WBUR

Falmouth To Vote On Removing Wind Turbines

FALMOUTH, Mass. — Following an outcry from opponents, Falmouth Town Meeting votes next week on whether to remove both of the municipally owned turbines, only three years after the first turbine went up.

If approved, Falmouth would become the first town in the country to tear down its turbines.

Residents’ Health Complaints

Neil Andersen hung signs all over the trees and utility poles along the road in back of his Falmouth home. He says the pulsations from wind turbines have caused numerous health problems. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

Neil Andersen hung signs all over the trees and utility poles along the road in back of his Falmouth home. He says the pulsations from wind turbines have caused numerous health problems. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

The turbines sit at the Falmouth wastewater treatment plant, which abuts a residential area. Several nearby residents said the turbines have been causing a range of health problems for them.

Blacksmith Shop Road snakes behind the treatment plant and is dotted with homes surrounded by woods. Outside the house of Neil Andersen, trees are littered with signs calling for the turbines to be shut down, saying “Support Our Neighbors: Stop the Turbines Now!”

“Not a day goes by that I don’t wake up trying to decide how I’m going to fight the turbines that particular day,” Andersen said. He says he has suffered financially and physically ever since the first turbine, Wind I, started running March 23, 2010.

Andersen ticked off his health problems: “Headaches, loss of balance, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, memory loss, unable to focus, unable to concentrate.”

“When the turbines are operating, it’s sheer hell for me,” added neighbor John Ford. “I don’t sleep like I used to sleep. I’ll wake up at night and my chest is pounding and I’m breathing heavily.”

Ford said his cholesterol has “gone wild” since Wind I started operating, and he was prescribed blood pressure medication for the first time.

Their complaints match others in communities with turbines, such as Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate.

While many scientists say there needs to be more research, most current research finds wind turbines cannot cause the health problems Andersen and Ford said they have experienced.

A few studies do suggest that noise from wind turbines can disturb sleep, which, in turn, can cause health problems. Other research suggests the effects are psychological — for example, stress caused by annoyance from constantly hearing the rhythmic sound of spinning blades.

‘Fracturing The Community’

We went to three different turbines: in Hull, Scituate and Falmouth. The Hull turbine was audible, but had to compete with a lot of other noise from airplanes flying overhead in and out of Logan Airport, as well as wind from the ocean whipping by. Falmouth’s Wind I was by far the noisiest, sounding like a shovel scraping pavement in measured increments.

Last year, Malcolm Brown stands under the turbine he helped usher through in Hull. There have been very few complaints about the two turbines in Hull. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

Last year, Malcolm Brown stands under the turbine he helped usher through in Hull. There have been very few complaints about the two turbines in Hull. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

Certainly, it was not a scientific test. But noise in Falmouth was audible. In fact, the town decided to shut down the turbines at night because the noise was above state limits.

Whether the town should go further and remove the towers — and what went wrong in Falmouth — is the subject of heated debate.

The turbines are larger than originally planned, but Falmouth Energy Committee Chair and turbine supporter Megan Amsler insisted that after nine years of study the turbines were sited correctly.

She said taking them down would be a “rash” decision.

“It’s going to have a very detrimental impact on the wind industry,” Amsler said. “It’s going to set a horrible precedent for a very small group of people that are complaining about this.”

Amsler said the complaints are coming from less than two dozen households near the turbines. The town health department, where complaints are filed, could not verify the number of households that had lodged complaints.

“There are a lot of people who don’t want to get out and speak out against this because they’re friends and neighbors of these people and they just don’t, they don’t know what to believe,” Amsler said, adding that the three-year-long fight has gotten vicious: “I know that the selectmen have been harassed. I myself have been harassed.”

“It was fracturing the community,” said Falmouth Board of Selectmen Chair Kevin Murphy. “We were pitting neighbor against neighbor and we need to put this behind us to move forward.”

Murphy and the other board members unanimously agreed to put the question before Town Meeting on April 9. Murphy said that if the turbines stay, Falmouth won’t be able to do any other clean energy projects because this one has been so divisive.

“If we don’t learn from this and other communities in this state don’t learn from this that you can’t put these size turbines within half a mile or a mile of neighbors, well shame on all of us,” he said.

