These postings are provided to help publicize the efforts of affiliated groups and individuals related to industrial wind energy development. Most of the notices posted here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch.
Aesthetics, Announcements, Economics, Maine, Publications •
Source: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations
Some of America’s most corrupt politicians can be found in the windswept wilds of Maine. The Pine Tree State rates next-to-last in citizens’ trust of their legislators according to the Gallup Poll (April 4, 2014), and the Center for Public Integrity gives the state an F for corruption. Maine politicians appropriate taxpayer funds for their own companies, while governors pass legislation for huge energy projects which they then create companies to run. And energy companies write laws protecting their projects, laws that are obligingly passed verbatim by politicians who receive major payoffs from these companies.
The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting recently revealed that former state Senate President Justin Alfond introduced bills in the Senate written entirely by energy industry lawyers, after the industry awarded him with major donations to his Political Action Committee, funds which he then used to pay other Democrats so they would vote for him as state Senate President.
Similarly, hedge fund billionaire Donald Sussman, until recently the owner of most Maine newspapers, and the recipient of $200 million in taxpayer bailouts, was a major funder of an energy company now destroying Maine’s mountains, and whose previous Italian partners have been jailed in the largest Mafia bust in Italian history. His wife, Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, helped former Maine governor Angus King get a fraudulent $102 million taxpayer loan for energy projects he then made millions on, some of which he then used to buy his current seat in the US Senate.
This scandalous real-life situation is the setting for best-selling author Mike Bond’s newest super-thriller, KILLING MAINE (Mandevilla Press, July 22, 2015; $14.99.) Bond’s most popular character, internationally known surfer and Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins, leaves the sun-drenched beaches of Hawaii for Maine’s brutal winter to help his former SF buddy Bucky Franklin who has been charged with murder. Pono quickly learns that Maine is as politically corrupt as Hawaii, with multinational corporations buying up the state’s scenic mountains and purchasing its politicians at bargain prices. Pono is hunted, shot at, betrayed and stalked by knife-wielding assassins as he tries to find the real murderer. Nothing is certain. No one can be trusted. No place is safe. The woman he loves vanishes and he is charged with her disappearance. And with a rap sheet that includes two underserved jail sentences, Pono is a target for every cop in Maine.
MIKE BOND is a best-selling novelist who has covered death squads, guerrilla wars and military dictatorships in Latin America and Africa; Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and Europe; and environmental issues worldwide. A Maine native whose family has lived there since the 1600s, he has written a book for the Sierra Club on Maine’s Allagash River and has been active in numerous other battles to protect Maine’s magnificent and endangered outdoors. Bond writes and gives frequent testimony and interviews worldwide on wilderness protection, endangered species, elephant poaching, wolves, whales, tigers, raptors, rain forests, climate change, renewable energy and ecosystem loss. He is the master of the socially conscious thriller.
The Den Brook Judicial Review Group (DBJRG) regrets that the need has arisen to publicly issue the Den Brook wind farm developer, Renewable Energy Systems (RES), with a pre-action protocol Notice of Intent to establish both audible EAM and sub-audible infra-sound noise monitoring.
The need has arisen due to continued disingenuous responses and malfeasant submissions from the developer and its agents. This has been the case throughout DBJRG’s longstanding efforts for obtaining effective conditions and controls to properly protect neighbours against Excessive Amplitude Modulation (EAM) noise impacts from the proposed wind turbine development.
It is further regretted that financial investment and support for the project may become compromised through implications flowing from service of the pre-action protocol Notice.
Monitoring is to be professionally established on behalf of the DBJRG similar to the model currently in action at the Cotton Farm wind farm in Huntingdonshire. Live, 24/7 audio recordings and interactive noise charts will be made available and accessible to all through a dedicated website.
All breaches of condition assessed in accordance with the Den Brook planning approval’s condition 21 Written Scheme alongside assessment directly according with the EAM parameters established by condition 20 will be logged thus enabling world-wide scrutiny of the proposed 9 × 120m Den Brook wind turbines.
Moreover, if, as suspected, the condition 21 Written Scheme fails to trigger measures to address and mitigate EAM contrary to condition 20, the matter will continue to be pursued with vigour.
DBJRG holds the view that recently adopted proposals from developer RES in terms of EAM noise compliance testing are significantly flawed. Furthermore, such flaws not only ominously and materially prejudice neighbours of the proposed Den Brook wind farm and hold serious implications in relation to Article 8 of the Human Rights convention, but fly directly in the face of an extant 2011 Court of Appeal ruling.
—26 May 2015
The Notice served this day, 26 May 2015, on RES together with detailed background information can be found in the attached full copy of the ‘Notice of Intent to carry out noise monitoring – 26 May 2015’.
