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Social Conservatism & Energy Enlightenment on the Kansas Prairie

Earlier this summer I revisited Cloud County, the staunchly conservative farming and ranching community in kansas where, nine years ago, I began exploring windpower's American ascent. On my return trip in June, I was searching for a few strands of hope that might help us span the gaping political chasm separating red and blue America.

Two articles emerged from this journey.  The first, "Reaching Across the Political Chasm," appeared on Beacon Broadside, the blog of my publisher Beacon Press.  In it I probe points of polarization as well as prospects for pursuing common ground on a number of social and political issues.  In the second, I call upon my fellow Bay Staters to look with awe, but not shame, at the much greater progress Kansas has made in moving windpower to center-stage as a source of clean electricity. What Kansas has succeeded in planting in its fields and pastures we can replicate in our ocean waters as we launch Massachusetts' first deployment of offshore windpower. This piece, "What Red State Kansas Can Teach Blue State Mass. About Renewable Energy," ran a few days ago in WBUR's online magazine Cognoscenti.