Lately I have had the privilege of spending time with several groups of amazing people. These people share several characteristics that I value very highly.
One of these is a willingness to seek the truth by investigating and evaluating facts independently, even if by doing so they stand against overwhelming odds and popularly accepted orthodoxy.
Another admirable quality is their willingness to stand up on others’ behalf. Many in this group I know have donated hours and hours of their free time, and more money than their budgets can spare, to help people in other towns and regions, as well as their own neighbors and townspeople.
They are compassionate people – unwilling to see inflicted on others something that they themselves would not tolerate.
I am talking about Windwise.
Windwise is the name of both a local and a statewide group of volunteers, who are trying to get the truth out about the safety, health effects, economics and efficiency of wind turbines. It’s not easy and it’s not fun. Even though Windwise is full of smart and determined people, they are up against a billion-dollar industry that regularly tries to impede a fair and open analysis or understanding of the real costs to health of living near wind turbines.
It is definitely a David and Goliath situation.
This weekend a group of people from around the world are coming together to speak the truth in Falmouth at the public library from 1 to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 10. Two Windwise volunteers have organized this meeting, the Falmouth Conference on Human Rights. On a budget of nothing, they have assembled an internationally recognized group of speakers. What the speakers all have in common is that they use facts, data and science to challenge the claims of the wind industry that industrial wind turbines do not pose harm to human health or property values.
Dr. Sarah Laurie from Waubra, Australia, Dr. Nina Pierpont from New York State, and Carmen Krogh from Ontario will be speaking at this conference. They are three compassionate health professionals who have treated, interviewed and listened to people who live in close proximity to turbines and who have suffered ill health as a result. All three have been heavily criticized for their work by both the wind industry and its supporters. To me, and to many others who are coming to the conference, they are heroes.
Their work is part of a growing internationally recognized body of work that includes the newest peer-reviewed epidemiological study confirming the relationship of wind turbine proximity to ill health by Jeff Aramini of Canada, Dr. Michael Nissenbaum of Maine and Dr. Chris Hanning, a sleep specialist from England. It is published in the current issue of Noise and Health.
Michael McCann, whose expert analysis of property devaluation near wind turbines persuaded Nantucket to vote down a turbine proposal, will also be speaking, as will other professionals who have accumulated knowledge and expertise about the effects of close proximity to industrial wind turbines through their own independent research and investigation.
There will also be a panel composed of people who live near wind turbines here in Southeastern Massachusetts. I consider them the true experts in this matter, for they have accumulated many hours of exposure and can speak to its adverse effect on their health. Neighbors in Falmouth have been standing up and speaking out for 2½ years all over the state about the real effects of wind turbines. I think everyone in the state of Massachusetts needs to listen to what they have to say.
The organizers of the conference, Dave Moriarty and Marshall Rosenthal, are standing up for the truth and for their friends and neighbors who are suffering ill health from exposure to turbines. I am supporting them because I also believe in truth and in compassion for others. We need this access to information from the best independent sources, so we can see beyond the dubious assurances of the wind industry and its unquestioning supporters.
I will also be going to the conference to show my support for the people from Fairhaven and elsewhere who can no longer sleep at night or enjoy their backyards or decks since the turbines were turned on. The conference is free and open to the public.
Louise Barteau lives in Fairhaven.
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