State, Other Towns Watching Closely

State energy officials, with their goal of expanding wind energy in Massachusetts, are watching all of this closely, but have been careful to not step in to the Falmouth fray.

Alicia Barton, head of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency, would not say whether there were mistakes made in Falmouth, but she did say there were some lessons.

“We do know that the more upfront planning, the more community involvement and the more analysis that’s done upfront of potential impacts like noise … we do think that that will be likely to lead to more successful projects,” Barton said.

Barton would not comment on whether the clean energy center would help pay to remove the turbines, as requested by the town. Estimates range from $5 million to $15 million to remove the turbines and pay back federal stimulus grants and state money.

Neil Andersen and John Ford stand on the back porch of Andersen’s house on Blacksmith Shop Road in Falmouth. Both say the town's wind turbines have caused them health issues. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

Neil Andersen and John Ford stand on the back porch of Andersen’s house on Blacksmith Shop Road in Falmouth. Both say the town’s wind turbines have caused them health issues. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

The center’s board is expected to discuss Falmouth’s request at its meeting Tuesday.

Falmouth turbine neighbors Andersen and Ford said the final decision on the two towers cannot come soon enough. Andersen said he thinks about moving every day.

“If I had the choice tomorrow I would move away and just hopefully never hear the word ‘turbine’ again in my life,” he said. But Andersen said no one would want to buy his house because of all the trouble he’s had living there since the turbines were installed.

For Ford, the choice is simple: “I don’t want to move. I like where I am. … I think the turbines should have to move.”

State and municipal officials are watching closely. If the Falmouth turbines do come down, it could set a precedent for other communities where residents have also complained, like Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate.

4/3 Update: In March, WBUR called the Falmouth Health Department and was told the agency did not have data on the number of households that had complained about the wind turbines. After this story aired, Falmouth Board of Health Vice Chair Jed Goldstone contacted WBUR to provide the data. It shows that at a public hearing in May 2012, 25 households reported health effects and that the most persistent complaints came from 14 households. Goldstone noted that in some households, not everyone said they felt affected by the turbines.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1014120784 Aria Littlhous

    The obvious question: Why don’t they just shut them down at night? That is the middle path, no?

    • ytreggah

      These turbines are torture 24/7 ! Your asking to only torture someome for 12 hours and not 24 ? Day after day 12 hours a day the noise continues like a beating that never stops .The home owners are the original stake holders they lost their residential property rights – This is a major health question. You can’t take peoples health or lives for the good of the rest of the town .

    • http://twitter.com/MassClimate MassClimateAction

      They did. The complaints didn’t subside.

  • ytreggah

    Has wind turbine torture really been turned into morally neutral entertainment for the proponents of commercial wind in Falmouth ? At the end of World War II citizens who lived near prison camps were asked why they did nothing about the torture. They replied :”we didn’t know what was going on”. The next question for which they had no reply was ” didn’t you notice millions of your neighbors missing ?

    The Town Of Falmouth, Massachusetts made a mistake building commercial megawatt turbines too close to residential homes. The town will now vote to either take down the turbines or take up to 99 homes by eminent domain.

    An eminent domain case can range from being straight forward to extremely complicated. Typically, cases can be tried or resolved within two (2) to three (3) years from the date that the lawsuit is filed. The Falmouth eminent domain case would quickly go to class action certification under Massachusetts Civil Procedure Rule 23: Class Actions. The homes are being taken after the town wind turbines were found too loud by state laws and regulations.

    Massachusetts has a renewable energy goal of 2000 megawatts of renewable energy by the year 2020. If the vote in Falmouth is to take the residential homes the legal action by abutters and/or homeowners could stretch out to the year 2020 and the town could lose. The legal action could halt commercial wind in Massachusetts until the case is decided in 6 to 8 years.

    Leaving the Falmouth wind turbines in place jeopardizes the states renewable energy goal

  • Jasoturner

    Just because a linkage has not yet been found between proximity to turbines and human health problems, that does not mean the concerns of these citizens should be given short shrift. Just as low frequency sonar seems to screw up whales, so may low frequency vibrations have unexpected effects on human health.

    Maybe a prudent first step would be to shut down the turbines and monitor these people for a while. If their physical conditions demonstrably improve, then the town can decide the next step.

