Wisconsin's Guinea Pigs
Aug 24, 2009
I went to Madison, Wisconsin, on May 12, 2009, as did 2 busloads of people from the area.
We live in the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. (It’s more proplerly an industrial complex, not “energy center.”)
I listened to heart-wenching testimony for 6.5 hours before it was my turn. That little “three minute speech” I’d been staring at for hours went out the window. “Mad” doesn’t cover it. I was incensed at what some of the good citizens of Wisconsin have been asked to endure. I blew my cool.
The whole NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) thing will never hold water until they begin putting these 400 foot structures into the parks system, or federally protected lands. How about golf courses? Let the public at large really see what it might be like to have 88 of them in their backyard on a day and night basis. Only then could it be called fair distribution of the burden. At least in places such as these, maybe they wouldn’t be keeping people awake at night listening to the pulsating howl. The headache in the morning after clenching your teeth all night: can’t ignore it. Too big and loud to ignore.
Not once could I find that the public is taken into account in the 174 or so pages of the wind energy company’s application for “public necessity.” One can read pages and pages of the possible effects on the bat population or birds. Even the grouse. And yet, if there was one word or mention given to the possible physical effects on the human population, I couldn’t find it.
We are the guinea pigs. Unless you live in it, how could you possibly know what it’s like?
People stop here frequently, pull in the drive during the afternoon to listen. I don’t really mind; they’re just curious. They often comment that they seem quiet. “Should have been here around 2:00 A.M or whatever time it was the night before when they woke me up,” is my usual response.
I’ve often heard people say, “We parked right under one so we could listen.” Of course I have to expain how sound travels. I then ask them to go 1000 feet in all directions and listen to the same turbine, then come back here and we’ll talk.
Before they pull their car away, I usually hear, “I’m so sorry!”
—Joan Lagerman 8/23/09