Wind Turbine Syndrome

Clinical study of health effects of large wind turbines published

Rowe, Mass., Nov. 28, 2009 -- Dr. Nina Pierpont, a pediatrician and population biologist in Malone, New York, has announced the publication of her book-length study: Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment.

In interviews with 10 families living 1,000-4,900 feet away from recently built industrial-size wind turbines, a "cluster" of symptoms was revealed: from sleep disturbance, which affected almost everyone, to headache to tinnitus, vertigo, nausea, irritability, memory and concentration problems, and panic episodes. Industrial wind turbines have a total height of 300-400 feet or more, with blades of 125-150 feet that sweep 1.5-2 acres of vertical airspace.

The book includes supportive reviews and notices by several noted physicians in related disciplines. Although primarily directed towards medical professionals, it includes an informative and often poetic version for the lay audience.

The individuals affected by Wind Turbine Syndrome noticed that they developed symptoms after the turbines near their homes started turning. Symptoms were relieved when they left the area and resumed on their return. Eight of the ten families eventually moved away from their homes because of the severity of the symptoms.

Although not everyone living near turbines is subject to these symptoms, the data Pierpont presents are a concern, considering the current political drive to construct more and ever larger industrial wind turbines close to people's homes, as well as in the habitats of other equally or more sensitive animals.

Pierpont's sample size was large enough to show that individuals with pre-existing migraines, motion sensitivity, or inner ear damage are particularly vulnerable. People with anxiety or other mental health problems are not particularly susceptible, she says, contradicting the common claim of industry developers that "it's all in their head".

"This report is a public health wake-up call that our elected officials and administrators need to take very seriously", said Eric Rosenbloom, president of National Wind Watch, a clearinghouse for information about the adverse effects of industrial wind energy development.

Pierpont and other health and noise experts agree that at a minimum, large wind turbines should be 2 kilometers (1-1/4 miles) from any residence.

According to Pierpont, low-frequency noise or vibration from the wind turbines acts on the balance organs of the inner ear to make the body think it is moving. And this misperception of motion affects other brain functions, including physical reflexes, spatial processing and memory, and physiological fear responses (such as pounding heart and nausea).

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Letter to Italy Town Clerk

Dear Ms. Trischler:

Please share this with the members of the Town Board, and please confirm receipt of this email.

My husband and I are in escrow for the purchase of 5100 Sunnyside Road in Italy. We also have owned, for 15 years, 110 acres of wild land on Lent Hill in Cohocton. We dearly love the Finger Lakes region, and hope some day to retire there. At present, due to jobs, we must live elsewhere, and so cannot attend the September 19 meeting in person to express our concerns about the wind projects proposed for Italy township.

My husband works for an environmental consulting company that is world-renowned (see www.esri.com). We are both very eager to support sustainable, renewable resource management and energy production. We were initially supportive of the wind project planned for Cohocton, but as we researched it and got more informed about it, we became very concerned that it would turn out to be a disaster--both for the town and also for us personally.

It is turning out to be exactly that. The turbines are badly engineered and break down constantly. The crews ruined the roads putting them in, and the town has had a terrible job and has generated a lot of pollution rebuilding them. The town inhabitants have divided along pro and con lines and many don't speak to each other any more. The people who live within earshot of the turbines hate them with a passion, and that includes many people who were very supportive at first. The wind isn't consistent, and the turbines are usually not producing at "capacity" although they are still very noisy. I could go on and on.

We have a small cabin and we spend many weeks there each year, contributing to wildlife management and also to the local economy with our groceries and other purchases. We also pay taxes! So even though we don't live there year-round, we are not just absentee vacationers who don't care about the community.

The turbines often keep us awake at night. The blades make the sound of a jet engine, and the gears and machinery (that turns the turbine into the wind) are very loud, making loud crashing booms and creaking and grinding noises. You can't just learn to tune the noise out, because it changes all the time. The red night lights and the flicker caused by the sun through the blades are annoying, but the noise is just torture.

Ecogen does not care about the citizens or the quality of life in Italy. They are just using you, counting on your naïveté and ignorance. PLEASE don't make the same mistake that Cohocton made!

Carolyn Morehouse

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Night Noise in Cohocton


Says he has trouble sleeping due to the noise.