    BTW, I am a big proponent of sustainable energy solutions, but I am not an ideologue. I don’t mind having these technologies challenged and their safety and efficacy carefully tested out.

    • Joshua Nagle

      It already has been studied in Canada

      • Jasoturner

        Any links or summary of findings? Guess I’ll ask the Google…

    • http://twitter.com/MassClimate MassClimateAction

      The town took the step of turning off the turbines at night and people still complained that they were disrupting sleep; “just knowing that they are there” was enough to disrupt some people. Studies in NZ and Australia have found links between anti-wind group lobbying and public health complaints, and also that study participants who were told about “wind turbine syndrome” were much more likely to complain about noise effects than people who were not (even when there was no infrasound present). See: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/wind-turbine-sickness-all-in-the-mind-study-20130315-2g4zd.html

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

        Personally, the psychogenic theory is disproved. I was experiencing pressure head aches only after the operation of Wind 1, and well before any neighborhood knowledge or internet investigation of what might happen if exposed to wind turbines placed too close to my home (APR 2010).

  • dust truck

    Is this a late April fools joke? These people are complaining about NOISE in a world where cars, airplanes and even the fricken’ TeeVee make more noise. I have ABSOLUTELY no sympathy for these luddites. If they don’t want noise from technology they should move to northern Alberta.

    It reminds me of a town in New Jersey that removed the solar panels from telephone poles because they “were ugly”. REALLY like the TELEPHONE POLES weren’t ugly to begin with? What planet do these fools think they live on??

    • Eric Shanabrook

      I will add to that…loud motorcycles. Help!

      • dust truck

        that’s true. Ever since the weather’s been getting warmer I’ve been getting reminded of their existence every night between the hours of 1am and 2am.

    • ByondPolitics

      I live next door to Logan. I’ve got business in Falmouth. The steady repeated grinding is far worse than anything associated with the airport. The other terrible effect is the flickering light as the blades pass. It is maddening.

      • dust truck

        Seems like an objective assessment, no? Perhaps airplanes don’t bother you because they’ve been part of our life for the past 60 or so years. Admittedly I haven’t heard the turbines, but I’d imagine if they are anything less than 85 decibels they’ll fit right in to the cacophony of our modern life.

  • Joshua Nagle

    people love a bogeyman. Nothing points to any health problems from any studies, including in Canada where this was a national issue! So what do they want to go back to? polluting fossil fuels that are proven to be harmful to health? This is simply people with too much time on their hands.

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/consult/_2013/wind_turbine-eoliennes/research_recherche-eng.php

    • Jasoturner

      Ah, thanks!

    • crescentfang

      Nobody said that a coal fired plant in a residential area was a good idea either.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jmorrisson Jane Morrisson

    I saw a report on TV that showed the flickering in a home on a sunny day while the turbines were in operation. I think that would bother me more than the noise. What about the town offering to sound-proof the homes by adding insulation and putting in better windows? I live on a busy road, and the road noise is constant. My next door neighbor put in brand new windows and you can stand in the living room and not hear the traffic 30 feet away.

    • Mike C

      you can’t practically noise proof that low frequency. Low frequency = large wavelengths will go through almost any material unless ridiculously thick.

  • Jim Wiegand

    Disable them first, then worry about their removal.

    For a look at the very dark side of wind energy, everybody needs to read either
    one of these articles, “Hiding the slaughter” or “Big Wind& Avian Mortality”
    (Parts I and II: Hiding the Problem). Readers will understand that by supporting wind, they are supporting a completely fraudulent empire. In the comments of “Big Wind
    & Avian Mortality” (Parts I and II: Hiding the Problem) there is in depth discussion about cats, windows, and all the meaningless deflective comments made by the industry.

    I recently reviewed another terrible mortality study worked up by the wind
    industry. It was sent to me by a very concerned group of people. For this study
    the actual kill rate was in the range of 500-600 bird and bat deaths per MW per
    year. It could very easily be as high as 750 per year. The study reported about
    6% of this number. I believe details about this disgraceful study including all
    the slimy little tricks that were used to hide mortality will be published
    soon. There are dozens of other studies I would love to get my hands on and
    analyze but I can not find them. Many are from Texas and the central flyway wind farms. .

