The 4th annual Green Issues Summer Movie Series, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County and the Wabash College Library, was kicked off on Wednesday, June 26, with a well-attended screening of Cape Spin! (2012).

Cape Spin! is a documentary about the battles over a proposed 130-windmill wind farm in Nantucket sound, between Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard. Cape Wind, the company that will build and run the wind farm, first proposed the project in 2001 - it is yet to be built, but construction is currently scheduled to start in 2015. One week before our showing, a Danish pension fund announced that they will invest $200 million in the project, over 7% of the $2.6B that the project needs.

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, led by Audra Parker, is against the project. The Alliance claims to be in favor of green energy, but not in this location. Some argue that 130 windmills in the sound will be an eyesore, in a region that depends heavily on tourism. Some argue that it may be bad for the fishing industry or dangerous for boating (especially, as one character in the documentary claims, since the Sound is fogged in 185 days a year - but that would simultaneously make the eyesore less of an issue). The Alliance has allied with the Wampanoag Native American Nation - the Wampanoag call themselves "the people of the first light", and argue that the windmills will violate their sacred view of the sunrise.

Clean Power Now, led by Barbara Hill, is for the project, because it is an environmentally friendly source of power. The Department of the Interior found that there will be minimal ecological impact, Cape Air says the windmills will not adversely impact their air traffic, and the FAA reports that Otis AFB says the windmills should not interfere with their radar.

Cape Spin! contrasts the viewpoints of The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (including both Audra Parker and representatives of the Wampanoag Nation); Clean Power Now; reporters from the Boston Globe, the Cape Cod Times, and National Public Radio; Jim Gordon (president of Cape Wind); and people who have been injured by coal mining in West Virginia and who therefore are arguing in favor of non-coal energy sources. The documentary is a whirlwind of compelling arguments from all sides, yet all sides have such vested interests that it is hard to tell whose facts can be trusted. The Crawfordsville viewing audience was perhaps 1/3 for, 2/3 ambivalent, none against the project. A lively discussion ensued with local farmers who have looked into wind energy generation on their farms here in Montgomery County. Facts were presented about how few birds are killed by running into windmills as compared with those killed by cars, cats, or global warming. It was noted that the Cape Audubon society is in favor of Cape Wind.

More information about the film can be found at the film's website, The next Green Issues movie will be Island President on Tuesday, followed by Into Eternity on August 7. Both movies will be shown in Korb classroom, Wabash College Fine Arts Center, on South Grant Street at 7pm. The League of Women Voters and Wabash College Library offer this series at no cost, and all are welcome to attend.