marine environment can wreak.

In 2014, the EPA determined that the cooling systems, called “once through cooling”, used by virtually all coastal power plants, were so damaging to the marine environment that they were banned in favor of newer best available technologies. They determined that no new systems be permitted, citing damage to marine species as their number one justification.

The damage offshore wind will do to the entire water column during construction phases, and the destruction of larger marine species and migrating birds during operation of these floating wind turbines dwarfs the impacts of the old-style coastal facilities. How incredibly shortsighted and anthropocentric of all involved.

Please don’t be a part of the voiceless majority going forward on this issue. I encourage all to be part of this process. Learn about potential impacts to the environment and how this offshore wind industry can change our Central Coast forever. It will industrialize our lovely “Old California” coastal communities and be another “business-as-usual” big energy industry.

There is a webinar on the issue by the California Energy Commission (CEC) on June 8 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Get online and register, but keep in mind that this is by no means a discussion without pro-wind bias. We can use our heads for something besides a hat rack, can we not??

“What have we wrought?” is a question of the past. What I want to know is how can we learn from our mistakes and head into a future where all species are taken into consideration and energy solutions reflect that care and respect.

You have a choice!  You have a voice!

Mandy Davis is a Los Osos resident, who has battled for years to protect our oceans.

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I agree we have to do everything we can to protect the planet but the US Government has been pushing this climate change !NOW ! scenerio on us while the rest of the world is still polluting everything so we pay the price while others reap the rewards. I would be more afraid of China, N. Korea ,Iran and Russia of nuking the world first negating any climate change policy we put in place.

If nuclear holocaust negates everything… might as well make a mess of everything while we’re here then?

More than US gov’t, try the entire collection of western democracies.

If we want to get out of climate change, we need to stop being provincial.

Western democracies need to reduce energy usage (100 times per capita greater than undeveloped world’s per capita), while maintaining economic growth and quality of life. Western economies need to develop their energy resources including wind, solar, petroleum, hydro, nuclear. The US alone won’t work. Eco-idealism won’t work. Collective intelligent planning should. The US should be cooperative with other western nations. Mully, you are stuck in antigov’t thinking. Libertarianism will not work.

Financially, too much of our funds are going to tyrannies, who would nuke us in an instant, if they thought they could get away with it.

Making $ is the way humans motivate behavior. Eco-idealism is ineffective and appallingly hypocritical. Solutions involve compromises.

Emotions trumping reality here 100%.

How do any of you Right Wing trolls here expect to be taken seriously when you just lie about things that can be SO easily checked? Stop blindly accepting what you hear on News Max.


Continuing to burn fossil fuels is a far greater problem for the world’s oceans than offshore wind farms. The ocean absorbs almost one-third of carbon emissions each year and has taken in almost all of the heat caused by global warming over the last 50 years.

Increased carbon causes the ocean to become more acidic, making it harder for some species like lobsters and crabs to form their shells. Scientists believe that climate change is responsible for the decline of the Great Barrier Reef. Moreover, rising sea temperatures are causing a series of problems, including loss of sea ice, more frequent, intense storms and marine heat waves that can kill millions of animals.

I certainly respect the letter writer’s point of view. The loss of marine habitats is a key issue and I believe it is being studied. As of this month, however, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said,

At NOAA Fisheries, we work with our partners to analyze and understand the causes of death when we are able, following the science and data. At this point, there is no evidence to support speculation that noise resulting from wind development-related site characterization surveys could potentially cause mortality of whales, and no specific links between recent large whale mortalities and currently ongoing surveys.”

Back east there has been a die off of about two dozen humpback whales around New York and New Jersey where a new offshore wind farm has begun operating. Right now, scientists see no correlation, but it is still being studied.

I do appreciate the letter writer’s passion about this subject, but I lament the fact that she would blame the “American Public” for its energy needs. It is the kind of argument which has no place in a thoughtful discussion on this topic.

Anyway, here’s a great article that features the pros and cons of this issue:


Mandy Davis is a Los Osos resident”

And a tour guide in the bay and surrounding area. “Mandy is uniquely qualified to deliver a fun, informative and professional tour for all ages.”

When one is attempting to shape public economic/environmental policy it is disingenuous not to mention your own industry/economic ties.

Artificial flavor added.

I agree with you, 100%, Mandy. The support this movement makes a mockery of the supposed environmentalists who for years have claimed the high ground in caring for animals, our air and water and the Earth we share. You cite the issues with the monster wind machines that will kill seabirds, whales, and all manner of other sea life. But don’t forget about the giant battery farm that’s slated for Morro bay. I once stood beneath a plume of smoke at a lithium battery plant fire in San Jose. The black blanket was floating about 100 feet above the ground. The firefighter beside me said, “good thing it’s up there. If it was down here, we’d all be dead.” Check the daily news for all the reports of lithium batteries spontaneously bursting into flames in scooters, phones, Teslas, and other vehicles and devices and then imagine what’s in store for us with the world’s largest lithium battery storage facility slated to be built in Morro Bay. And the clowns in SACTO and D.C. can’t wait to see it become a reality.

We are going to destroy the planet earth trying to eliminate carbon output…. how ironic would that be…..

The climate radicals tell us this is what need to charge all these batteries.