I’ve had my first round of wind turbine sickness.
We live in a valley with woods on the Johnsburg side, so we cannot see the forest of turbines two miles away from our house-thank God. But it’s impossible to drive in any direction without seeing them. At night they are a long string of big, very bright red lights flashing in synchrony across the complete southern horizon. In the daytime it’s a continuous horizon of spinning pinwheels the size of airliners.
They are hypnotic: you can’t not look; and they make me sick.
I’ve always had severe motion sickness. When I was little I puked in all my parents’ friends’ cars, so they wouldn’t take me anywhere. My folks didn’t own a car as many people didn’t in those days. I couldn’t go on rides at the fair or carnival, and had such severe panic attacks when the fireworks went off, they had to take me home. This all before I even went to school.
At school, I got sick on the swings. I could ride the school bus by riding in front right behind the driver. All my life, I’ve had to ride in front seats. Adults get over it, right? I never did. I get sick in boats, and last summer I even got queasy swimming in a pond because I stayed in too long.
I am a motion sickness “basket case” and always have been. If I have to ride on a bus, I take motion-sickness pills. I’ve always had occasional vertigo attacks even for no reason.
Last week I had my first case of turbine illness. We had to drive by the Johnsburg disaster area. It seemed endless! First I got dizzy, then queasy, then I got a migraine. It took only about five minutes. No way can I drive safely though that mess, toward it, or past it unless I close my eyes.
That evening we went to the County Board meeting. The video of shadow flicker made me feel the same way and brought the headache back.
Obviously I cannot drive with my eyes closed. Nor can I take pills all the time. I’m already on so many antidepressants I feel like a zombie. When turbines come to Brothertown, we will have to move, and are already planning for that contingency. We live here because we love the country and the outdoors. Being out in nature is the most enjoyable thing in our lives. We cannot live cooped up with shuttered windows, never going outside, just so others can make money. I’m sure they wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice anything for others, would they?
So all that (stuff) some landowners pitch about turbines not harming their neighbors is baloney. They just don’t care about anyone but themselves; nor does the Brothertown Town Board, or half the County Board. Money is all that matters to them.
Good neighbors do not host turbines that make their neighbors ill and force them to abandon their homes. We will spend all our life savings moving, but that is our problem, isn’t it? We are 70 years old and have lived here for 32 years-half our lives. We dread the thought of starting over again, leaving our friends and the land we came to love so much, and our house that is heated 100 percent with renewable energy. But we are dispensible. Who cares about old people? Or children? Or people with disabilities? We have no impact compared to money in rich people’s pockets.
I think that power companies and greedy landowners must have no souls and no conscience. If they call themselves stewards, they are deluding themselves. And if they pretend to be saving the environment to justify their greed, just take a look at Johnsburg. That is not saving the environment. It’s an environmental atrocity!
Town of Brothertown
6 June 2008
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