Wind turbines bring the promise of money and that can cloud a person’s judgement. It certainly doesn’t have to, but sometimes, if a person isn’t careful, he’ll do things out of character, things he would otherwise not do, things he later regrets, simply because the thought of money was so overpowering. Wind developers know this and spin tales of money for nothing, … well, almost nothing, all you have to do is allow them to build 500 foot tall wind turbines on your property, as many as will fit and the money will just start rolling in. Hmm, …
Rural life in a rural community
In rural communities like North East, most everyone minds their own business and respects his neighbor. Everyone is friendly and gets along and we support the local businesses and charities. It’s a great way of living that brings a lot of satisfaction, but every now and then, someone forgets. He forgets about his neighbor, he forgets about his community and he starts to listen to a smooth talking salesman who promises him money.
If your neighbor decided to paint his house purple with red polka dots and green stripes, you might (privately) question his judgement. You might ask him why he did it, but if his house was a thousand feet down the road, you could just go back to your own business and ignore it. On the other hand, if he decided to allow wind developers to build one or more 500 foot wind turbines on his property, some less than 900 feet from your property line, you can’t ignore it. The sight alone is overwhelming, people 30 or 40 miles away would see it, and now you have a real problem.
Your concerns are not his concern
Your neighbor has decided his personal dreams of money trump any concerns you might have. That smooth talking salesman has told him his neighbors don’t understand, besides, who are his neighbors to tell him what he can do with his own property? If his neighbors are not farmers, then the salesman tells the farmer how his neighbors don’t care about him and creates a divide in the community that never existed before the wind turbines came to town.
What’s hard to understand is how the farmer so easily forgets those same neighbors he now ignores and will not listen to are the same people who were buying his produce and coming to his store. They are the same people who would mention his store to friends and relatives. It makes you wonder, how many of his neighbors would ever do that now or ever will again.
If his neighbors find it hard to bear the sight of 150 foot long blades sweeping through a 300 foot circle in the sky above their homes, if the long moving shadows are disturbing when the sun is low, if the sound of the turbines penetrates their homes and can’t be muffled and they decide they need to move, then the neighbors are faced with homes that won’t sell because no one else wants to knowingly move into a house with a turbine nearby. If the house does eventually sell at a greatly reduced price, does the farmer with his turbine money make up for his neighbor’s loss? Unlikely, because he’s already shown that he doesn’t care.
How do you fix the mistake?
Once the turbines are in and the mistake is clear to everyone, how does it get fixed? Will they be taken down with a quick apology for being so thoughtless? No. They will stand for decades because the cost of removal is very high, ask those communities who are facing this issue.
Once the turbines are in, will the community just forget what happened and treat the farmers who installed them as the friends they once were? If other communities are any guide, the answer is a resounding no.
What are they thinking?
It’s hard to know what is going through the minds of the small number of landowners who have decided to do this to their neighbors, you can ask, but they’re already angry that you are standing in their way. It’s hard to understand what is going through the minds of the township supervisors who are seemingly doing their best to push a wind ordinance through that will make it very easy to build wind turbines in a community that is far too populated to erect these gigantic structures anywhere.
The wind developer, in our case, Pioneer Green Energy, stands to profit from community division. They treat our community the same as every community where they are trying to build turbines, trying to capitalize on promises of money and residents who are trying to understand how anyone could come in and convince some of their neighbors and friends to do things that are so out of character, so thoughtless, so inconsiderate.
It’s hard to understand, but unless we stop this project, it will be a monument to short sightedness for decades to come. This is our community, we all deserve better, our township officials and the wind developer should be ashamed of themselves for pushing this project forward and the landowners who have decided to host these monstrosities should think long and hard about what they are trying to do.
Our community is in danger of finding out that some mistakes are just too big to fix.