    I am interested in all the wind industry’s studies because I have found that the wind
    industry has been creating their special version of science for over 30 years.
    This is how the AWEA estimates the kill rate for America’s turbines to be 2.4 per
    birds per MW per year. The only way this could be true is if the turbines were
    broken. The 2.4 number can be found at the link provided. Interestingly the
    last time I looked it was higher at 2.9.
    http://www.awea.org/blog/index.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1699=20663

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samuel-Sitar/100001444731897 Samuel Sitar

      no, the turbines need suspension like cars have.

  • Maui Mike

    Let’s regress. Remove the turbines along with indoor carpeting, upholstered furniture & all other products made w/ people friendly ingredients like formaldehyde & benzene. Maybe then the people of Falmouth can breathe easier…

  • X-Ray

    Ironic. One of the most liberal states in the nation, Massachusetts, is always
    militating for “renewable energy”. Yet when a few wind turbines are set up the
    cry goes up about impact on The View, The Noise, and the “Light Flash” effects,
    all without any scientific evidence. All the NIMBYs come out of the woodwork
    when it lands in their backyard.

  • Tom Cashman

    I am a Falmouth resident, and have known Neil Andersen for over 10 years, and I can attest to the fact that he is a stand up guy and a great craftsman. This is not a case of Neil (and the rest of the community around the turbines) being NIMBY’s. Its a case of jamming some vestiges of unsettled science onto our neighbors and friends. Take them down Falmouth!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samuel-Sitar/100001444731897 Samuel Sitar

    please keep the turbines. they make useful electricity.

  • MA concerned citizen

    There are many fine points made in this article. I applaud WBUR for reporting on this story and for going to Falmouth, Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate to cover this important story. There are now 21 locations in MA where people living in the proximity of wind turbines are reporting adverse health impacts (http://www.windwisecapecod.com/)

    Unfortunately in the article there is a statement that is not correct regarding health impacts:

    “While many scientists say there needs to be more research, most current research finds wind turbines cannot cause the health problems Andersen and Ford said they have experienced.”

    There are no studies to my knowledge that make the assertion that wind turbines can not cause these symptoms.

    There are no population studies or even small case control studies which have been performed in the vicinity of large operating wind turbines, confirming that there are no adverse health effects for any of the residents from these wind turbines. However, there is ample peer-reviewed evidence as well as adverse event reports to demand that the precautionary principle apply regarding wind turbine siting near people. (The precautionary principle states that “when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. …[and] the proponent of an activity should bear the burden of proof.” 1http://www.sehn.org/precaution.html)

    The paid MassDEP Wind Science Panel findings “literature review of selected materials” referenced does not make this assertion.

    There are many problems with this document that is referenced and the process that MassDEP utilized.

    There is overwhelming and growing evidence demonstrating that wind turbines cause serious health problems for people living nearby at a nontrivial rate.

    Unfortunately in the article there is a statement that is not correct regarding the number of people in Falmouth with health problems:

    “Amsler said the complaints are coming from less than two dozen households near the turbines”

    There are a number of public documents that show there are at least 50 people in Falmouth who have made a formal complaint, made public comments at town board meetings, and written letters documenting their health problems.

    There also are a few statements in the article that could be misunderstood:

    A few studies do suggest that noise from wind turbines can disturb sleep, which, in turn, can cause health problems. Other research suggests the effects are psychological — for example, stress caused by annoyance from constantly hearing the rhythmic sound of spinning blades

    Chronic sleep deprivation:

    Disturbing sleep and chronic sleep deprivation are completely different.

    Wind turbines cause chronic sleep deprivation for people who live nearby.

    Chronic sleep deprivation is a serious medical condition.

    Long term chronic sleep deprivation is widely known to cause a whole host of other ailments including diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart failure, heart attack, mental impairment, injury from accidents and poor quality of life.

    Annoyance:

    Annoyance from ordering a rare hamburger and receiving a well-done hamburger in a restaurant and annoyance from living in the proximity of wind turbines are completely different.

