Vergennes – Wind turbines are supposed to be a politcially correct alternative energy source which helps replace fossil-fuel and nuclear-power sources. However, all is not rosey in greenland’s garden as illustrated by the often rancorous NIMBY debate over wind-turbine placement.
The effort to site the giant, bird-killing turbines, while of serious consequence to landowners and its impact on heretofor pristine ridgelines, has split the Vermont environmental movement (much to the delight of those supporting more reliable and equally carbonless sources such as nuclear).
Now along comes “Winds of Change”, a Vermont drama about a family transformed as wind-power towers go up on a mountain ridge behind their farm.
This powerful dramatized take on a controversial local issue will be read by a group of actors on Saturday, March 1, at 6 p.m., at the Bixby Memorial Library in downtown Vergennes.
The special reading will be presented to the public by In House Productions for free.
According to “Winds…” playwright Lesley Becker, “the new play is set in a town enmeshed in heated controversy as their rural community undergoes momentous changes during construction of a large-scale utility project. The play examines the impact on the lives of families living close by the wind towers, and the tension between competing values.”
Eco activist Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, has seen the play. “It presents powerful insights into a changing landscape,” she said—but with no further comments about the good or evil of placing wind turbines on Vermont mountaintops.
“Winds Of Change” appearance in Vergennes isn’t the first time it has appeared in the region
The play was first produced a year ago at Off Center for the Dramatic Arts in Burlington. In months since its premiere, it has emerged as doubly more relevant as the problems associated with wind turbines are affecting more and more Vermonters—and even continuing to pit environmentalist against environmentalist, state legislator against state legislator.
“The play obliquely raises an issue that is unique in the building of industrial wind turbines: a societal acceptance that the health and well being of some neighbors will be sacrificed for what is perceived to be the greater good,” according to Becker. “The controversy over wind turbines is escalating in Vermont as more projects are proposed for rural mountaintops. ‘Winds of Change’ explores the conflicts inherent in placing wind turbines on Vermont’s hills.”
With Vermont Yankee closing later this year, an oil and gas fracking ban in effect since 2012, and more imported Canadian energy coming into the state, Vermonters are about to face some giant spikes in electrical generation costs—thus, “Winds of Change” couldn’t have better timing in the Green Mountain State’s emerging energy crisis.
The upcoming Vergennes reading will feature Bob Carmody, Charlie Yarwood, Mary Scripps, Johannes Garrett and Steve Thurstan.
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