A Town of Cohocton man tells us that he has a turbine on his property and that there is a wind turbine next door, and because of the turbines, he has trouble sleeping at night. He says he has asked the wind companies to turn the wind turbine off, and he says they won't.

That wind farmer now describes having a wind turbine as the biggest mistake of his life. His complaint about noise is not uncommon. All over the state where the giant turbines are installed, people complain of the noise as well as the fact that shadows often cause problems. The turbines also tend to ruin any beauty on the countryside.

For clues about who this mystery man might be, read the article below. [Ed.]

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Mystery Deaths Solved

According to this month's issue of Smithsonian Magazine, "Multitudes of bats die around the world each year when they migrate through electricity-generating wind farms. University of Calgary researchers now say the main cause of death is "barotrauma": the turbines' large revolving blades create low-pressure zones that cause bat lungs suddenly to over-expand, tear and bleed."

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Pickens Plan Problems

US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Slim Pickens was a cowboy and actor, but a slim picking is not the adjectival phrase for T. Boone Pickens and his wealth. One of his books is titled. “The First Billion is the Hardest: Reflections on the Life of Comebacks and America’s Energy Future.” He is busily making the second and likely the third billion much easier. His plan uses the combination of wind power with energy sufficiency and independence for the US.

Initially, his advertisements put wind power front and center. In doing so, he put on the cloak of green, a phrase I co-opted from Elaine Dewar’s wonderful book of the same name. I’ve used the phrase to describe what many politicians feel forced to do. They understand the real science of climate change, but dare not appear opposed to protecting the environment.

Pickens uses wind power as his cloak of green to buy credibility and time to make natural gas the primary power for vehicles and develop nuclear and coal sources. He throws in other alternative energies as a lining to the cloak. I’ve advocated natural gas for vehicles and nuclear and coal for electricity for many years. Oil will serve the petrochemical industry and produce aviation fuels. Reduced demand for oil means that even current reserves will last for a very long time.

So what concerns me about Pickens' proposals? Initially it was the wind power proposal, which clearly demonstrates his lack of understanding of the severe limitations of that energy. More recently, it is the advertisement of a natural gas company spokesperson talking about his “good friend” Mr. Pickens. I am not opposed to capitalism or profit; however, I am opposed to achieving the latter with deception. Mr. Pickens folksy manner and financial success are used to convince people wind power can provide 20% of US energy. He appears on television programs selling his proposal to a public and political leaders desperate for solutions.

Pickens’ facade of being knowledgeable with a clear solution is quickly dispelled with a few facts about wind power. Like all alternate energies it is not a panacea. He needs to spend his money on accurate cost benefit analyses of all alternate energies. He should urge government to do the same thing before he takes a penny of the massive government subsidies that are seriously distorting analysis of alternative energies.

Click here to read the complete article by Dr. Tim Ball in this week's Canada Free Press.

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Letter to the Editor

Environmentalists holding U.S. back

To those with an open mind on wind power, I suggest a ride down Interstate 390 between Cohocton and Avoca. On the horizon are endless windmill generators that scar thousands of acres and ruin what was an outstanding natural vista. Exit at Cohocton and drive into the hills in the vicinity of these monstrosities. They are huge and grotesque. In a rural sense, they are in people's backyards. By contrast, a single nuclear plant would occupy 1 percent of the acreage and generate more power on a consistent basis. What happens to wind power when the wind dies? Conventional power is still needed for backup.

I cannot believe that environmentalists are sincere when they are willing to mar our scenic and inhabited landscape while opposing drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — a totally barren, flat and unoccupied space of a mere 2,000 acres out of 19 million acres in the Alaskan preserve. This leads me to conclude that the alternate energy movement is not about energy, but about forcing on us government control of our national productivity.

by Arnold Petralia, Greece

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Windmills split upstate towns

John Yancey stands on his property with wind turbines
from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in background

Windmills divide towns and families throughout upstate

Profits not enough to offset intrusion for some

"Listen," John Yancey says, leaning against his truck in a field outside his home.

The rhythmic whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of wind turbines echoes through the air. Sleek and white, their long propeller blades rotate in formation, like some otherworldly dance of spindly-armed aliens swaying across the land.

Yancey stares at them, his face contorted in anger and pain.

He knows the futuristic towers are pumping clean electricity into the grid, knows they have been largely embraced by his community.

But Yancey hates them.