    Annoyance is frequently referred to when speaking about wind turbines. It is a precise medical term. It is noise induced stress that “can mean a significant degradation in the quality of life. This represents a degradation of health in accordance with the World Health Organization’s definition of health, meaning total physical and mental well-being, as well as the absence of disease.” Alice Suter (1991)

    Effects are psychological:

    There is a misconception fostered by the wind energy industry that people who experience health problems are lying or have other psychological problems therefore we should not listen to their complaints. People living near wind turbines all over the world report the same pattern of symptoms even when they do not speak English and are in areas that have little internet connection. Unfortunately the people who are being impacted and have the courage to speak out are being demeaned. As compassionate human beings we should not allow this to happen to our fellow citizens.

    Does this sound familiar? Is this the same tactic that was used by the tobacco industry, the asbestos industry and others? Do we need to travel this same path regarding wind turbines?

    The abstract of the article referenced states that this study is from “households near ten small and micro wind turbines” which is not the situation in Falmouth, Scituate, Fairhaven, Kingston and Hoosac where there are large industrial wind turbines.

    Regarding the statements by:
    “Falmouth Energy Committee Chair and turbine supporter Megan Amsler”

    The Board of Selectmen in Falmouth were highly critical of Ms. Amsler’s statements in opposition to the voted concerns of the board to find a path to take down the wind turbines.

    The bottom line is that more education is needed about the health problems from wind turbines.

    There are health problems related to audible noise as well as infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN). A recent peer reviewed article contains information regarding a Falmouth wind turbine.

    2012. Ambrose, S., Rand, R., and Krogh, C. “Wind turbine acoustic investigation: infrasound and low frequency noise – A case study.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 32(2) 128-141. 2012.

    I sincerely hope that WBUR will follow up with more stories about this important topic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nadia-Nichols/1579626286 Nadia Nichols

    These machines produce infrasound, low frequency sound waves, which can cause serious health problems. This has been scientifically proven. NASA and the US military have done many studies on infrasound. At one time the military was considering using infrasound as a weapon. The machines in Woodstock cause radar readings that look like intense snow storms, which is why military installations don’t want these things built near them.

    • Al Dorman26

      wtf?

    • Minor Heretic

      When you ride in a car you subject yourself to 85-100 decibels of infrasound. For some reason this doesn’t reduce you to a quivering blob of protoplasm. Likewise any major metro area has infrasound levels far higher than those in the proximity of wind turbines. Somehow the Manhattanites survive.

      People who don’t give a damn about wind turbines, or like wind turbines, are magically unaffected. People who get lease payments on their land for hosting wind turbines also gain a miraculous immunity to the sound of wind turbines.

      Hypochondriacs will find something on which to hang their symptoms.

      Their radar signature has nothing to do with acoustics.

  • crescentfang

    It might be cheaper to take the houses by eminent domain but, obviously, the location of the turbines is a problem. The turbine farms in California are in unpopulated areas and Cape Wind can barely be seen from the shoreline. Someone was less than honest when they talked the town into installing the turbines in a residential area.

  • http://twitter.com/dryfoo G.L. Dryfoos

    They’re right. Take down the wind turbines, put a big dome over the whole town, and fire up a coal-burning plant instead. That’ll be much quieter.

  • NortheasternEE

    Wind turbines are not a replacement for coal plants. When the wind blows, coal plant power is reduced to operating less efficiently continuing to pollute at the same rate.
    Wind turbines increase the cost of electricity for nothing in return!

  • Al Dorman26

    They’re idiots.

  • Edward Snow

    I live in Winthrop adjacent to Logan. The Falmouth people know nothing about noise..Neighbors must compromise and work with the problems any new device may bring. I would look forward to turbines but they would interfere with the planes. I have also lived in Newton near the turnpike and that was continuous noise. Planes are better than cars and turbines are much better. Stop crying and use earplugs.

    • beth

      Earplugs do not dampen low frequencies enough to help these people. Most of us are accustomed to the noise typical of modern life, but frequent airplanes or the noise of the turnpike are very different from the suffering caused by constant exposure to low frequencies.
      I’ve always thought wind was part of the answer to our energy needs, and I would have thought the same as you about the people who claim to be suffering, but I’ve been plaugued by a constant low frequency noise of unknown origin for 5 months and it is driving me mad. Experience has taught me empathy.

  • thebiggreenlie

    Lots of Wind Trolls in this comment section isn’t there?………….I guess the Wind Scammers are afraid of losing their turn at the public money trough!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Barnard/604449062 Mike Barnard

    Lots of disinformation flying about on this comment thread and in the article itself.

