Six-year-old girl creates hugely popular petition against wind turbines (Alabama)

Mar 19, 2014


Lillian Coker

“Gadsden kindergartner asks for signatures on petition to state senators to stop wind turbines”

— Anna Claire Vollers, (3/18/14)

When Cara Pearson Coker picked up her daughter Lillian from school on March 12, Lillian presented her with a piece of notebook paper with the word “Partition” scrawled at the top.

Cara asked her about it, and Lillian, a kindergartener, accurately explained what a petition was and that she is petitioning to stop the building of windmills on Cherokee Rock Village, a public park in Cherokee County. She calls the place her “beautiful mountain.”

So on Lillian’s behalf, Cara started an online petition on asking state representatives to “Say NO to wind turbines in Northeast Alabama!”

On the petition page, Cara explains why the cause is so important to her daughter:

My name is Cara Pearson Coker and I am creating this petition for my six year old daughter, Lillian and I will explain why. On March 12, 2014, I picked Lilli up from school and as we were walking out of the door she handed me a piece of notebook paper with “Partition” written in kindergartener handwriting across the top. She asked, “Will you please sign my petition, Mama?”

My previous profession of 14 years was education so I asked, “What’s a petition?” Lillian quickly replied, “A petition is something you get people to sign if you want someone to do something or stop doing something. Ok…like say somebody is going to tear down my favorite playground. I would start a petition for them not to tear it down and if I got enough signs they would stop.”

I was quite impressed with her thorough definition and clever example and proceeded with, “Well, what are you petitioning?” Without skipping a beat, Lillian said, “I want to stop those people from building windmills on top of our beautiful mountain! You know the one where we hike and climb? If they put windmills up there then we won’t be able to go there anymore and windmills won’t work here anyway…we don’t have enough wind, Mama! When they build them they’re going to be big and dangerous and they’ll have to tear up the rocks and land. It’s just not a good idea! We HAVE to stop them!”

Powerful words coming from a six year old! Through social networking, word of Lillian’s petition has traveled fast and she has been asked to hand deliver her petition in Montgomery Wednesday, March 19, 2014. When I asked her if she wanted to go to Montgomery and do this her response was, “I have to do it, Mama! Somebody has to stop them from building the windmills on my beautiful mountain!”

I have many thoughts, opinions, and facts about wind turbines, but I’m not going to include them here. This petition was Lillian’s idea and this is her project and she truly believes she CAN save her “beautiful mountain.” I believe she can as well, but not without your help! She is a very bright child and understands that if she doesn’t have enough “signs” it will not be effective, so please sign her petition.

Lillian and I moved to Alabama from Georgia after her daddy, my husband of ten years, passed a way. I grew up in Gadsden, AL and spent a lot of time at Cherokee Rock Village growing up. Once we were settled I began taking Lillian to Cherokee Rock Village. We have done a lot of soul searching and soul cleansing there. She believes she is closer to her daddy in heaven when she is there.

Please show this little girl that she CAN make a difference by signing her petition. All you have to do is sign it and pass it on. She will do the rest! Thank you for your support.

As of 10 a.m. March 18, the petition had garnered 1,125 signatures. Lillian has been asked to hand-deliver her petition in Montgomery on Wednesday. It’s the day of a public hearing on a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City), that would regulate wind energy companies that want to operate wind turbines in the state.

Williams’ bill, The Alabama Wind Energy Conservation Systems Act (SB 12), was inspired by a proposed wind farm project by a Texas-based firm, Pioneer Green Energy, that would stretch from Etowah County to Cherokee County. The windmills or wind turbines would be about 267 to 330 feet tall, have three blades and be spread about ¼ to 1/5th of a mile apart. Some would probably have blinking lights at their tips. The turbines would be part of an agreement between Pioneer and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Lillian has told news outlets, and, that hiking at Cherokee Rock Village reminds her of her father, and that people and animals wouldn’t want to go there if wind turbines were built on the mountain.

  1. Comment by Marshall Rosenthal on 03/19/2014 at 9:58 pm

    There are now (9:45 pm EDT) 1391 signatories to the petition. Lilli has shown a brilliance rarely seen in anyone, and she is six years old. She stole my heart, and I have invited many to listen to her and to become signatories and contributors to help circulate the petition more widely. She carries in her heart the vision of a beautiful and unsullied nature that is the Creator’s gift to us all; the trees and stones and animals that share this world with us. She speaks for the many children, like herself, who know these things. She leads us, as adults, to a graceful life with a deep appreciation for the sacred beauty of her mountain, which is the hidden wonder of a child who can see correctly with simplicity.

    Let’s all honor her by lending our names to her dream.

  2. Comment by Anita Simmons on 03/19/2014 at 10:09 pm

    Lillian was a real Rock Star at the State Capitol today in Montgomery, Alabama. Even though not all agree 100% on regulating turbines coming to our state, they all accepted Lilli with open arms and presented her with pins and a flag. Pictures coming soon. Thanks for sharing her dreams of No Turbines in Alabama!

    You can still vote. She had 1200 this morning but the issue is not over yet for citizens of Alabama so we appreciated Lillian’s help and yours. Thanks to all who are sharing her petition. Her mother showed all the comments from people all over the world they had received to Senators, Representatives, and the press. They mentioned they lived under turbines and how WTS affected them.

    Keep the comments coming, too, as you never know where they will be shared.

  3. Comment by Robert Rand on 03/20/2014 at 5:13 pm

    I am privileged to support and affirm Cara Coker in her petition for her daughter Lilian.

    As a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering institute (INCE), I hold paramount the safety, health and welfare (well-being) of the public. My extensive field research on wind turbines over the last five years has confirmed that large industrial wind turbines are harmful to health when placed too close to neighbors.

    The World Health Organization’s precautionary principle should be followed in the US (US a member of WHO), as many aspects of large industrial wind turbine noise pollution are not as yet fully understood — except by neighbors who have experienced everything from headaches to sleep disturbance to nausea and vomiting, and had to move beds to basements or abandon their own homes to seek refuge.

    May common sense and critical thinking take the reins and guide those involved, on a sensible path.

  4. Comment by Ella on 03/21/2014 at 8:46 am

    Dear Cara,

    Lillian is an exceptional child, one with an “old soul.” Her wisdom soars high in her ability to know the difference between good and evil.

    God bless her and you in your battle.

The comments are closed.