Source: National Wind Watch
Is National Wind Watch a resource that is valuable to you?
How much is it worth – to you – to keep it going?
Every day, thousands of people like you around the world view the wind-watch.org web site. Thousands more rely NWW’s news and documents presented on other web sites, on Facebook and Twitter, and in the daily e-mail newsletter.
Today, National Wind Watch celebrates 10 years of providing the tools and information needed for citizens, ecologists and policymakers to make informed decisions concerning the impacts of wind energy development.
From NWW’s origins at the first-in-the-nation gatherings of industrial wind stakeholders from around the U.S. in 2005 and 2006, your organization has grown to undisputed primacy in reporting on and publishing news, research papers, opinion essays and artistic endeavors, all painstakingly collected, curated, and – perhaps most importantly – presented in a context that focuses primarily on the issues that matter most: the impacts of wind energy development on people, our environment, our economy, and our quality of life.
It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had to face down some bad players who tried to destroy our organization from within as well as resist attempts to co-opt our efforts by special interest groups with deep pockets to advance their own narrow agendas. We’ve also had to fend off lawsuits from media companies who wanted to maintain a monopoly on the information you rely on. And we’ve responded to repeated attacks from the wind industry itself.
Despite these challenges, National Wind Watch established and redoubled its position as the most used and most respected source of wind-related information on the web, and has facilitated countless countless interpersonal and interorganizational connections that resonate around the globe.
“Wind 2050” is a government and industry funded project in Denmark studying international resistance to large-scale wind energy development. In their graphic statistical analysis of the wind information web, wind-watch.org stands out as the most prominent site (the largest circle), referred to by more wind sites than any other. That graphic conveniently expresses what many of you already know, and what motivates your board of directors to advance our efforts: NWW’s work has become crucial to extending awareness of industrial wind to a growing, and global, network.
As National Wind Watch reaches 10 years of service, we’re reflecting on the impact we’ve had, assessing our financial situation, and considering how best to continue.
While the organization is staffed entirely by volunteers who receive no compensation, the cost of technology to keep up with steadily rising web and mobile traffic demands, as well as maintaining a robust defense against legal challenges, continue to rise. There are many developing opportunities to increase public exposure of the issues surrounding industrial wind development, but without a sufficient war-chest, NWW cannot take advantage of many of them.
But you can change that.
Five dollars, euros, pounds, kroner, etc. – whatever you can spare: consider a special 10th anniversary donation. And if you can afford more, please give what you think is appropriate. Planned giving is another way to ensure that your contribution will endure. Read more at wind-watch.org/donate.
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Use one of the buttons above, go to wind-watch.org/donate to contribute, or mail your check today to: Treasurer, National Wind Watch, 63 West Hill Road, Hawley, MA 01339 (USA).
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Campaigns, Health, Protests, Wisconsin •
Source: Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy
Numerous residents living in, or in the environs of, Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind project in the Town of Glenmore, Wisconsin, are now displaying 4′ × 4′ yard signs stating what the Brown County Board of Health officially declared, namely, that the Shirley Wind turbines are “a human health hazard”. There are now 20 families displaying the signs, many of which are shown below.
All photos by courtesy of Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, from whom high-resolution copies are available.
The rush to go green is pitting corporations against residents, government against citizens, neighbour against neighbour. Through the process the people are being stripped of their due democratic process.
Big Wind is a story of unethical political systems, corporate greed, and ordinary citizens who have had enough and are standing up to big government and big business. They are part of a growing revolution in rural communities in Southern Ontario and around the globe – people fighting to defend their homes, their way of life and the environment against Big Wind. It is a battle that will profoundly impact the green movement, as well as the well being of citizens in Canada and citizens worldwide for years to come.
Big Wind is a surprising and compelling documentary about the unprecedented rush to develop industrial wind turbines and how this is transforming the landscape in Canada and the world. The film investigates why governments are spending billions on wind power without first conducting health and environmental studies, why corporations are grabbing up precious farmland to put up hundreds of thousands of enormous industrial wind turbines, why people living near the turbines are falling ill, losing their animals and their farms, and whether these new “green” wind turbines are actually helping our environmental aims.
Note: This public release is an expanded version from the version broadcast in March and available until March 25, 2021, at TVO.
The want to steal our …
Welcome to purdah! That’s the term politicos use for the run-up to an election when parliament shuts up shop, and government dissolves into party-political electioneering.
When SAS had its much-postponed meeting with the Scottish Energy Minister last week, Mr Ewing was relishing his purdah. Officially let off his policy-making duties, with the bonus of a likely hung parliament at Westminster. After all, who knows what motley crew will form a coalition, or pull the strings in a minority government? Or what will happen to UK energy policy in the inevitable backroom dealing? A former Scottish First Minister as UK Energy Secretary perhaps?
