Tip o’ the hat to Mothers Against Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are everywhere out here
They’re over 300 feet high. They kill birds. They’re linked to cancer.
Siobhan Braun — San Diego Reader — August 21, 2013
Donna Tisdale’s home office looks like something out of an episode of the TV show Hoarders. Paperwork spills off a crowded desk. Boxes are strewn on the floor. Every inch of space is consumed with reports, educational mailers, studies, and oversized maps of green-energy projects slated for the community of Boulevard.
“Unfortunately, this is my full-time job right now,” she says. “It’s a whirlwind. Sometimes I stay up all night. Basically, it’s a shit storm, and it’s coming from all angles: our federal government, our state government, and our local government. They all want these green-energy projects.”
California has mandated that by 2020, 33 percent of our energy must come from renewable sources. As of 2010, only 14.5 percent of California’s energy came from renewable sources, resulting in a push to create more solar and wind farms. In 2012, California’s wind-energy generation soared, and we are now second in the nation for wind-generated electricity.
The community of Boulevard is transitioning into an industrial, green-energy zone. Wind and solar companies have descended on the area with plans to erect wind turbines, solar panels, electric substations, and access roads. Iberdrola’s Tule Wind (15,000 acres), Invenergy’s Shu’luuk (4739 acres), and Enel’s Jewel Valley (8000 acres) are all green-energy projects currently in the works for this small backcountry community. If they are approved, thousands of acres in Boulevard will be consumed.
Donna Tisdale is doing her best to prevent it. …
… Tisdale grew up down the hill in Imperial County, in Brawley, and has resided in Boulevard for over 30 years. She feels an obligation to protect her community’s beauty and integrity.
“I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything when the Southwest Power Company came through here in the ’80s. I was pretty young, in my 20s, and I didn’t understand what was happening. Looking back now, it was as big of a fraud as all these other green-energy projects. But when the Kumeyaay wind turbines went up [on land adjacent to Boulevard], we thought, They are clean and green.”
As you enter the Manzanita Indian Reservation north of Boulevard, the Kumeyaay Wind Farm turbines can be seen from the road. They stretch across the hillside, resembling skyscraper versions of pinwheels placed in springtime gardens.
The 25 wind turbines stand side-by-side. They are the size of 20-story buildings, with 218-foot-tall towers and 141-foot blades. The gentle whooshing sound combines with spinning shadows tossed against the ground to produce a hypnotic feeling. They look serene.
Turbines owned by the Campo Tribe are on the Campo Reservation, which borders the Manzanita Reservation.
Ginger Thompson, a Manzanita tribal member, owns a home less than a football field away from the turbines. Since the construction of the wind farm, Thompson and her neighbors have complained about serious health issues. Thompson recently had part of her kidney removed after being diagnosed with kidney cancer. She and a handful of her neighbors were invited to participate in a Cal State San Marcos medical study to determine if their ailments are linked to the turbines.
An epidemiologist tested the homes that sit closest to the wind turbines on the Manzanita Reservation, confirming the presence of unconventional levels of electrical current, electromagnetic fields, and electromagnetic interference with power quality.
“A lot of tribal members got their houses tested after they found out about the different cancers going around,” Thompson says. “It scared people. We don’t want to panic. We just want to know what is going on, what these [wind turbines] produce, and if they’re harming us.”
Epidemiologist Dr. Samuel Milham, adjunct professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and author of Dirty Electricity, visited the Manzanita Reservation twice to measure ground, air, and building stray voltage. He found that those living on the reservation are exposed to levels of transient voltage a thousand times higher than normal in their air and soil. Milham reports that the turbines produce enough dirty energy to sufficiently increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and attention-deficit disorder. Continue reading full article, here…..