Gerry Simpson — The Chronicle Journal — May 2, 2013
A number of years back, before wind farms were of interest or concern to me, I saw on television a true story about wind turbines.In a small mid-western American farming community, an elderly couple operated a small farm. The woman admitted to having been pro-green energy.When first approached by wind farm representatives, she welcomed them with open arms. When they discussed placing the turbines on her property, promoting the benefits to her and her husband, to the surrounding community and to the environment, she gave her blessing.
At this point in the documentary she broke down in tears confessing that it became the sorriest day of her life and the biggest mistake that she had ever made.The couple took the camera crew for a tour.It showed a school abandoned because students lost their ability to study and to concentrate due to the “thumping sounds” of the turbines. Students’ marks had been in a steady decline since the arrival of the turbines.Next came a tour of adjacent farms abandoned with For Sale signs posted, all attributable to the presence of the turbines, their constant thumping distraction and shadow flicker interference.The woman admitted that the only reason they continued to reside on their farm was because they couldn’t afford to leave.Outside it was a bright, sunny day, but inside, the entire house was shrouded in an attempt to keep out the incessant turbine blade shadows that had become an everyday part of their life. In spite of having all of the window shades pulled shut, a constant shadow flicker permeated the room.Out in the barn, windows had been boarded up in an attempt to stifle the turbine blade sounds and shadow flickers. The few cows they still had no longer produced the milk they once did.The chickens no longer laid the amounts of eggs they once did. As a result, their farming income had taken a turn for the worse.The woman’s husband emphasized, “It is not like having a piece of machinery, an appliance with an on-off switch, something that if you tire of seeing or listening to you can turn it off and put it away. It is with you 24/7, until the day you die.”