He hates the sight and he hates the sound. He says they disrupt his sleep, invade his house, his consciousness. He can't stand the gigantic flickering shadows the blades cast at certain points in the day.

But what this brawny 48-year-old farmer's son hates most about the windmills is that his father, who owns much of the property, signed a deal with the wind company to allow seven turbines on Yancey land.

"I was sold out by my own father," he sputters.

Click here to read the entire Associated Press report by Helen O'Neill.

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Whiff of Corruption

In Rural New York, Windmills Can Bring Whiff of Corruption

Click on image to view a slide show

BURKE, N.Y. — Everywhere that Janet and Ken Tacy looked, the wind companies had been there first.

Dozens of people in their small town had already signed lease options that would allow wind towers on their properties. Two Burke Town Board members had signed private leases even as they negotiated with the companies to establish a zoning law to permit the towers. A third board member, the Tacys said, bragged about the commissions he would earn by selling concrete to build tower bases. And, the Tacys said, when they showed up at a Town Board meeting to complain, they were told to get lost.

“There were a couple of times when they told us to just shut up,” recalled Mr. Tacy, sitting in his kitchen on a recent evening.

Lured by state subsidies and buoyed by high oil prices, the wind industry has arrived in force in upstate New York, promising to bring jobs, tax revenue and cutting-edge energy to the long-struggling region. But in town after town, some residents say, the companies have delivered something else: an epidemic of corruption and intimidation, as they rush to acquire enough land to make the wind farms a reality.

“It really is renewable energy gone wrong,” said the Franklin County district attorney, Derek P. Champagne, who began a criminal inquiry into the Burke Town Board last spring and was quickly inundated with complaints from all over the state about the wind companies. Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo agreed this year to take over the investigation.

Click here to read the entire New York Times article by Nicholas Confessore.

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A wind superpower?

New York's future:
A wind superpower?

Wind power accounts for 1 percent of New York's generating capacity - the amount of electricity power plants could produce in a given moment if they ran full tilt. When it comes to the electricity actually generated and consumed over a full year - the kilowatt hours a customer would be charged for on an RG&E bill, for example - wind produces less than 1 percent.

To compare, nuclear and hydroelectric account for 27 percent of the state's capacity, but 45 percent of the actual electricity generated. Those two sources, for the time being, are the most economical in New York, says Gary Paslow, manager of communications for New York Independent System Operator, the organization that oversees the state's power grid. That's because of the rising cost of fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.

But New York is attractive to wind developers. There's enough wind to power the turbines, state policies require increasing use of renewable energy, and laws allow consumers to specifically choose to buy wind power.

What's tough to get at is just how much wind power New York could produce. The American Wind Energy Association, an industry group, ranks the state as 15th in the nation in terms development potential. But one of the most reliable estimates comes from NYISO. In a 2005 analysis, the organization studied 101 prospective wind generating sites in New York State.

The sites had a total potential capacity of 10,026 megawatts, says the analysis. One megawatt can power up to 1,000 homes.

But there are caveats that go along with that number: capacity is only one part of the picture, and since developers can't control when the wind blows, it's tough to predict actual output over time; the potential capacity is based on peak, not average, output; not all of the sites will be developed; and there are physical limits to what the state power grid can handle from an intermittent power source like wind.

The last bit is crucially important as a limiting factor. The NYISO study says that, based on technical factors and physics, the grid can only handle 3,300 megawatts of wind power.

Click here to read the whole article by Jeremy Moule in Rochester's City Newspaper.

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Wind energy will not reduce dependence on oil

To the Editor, Syracuse Post-Standard:

Integrity of all government-regulated and supported programs is an absolute requirement in a democratic society. However, characterizing wind energy as a "vital industry" demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of wind energy's capabilities to contribute in a significant way to our energy needs.

If your editor had attempted to understand some simple technicalities of wind energy, via even a cursory glance at readily available resources, he/she would have learned the following:

1) Wind energy is produced intermittently, frequently at times when electricity demand is lowest and not at all when demand is highest (picture a sultry summer day with AC on high is there much air moving?).

2) Because of the unpredictability and intermittency of wind generators, the whole infrastructure of existing fossil and nuclear units must remain and grow with increasing demand, regardless of the number of wind generators. As evidenced by experience in other parts of the United States and the world with significant wind generating capability, the efficiency of the controllable fossil infrastructure is reduced, contributing more greenhouse gases to the environment.