    A few facts:Wind farms don’t harm human health, anti-wind campaigners do. 17 major reviews world wide of all of the available research by credible, independent groups have cleared wind farms of health impacts. Meanwhile, studies in the UK, Australia and New Zealand point the finger at anti-wind lobbyists spreading health fears and jacking up stress. http://barnardonwind.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/wind-farms-dont-make-people-sick-so-why-the-complaints/

    Infrasound produced by wind farms is harmless; humans evolved with infrasound and wind farms produce less than waves on a beach, yet beach front property is in major demand. http://barnardonwind.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/humans-evolved-with-infrasound-is-there-any-truth-to-health-concerns-about-it/

    As for Jim Wiegand who has chimed in below, one of his massive distortions is fully debunked here: http://barnardonwind.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/wind-farms-are-being-built-along-whooping-crane-migration-paths-is-there-any-risk-to-them/

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

      A few Falmouth Facts – Wind turbine site feasibility investigators discovered well before construction began, noise impact and probable violations were expected — a significant piece of analysis that largely accounts for the community problem today.

      MA DEP Deputy Commissioner Martin Suuberg is quoted in South Coast Today piece ~State to consider turbine-specific noise regulations~ (1/8/13), “There is a different quality of noise generated by turbines.” MA DEP confirmed night noise violations in Falmouth early 2012, and the agency supports the belief that a pronounce probability exists that exceedances are occurring at properties not tested.

      MA Department of Public Health was urgently requested, by Falmouth Board of Health, to assist in site specific comprehensive health survey. The agency initially agreed, then suddenly REFUSED.

      Town Manager reported to Selectmen/Finance Committee (Jan 2013), the night curtailment mode placed on turbines is fiscally unsustainable. Board of Health on record stating night curtailment restriction never to be altered to point of allowing less that acceptable period for sleep.

      That policy consistent with findings of the MA Turbine-Health Expert Panel Report – “Given the effects of sleep deprivation on health and well-being, including problems with mood and cognition, it is possible that cognitive and mood complaints and other medical or psychological issues associated with sleep loss can stem from LIVING IN IMMEDIATE PROXIMITY TO WIND TURBINES, if the turbines disrupt sleep.” Page 32 Final Report

      MIKE – In Falmouth, it’s not about what wind farms do or don’t do. It’s simply about protecting residents! The real question before Falmouth town meeting, and further, what neighbors must silently weigh at the ballot box, is whether the redemptive value of community capital has more importance than municipal solvency.

      The broader reckoning before Falmouth pits the continuation of community division against unification.

  • http://twitter.com/ecodonross Don Ross

    It’s another example of Boogeyman Syndrome….otherwise known as BS.

  • Fakeaccount

    Just another baby boomer, improving things for the rest of us.

  • NortheasternEE

    What is missing from the discussion is the fact that the MassDEP found Wind-1 out of compliance with the state’s noise pollution regulation.

    Wind turbine noise is constantly changing with wind speed and direction. The probability that the maximum noise levels will be measured in a limited number of samplings is low. Statistically, a violation or even a close to violation is indicative of long periods of excessive noise in the neighborhood.

    There are three identical wind turbines in the neighborhood. By implication all three are operating illegally.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    You know what I hate about wind turbines?

    The smokestacks.

    The smoke.

    The smog.

    The mercury pollution.

    The cooling towers.

    The explosions.

    The spills.

    The limited fuel supply.

    The other countries that control the wind.

    The military cost to defend the wind.

    The radiation.

    The death of miners.

    The fly ash.

    The tailing ponds.

    The methane gas releases.

    The huge carbon footprint.

    The increasing cost over time.

    The inefficiency.

    The pipelines.

    The contaminated water.

    The damage to our lungs and overall health done by wind turbines is horrendous.

    The acid rain is nasty.

    The mountaintop removal.

    The waste.

    I also hate the fact that they look like graceful wind sculptures, that
    let us see the wind. I hate the fact that they are much quieter than a
    highway. The ranchers and farmers with wind turbines hate the “mailbox money”.

    +++

    Not really…

    PUT THEM IN MY BACK YARD — PLEASE!

