LETTER: Turbine tempest

August 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

I am writing in response to the recent articles debating health concerns with the Independence and Mary O’Donnell wind turbines. If the complaints and accusations levied at these turbines are true, then it is easy to sympathize with these unfortunate citizens. Regardless if the complaints are health issues or about noise, it’s clear that the turbines are not popular with certain neighbors.

What really struck me was the manner in which providers of the wind energy brushed off these complaints and concerns. As a resident of Kingston I have friends who live close to these turbines. My friends don’t have the same complaints about the turbines, but if they did I would take their complaints seriously. They are citizens of Kingston and as such are entitled to be heard on such issues that pertain to their general well being.

I found the tone of response to these citizens insufficient. In fact, in the article Wind Turbine Paranoia, Kially Ruiz, co-manager of Kingston Wind Independence LLC, seemed to make a mockery of the complaints of town citizens. In a condescending tone citizens who opposed the turbines are characterized as being irrationally fearful of scientific advancements. Mr. Ruiz also makes the sweeping generalization of all opponents of the wind turbines as being a “tiny vociferous crowd” that routinely shouts over scientists at town meetings. That overgeneralization begs the question: Has Mr. Ruiz met these people personally? Is he really qualified to write off the medical concerns of these citizens regardless of how far-fetched it may seem?

Now, I’m not saying both sides aren’t entitled to their own opinion on the issue, but the debate could be handled with more civility. Anti-wind groups may spread rumors and misinformation, as Mr. Ruiz said, but does that make it right to dismiss everyone who has a complaint with the turbines as a technology-fearing Luddite? The answer in my opinion is no. A theme throughout Wind Turbine Paranoia is the comparison between the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and the wind turbine panic of the present day. As a resident of Kingston who can sympathize with both parties I would like to advise both sides that it is not 1692, it’s 2012 and by now town officials and concerned citizens alike should be able to have civil discourse on this issue.


– Caroline Thomas, Kingston

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