3) The list of tax and other incentives from both the state and federal governments is astounding. Look at the reasons that the Spanish company, Iberdrola, is refusing to buy Energy East unless it can also own wind farms, contrary to the recommendation of the state oversight authority.

Iberdrola would pay greatly reduced or no taxes because of the generosity of the state and federal governments toward wind farms. Guess who will shoulder the burden of the lost revenue?

4) Contrary to the beliefs of many, wind energy will not reduce our dependence on oil, foreign or domestic. About 3 percent or less of electricity is produced nationally by burning oil, and most of that generation is from burning low-grade oil residues that are unsuitable for refining into other fuels. There are many other arguments as well that are unfavorable to wind energy.

The rage "du jour" is wind energy. Questioners of wind energy are excoriated, effectively eliminating sound decision-making. Why do you think that there are ethical problems in the state requiring investigation by the attorney general? Surely you don't believe that it's because all of these enthusiastic supporters of wind energy are fighting to save the world, do you?

Frank J. Congel

Three Mile Bay

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Problems with Iberdrola

Why are New York Political and Business Leaders putting the interests of Spain-based Iberdrola ahead of the interests of New York’s taxpayers and electric customers? New York’s taxpayers and electric customers are facing a serious threat:

• Iberdrola, the Spanish company that wishes to acquire Energy East and its electric and gas distribution subsidiaries is insisting that it will “walk away from” the deal if it is not permitted to build “wind farms” in New York.
• High-powered New York political, business, labor and media leaders (including Governor Paterson and Senator Schumer) are working to get members of the NY State Public Utility Commission (NYS PSC) to overturn the PSC Staff’s recommendation and the Administrative Law Judge’s conclusion that Iberdrola should not be permitted to own both electric generating capacity (including “wind farms”) and electric distribution companies in NY.
• These NY “leaders” are striving in favor of Iberdrola despite the demonstrable negative impacts that Iberdrola’s proposal would have on New York’s taxpayers, electric customers, and state economy.

This brief, researched and written by Glenn R. Shleede:

• Provides details on the financial reason that apparently underlies Iberdrola’s insistence on the right to own “wind farms” in NY. That is, huge tax breaks available for “wind farms” could permit Iberdrola to sharply reduce or eliminate liability for paying federal or state tax income tax on profits from Energy East Companies’ electricity and gas distribution operations.
• Speculates about the reasons why NY “leaders” are working so hard on behalf of Iberdrola – and against the interests of NY taxpayers and electric customers – and the state’s economy.

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Renewables Need Backup

E.ON warns over backup for renewables

In an article this past week in UK's The Guardian Mark Milner briefly reports that one of the major problems "renewable energy" (read "wind-generated energy") has is its need for constant backup:

One of Britain's leading energy providers warned yesterday that Britain will need substantial fossil fuel generation to back up the renewable energy it needs to meet European Union targets. The UK has to meet a target of 15% of energy from renewables by 2020.*

E.ON said that it could take 50 gigawatts of renewable electricity generation to meet the EU target. But it would require up to 90% of this amount as backup from coal and gas plants to ensure supply when intermittent renewable supplies were not available. That would push Britain's installed power base from the existing 76 gigawatts to 120 gigawatts.

Paul Golby, E.ON UK's chief executive, declined to be drawn on how much the expansion would cost, beyond saying it would be "significant". Industry sources estimate the bill for additional generation could be well in excess of £50bn.

E.ON's calculations are part of what the company calls its energy manifesto - designed to draw attention to what Golby described as Britain's "trilemma" - balancing the priorities of carbon, costs and energy security.

"We are calling for a new balanced and honest debate about the UK's energy needs, one that truly assesses the consequences in terms of carbon, cost and security of our energy choices."

E.ON is investing or has plans to invest in a series of new generation projects including wind, marine, gas and coal and has indicated interest in new nuclear stations. Golby said he wanted to to confront single-issue campaigners.

*It's interesting to compare the more modest European goal of attaining 15% renewable energy by 2020 with New York State's overweaning goal of 25% by 2013. Both goals are stretches with negative downsides. However, NYS already has 16% renewable in the form of hydro and another 28% in non-carbon emitting nuclear power. Why do we need fickle, expensive wind power, other than to clutter the natural beauty of our lovely state and enrich the coffers of Iberdrola and its ilk at the expense of NY tax- and rate-payers?

