The Best Defence Against the Wind Industry is the Truth


Remember all those glowing stories about wind power outfits being welcomed into rural communities with open arms? You know, tales about how farmers are dying to have turbines lined up all over their properties? How locals can’t wait to pick up some of the thousands of permanent, high paying jobs on offer? How developers are viewed with the kind of reverence reserved for Royalty?


We’ve forgotten them too.

If such a place ever existed? – it was probably just a case of one too many Single Malts, causing the usual senses to take an unscheduled break.

After years of being lied to, bullied, berated and treated like fools (at best) and “road-kill” (at worst), for most, the ‘gloss’ comprising wind industry PR efforts to ‘win hearts and minds’ has well and truly worn off.

These days, the communities aren’t so gullible; they aren’t so welcoming; and they aren’t willing to take it lying down.

Despite having the skills of the best spin doctors in the business at its disposal, it’s “outrage” that’s become the word synonymous with the wind industry, wherever it goes.

In short, rural communities have had enough – and they’re fighting back, by fair means and foul: Angry Wind Farm Victims Pull the Trigger: Turbines Shot-Up in Montana and Victoria

Instead of grabbing a hunting rifle and dosing a few turbines with hot lead, cooler heads have determined that the best way of stopping these things is with reasoned argument, based on facts and founded on evidence.

Mark Whitworth is one of them.

Mark is president of Energize Vermont, a statewide non-profit organization that promotes sensible energy policies for Vermont. Whitworth also serves on the Newark Planning Commission, the board of the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, and the NVDA’s Executive Committee. Whitworth was a member of the NVDA’s Wind Study Committee.

Here’s Mark detailing the facts that the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers hate.

Mark Whitworth: Send The Wind Developers Packing
Caledonian Recod
Mark Whitworth
15 September 2016

The more Vermonters learn about industrial wind turbines, the more their opposition grows. This is illustrated perfectly by the experience of the NVDA (Northeast Kingdom Development Association).

The NVDA is the regional planning commission for Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. In 2005 its regional energy plan said, “As a statement of policy, NVDA supports the construction of wind towers… Wind towers should be seen as beneficial to the region.”

Just 10 years later, after the Sheffield and Lowell turbines had begun operation, the NVDA’s board of directors accepted a study committee’s finding that the benefits of wind were dubious and did not outweigh the substantial negatives. The board, made up of the Kingdom’s legislative, business and civic leaders, unanimously approved a statement that concluded, “It is the position of the NVDA that no further development of industrial wind energy complexes should take place in the Northeast Kingdom.”

What have informed Vermonters learned about industrial wind turbines since 2005?

Are turbines combating climate change? No. Even the architects of Governor Shumlin’s wind energy policies have acknowledged that the policies will have no effect on climate change. In fact, wind development is degrading our natural defenses against the impacts of climate change by fragmenting wildlife habitat (thereby inhibiting climate adaptation and accelerating extinctions) and paving our ridgelines (increasing the vulnerability of our communities, farms, businesses, and roads to flooding from severe weather events).

Do turbines reduce greenhouse gas emissions? According to Green Mountain Power, the Lowell turbines avoid 74,000 tons of CO2 emissions over the course of a year. Does that sound like a lot? It’s not—-it’s the amount of carbon that New York City traffic produces in less than half a day. And for that, Peter Shumlin allowed GMP to pave a mountain and fragment an irreplaceable forest (burning untold amounts of fossil fuels in the process).

According the Department of Energy, Vermont’s per capita carbon emissions are third lowest in the country—about 1/13 of Wyoming’s. A 10 percent reduction in Wyoming’s emissions would be easier, less expensive, and have more impact on global emissions than a 10 percent reduction here. Yet wind developers are telling us that “we must all do our part” and “our part” involves sacrificing Vermont’s mountains.

Does wind create hundreds of jobs for Vermonters? No. Not even if you count the Burlington lawyers, Montpelier lobbyists, legislators, and government bureaucrats who work (or seem to work) for the wind companies.

Building a wind project provides some temporary local employment, but the good jobs go to specialists who travel across the country, from project to project like a traveling medicine show.

Remember the guy who tipped his truck over while driving a piece of a wind tower from Island Pond to Lowell? He was a specialist from Texas. Remember the crane operator who rescued him? He was a specialist from Massachusetts. Millie, the waitress that served them lunch? She is from Vermont. She said they were lousy tippers. You want to bet that Millie is counted among Governor Shumlin’s “thousands of clean energy workers?”

As the turbines age and breakdowns become more frequent, Vermonters will see more frequent visits from these out-of-state specialists. Millie will see more bad tips.

Do wind turbines affect the health of neighbors? The Vermont Department of Health acknowledges that turbines make noise, noise can disturb sleep, and disturbed sleep can cause depression as well as cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal problems. But, the Department of Health has been unable to connect the dots between turbine operations and the sick neighbors around each of Vermont’s three Big Wind facilities.

