Faking it in Falmouth? (Mass.)

Sep 15, 2011


Faking it in Falmouth

Mark J Cool, Falmouth, MA

The wind turbine issue in Falmouth is pitting community conscience against regulatory compliance.  Being “within compliance” obviously doesn’t mean physical harms don’t, or won’t, exist.

The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) 40-decibel noise guideline, the wind turbine manufacturer’s recommended setback distance, the specific town emergency and fire contingency plan criteria, and the 23-mph turbine shut-off restriction—all have been, with some exceptions, met or exceeded.

Yet complaints by neighbors continue and will indeed be exacerbated as seasonal winds change, and Wind Turbine II comes online.  Very revealing of current regulation effectiveness, perhaps?

Is it a conspiracy?  Hatched by those anti-wind neighbors to thwart the good intentions of the Energy Committee’s “need for green” or municipal “need for green” energy cost savings?  Possibly—that is, if the neighbors hadn’t been supportive of the town’s wind project concept in the first place.


Is it that these scoundrels are feeding off Internet exaggerations and fantasies of “Wind Turbine Syndrome” and are just plain lying about symptoms and lost sleep?  Maybe—hat is, if you believe that these neighbors (who were mostly strangers to one another before the turbines) just happened simultaneously to suffer from a range of identical physiological symptoms.

Combine their fabrications with their brazen willingness to spend money on the following:

    • sue Falmouth
    • sound-proof windows
    • pay for hotel rooms to allegedly get a few nights of sleep
    • attend wind turbine noise & health seminars and conferences to become more informed
    • pay for acoustic consultant testing, to acquire a third-party perspective
    • pay for numerous doctor appointments, prescriptions and medical aids offering temporary relief from their fabricated, turbine-caused ailments

The real facts are:  The Falmouth town boards (several of them) have been offered numerous reports from credible sources, institutions, acousticians and medical clinicians from around the country and indeed the world, all demonstrating the plausibility that industrial wind turbines negatively affect human wellness if poorly sited.  Most importantly, the Falmouth town boards have ready access to us sufferers, as well as the offer of personal experiences and symptoms as examinable evidence from neighbors.

Would these neighbors be willing to be examined to prove their claims?  Has anyone asked these human guinea pigs?  Why wouldn’t Town Hall join with medical experts and conduct a study of actual health outcomes (epidemiology), using medical science to directly find actual health risks from real-world (Falmouth) turbine exposures?

Instead of practicality and common sense, Town Hall is persuaded by conclusions from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitute biologist (health board member charged with a literary review), an acoustics firm (paid by the town), the Mass DEP and the town Energy Committee (minions of Govenor Patrick).  These advisors (amongst others), with the applause of local newspaper editors, would have you believe “they” should hold more authority on the subject than the studies and reports by actual medical doctors and medical professionals.

That’s like asking your auto mechanic to diagnose whether that lump on your neck is cancer or not.  Absurd?

Honest-to-God medical evaluations, specifically directed at accessing physiological impact from wind turbines, could certainly answer more questions than Town Hall’s craven reliance on regulatory compliance, ill-equipped citizen volunteers, or state agencies marching to the drumbeat of the governor’s “green” agenda.

The Falmouth wind turbine issue is a matter of conscience, not compliance!  I implore town members to force a full epidemiological study.  The town upheaval demands it, and without it the community fracture is guaranteed to widen.  And, for God’s sake, please vote to suspend turbine operations until medical questions are answered—rather than continue this Town Hall buffoonery and slavish attachment to ineffectual regulatory compliance.

Unless, of course, you believe Town Hall—and believe your neighbors are liars.

Mark & Annie Cool.  Mark is an air traffic controller.  Annie is a realtor in Falmouth, MA

  1. Comment by mtumba djibouti on 09/15/2011 at 12:02 pm

    I continue to be amazed by the lack of class action suits against the lying wind industry.
    But I also wonder, as the negative health impact begins to multiply among ever more people, if the health care industry and their lawyers will find themselves moved to sue.