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New Nina Pierpont Book


  • Available August 2008.
  • Approx. $10 + shipping. Discounted bulk orders.
  • The complete and authoritative report on Wind Turbine Syndrome to date.
  • Includes peer-review reports by American medical school faculty and other American scientists (including acousticians).
  • Intended for clinicians and people living in the shadow of wind turbines.
  • Based on the evidence presented, it calls for a minimum of 2 km setbacks of industrial turbines from people's homes.

Visit www.windturbinesyndrome.com for purchasing information.

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Eminent Domain Remarks

The following is from Jim Sawicki's public presentation to the Prattsburgh Town Board this past Thursday:

Good evening. I would like to thank the Town Board of Prattsburgh and everyone here tonight for giving me the opportunity to speak with you. I am a neighbor of Prattsburgh. My name is Jim Sawicki, and I own property in the town of Italy. So, it has come to this. Here we all are this evening faced with difficult issues... Neighbor pitted against neighbor. Communities split apart. For what? For whom?

Click here to read Jim's entire presentation. It's well worth your time.

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Clipper Turbines Fail in Buffalo

They've been up for less than a year. So, why are the Lackawanna windmills being taken apart so soon? George Richert from Buffalo WIBV News 4 reports on December 11th:

For a couple months now, most of the windmills on the old Bethlehem Steel property haven't been turning at all.

Norman Polanski, Lackawanna Mayor, "They're not turning plain and simple. That's what everybody keeps calling me about; the windmills aren't turning."

They all started turning for the first time in June. This Steelwinds Project was the first to use the newest Clipper Wind turbines, touted as the new standard for reliable performance, but by late summer, engineers discovered damage inside one of the gear boxes and then shut down 5 others because the timing was off in those gear boxes too.

A Clipper Vice President tells me the plan now is for a crane to arrive next week to take all of the gear boxes down send them back to the factory in Iowa and then replace them one by one throughout the winter. The towers will still stand, but the blades will have to come off of all eight wind mills. It could be March or April before the job is finished.

Norman Polanski, Lackawanna Mayor, "I know if I owned a company and I wasn't making any money, I wouldn't be a very happy fellow, so I can't believe they're satisfied with the status they have right now."

But Mayor Norm Polanski says whether they're turning or not, it will not stop the 100-thousand dollar annual payments the city receives from BQ Energy.

Norman Polanski, Lackawanna Mayor, "From the sense of us receiving our revenues, no. From the sense of people wanna see them, people love to see, people wanna see 'em turn."



What have I done?

The following compelling message appeared in a verified advertisement run in the October 25, 2007 issue of the Chilton Times-Journal in Wisconsin. It was written by Don Bangart of Chilton, Wisconsin following a 2-hour interview with a landowner in Northeast Fond du Lac County. The landowner, who wishes to remain anonymous, approved the text for publication:

I am involved with the BlueSky/Greenfield wind turbine project in N.E. Fond du Lac County. I am also a successful farmer who cherishes his land. My father taught me how to farm, to be a steward of my fields, and by doing so, produce far better crop production. As I view this year's crops, my eyes feast on a most bountiful supply of corn and soybeans. And then my eyes focus again on the trenches and road scars leading to the turbine foundations. What have I done?

Click here to to view a PDF copy of the ad or here to read the full text.



What Yanmar knows about wind

"The wind is your preferred source of power and propulsion. Clean, natural and at times extremely exciting. With only one drawback: it is unpredictable. You need a backup that provides you certainty under all circumstances. We at Yanmar build reliable, extremely durable engines that are built to last and require minimal maintenance."



VN 11/20 - Happy Thanksgiving!



VN 11/13 - Proof of the Pudding

The proof of any recipe is what it tastes like when it’s all done. Did it turn out the way the cook intended? Does everyone think it’s a success? After last week’s election, it seems virtually inevitable that Cohocton’s hills will be covered with industrial wind turbines by next year in accordance with the controversial “recipe for success” UPC Wind and our elected officials are cooking up for all of us. Now that the majority of our Town’s voters have officially ignored the warnings of critics, the last remaining critic will be the project’s outcome itself.

