The proposed wind energy system project in Montcalm County carries strong opinions both for and against them.
One of the opinions from turbine supporters is that turbine opponents do not use facts or science to back up their concerns. It is my observation that turbine opponents are providing credible sources at township meetings, including a mix of scientific studies, firsthand accounts from people living near wind turbines, and personal observation. They are clearly stating and citing studies, sharing copies of articles with boards/residents, and spending extensive amounts of time researching the issues surrounding the turbines.
Turbine opponents have deep ties to the community, love the county and are passionate about protecting it. They are going to meetings and speaking during the three minutes allotted each person. They have exercised their right to peaceful protest. In doing so, residents against the turbines have been called “miscreants” and “liars” in statements at township meetings from pro-wind supporters, “backwoods” by a commenter on the Daily News Facebook page, “terrorists” by leasees, and “disruptors” in a July 17 letter to the editor. They have been accused of turning meetings into “clown shows,” engaging in “thuggery” and have been compared to fourth-graders. They have had yard signs stolen and had people trying to drive through puddles to splash water on them while peacefully protesting.
People who oppose the large wind energy systems (600 to 700 feet tall) are accused of not being in support of renewable energy, when in fact, many have spoken at township meetings describing their own personal/residential windmill systems, geothermal systems and solar panels. Many are pro-nuclear. Large wind energy system supporters consistently say that nuclear facilities are shutting down. In reality, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have recently invested in refurbishing coal plants into nuclear, and there is renewed interest within the energy sector in nuclear power.
The authors of recent letters to the editor in the July 17 Daily News have attempted to paint the people who are against the turbines in a very negative light. The comments made are offensive and disrespectful. Contrary to what one author wrote, the people against turbines are the ones being shown disrespect.
I do agree with the concluding statement of Mr. Mike Hart’s letter to the editor: “I think it would be good for all to respect each other’s views and to respond as adults.”
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