Want Hate-Filled Communities? Then Just Add Wind Farms

farm protest

The wind industry, its parasites and spruikers keep telling us that rural communities are falling over themselves to get in on some wind farm action. However, as usual, their spin and the reality on the ground are miles apart.

Nancy Tips details how wind farms destroy the trust and faith that make vibrant and prosperous rural communities tick.

Lessons about community from Windham
Burlington Free Press
Nancy Tips
7 April 2016

It has become a cliche to say, towns targeted for industrial wind installations are torn apart by the experience. If it’s an experience you haven’t had, you might well wonder what’s behind the cliche. If you really want to understand, you might start by asking the question, what is the nature of the bonds that hold a community together in the first place?

I don’t know about your small town, but in ours, neighborly bonds tend to be of the feel-good type: I do you a kindness and we both benefit. You break your leg? I plow your drive. Your weed whacker is in the shop? I lend you mine. Your brother dies? I go to the funeral, even if I didn’t know him. What a dandy fellow I am, and everyone knows it.

These small acts of kindness do indeed build a sense of community. But as with other relationships, you don’t really know your community until the chips are down.

You don’t know what “for better or for worse” means until you get to the “worse” part. You quickly find out, when a wind developer comes knocking on your community door.

It’s very bad times, at least for some people. And the fact that people are differently affected depending on where they live is, it turns out, at the heart of what you learn about “community.”

You learn when the friend from over the way regards you with a steely gaze when you tell him, “My home, and my family’s home, are a half mile from five 500-foot tall wind turbines.” “I feel for you,” says your friend, quickly changing the subject.

You learn when you try to explain that your fear and sadness are keeping you awake. “All my family’s wealth is in our family farm, which would lie less than 3,000 feet from five 40-story wind turbines. We won’t be able to live here, and the land owner and developer have said they wouldn’t compensate anyone for lost use of their property.” “Please,” chuckles your friend, “it won’t be that bad.”

You learn when you look at the people who are fighting as hard as you are to stop the wind turbine project and realize that the project will probably not affect them so personally, but that they care about their neighbors who will be harmed. And you know they will be next to you, blocking the road, if the day comes when the unimaginably huge trucks arrive with wind turbine parts.

In our little town, we’ve spent nearly four years watching the company reps of the wind developer, an immense multi-national, mosey about on our ridgeline, trying to answer their precious question, is the “wind resource” on your pristine ridgeline enough for us to make lots of money by putting turbines here?

But we have a question too, and although we’ve looked equally hard for the answer, we can’t find it.

Our question is, what will happen to us, as individuals and as a community, if the developer does decide we’re good enough to “host” their project? Who will care for our tattered community, and our damaged lives?

That there is no answer to, or even interest in, our question does not feel good – it feels abusive, unjust. It feels vicious, violent. It feels as if Vermont, my entire family’s beloved adopted home, were the most dangerous place in the world for me and my family to live.

So the days go on, lessons abounding. I learn about mercy, for instance, when I hear my husband on the phone with a “friend,” explaining that turbine noise at a distance of less than half a mile stands a good chance of affecting the development of my infant grandson’s brain. Then I hear my husband, suddenly fierce, say, “I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me!”

Well you know what, my friend? I am asking you to feel sorry for me. I am asking you, god forbid, to have pity on me. I am asking for your mercy. Your answer will tell me something very important about “community.”
Burlington Free Press

protesters

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Squirrel says:

    In Scotland wind farms are dividing communities turning neighbour against neighbour. The money fed into communities by wind farm developers does not compensate for this. In reality this money further divides the community because there is often disagreement regarding how it should be spent. In our small village the land owning farmers, their families and friends are generally for these developments because they stand to make a vast amount of money. The rest of us are left reeling. We feel hurt and betrayed that our neighbours could do this to us. The beautiful land so precious in Scotland is being destroyed, local roads are being crushed by the thousands of heavy construction lorries and lives are in turmoil. Turbines are too close to homes and the rural landscape and tourism so vital to Scotland’s economy is being ruined. In Scotland wind farm developers still keep up the pretence that they are only doing this to mitigate climate change but we all know it is really about making huge sums of money on the back of UK taxpayers who are footing the bill for this industrial fiasco.

  2. Some of the members of the Greens Party here in Victoria have had the good grace to actually listen and believe my and the many stories of heartbreak caused by wind farms in rural communities. The parties response to their questioning the policies around renewable energy which harms people and allows harm to continue was totally inadequate and unacceptable, so they cancelled their membership. The refusal of the leaders and majority of the Party to acknowledge the rift being caused and the physical, emotional, economic and environmental damage being done by wind turbines has been dis-believable, disheartening. This persistent willful blindness across the divide only hardens ones personal courage and resolve to be active in protecting rural rights being stripped away in this era of the green blinded wind rush. The Wind Farm Commissioner may not have the rights of real power as a Prime Minister; but he has the right as an Australian citizen to intelligently and firmly stand up to counter the persistent and unconstitutional blindness, and make history as the first Wind Farm Commissioner to fairly represent and be seen to be pro-active in supporting those of us being so disastrously impacted by wind farms. This position and role may not carry the power to make changes but it would surely carry the responsibility and obligations usually associated with independent engagements to abide by and be accountable for.

