I’d like to take this opportunity to contest a number of statements in Max Greenberg’s March 8 My View, “Polluting the national energy debate,” which addressed the Falmouth turbines.
First, Mr. Greenberg says that wind turbine syndrome hasn’t been substantiated. True enough – in fact, that term was coined by an author with no credentials related to turbine effects. However, the fact that current science can’t prove a turbine effect on humans today does not mean that one does not exist. Science advances over time. Before a discovery is made, it’s unknown. Falmouth Selectman Doug Jones said it well when he said: “Although there has been no peer-reviewed evidence that wind turbines cause health issues, we don’t have any peer-reviewed evidence that they do not.”
Next, Mr. Greenberg says that Simon Chapman, a professor of public health, has explained that “wind turbine syndrome” may well be “what we can call a ‘communicated’ disease … a strong candidate for being defined as a psychogenic condition … like hypochondria.” Note the professor’s use of the word “may.” He’s speculating. It’s interesting to watch Mr. Greenberg argue against turbine effects on humans by demanding evidence and by embracing speculation.
Mr. Greenberg describes a study that shows no reduction in property values for homes near turbines. I suggest that he spend a little time in Falmouth to witness the deep public rift that the turbines have created in our town. No homebuyer with any common sense would pay a full sans-turbine price for one of those homes.
I have no idea why Mr. Greenberg would mention Cape Wind when discussing Falmouth’s land-based turbines, but I could tell that he isn’t close to our debate when he said that our turbines are being “fought by many of the same parties” that are fighting Cape Wind. If that’s true, those common parties are sure operating under the radar here. The discussion is dominated by the turbine neighbors and locals who support and oppose them.
To make things worse, Mr. Greenberg insults the Falmouth turbine neighbors by calling them “well-heeled.” These are middle-class people who are fighting for the well-being of their families. That’s a valid criticism in Nantucket Sound, but it falls flat as a pancake on land in Falmouth.
Overall, this was a well-written and persuasive piece. But it was also a very misleading one.
David Kent lives in Falmouth.
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