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Industrial wind turbine installations: Not green, not clean, not cheap and not safe

Like Emma Stamos, (“Wind part of the solution” Sept. 16 issue of the Independent). I used to love the idea of “wind power.” Clearly she loves nature, as I do.

After two years of intensive research into the real consequences of industrial wind turbine development, I’m reminded by Emma’s comments of my many years of well-intentioned ignorance.

Emma’s idea that those who oppose the invasion of heavy industry in the form of wind turbine installations are “not green” could not be further from the truth. It is a fabricated lie that those who oppose industrial wind turbine development are shills for the oil or nuclear industry.

The fact is that many companies manufacturing wind turbines are owned by oil and nuclear interests – just under different names. Industrial wind turbines are the “new oil.”

This is big business – money beyond anything you can imagine – promoted in a most clever way to appeal to well-intentioned people like Emma who really do care about the Earth.

Emma should know that those opposed to destroying our beautiful rural area with massive industrial wind turbines are extremely concerned for the environment.

These machines are not green, not clean, not cheap and definitely not safe.

I must comment on the use of “NIMBY” to dismiss as selfish and uncaring those who oppose turbines. The real meaning of the word “NIMBY” is someone who promotes an idea as long as it is not in his/her backyard. For all the above reasons and many more, I, and those who oppose industrial wind turbine development, are “NIABYS” – not in anyone’s backyard.

I live across from the Berkshire East wind turbine. For more than 20 years before, the lights ofthe ski slopes never bothered me; in fact, I often enjoyed them.

Emma remarks.on a person who lives closest to the turbine and can’t see it or the “tiny light on it. From two miles away, I can see the red light very clearly – it shatters what was once the deep peace of night; a constant irritant to the nervous system.

You know how irritating it is to drive behind a person who is constantly hitting the brake pedal. Now imagine this, night after night seen from your window or when you step outside wanting to enjoy the starry night. In this rare and beautiful rural environment without the distraction of lights typical in a suburban setting, the grotesque, blaring presence of the turbine light dominates the senses.

During the day, the spiked blades jut rudely above the harmonious contours of the mountains. I was looking out over the mountains this morning to enjoy the view, but the sun glaring off the dizzying spin of the blades kept flashing and dominated the vista in a very disturbing way, shattering the peaceful scene.

The Berkshire East turbine is very small (291-feet-tall) and far away from homes – a perfect way to lull people into thinking industrial wind installations are harmless; a perfect way to accomplish the future invasion of the heavy industry of wind installations. Don’t be fooled.

Emma may be interested to know that the eight turbines proposed for Shelburne are nearly twice the height and width of the Berkshire East turbine – 450-feet- or more tall (think of a 40-story building) and almost as wide (blade span). I recently heard that manufacturers are now making turbines more than 900-feet-high and nearly as wide in blade span. That’s 100 stories high…

Emma says the other hikers didn’t notice the Berkshire East turbine from the High Ledges – that’s more than 12 miles away. The fact that this smaller-than-industrial-sized turbine can be seen at all from that distance should give anyone pause at how visually invasive these machines are over a wide area. This means at night you can see the flashing red light from the High Ledges.

She says the people living near the turbine “rarely” hear any sounds. I can understand that. Being a (unwilling) turbine watcher, I can say that 70 percent ofthe time that machine is not moving – and that is being generous.

Also, the ambient noise in the town of Charlemont is so much louder than years ago that noise from a small turbine would likely go unnoticed. Turbines use electricity to turn the enormous blades (called “feathering,” to keep gears lubricated during long periods when wind is lacking); at those times, there is much less noise. (Feathering is often used during publicity events to show everyone that noise is “not an issue.”)

Countless people just like Emma, excited at the prospect of inviting industrial wind turbines into their neighborhoods, have had a complete change of heart.

Here is a link to an interview with just one of those people in Massachusetts: http://blip.tv/windturbinesyndrome/dr-nina-pierpont-interviews-falmeuth-ma-resident-neil-anderson-about-wind-turbine-syndrome-5585035.

A book could be filled detailing why so-called “wind power” is untenable as a clean energy source; indeed, the exact opposite of what it claims to be. Here is a link to a slide presentation by a physicist/environmentalist who explains the facts quite clearly: http://www.slideshare.net/JohnDroz/energy-presentationkey-presentation.

There is a global backlash against industrial wind turbines in numerous countries that are far ahead of the U.S, in wind development. For example, hundreds of outraged citizens in Denmark are camping out and lining up in front of huge earth-moving machines to be arrested to prevent giant turbines from destroying a nature preserve. All over the world, people who felt just like Emma Stamos did are now in horror at how this has destroyed their vitality and joy in life.

In her letter, Emma asked for “factual reasons why they (turbines) should not be carefully located and built in our area.”

A massive, worldwide experiment has already been made. The facts clearly demonstrate that industrial wind turbine development is not clean, not green, not economical and not safe.

In part two of this essay, I will elaborate why and give reliable sources that Emma and others can investigate.

As a person who loved the idea of wind turbines, I understand these are challenging ideas to contemplate. The fear that lies underneath these issues is “Will we survive?”

The heroic image of the white turbine against a pristine sky is a false god that must be exposed, otherwise we are doomed to the same fate that has befallen far too many others.

Ellen Landauer, a 27-year Charlemont resident, has a 30-year background as a health practitioner, researcher and writer.