    I do hope individuals suffering from WTS take every opportunity to soak their health care providers, and encourage the health care industry to pursue the culprits causing the increase in unnecessary health problems.

    This nasty industry must be fought from every possible angle.

  2. Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 09/15/2011 at 12:16 pm

    Shame on you, Falmouth, for subjecting your residents to the harm brought by living too close to industrial wind turbine noise!
    You should be made to pay for turning your back on these victims for the sake of a little payola. I hope you are punished.

  3. Comment by Preston McClanahan on 09/15/2011 at 1:25 pm

    Would Falmouth be the front line in this battle? If the Falmouth elected officials abdicate their mandate (as every Mass. select board has)—to defend for the health, welfare and safety of its people—what other of Mass. towns will note and follow suit to the detrimant of the whole Commonwealth?
    Who among these elected people are being paid off by the wind industry to act so irresponsibly?

  4. Comment by Brad Blake, Cape Elizabeth, ME on 09/15/2011 at 7:50 pm

    We have the absurd situation where wind turbines have more rights than citizens. Public officials should be indicted for not acting to protect the interests and well-being of all the citizenry and for condemning those impacted by turbines to be expendable. Shameful, indeed!

  5. Comment by Barbara Durkin on 09/16/2011 at 11:40 am

    Thank you, Mark, for your disturbing letter that indicates public health and welfare are not priorities in Falmouth. The State Department of Public Health (DPH) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have represented that the panel of state selected experts charged with providing a wind energy impact study will not produce a wind turbine, roads, transmision, structures, or siting study. But the Energy Chief of Mass., Rick Sullivan conveys the panel will influence setbacks and policy.

    MA Energy Chief represents the outcome of the study will find no major ill health effects are caused by wind turbines.

    The Patrick Administration should immediately be confined to the Cool residence until they reveal the identities of our elected and appointed being paid off by the wind industry to act so irresponsibly. I count 4 confirmed at Rhumb-Line Energy and 1 at Epsilon Associates and 1 public employee and appointed advisor at First Wind, former as current public employees with financial interest in wind energy policy they have ushered into laws, such as the Massachusetts Oceans Act of 2008, Global Warming Solutions Act and the Green Communities Act, “net metering” and long-term contract provisions of the Green Communities Act.

    These are statutes that mandate wind energy funded by public subsidies with their architects as beneficiaries.

    According to the Mass Secretary of Energy, the panel doesn’t even need to conduct a health impact study as the finding is “No major health impacts.” The Secretary thinks wind turbine victims are faking it.

    Confine him to the Cools’ forthwith.
    house arrest
    Cape Cod Times: “While the panel’s work will be valuable in the creation of setbacks and other standards for wind energy projects, the Patrick administration does not believe at this point that there are major health affects from turbines, Sullivan said….”

  6. Comment by Itasca Small on 09/16/2011 at 7:01 pm

    Mtumba hopes sufferers can influence health care providers to pursue the culprits . . .

    I am still fighting the uphill battle of health care providers treating me like I’m “NUTS” for even mentioning the possibility of industrial-scale wind turbine generators adversely affecting my health. Too many of them are too concerned about the opinions and power of their peers, and the wind industry promoters, to want to seek the truth about patients health issues when they point to a sacred cow as the cause. Hmm, perhaps a little fear of regulatory agencies interfering with their practice?

    We do have a terrific physician in our group who has done a lot to try to get through to our county officials, including donating copies of Dr. Pierpont’s book to each supervisor and P&Z commissioner. But, finding someone like these and the other wonderful doctors fighting the wind issues, out in the real world to actually treat you, is not easy.

  7. Comment by mtumba djibouti on 10/20/2011 at 4:19 pm

    Itasca, I completely empathize with your frustration. But please remember that nothing worth having is easily found. MLK didn’t win equality in his lifetime, but it doesn’t mean his efforts were wasted. Without them we may never have seen a half-black president in our lifetime!

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