There’s little doubt that UPC Wind will reap a handsome profit, but will Cohocton get what it bargained for?
- Will the turbines and towers be quiet and unobtrusive, as advertised, or disturbingly noisy (but technically legal) and ugly?
- Whose property values will go up, and whose will go down?
- Will our property taxes actually drop significantly, or have projected tax savings been falsely inflated, only to be minimized by increased costs, lowered school tax subsidies and other factors?
- And, ultimately, will onshore industrial wind power installations like this lower greenhouse gas production or turn out to be scams that are enormously costly to taxpayers and energy consumers?

Frankly, we think the whole wind power scheme is a painfully flawed boondoggle for investors that will end up damaging our Town. We’re grateful for the encouragement many of you have shown in supporting our well-researched concerns over the past 18 months privately, at public meetings, and at the polls. Thank you for your support!

We’ll be taking a low profile from now on but will still be available to talk with anyone in town as things develop. Once UPC’s recipe has been followed and Cohocton’s goose pudding is cooked, we think the lights are going to start coming on, one at a time, in the minds of many formerly ardent wind supporters. In the meantime, please visit us at www.cohoctonfree.com, keep up with our Updates, and let us know what you discover as you begin to taste the pudding.

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Agricultural Noise Lawsuit

According to an article put out yesterday by the Associated Press

A group of residents is suing a farmer, claiming the propane cannon he uses to scare away birds from his sweet corn is too loud. Some of produce farmer Dennis Polley’s neighbors say the propane blasts — sometimes as loud as 120 decibels — have prevented them from enjoying their property.

Phil Palmgreen, whose property is roughly 500 yards away from Polley’s, said he could feel the impact of the blasts in his chest. “It’s been so bad all summer we’ve never even had a cookout on our deck because it was going to go off every couple of minutes,” said Palmgreen.

120 decibels? That's only 15 decibels louder than one Clipper Liberty wind turbine. 500 yards? That's 1500 feet, the setback specified by Windmill Law #2. How many cannons does Dennis Polley have? Only one. How many noise generators are we currently signed up for? Fifty-one, at last count. Click here to read the whole article.

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VN 7/31 - Visual Impacts?

Over the past 15 months the leadership and residents of Cohocton have been flooded with data and analysis by UPC Wind as part of its lengthy application process. Why does it take so long to get a $250 million industrial power plant approved, anyway, especially if it's a "no-brainer" with no downside? After a while these DEIS, SDEIS, FEIS, etc. reports get so tiresome that people hardly read them any more. "Let's just get the project done," they say. Well, actually there are negative impacts - visual, noise, property values, and political corruption, to name several. Buried in UPC's most recent FEIS, for example, are some interesting findings about visual impact.

What do UPC's hired reviewers have to say?
"Visual impact of the project was increased in Viewpoint 110 with the addition of a foreground turbine to the view. The foreground turbine (approximately 0.25 mile from the viewer) presents significant scale contrast and becomes a dominant feature in the view. The composite visual impact rating from this viewpoint increased from 2.50 to 3.54 [scale 1.0-5.0]. This is consistent with findings of the VIA and SVIA, that viewpoints which include turbines at foreground distances (i.e., under 0.5 mile) are likely to have the greatest visual impact." (quote from page 29 in UPC's 319-page FEIS)

Well, where might we find turbines closer than half a mile? Answer: Along every road and near almost every house on Lent, Pine, Dutch, and Brown Hills. Won't that be pretty? Did UPC's study include many of these bad views? No, only one - they're not very good for selling their project.

Why should we trust a company that hides the truth at almost every turn? Browse our "Updates" section with special attention to the items labeled "Local Politics," come out to the "Special Meetings" of our Town Boards this week on Tuesday July 31st and Thursday August 2nd to see how our current leadership is handling things, and then help get out the vote this fall for people who will examine the facts more carefully and genuinely listen to all of us.

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Wind a Minor Player

Conservation More Effective Than Wind Energy

Pointing to the very small contribution of wind, National Wind Watch calls for conservation instead of industrialization of rural and wild landscapes

Rowe, Mass., July 30, 2007 - The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that if the world's nations pursue carbon-reducing plans they are currently considering, then in 2030 there could be 18 times more electricity generated from the wind than there was in 2004.

But because of continuing growth in demand, that would still represent less than five percent of the world's electricity production.

