Editor's note: The Republican Journal does not fact-check opinion columns. This column reflects the writer's opinion and personal research.

Will Nordic Farms ever build their salmon farm? The outcome of other proposed developments in the Midcoast region suggests the answer is no. The current opposition to Nordic is reminiscent of the past battles over Mack Point, Sears Island and LNG. In every case, the naysayers won. It seems unlikely that the Nordic outcome will be any different. Consider this look back in history:

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Midcoast was an economic wasteland. The chicken processing industry that once made Belfast the "Broiler Capital of the World” was moving out. Sardine plants were closing up.

Given those circumstances, the idea of a deep-water cargo port on Sears Island seemed to make a lot of sense. It would bring good jobs and open up all kinds of import/export opportunities for Maine businesses. The state of Maine obtained all the necessary permits and construction began. Despite opposition, the causeway, port access road and part of the wharf were constructed.

Then in 1982 the court granted the Sierra Club a temporary injunction to stop the development. The Sierra Club had successfully argued that the Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the state, Army Corp of Engineers and the EPA was defective in that it had not considered every “reasonably foreseeable” industry that might pop up on Sears Island once the cargo port was open. Rather, the agencies only evaluated the impact of the four “light-dry” uses for which the cargo port was specifically being developed.

Now, I love that Sears Island is not developed. It is a great place to enjoy the coast without battling hordes of tourists. But the court’s decision was analogous to stopping Nordic because their permitting process evaluated only the impact of raising salmon and not the possibility that someday Nordic might raise trout. Pretty silly.

By 1990 the Sears Island cargo port project was abandoned, leaving piles of steel beams rusting in the fields near a half-finished wharf, Maine’s taxpayers with zero return on their substantial investment and the Midcoast with no new jobs (unless you were a lawyer).

Twenty years later, when my wife and I visited family in Wilmington, North Carolina, we saw firsthand how a robust deepwater port could co-exist with the “creative economy” and ecotourism.

Wilmington is a world-class destination for movie and TV show shoots. The area is rich in antebellum and post-Civil War history and tourism is big business. While we were there, the annual Azalea Festival (an event similar to Bangor’s American Folk Festival) was in full swing. The River Walk, located in the historic downtown area, provides access to dozens of restaurants, art galleries, narrated river cruises and sport fishing charters.

It was aboard one of those sightseeing boats that I watched mountains of wood chips being moved by huge conveyors and loaded into the holds of giant cargo ships. The cruise captain explained the wood chips were headed for Argentina. Imagine how such a port on Sears Island would have invigorated Maine’s wood products industry.

Twenty or so years after the Sears Island debacle, ConocoPhillips (aka DCP Midstream) set out to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility on Mack Point in Searsport. DCP worked for years to successfully procure the needed state and federal permits, including a permit from the Army Corp of Engineers.

This time the “local” opposition was even better organized (and funded). Never mind the LNG tank would be just another, albeit much bigger, storage tank on an existing industrial site. The naysayers began a campaign of fear and exaggeration (sound familiar?). I actually had a local business owner tell me the tank was going to be so big, its shadow would block out the sun and turn his restaurant parking lot into an ice-covered disaster.

In fact, the 140-foot-tall tank would have been near the shoreline, more than a half-mile to the east and about 80 feet below his property. The opposition speculated that: the increased tanker traffic in Penobscot Bay would raise havoc with fishing gear, one of the LNG tankers might explode, the storage tank itself might catch fire, truck traffic on Route 1 would lead to gridlock, and so on.

In 2013, Searsport officially said “No Thanks to the Tank” and DCP said see ya. I believe there were legitimate reasons to oppose the LNG tank, just as there are reasons to oppose Nordic. Fortunately, there is a lawful process in place to hear everyone’s concerns and measure the proposed Nordic development against the relevant laws and regulations.

But, once again, that process has been usurped and what we have is a public mudslinging circus, much of it played out in this paper and on social media. Like Sears Island and DCP, I expect Nordic will pull out, leaving Belfast residents still burdened with some of the highest tax bills and fastest-rising tax rates in the state (69th highest taxes, 75th fastest escalation of Maine’s 498 municipalities).

When you get your next tax bill, don’t despair: a nice long walk on Sears Island will dull the pain.

This Month’s I Told You So: A recently released study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a direct relationship between the amount of screen time and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Shocker!

The two-year study monitored a group of more than 2,500 high school students and showed their ability to pay attention waned as they became increasingly involved in digital media platforms (aka “smartphones”).

Yesterday I saw a young mother and her toddler in Hannaford. The baby was holding a “smartphone.” Not a rattle, not a binky (pacifier), not some grocery item covertly snagged off the shelf, not a free cookie — a smartphone.

Let the digital media addiction begin. Can the child’s diagnoses of “ADHD” be far behind?

Randall Poulton lives in Winterport. He writes a monthly column for The Republican Journal.