“You have an attitude problem” (Wisconsin)

Mar 5, 2010

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reprinted from Better Plan Wisconsin, 3/3/10, with appreciation

“You have an attitude problem!”

That’s the wind industry’s latest explanation for the growing number of complaints from people living in industrial wind projects. They say, “You people just don’t like these things.”

The implication is that if you just changed your attitude, the problems you’re having with turbine noise, sleep disruption, shadow flicker, and homes that will not sell— all of these problems will go away.

As a Wisconsin resident who has been living in a wind project for nearly two years, I have to ask what it is that the industry wants you to like? What is there to like about having your home surrounded by 400 foot wind turbines? I can’t think of a thing . . .

• Unless you like constant audible and low frequency noise, from whooshing and thumping to grinding mechanical noises and transformer hum.

• Unless you enjoy chronic sleep disruption and associated health problems for you and your family.

• Unless you enjoy signal interference on your radio, TV, and cell phone.

• Unless you want to live in an area where Flight for Life emergency transport helicopters can no longer land.

• Unless you enjoy the strobe flashing of turbine shadow flicker inside and outside of your home on sunny days and moonlit nights.

• Unless you are glad the birds and bats are gone along and other wildlife once so common before the turbines went up.

• Unless you think it’s beautiful to be surrounded by scores of red lights flashing in unison from the turbines at night, or regard leaking oil on the towers and land below as decorative.

• Unless you want to live in a place where wind developers pitted neighbor against neighbor and tore the community apart in a way that will never be repaired.

• Unless you appreciate your peace of mind and family relationships disintegrating because of the stress of no sleep and uncertainty about being able to sell your house, because you’ve seen how the houses in your project just sit with no buyers, because you know how few people want to buy a homes so near turbines and you can’t blame them—because you wouldn’t want to live so close to wind turbines either.

Except, now, of course, you do.

This new “blame the victim” PR move underscores the wind industry’s own attitude problem, one of insensitivity and an inability to understand and be compassionate toward the people whose problems began only after the wind turbines went up.

Note from Better Plan Wisconsin:

This commentary came to Better Plan from a resident living in a Fond du Lac County wind project who wishes to remain anonymous.

There have been a number of reasons why a residents of a wind projects have asked for anonymity when contacting Better Plan. Some have family members who work for companies associated with construction of the turbines. Some have family members or neighbors who are hosting turbines. Some are hosting turbines themselves and regretting it, but are fearful of being sued by the wind company for violating the gag order in their contract.

Better Plan is glad to ensure anonymity to any wind project resident who contacts us, but we always confirm the identity of anyone who submits material for us to post.

We’d like to thank the family who sent us this commentary.

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