Turbines produce three types of noise that can annoy neighbors, disturb their sleep, and make them sick: audible noise, low-frequency noise (low rumbling that is felt as well as heard), and infrasound (that can affect people who are prone to motion sickness).

Are turbines noisy? Absolutely. The Public Service Department has found that two of Vermont’s Big Wind facilities have exceeded audible noise limits. They are investigating the third for reported violations. Upon visiting a Georgia Mountain turbine neighbor’s home, Vermont Senator Brian Campion “found the sound made by the turbines as too loud.” Vermont has no limits on low-frequency noise or infrasound.

Vermont’s wind operators brag that noise complaints have dropped off. The turbines have not gotten quieter—the neighbors don’t bother to complain anymore because the complaint processes are cumbersome and neither the wind companies nor the state ever take meaningful corrective action.

Do wind turbines lower property values? The listers in Barton and Georgia think so: Barton lowered the assessed values of homes that have a view of the Sheffield turbines and Georgia lowered assessments for homes that are affected by noise from Georgia Mountain.

Does wind reduce our use of fossil fuels? No. Wind is intermittent and requires a back-up; in New England natural gas is used as the backup. Continued wind development will extend our commitment to gas-fired electricity generation well into the future.

Won’t we need wind to power our electric vehicles? No. How many electric vehicles do see on Vermont roads? They are not yet suitable for use here. The turbines at Sheffield and Lowell will be headed for the scrap heap before electric cars and pickup trucks are in widespread use in Vermont. Far less destructive options than wind will be available then.

Don’t we need more wind to meet our statutory energy goals? No. We can meet our renewable energy goals with hydro and well-sited solar. And don’t forget, the turbines we have now aren’t even contributing to our goals—Vermont wind RECs are being sold so that Massachusetts and Connecticut can meet their goals.

Are wind developers altruists who are fighting to save the planet? No. They are sanctimonious poseurs who are getting rich by selling a snake-oil that worsens the disease. They are proposing destructive projects that Vermont towns don’t want and Vermont’s utilities don’t need. It is time to send them packing.
Caledonian Record


About stopthesethings

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


  1. Hi,

    I started a PETITION “SA PREMIER JAY WEATHERILL : Demand the RESIGNATION of the Energy Minister for HIGH POWER PRICES CAUSING SA’s JOBS CRISIS and 15,000 household POWER DISCONNECTIONS, frequent POWER BLACKOUTS and the JULY 2016 POWER CRISIS” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

    Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support.

    You can read more and sign the petition here:

    Please share this petition with anyone you think may be interested in signing it.

    Thankyou for your time.

  2. Jackie Rovensky says:

    The problem is we still have too many farmers finding the financial benefits – to them – out-ways any other consideration.
    I do not know which paper the article I read was from but it was written by a Peter Hunt. It stated RES are seeking to build 116 turbines on 17 farmers/property’s in the Murra Warra, region of Victoria, these 17 include David Jochinke who is the Victorian Farmers Federation. That his role in this organization was in the article appears to give the impression the Federation is supportive of these things. Is he representing himself or all members of this Federation?
    Also in the article another one of the ‘chosen’ 17 said “clearly the turbines lead to a loss of prime agricultural land:…”of course on the other side there’s financial reward”.
    This is the mentality we are fighting, its the mentality the industry is praying on.
    The promised 250-300 jobs in construction is a draw – but these are just short term jobs and will not stop young people leaving the district. The 10 -15 ongoing, are they full-time, do they include the farmers who will be picking up the dead birds, and maybe even the weed control, that is are they new jobs or are people already working going to be undertaking them?
    The 400MW capacity is said to provide energy to 220,000 homes – are there that many in the district and is that a figure on capacity 24/7 operation – a figure that can never be achieved. If this project is eventually funded by the ACT, will those 220,000 homes be notionally in the ACT?
    The poor misguided and delusional farmers believe because they have banded together and negotiated with RES with respect to the location of turbines, do they not realize the site turbine positioning plans put for approval are always subject to change?
    The recognition that prime agricultural land will be lost, at last puts to the knife the industries cry that it does not remove prime land from use.
    At one time it was understandable that farmers and others were willing to have these turbines, they did not know the full story, the story which tells of harm to environment, health, production, and ecology. Or that they are useless in providing anything like their stated capacity on even a few occasions per year.
    Now they have no excuse, to accept them on their land is simply for the money they receive. They have no concern for the community, in or saving even their own corner of the world from destruction – actually they destroy it quicker than any Climate Change is doing – when a President of a Federation meant to represent all its members uses the title to promote these things is a disgrace – Useful to RES his ‘paymaster’ though.

  3. Excellent letter! Let’s hope the truth sets our mountains free.

  4. Reblogged this on Patti Kellar.

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