For the benefit of families still living in rural Pictou County, I encourage citizens to press county council to increase the setback distance for industrial wind turbines from 600 metres to 1.5 km or more from residences.
A special panel is considering a proposal to increase the distance to one kilometre, but this is still inadequate. Sound effect and blade shadow have affected the quality of the life of many people living near wind turbines.
Not all people appear to be affected in the same way – the same applies to motion sickness in cars or boats.
We can choose not to ride in a car or a boat, but avoidance of wind turbines is not a choice.
We owe it to those who have committed their lives to their land and homes, and to our own futures as rural residents, to see to it that the setback is increased.
For those who do not see or feel the effects of industrial wind turbines, I invite you to take a drive on the next star- filled night from River John, Welsford area, and head toward West Branch. You will see flashing red towers covering the once wild Cobequid mountain tops, lighting the area up like a year-round Christmas celebration gone wrong.
Other pressures such as fracking, industrial forestry and open-pit mining threaten to further turn rural areas into industrial landscapes. It may be argued that these ventures are needed, as the county faces a decreased tax base, but we must consider the huge cost we are paying.
We may not just be robbing current residents of their way of life, but the possible dreams of those who will follow in our wake.
Billy MacDonald, Pictou
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