In writing a letter to you about my idea of putting wind turbines on the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, I recently discovered that Portland is in competition with Rhode Island in trying to have the carrier. A funding drive in Rhode Island is starting up in May to finance the move of the aircraft carrier from Philadelphia. This new development adds another argument about Portland having the JFK.

I believe Rhode Island is apparently trying to raise $200,000 to have the carrier. I can imagine Portland entrepreneurs will try to hit up Maine folks in a bidding war with Rhode Island for the “privilege” of having the carrier.

I can think of more worthy causes for folks to spend their hard-earned cash on than having the JFK behemoth looming over and dominating the Portland waterfront. If “Big John” ever comes to Portland and turned into a war museum, George Orwell will have been vindicated. ┬áIn his dystopian novel, 1984, Big Brother turned churches into war museums. Do Portlanders want their waterfront turned into a war museum?

Would it not be more creative and useful for Mainers to spend money to put at least one wind turbine on an unused fort in Portland Harbor or several turbines on some uninhabited islands in Casco Bay?

The JFK is, of course, a bullying and expensive symbol, along with its eleven sister carriers, of U.S. militarism and imperialism. It’s pure speculation, however, but anchored somewhere in Narraganset Bay or outer Portland harbor, the rusting hulk of the JFK could become the biblical ploughshare with wind turbines bolted or welded to its flight deck and still be a tourist attraction.

The flight deck is three football fields long and 252 feet at its extreme width. Portlanders can both glorify America’s past, although thoroughly tainted, and have a vision of a future with reduced global warming and dependence on oil.

Tom Sturtevant

Board member, Maine Veterans for Peace