Editor’s Log: Fly The Flag - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Fly The Flag

Last week I was sitting at my desk, just going through my daily grind when Bill Thompson called. For those who don’t know, Bill is the co-founder and vice president of Green Oceans, a grassroots organization that is taking on offshore wind. He was trying to get the word out about a new initiative to raise awareness among all people, but with special emphasis on mariners and fishermen. It’s a fact that what we’ve been told about offshore wind and what the actual truth is are vastly different and furthermore, this ‘carefully curated’ version of the truth we’re being fed by most media outlets has continued to change over time, it’s like they’re trying to make us believe that we knew this all along, but don’t be fooled. The only way to describe these subversive tactics is cowardly and underhanded.

There was some banter about staging some kind of ‘strength in numbers’ show of support, but as I spoke to more people close to the movement, I kept hearing the same thing, ‘you need to talk to Ralph.’

If you’ve never met Ralph Craft of Crafty One Custom Rods in Portsmouth, RI let me just tell you that there’s something about this guy that you just can’t help but like. He’s the definition of a “no BS” kind of guy, he’s always going to tell it like it is and he’s not going to pull any punches, but he’s also the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back if he knew you needed it. He’s a rare blend of intimidating and kind. He’s probably going to kill me for writing that…

When I walked into his tackle shop and started asking about the build up to this protest that seemed to be in the making, he just shook his head, “This is not a protest. When I think ‘protest’ I think Palestine or things like that, we’re doing this to raise awareness. And there’s not going to be any big gathering, we want fishermen, commercial and rec, we want sailors and kayakers, shore fishermen… to be out there doing what they love but we want to see these flags of opposition flying everywhere. At sea, at the dock, on the road on someone’s front lawn. It’s about awareness, because most people don’t really even know what’s going on out there.”

He went on to say, “I had a local guy walk in here the other day and he was very polite about it, but he came in here and told me that I didn’t know what I was talking about regarding offshore wind. He said, ‘it’s only a couple-hundred windmills… what’s the big deal?’ I told him ‘actually you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s over 2,000 windmills’, and when I showed him the proof, he apologized and I think his mind changed, right there. That’s the biggest problem we’re facing; most people don’t really know the scope of what’s being done out there. They don’t know it covers an area one-and-a-half times the size of Rhode Island, they don’t know how big the turbines are and they don’t know that their property value is going to go down and that their electricity costs are going to go through the roof!”

In a showing of silent and peaceful objection, Ralph and a few partners have purchased a pile of flags that show a black wind turbine crossed out behind a red circle. They are asking anyone that cares about the ocean and the environment and who oppose the lies that have been propped up to ‘polish and prettify’ the atrocities that are offshore wind to fly this flag to raise awareness. They are asking for a $20 donation to cover their costs, you can pick them up at the shop (1980 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI) or pay over the phone (401-293-0477) and they will ship.

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