    • In Canada, the leader of the Greens, Elizabeth May, took part in a debate with Professor Tim Ball, a leading figure here, in exposing the alarmist climate change errors. I followed it on wattsupwiththat.org and watched the comments coming in, before, during and after the debate. Elizabeth May clearly lost the debate and yet she still hasn’t changed her tune.
      At the very least, the Green Party should be demanding safe and socially just renewables!

  3. Jackie Rovensky says:

    Attitude of the industry expressed in this article reminds me of the comment made by Acciona at a community information stint at the Allendale East Community Hall – when asked would they stop the project if everyone said they did not want it – the answer was NO they will still install it!!!!!!!
    Obviously they don’t care what those destined to be adversely affected in many different ways want.
    The reason these invaders say the overwhelming number of locals are happy is conveniently claimed without a factual base. When Acciona had a survey undertaken to gage the sentiment of the ‘local’; community. The survey was undertaken by telephone, people living as 50km were included. The survey consisted of drawing circles from the epicentre of the project increasing in size as they moved further away. Naturally this meant the least number of people closest to the project were contacted with the most called being at the greatest distance and would not be directly affected therefore said they had no objection to it..
    The result had no baring on what those living closest to the project thought about it, but it was a convenient result for Acciona.
    As many people will know this project did not go ahead after a mighty fight in the ERD court by a Dairy Farmer, Richard Paltridge, who would have been in close and direct danger from turbines over looking his home and dairy as well as surrounding his fields.
    Just yesterday someone said the me the problem is the children of today will tomorrow have grown up with these things and think nothing of them – they’ll not know what is meant when people say they remember how quiet our rural and regional areas used to be.
    But the quiet isn’t the only thing they will not know, they will not know the sound of a croaking frog, a tweeting bird, the little mounds in the earth where bugs surface at night, they not see the flocks of birds of all shapes and sizes fly across the sky and land to graze in the fields and backyards, they’ll not see the tracks of lizards, snakes, echidna, wallaby’s and more, because they will have all gone. They will not know the grandeur of hills mountains, escarpments and distant views without the scaring from massive industrial machinery.
    Here in SA the Adelaide Hills face looking from the coast has for years been protected because of its beauty, but our State Government doesn’t care about the rest of the State’s beautiful vistas – they can be destroyed in the name of progress, they can be destroyed not by a few houses hidden behind trees, but by massive industrial machinery which does not stand unobtrusively on our skyline but stands as testimony to stupidity and greed.
    Communities need to keep coming together to form strong barriers which these companies find difficult to climb over, they need to arm themselves with every bit of information they can. In the article is mentioned that the company says even with more powerful turbines they will still meet the noise standards. Have they provided proof, do the standards take into account infra-sound and Low Frequency noise/sounds, as with out that being written in to ‘Standards’ they standards are of no value – which is the case throughout the world and communities need to keep pressuring their Governments to have this common failure of the Standards used by Companies corrected.
    Keep up the fight and as a world pressure group good we can make things happen.

  4. This article speaks to an aspect of this incursion that I feel very strongly about. Thanks to Nancy Tips for the courage to initiate this sort of conversation.
    At a time when people all over the globe are being sucked into cities/human settlements in pursuit of money, those who are confined to such a setting are becoming woefully out of touch with nature. Children are being raised with no idea of how to interact with nature on an excursion out of their limited experience within their concrete structures and paved surfaces. They’ve been fed a constant diet of entertainment that has distorted their sense of reality.
    I seriously fear for our collective future if this pattern is not reversed.
    This ridiculous wind industry incursion, orchestrated by our hypocritical ‘environmentally conscientious’ ministers and their pawns and ushered in by our paid and elected municipal ‘leaders’, desperate for money, will one day be recognized as the turning point. People resisting this disaster are rural renaissance heroes.
    The characters in Ontario, who have done the research on all of the various aspects of this imposition and are standing up firmly against this government’s attempt to make our countryside uninhabitable, are making history. People who are not being impacted directly by these turbines and their infrastructure but who are coming forth and saying, “This is wrong!” and lending their support are demonstrating the spirit that will revitalize our communities and reverse this disastrous agenda.

  5. A couple of day’s ago in the Australian Senate, the ABCT bill was debated. The bill was to stop alleged corruption in the building and construction industries. One Senator said “that the commission had too much power and was concerned about people’s rights”. Today the Prime Minister of Australia announced that he is giving ASIC more money and more power to combat illegal activity. How strange, wind turbine victims have no rights whatsoever and the new wind turbine commissioner has no powers at all. Seems to me if you want to stamp something out you give commissions and tribunals power. Leave it to you to work out the rest!!!

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