In the US, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy projects that wind's share of electricity production will be less than one percent in 2030.

National Wind Watch (NWW), a coalition of groups and individuals providing information about industrial wind energy development, says that conservation could easily make up wind's small potential contribution.

"It is obvious - even in the IEA's very hopeful scenario - that wind will never be an important part of electricity production," says NWW president Eric Rosenbloom, author of A Problem With Wind Power. "Wind does not now nor will it ever replace other sources to any significant degree," Rosenbloom says. He adds, "That is not to endorse any other source as problem free, it is simply facing the fact that wind is not a viable alternative."

Since wind's potential contribution is so small, modest conservation would avoid the adverse impacts of wind energy development, according to National Wind Watch.

Click here to read the entire article with footnotes and references.



Wind Power Disadvantages

In a section of its website titled "Wind Powering America" the US Department of Energy is actively promoting properly sited industrial wind power generating plants. Tucked away deep in the website under a pile of prowind material is the following disclaimer:

Wind power must compete with conventional generation sources on a cost basis. Depending on how energetic a wind site is, the wind farm may or may not be cost competitive. Even though the cost of wind power has decreased dramatically in the past 10 years, the technology requires a higher initial investment than fossil-fueled generators.

The major challenge to using wind as a source of power is that the wind is intermittent and it does not always blow when electricity is needed. Wind energy cannot be stored (unless batteries are used); and not all winds can be harnessed to meet the timing of electricity demands.

Good wind sites are often located in remote locations, far from cities where the electricity is needed.

Wind resource development may compete with other uses for the land and those alternative uses may be more highly valued than electricity generation.

Although wind power plants have relatively little impact on the environment compared to other conventional power plants, there is some concern over the noise produced by the rotor blades, aesthetic (visual) impacts, and sometimes birds have been killed by flying into the rotors. Most of these problems have been resolved or greatly reduced through technological development or by properly siting wind plants.

Emphases added. Over the past year we've carefully noted and weighed all of the concerns expressed so clearly by the Department of Energy and have come to the informed conclusion that the problem in Cohocton has to do with proper siting. The plans submitted by UPC Wind - and the provisions of Local Law #2 of 2006 that was written to accommodate the developer's needs - place industrial wind turbines too close to dwellings, roads, and the property lines of nonleaseholders. It's as simple as that.



Idiot Wind

Henry S. F. Cooper Jr., a veteran science and space reporter for the New Yorker and author of several books about space exploration, contributed a cogent op-ed piece to Sunday's New York Times about wind power development in New York. He writes:

Much of upstate New York, from north of Albany to Buffalo, from the Catskills to the Adirondacks, is in danger of being transformed beyond recognition by industrial wind parks. Some 50 of these wind parks are being planned and even built. All of this is being done in the name of clean energy and saving the planet.

But it isn't clear that wind power is such a panacea in the battle against global warming that developers of these wind parks should be allowed to run roughshod over some of our loveliest land. What we need are statewide siting guidelines that take other environmental factors, including visual impacts, into consideration.

Click here to read the entire article.



Some interesting quotes

Perspectives on global warming:

How certain can we be that the recently publicized findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC) are completely scientific and unbiased by political considerations?

“No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits... climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world” Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environment Minister.
“Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen.” Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC.
“Whether you believe the science [of global warming] or not is beside the point. Policy should be more about risk than proof.” Jon Anda, Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman.
“If the global warming virago collapses, there will be an awful lot of people out of jobs.” Philip Stott, Biogeographer, University of London.
“We have a vested interest in creating panic because money will then flow to climate scientists.” John Christy, IPCC contributor.
“So, we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” Professor Stephen Schneider, global warming guru at Stanford University.
“We have to get rid of the Mediaeval Warm Period.” Confided to geophysicist David Deming by the IPCC (1995).
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” H. L. Mencken.
“Fewer scientific problems are so often discussed, yet so rarely decided by proofs, as whether climatic relations have changed over time.” Joachim von Schouw, 1826.
“Skepticism is the first step toward truth.” Denis Diderot, philosopher.
“Global warming is a lovely hypothesis destroyed by an ugly fact.” Thomas Henry Huxley.
“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.” H. L. Mencken.
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” H. L. Mencken.
“Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.” Andre Gide, Nobel Prize winning novelist.
“Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.” Daniel Defoe.
“...and I think future generations are not going to blame us for anything except for being silly, for letting a few tenths of a degree panic us.” Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT meteorology professor and member of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Global warming, at least the modern nightmare version, is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world's politicians and policy-makers are not.” Dr. Gareth Jones, climate researcher, Met Office, UK.