    • beth

      For a long time I believed that wind would be the best way to be rid of fossil fuels and all the other problematic sources of power. However, just because wind seems far superior in so many ways does not mean that the people of Falmouth are not legitimately suffering.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Why have the folks living in Hull for all these years not had any complaints? Or the folks in Texas and Oklahoma and Iowa and Montana and California or Norway or Spain or Germany – nobody else has any of these problems. So-called “wind turbine syndrome” has been debunked several times.

        This is an Astro turf issue funded by the third Koch brother who lives on the Cape.

        Neil

        • beth

          My understanding of this issue is that the Falmouth turbines are located much closer to a residential area than the Hull turbines. Most of the other areas you mentioned have much lower population densities than Massachusetts, so it is much easier to site turbines farther away from homes. Still, three families in Wisconsin have been forced to relocate due to infrasound from turbines: http://host.madison.com/news/local/environment/study-suggests-wind-turbines-low-frequency-noise-could-cause-health/article_835ba89e-5609-11e2-8b02-001a4bcf887a.html

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The oldest wind turbine in Hull is very close to the Hull High School.

            There is no such thing as “wind turbine syndrome”. It is simply FUD invented by the folks profiting from fossil fuels and nuclear power.

            Neil

          • beth

            The oldest wind turbine in Hull is a 660 kilowatt turbine. Falmouth has two 1650 kilowatt (1.65 megawatt) turbines. Not exactly the same thing.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Sure, it is smaller. But the larger Hull unit is 1.8Mw and it is also fairly close to homes, as well. There are also turbines in Sandwich and about 2 dozen around Massachusetts.

            http://www.masscec.com/index.cfm/cdid/12451

            How does the size of the turbine matter? What is the theory of why turbines cause the wide range of problems claimed?

            As I mentioned earlier, there are thousands of turbines all over the USA
            and many thousands in dozens of other countries around the world. Portugal gets over 70% of it’s electricity from renewables and about 29% from wind. Norway, Germany, Spain, and many countries have very large turbines – up to 6Mw and even larger – and no one it reporting any problems.

      • Chris Hart

        ITS HUGELY POLITICAL -NOT PRACTICAL,,THESE QUIET GIANTS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO RUN 500 HOMES ,,FULL TIME..EVEN THOUGH THE ELECTRICITY GOES TO THE GRID THE WORLD BENEFITS…SO DO WE WORRY ABOUT THE POLITICAL FRINGE OR THE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN OF THE WORLD…THESE TURBINES WERE NOT MEANT TO BE A SOAP BOX OR A STAGE FOR ACTORS OR ACTRESSES…..VOTE TO KEEP THEM UP…
        GOD AND MOTHER NATURE WILL FOREGIVE THIS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED SCAM… KEEP THE TURBINES///PROGRESS IS GOOD…

      • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

        I’m surprised they don’t blame autism on wind turbines.

  • Andrew Breiter Wu

    This is a freaking joke! How are we supposed to progress our environmental future when we are tearing down one of the very important sources of energy, that our world needs to harness. Maybe we can modify the wind turbines to be less bothersome to these residents but by no means should we tear them town. I think if we were to tear down the wind turbines we would be regressing rather than progressing towards an environmental state of sustainability.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    “Falmouth votes against dismantling 2 wind turbines”

    http://www.wbur.org/2013/04/10/falmouth-turbine-vote

  • Mark

    I live in michigan, and I am having the same symtoms that these people are complaining about!! I am 59 yo, and I don’t have a wind turbine within 40 miles of my house! It is called growing older people, you are going to have these kinds of things happen to you, ESPECIALY if you let it ‘get under your skin’!!!

  • Jim Wiegand

    500-600 Bird and Bat Fatalities per MW/ per year…………………..

    For those that believe in wind energy and the proliferation of industrial wind turbines, I always hear the same arguments used to rally the ignorant. “Wind is the future”, “it is green”, “we will be fixing climate change”, “we are backed with peer reviewed
    studies”, “it is a citizens duty to address this noble cause”, “wind creates badly needed jobs”, “it will get us off our dependence on Middle Eastern oil”, and when addressing the terrible impacts from these projects………. we represent the “greater
    good”.

