“A living nightmare” (Maine)

Feb 11, 2011


During this last year our life has gone from the realization of a long-time dream to the reality of a living nightmare. Our right to defend our property and the quality of our lives has been ignored, we have been marginalized and harassed, and Art and I and our neighbors shoulder the financial and physical responsibility of Fox Islands Wind maintaining compliance.

The stress resulted in Art having a major heart attack at the most recent electric Co-op board meeting while trying to, once again, get them to acknowledge the half truths and lies that Fox Islands Wind continues to pander to our community.

Vinalhaven listened to the sales talk of George Baker and the Island Institute. We made a decision on the information they gave us . . . and now we reap the bitter harvest of our illusion.

Baker and the Island Institute are presently assaulting the Northeast communities, calling the Vinalhaven project an unqualified success. The arrogance and lack of ethics is astounding, but is the very essence of how industrial wind operates.

George Baker, CEO Fox Islands Wind

This morning, I received an e-mail from Eric Bibler, on Cape Cod. Many of you may receive his postings, but this one seems so relevant to the gathering this weekend. It is a rallying call to all of us working from so many angles to untangle the lies of industrial wind. He points out:

Developers cannot demonstrate or predict—empirically, objectively or convincingly—an absence of harm. Instead, they simply deny harm and try to shift the burden of proof to the opponents.

We need to put the responsibility—and the uncertainty and the risk—squarely on their shoulders. We need to force them to accept the burden of evaluating these risks properly. And, above all, we need to remind them that they are accountable—personally, individually, collectively, institutionally—for the consequences.

They don’t want to work this hard. If they are honest, they have to admit that they can’t resolve the uncertainty and the risk. And if they are responsible, they ultimately have to withhold approval—because they cannot confidently ascertain an absence of harm. It cannot be done.

That is why I believe that we need to fundamentally shift the framework of this debate. Why are we letting the developers evade their natural burden and redefine the terms of the traditional process? Why should we waive our rights—and our most fundamental protections—and agree to engage them on terms that are not only favorable to them but insanely expensive, time consuming and perilous for us? And why should we allow them to divide and conquer us—to splinter our opposition and our communities—in this manner?

That is why I believe in making every attempt—heroic attempts—to document the risks of the projects to the decision-making bodies.

Eric Bibler, WTS.com guest editor

I know he is right. We, on Vinalhaven, and in other communities where the turbines churn, are forever doomed to daily prove our case against wind. We daily pay the economic and physical costs of a community that was blind-sided by the wind industry, and endure the snail-pace progress of state agencies that are supposed to defend the environment and human rights.

Our hope is that through our on-going efforts and through the diligence and determination of every wind group across the state of Maine, across this country and the world we will be able to address the price that people and the environment shoulder as a result of the greed and arrogance of industrial wind.

Cheryl Lindgren
Vinalhaven, Maine

  1. Comment by Brad Blake, Cape Elizabeth, ME on 02/12/2011 at 12:40 am

    I admire, respect, and love Art and Cheryl Lindgren so much! The courage and fortitude they have shown in Vinalhaven should rally all of us to say “No More Vinalhavens“—anywhere!

  2. Comment by Alan Harper on 02/12/2011 at 6:52 am

    Does your local and national government system have principles which it states that the wind power stations must meet (e.g. in UK PPS22)? By this I am talking about the ethical qualities of meeting economic and technologically approved targets on behalf of the whole community.

    If not, then press the government representatives to get this written into your laws. What do other generation industries have to comply with?

    If “yes,” get hold of a qualified professional engineer who will have no difficulty in showing that wind power stations have no hope of meeting carbon emission savings because they require to have 100%, 24/365 conventional generation spinning reserve backup, generally OCGT (gas) because of its response capabilities. This CREATES, on average, more CO2 than would otherwise be the case. (See, for example, Denmark emissions; there are reports. Anyhow, CO2 is not a pollutant.)

    Really, that is the SCIENTIFIC way to beat this scam-wagon which will destroy you and your future generations as well as your health and eco-vironments.

    I know this does not help your immediate problem as neither does the knowledge, because it is rejected, of Nina and Chris Hanning (UK). In 2006 the French Academy of Medicine was expressing a need for at least 1.5 km separation distances from domestic premises. Presumably, you have French speakers amongst you.

    Every little reference will add weight to your fight for life.

    Please don’t give up on this. Your lives are not rehearsals for another life.

    Good luck,

    Norfolk Dumpling

  3. Comment by TurbineTurmoil on 02/12/2011 at 4:47 pm

    We must develop ways to overcome the prime mover among our elected officials and the land owners. That prime mover is identified and well known, and it is greed. Flooding boards with facts has seldom worked by itself. But motivating the public to flood the boards with their outrage generally is better. The public at large has less to gain and if they can be shown they have plenty to lose, then you have the grass roots traction it takes to get the board to actual review the “facts” we present against the wind companies.

    Wind companies are well equipped to take tax money from the feds and spread it to any local dedision making entity in enough liberality to get what they want, and to also procure the deaf ear toward any other information.

  4. Comment by Jack Sullivan on 02/12/2011 at 6:19 pm

    Five years of research have taught me that wind developers rarely if ever tell the truth. I have matched public promises with the outcomes several years later, and indeed most are half truths.

    Promised capcity factors, for example, aka efficiency, run only 60% or so of predicted. The electrical supply for a given number of homes is usually exaggerated by a factor of 2.

    And it goes on and on.

    Never believe a wind developer

  5. Comment by Julie Gray on 02/23/2011 at 2:00 am

    You must keep fighting as everyone with any brain is doing. This will stop eventually for the very reason it started in the first place: money.

    We have the same nightmare here in Australia and we in particular live right next to the nightmare, but we keep fighting the Good Fight to stop more disasters going ahead.

    Good Luck,

    Jule Gray

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