To be fair, this did not come up at the meeting as the joke (?) was only made on the way out. We were hardly celebrating though as the Scottish Government had once again got away with sitting on its hands – and for what is turning out to be the indefinite future. The referendum froze energy policy for months, if not years. Then afterwards we were told nothing could change until the new First Minister had bedded down. Once the current general election shenanigans are over, next year’s Holyrood elections will exert another dead hand on the government of Scotland.
We had heard whispers from officers at local and national levels that an announcement of change in energy policy was coming last month. Problems like the Longannet crisis, security of supply, fuel poverty and meeting out-of-date renewable energy targets 5 years early have been attracting unprecedented levels of public criticism – not just as policy ‘challenges’ in their own right but as direct consequences of the Scottish Government’s obsession with wind energy. Even the Labour Party, aka the Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex (MP for Rutherglen & Hamilton West), has realized too much wind has messed up Scotland’s electricity.
So we were invited to think change was coming with the imminent publication of the delayed Renewables Routemap (due in December 2014) and wind turbine stats (an updated SNH map had been due in August 2014). The Scottish Government could no longer ignore this momentum and its promotion of wind at the expense of everything else would shortly give way to other priorities. Apparently not.
The new Routemap has been postponed again. There is no date for its publication. The new wind turbine map won’t be available for a long time (tricky negotiations with DECC apparently plus technical ‘challenges’) although the hope is to release the raw data by the end of the year. Mr Ewing insisted on speaking to us about what the Scottish Government was trying to do about other energy issues (interconnectors, Peterhead, carbon capture & storage, connecting the islands, wave and tidal, etc) as if they constituted a coherent energy plan. Does that mean wind is no longer such a priority, or is it just the same old rhetorical avoidance which ministers have been practicing for at least two years now?
For a party wanting above all to secure independence, this is undoubtedly a shrewd move. Scottish energy policy is not a vote-winner nor a nationalist recruiting sergeant, and changing it would only draw attention to its failings as well as alienating Green support, so better to leave it be and sit out the growing tide of criticism. Expediency is all. Anyone who doubts the SNP determines all its policy via the prism of independence need only recall Mr Ewing’s decision to launch yet more studies, now also delayed, into fracking last month. Doing nothing also makes the reflex of blaming the UK government for Scotland’s energy problems look more plausible.
Mark Rowley, one of the SAS team who met Mr Ewing, proposed that a de facto policy shift was taking place. With the closure of Longannet and no plans to renew either nuclear or fossil fuel generating capacity in Scotland, the aim was no longer an energy-independent country producing enough renewable energy for its own needs. Instead Scotland exports excess wind energy to the rest of the UK when the wind blows and imports fossil fuel and nuclear generated electricity when it doesn’t. Our fate as the UK’s wind farm is sealed and we’ll see more development of industrial wind together with the infrastructure for greater interconnection. A rum scenario indeed for a party which claims to put Scotland first. Mr Ewing looked a bit uncomfortable but did not demur.
The patience of Job
Like many anti-wind farm campaigners, we’re feeling more like Job every day.
Whether it’s comprehensive up-to- date stats on turbine development, or studies into the impacts of turbines, problems and publication delay seem to be legion. No one should be surprised, given the sheer quantity and speed of wind development and the complexity of its multiple environmental, economic and social impacts.
Cock-ups may be inevitable, but they are often laced with conspiracy, if only of the passive kind. A government which has decided to sit on its hands about wind policy is not going to put a great deal of energy (or money) into pushing officials to obtain and publish the data which would make policy change irresistible.
We understand that a wish to produce a genuinely comprehensive and accurate picture of all turbine development in Scotland (in contrast to the very unreliable mapping produced by SNH), complete with an interactive map, is responsible for the no-show since last summer. There is no publication schedule as yet.
The 14-month (sic.) study into the visual, noise and shadow impacts of ten wind farms on residential amenity, which SAS lobbying prompted and on whose project steering group Graham Lang and Linda Holt sit, has just reached the stage of a final draft, with an unspecified date for publication after the election.
The house price study, also very overdue, has no completion date in view as attempts to obtain post-2010 sales data continue.
Also in this issue:
Have your say
And talking of subsidies
Wind turbine noise conference in Glasgow
SNP spring into Glasgow
Northern Ireland leads the way on turbine noise
Planning Democracy Conference
Water, water, water everywhere
Open season in Shetland?
Sleepless in Aberdeenshire
The wind(?) in Spain
Iain Green exhibitions
Nessie needs help
Letters to the press
How did we get here?
Stock responses on windfarms
Wind in the history books