    All of the people that make these claims might as well say that wind energy
    will cure warts, because it is all lies anyway. Wind energy actually solves
    none of the problems it is supposed to address. It does create some jobs but
    there would be far more jobs if society would concentrate on real solutions.
    Another point to never forget is that the titans of industry behind wind energy
    are lifetimes away from being altruistic. One of their commandments is to
    create as few jobs as possible so they can keep more for themselves.
    Automation, killing employee benefits, and outsourcing are perfect examples of
    this behavior.

    Here is the reality behind this noble “green” cause. Wind energy
    is a business with a product to sell. In order to sell this product it has to
    be promoted. In doing so it has relied upon a very deceptive game plan. Here is
    a look at some of these tactics: (1)The industry is saturated with rigged
    studies, (2) Wind energy is supported by agency collusion, (3) wind energy has
    created a world wide genocide of bats and birds but this has been kept hidden
    by rigging studies and avoiding meaningful ones, (4) wind turbines will cause
    the extinction of rare species but this fact has never been revealed to the
    public, (5 ) wind energy destroys property values from industrial squalor but
    the industry hides this fact with rigged appraisals. (6) wind creates the
    permanent destruction of habitat and ecosystems, (9) causes personal agony for
    close inhabitants and this industry again hides this fact with their rigged
    studies, (10) wind is robbing taxpayers, creating huge debt, and driving up
    energy costs, (11) has a mortality footprint of thousands of miles for all
    migrating bird and bat species but the public had to hear this from people like
    me instead of the agencies entrusted to protect these species, (12) wind energy
    is clearly supported by media manipulation, and (13) wind is being sold
    throughout the world by our trusted leaders and conservation groups which are
    nothing more than industry mouthpieces.

    This unaccountability has created profits in the billions and an industry
    that exudes a truly disgusting arrogance. In addition no one should ever ignore
    the fact that taking billions and billions in profits off the taxpayer’s backs
    is a clear motive to lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate.

    Readers should pay very close attention because no matter what any of the
    turbine supporters claim, there is far more evidence available to assume that
    25% of all bird species could become extinct by 2054 due to wind turbines than
    from climate change. After all it is the wind industry that has created the
    ongoing bird genocide. Just look under their turbines.

    I recently reviewed a mortality impact study that should have shown approx 500-600 bird and bat fatalities per MW/ per year. Of course nothing close to this mortality was disclosed. It was hidden in rigged methodology and contrived formulas.

    For an in-depth look at the very darkest side to wind energy, everyone should read either one of these articles, “Hiding the slaughter” or “Big Wind & Avian Mortality” (Parts I and II: Hiding the Problem). Readers will have a better understanding of industry’s avian genocide and by supporting wind; they are supporting a completely fraudulent empire.

    • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

      If you really want to protect birds you should advocate putting a hunting bounty on feral house cats.

      • Jim Wiegand

        I have decades of wildlife observations in the field and I can tell you the way it really is with CATS. Cats in remote locations are eaten and killed by the native species. With bobcats, coyotes, Mt. lions, and eagles around, cats do not have a chance. In all my years with many thousands of hours of wilderness observations in remote locations, I have never seen one feral cat, EVER. But I have seen plenty of these cat killers and cats that wander too far from the safety of communities disappear. So not only can these species easily kill a cat, they can out-compete them with their survival skills.

        Just to remind readers most of these bird and bat killing wind turbines are located in isolated or remote locations because people do not want them near their homes. In remote locations these feral cats are not slaughtering off eagles, cranes, geese, and every other indigenous species that flies. It is the wind turbines.
        .
        The irony in all of this is that any cats do happen to live around wind turbines, they are being fed by the carcasses falling to the ground from turbine blade strikes.

  • Chris Hart

    Let the Majestic Modern Miracles Stay—-Save the $100 k Removal exploratory investment –Get Maury Povich to give the 20+— ALLEDGED Global Whiners Lie Detector test..Maury will be glad to put and end to this Politically motivated Blunder Pot Pie..
    1.65 Megawatts powers 200-250 homes from a recent estimate… Truro and Wellfleet as well as Sandwich have lost Many Millions more from the two winter Storms..!! Step up to the Plate Falmouth Voters —KEEP THE TURBINES UP..!!

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