Reading this, it occurred to me that some of the "CO2 trumps all" mainstream environmental groups are so addicted to their "ties" with the wind industry that their repeated lying is just like that of a junkie who must have his fix. When the wind industry dies, who will they cozy up to next?
Someone just sent me the following which I believe totally applies to the tired old environmental groups:
“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
― Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
New Documentary Illustrates Global Backlash Against Big Wind
Posted on Feb. 13, 2012
After years of successful marketing and lavish subsidies from taxpayers, the global wind industry now finds itself facing an unprecedented backlash. And that backlash – largely coming from rural landowners – combined with low natural gas prices, and a Congress unwilling to extend more subsidies, has left the American and Canadian wind sectors gasping for breath.
A new and thoughtful look at the fight against Big Wind is Laura Israel’s new film,Windfall, a documentary that focuses on the fight over the siting of wind turbines in the small town of Meredith, New York. Indeed, Israel’s film underscores an essential question: what, exactly, qualifies an energy source as “green” or “clean”? If you listen to President Obama, nearly every energy source qualifies as “clean” with the notable exception of oil.
For liberals here in the US, along with groups like the Center for American Progress, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council, wind energy has been deemed “clean” because it is renewable. But that belief requires a steadfast and prolonged decision to ignore a lot of inconvenient facts. It also requires the dismissal of rural residents like those in Meredith. Why? Well, the logic is obvious: any rural resident who opposes having a source of “clean” energy near their homes – never mind that it’s a 45-story-tall wind turbine that flashes red-blinking lights all night, every night -- must be a NIMBY, right?
Indeed, Windfall provides a good representation of the rural-urban divide on the wind-energy issue. Lots of city-based environmental groups and lobby organizations actively promote the concept of renewable energy. (It’s healthy! It’s green! No smokestacks!) But they are not the ones who have to endure the health-impairing noise that’s created by the turbines, nor do they have to see them.
Lest you think that NIMBY claim is only being uttered by brain-dead liberals and wind-energy lobbyists, consider this: last summer, Energy Secretary Steven Chu used that same smear. During a brief conversation with Chu about renewable energy, I mentioned the growing rural opposition to large-scale wind projects. Chu didn’t waste any time before he dismissed those objectors as “NIMBYs.”
That kind of lazy thinking – which is truly lamentable in a person who’s been awarded the Nobel Prize -- is all too typical. But a myriad of examples are available that demonstrate how the backlash against Big Wind is playing out both here in the US and around the world. Consider:
this case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.
lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life. Those exposed to turbine noise also reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful. Our data suggest that wind farm noise can negatively impact facets of health-related quality of life.
There’s no way that Israel could have anticipated today’s headlines. She did the filming for Windfall back in 2007 and 2008. But her portrayal of the bitter feuding that happened in the town of Meredith over wind-energy development is similar to fights that have occurred in numerous other rural communities around the world. The battle in Meredith (population: 1,500) pitted landowners who stood to profit by putting the wind turbines on their property against those who didn’t.
The landowner faction in Meredith was led by the town’s supervisor, Frank Bachler. Israel portrays him as a well-intentioned man who, in favoring the wind development, is trying to help the area’s struggling farmers. Bachler dismisses the opponents of the wind project as “a minority of people who are very aggressive.”
Bachler gets proven wrong. The anti-wind faction quickly gains momentum and the resulting battle provides a textbook example of small-town democracy. Three wind opponents run for election to the town board with the stated purpose of reversing the existing board’s position on wind. In November 2007, they win, and a few weeks later,pass a measure banning large-scale wind development.
Israel’s film also looks at the opposition outside of Meredith. In doing so, she provides a colorful interview with Carol Spinelli, a fiery real estate agent in Bovina, a town of about 600 people located a few miles southeast of Meredith. Bovina passed a ban on wind turbines in March 2007 (3). Spinelli helped lead the opposition and she nails the controversy over wind by explaining that it’s about “big money, big companies, big politics.” And she angrily denounces wind-energy developers “as modern-day carpetbaggers.”
That’s a brutal assessment. But it accurately portrays the rural-urban divide on the wind-energy issue. The Green/Left is desperate to portray the future of our energy mix as a fight between hydrocarbons and renewables. And in their desperation, they attempt to vilify anyone and everyone who dares to point out the myriad problems with renewables in general and wind energy in particular.
The American Wind Energy Association has denounced Windfall as offering “the greatest hits of misinformation.” And as is usual with AWEA, the group ignores the facts presented in the film and instead repeats its usual talking points about how the general public loves wind energy, i.e., “over 80% of Americans support wind power.”
On Saturday, the Natural Resources Defense Council published a critique of Windfall that reads like it was written by an AWEA lobbyist. The critique, written by NRDC staffer Pierre Bull, makes it clear that for NRDC, concerns about carbon dioxide emissions trump nearly every other concern, including, apparently, those of rural residents who don’t want the turbines. Bull’s piece even parrots AWEA’s claim that the low-frequency noise and infrasound created by wind turbines is not a problem by pointing to a report released in mid-January by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. That report largely dismisses complaints about wind-turbine noise. AWEA has repeatedly claimed, wrongly, that the Massachusetts report absolves the wind industry. And Bull claims it gives “wind a clean bill of health.” But the authors of the report did not interview any of the homeowners who’ve left their houses because of turbine noise. Instead, they did a cursory review of the published literature.
The rest is here.
Windfall Screenings Coming Up in Maine
Rangeley Public Library
7 Lake Street
Rangeley, ME 04970
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 -- 4:30 pm
Carrabassett Community Library
3209 Carrabassett Drive #3
Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947
Thursday, February 23, 2012 -- 7:00 pm
Begin Family Community Room
New Portland Community Room
River Road (adjacent to firehouse)
New Portland, ME 04961
Friday, February 24, 2012 -- 6:00 pm
Central Maine Community College
1250 Turner Street
Kirk Hall Building
Auburn, ME 04210
Monday, February 28, 2012 -- 6:00 pm
Unity College Center for Performing Arts
42 Depot Street
Unity, ME 04988
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 -- 7:00 pm
Skowhegan Free Library
9 Elm Street
Skowhegan, ME 04976
Thursday, March 1, 2012 -- 6:00 pm
The Strand Theater
345 Main Street
Saturday, March 3, 2012 -- 2:00 pm
Sunday, March 4, 2012 -- 3:00 pm
Dirigo High School
145 Weld Street
Dixfield, ME 04224
Sunday, March 4, 2012 -- 2:00 pm
University of Maine Farmington
111 South Street
Farmington, ME 04938
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 -- 7:00 pm
University of Maine Fort Kent
23 University Drive
Fort Kent, ME 04743
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 -- 6:00 pm
Nadeau Teleconference Room
473 Houlton Road
Island Falls, ME 04747
Friday, March 30, 2012 -- 6:30 pm
33 Kennebec Place
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Saturday, March 31, 2012 -- 1:30 pm
The Nickelodeon Theater
1 Temple Street
Portland, ME 04101
Thursday, April 5, 2012 -- TBD
More screenings and locations to be announced soon!
Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.