It didn't take long for the "debate" over an offshore wind power zone on the Illawarra coast to go fully divisive.
Offshore wind is something new to this region, and as you'd expect there's some concern about the impact of 100 turbines more than 200m high on the Illawarra's greatest asset: its coastline.
But we haven't even finished the first of multiple consultation periods and already people are being demonised.
Take this from South Coast Labor Council secretary Arthur Rorris, who went out hard and early in support of offshore wind and reached immediately for the class war rhetoric.
"When I hear wealthy landowners on the coast, whose main concern is what they consider to be their rights to this unblemished view of the ocean, and they're asking coal miners and blue collar workers to sacrifice their careers, I say, 'Get real,'" Rorris said.
He posted this on Facebook where, Facebook being Facebook, soon the abuse of these "wealthy landowners" followed.
"Let the grubs burn I say" came a comment on the South Coast Labor Council page - under a fake name of course.
Bang. Just like that, a citizen voicing concern about a huge industrial project quickly becomes an elite snob, and even worse, a grub, who deserves to burn.
The heavy implication is that their opinion shouldn't count, which pretty much defeats the point of a consultation period - but maybe that's the idea.
But painting wind farm sceptics as "wealthy landowners" is not only divisive, it's just plain wrong.
Does anyone think only rich people go to the beach?
Of course not. The beach is a great leveller of privilege and disadvantage. It's free, and there for all (as long as you have the means to get there). Does this really need to be said?
More was to come. Some people worry about the impact on whales, because the huge turbines would sit smack bang in the humpbacks' twice-annual coastal migration route.
These people were labelled "Trumpist" because the former US president recently claimed that wind turbines were sending whales "batty" and "causing whales to die in numbers never seen before". False, of course.
This sledging - again from Rorris - was again meant to discredit people, and again way off the mark.
I'd guess the great majority of people who care about whales would no sooner follow Donald Trump than have a coal-fired turbine in their own bedroom.
Read more: Don't trash our ocean plea on offshore wind
Trump was attacking renewable energy. Many who care about whales want more renewable energy.
Mr Rorris's dedication to a cause, and to the interests of the Illawarra, has been proved time and again over decades. But these divisive comments aren't what we need - and aren't factually correct.
Lies and misinformation infecting the debate does no-one any good and is the scourge of our political times. And there is certainly an element of Q-Anon style organised misinformation appearing from some elements. But that doesn't mean every citizen who raises concerns is part of it.
Wind farms in Australia - off-and onshore - have often caused debate about whether they are an "eyesore" or a graceful sign of a smarter society.
Often the sceptic side has been led by allies of the fossil fuel industries. That is not the case here, as consultation sessions have shown.
For many people their relationship with the beach and the ocean is something close to spiritual. They don't all live next to the water, they're not all wealthy - and it doesn't matter if they are.
Many people take climate change seriously, want green manufacturing jobs, but don't want 100 towers more than 200m tall just off their coast.
They have seen the visual impact in Europe and don't want that as the view for the rest of their lives. They shouldn't be demonised for that.
Many people in the Illawarra have come out in support of the offshore wind plans, with various reasons.
Some have seen the visual impact and think if that's the price to combat climate change, it's better than mining and burning coal or gas. Others don't care much about the impact on the ocean, or on people - because the climate or jobs benefits are huge. They shouldn't be demonised either.
Renewable energy is not only smart, it's absolutely necessary if we are to slow the impact of climate change. Port Kembla is an ideal location. But any project, especially one this huge, deserves a proper assessment of its environmental impact.
It's more than bizarre to see people in the Illawarra turning on each other over something that could deliver for the common good.
Does nailing your colours so hard to the mast so early, before the plan has even taken shape, lessen the leverage we could have over this kind of project?
Community objections in Newcastle and Port Stephens just succeeded in getting that region's offshore wind zone shifted and changed in shape. Why should the Illawarra not advocate for the best outcome here?
We can argue for a setup that best suits this region - whether it be moving the turbines further out to sea, further down the coast, guaranteed local electricity reservation, and so on.
We're smart enough to consider and plan for offshore wind farms that deliver energy and jobs, and minimise adverse impacts on the environment and people.
And we can do it without being so divisive.
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