Regarding Kyoto, two international leaders have said it best. Margot Wallstrom, the EU's Environment Commisioner states that Kyoto is “about levelling the playing field for big businesses worldwide.” French President Jacques Chirac said during a speech at the Hague in November 2000 that Kyoto represents “the first component of authentic global governance.”

An interesting video documentary (viewable online through this link) was produced in the UK this March called “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” The film offers a suitable rebuttal to and is no more or less objective or politically motivated than Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” If you're going to see one, you should probably view the other one, too.



How much power?

In its Annual Energy Outlook 2007 the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that by 2030 wind power will supply 4/10 of 1% of US energy consumption and 89/100 of 1% of US electric generation. Small numbers like these clearly indicate that wind power probably won't be a major player in the energy field for decades to come and certainly not a major source of greenhouse gas reduction. Click here to read an article that provides further political and scientific context.



ABS Wind Power Report

Despite rapid growth in this renewable energy resource, another recent report from ABS Energy Research highlights extensive new evidence from European operators showing that the benefits claimed for wind power are not always what they seem.



Global Wind Power Quotes

Local wind power advocates would like people to think that opposition to "wind farms" is a minority opinion held by only a handful of disgruntled and misguided landowners, sometimes referred to affectionately as "the Dirty Dozen." Click here to read a collection of cogent wind power quotes from around the world. Then click on the image above to access a pictorial story about the Cefn Croes Wind Farm project in Wales.



VN 10/31 - Winter Problems?

Sometimes dreams can turn to nightmares. Here in Upstate NY, we're pretty used to dealing with snow, ice, and the cycles of freezing and thawing that our winters bring, but are wind turbines? What will happen to 400-foot metal structures with massive blades, all perched on top of windy hills, in the midst of one of our famous ice storms? Metal fatigue, leading to premature failure and possible collapse are predicted by a recent report out of Finland. Do we really think that industrial technology designed for more temperate climates is up to our unique, ice-storm-prone weather pattern? Our article in this week's Valley News opens the subject up for discussion, a discussion we think should happen before, not after we forge ahead into an outside developer's dream.



Europeans Seeing the Light

A high-level study done this fall and reported in today's Newday finds that windmill generators in Europe have problems with creating electricity when it is needed. Based upon a breadth of data drawn from European utilities in half a dozen countries, the study by ABS Energy Research in London reports that a sharp increase in wind-power capacity in Europe is challenging utilities to stabilize their electric grids in the face of sometimes wildly fluctuating wind-energy levels, while calling into question some of the greenhouse-gas reducing claims of windmills.

Read the article here and then ask yourself if we don't need to give this industry a little more time to prove itself before we yield the future of our Town's entire landscape to its claims.



Wind power unreliability

An article in a recent issue of the Asbury Park Press reports that "California's power shortage [this past summer] confirms that all of the hoopla over wind energy's credentials as a clean and renewable source of electricity is undercut by the reality of its unreliability. During an extremely hot week in August, when air conditioners were cranked up and the state was on the brink of rolling blackouts, how much help did the state get from its beloved 2,500 megawatts of wind power? Only 4 percent of its capacity, according to the California Independent System Operator, which is responsible for the state's electricity grid. Southern California Edison's 2,200 megawatts of wind capacity generated only 45 megawatts. In other words, wind energy works great — except when you need air conditioning."



VN 8/1 Wind Blowing?

This week's Valley News article addresses the quantity and quality of the wind resources we have in the Finger Lakes region, referencing an extensive report done by GE under commission from the NYSERDA and NYISO. The conclusions they reached seriously undermine the rationale being used in our area. Click here to read the article, and then let us know what you think.



Response to Pat Drum

Pat Drum wrote an article published by "YES! Wind Power" in last week's Valley News entitled "The Farmer's Wife" that covered a lot of ground. I was taken aback by the intensity of her frustration and devoted quite a bit of time to a thoughtful response. Her article is available here, and our response is here.

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VN 6/27 - Problem?

This is the first in what we hope will be a weekly series of articles in The Valley News. What do you think? Click here to read our article.

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