From South Coast Today, Mass: If turbines create problems, put blame on the right parties

This sad commentary shows another example in New England, of wind turbine neighbors being isolated from their community. In Fairhaven, the controversy is raging before the turbine installation is complete. Neighbors nearby know what is about to happen to them.

If turbines create problems, put blame on the right parties

By Scott Durant, Fairhaven, Mass
March 14, 2012 12:00 AM
While it is easy for a bystander to view Fairhaven’s turbine situation lightly — like the majority of the town is doing who don’t need to worry about any impacts or don’t believe the potential for problems exists — I ask you to please stop and think for a while and consider how you would feel if the turbines were actually going up near your home. Try to picture their imposition on your life: the constant distraction of seeing the giant blades spinning every minute you spend outside your home, hearing them most of the time day or night, and having trouble sleeping when they are loud. Picture this being inflicted on you with no choice in the matter, and being locked into it because you probably couldn’t sell your house if you wanted to.

Also try to imagine how it feels to have the rest of the town, with the exception of a few, not caring at all about your fear that your happiness could be turned upside down, and probably won’t care if it does happen because it’s not happening to them.

I live about half a mile away from the site and hope, with fingers crossed, that I will be only minimally affected when the wind blows in certain directions, but I feel deeply for those less fortunate who will be much closer to them. It really bothers me that so many people are too cold to share the same compassion for others — it is a demerit to the human race. Ignorance can be forgiven, but not selfishness. Most people who are cheering on the turbines, while hoping to see some benefit for themselves, would, without question, be cheering a different tune if the turbines were being put up near their homes — and they know it. This, I am certain of.

When I arrived at the blade signing, I noticed far more luxury SUVs and sport trucks than fuel efficient vehicles parked for the event, while people talked to reporters about “how much we need to conserve and look for alternatives” (“Sign of the times: Proponents, protesters attend signing of Fairhaven’s turbine blades,” March 11). Am I out of line in saying that at least some of these people are hypocrites?

This town has been tragically divided. Though a small group is the most active, there are hundreds of people opposed to the project, contrary to what Selectman Brian Bowcock would like you to believe. Whether it gets better or worse, I guess, is up to the turbines themselves. Personally, I am trying hard to keep an open mind for my own sake, so that if I am bothered by them, I’ll know it is for real. If the turbines don’t affect anybody, I have nothing against them being there. If they do affect nearby people, there is a fair chance it will be many people — possibly enough to cause them to be stopped and brought down.

This is a risk the selectmen and the developers took when they put them too close to a community. If this all turns out to be a disaster, it will clearly be their fault, not ours. If this does happen, I can only hope the townspeople would see that and throw the blame in the right direction, rather than strenghtening the divide and adding to the damage themselves by blaming the innocent.

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