“A living nightmare” (Maine)
Feb 11, 2011
During this last year our life has gone from the realization of a long-time dream to the reality of a living nightmare. Our right to defend our property and the quality of our lives has been ignored, we have been marginalized and harassed, and Art and I and our neighbors shoulder the financial and physical responsibility of Fox Islands Wind maintaining compliance.
The stress resulted in Art having a major heart attack at the most recent electric Co-op board meeting while trying to, once again, get them to acknowledge the half truths and lies that Fox Islands Wind continues to pander to our community.
Baker and the Island Institute are presently assaulting the Northeast communities, calling the Vinalhaven project an unqualified success. The arrogance and lack of ethics is astounding, but is the very essence of how industrial wind operates.
This morning, I received an e-mail from Eric Bibler, on Cape Cod. Many of you may receive his postings, but this one seems so relevant to the gathering this weekend. It is a rallying call to all of us working from so many angles to untangle the lies of industrial wind. He points out:
Developers cannot demonstrate or predict—empirically, objectively or convincingly—an absence of harm. Instead, they simply deny harm and try to shift the burden of proof to the opponents.
We need to put the responsibility—and the uncertainty and the risk—squarely on their shoulders. We need to force them to accept the burden of evaluating these risks properly. And, above all, we need to remind them that they are accountable—personally, individually, collectively, institutionally—for the consequences.
They don’t want to work this hard. If they are honest, they have to admit that they can’t resolve the uncertainty and the risk. And if they are responsible, they ultimately have to withhold approval—because they cannot confidently ascertain an absence of harm. It cannot be done.
That is why I believe that we need to fundamentally shift the framework of this debate. Why are we letting the developers evade their natural burden and redefine the terms of the traditional process? Why should we waive our rights—and our most fundamental protections—and agree to engage them on terms that are not only favorable to them but insanely expensive, time consuming and perilous for us? And why should we allow them to divide and conquer us—to splinter our opposition and our communities—in this manner?
That is why I believe in making every attempt—heroic attempts—to document the risks of the projects to the decision-making bodies.
I know he is right. We, on Vinalhaven, and in other communities where the turbines churn, are forever doomed to daily prove our case against wind. We daily pay the economic and physical costs of a community that was blind-sided by the wind industry, and endure the snail-pace progress of state agencies that are supposed to defend the environment and human rights.
Our hope is that through our on-going efforts and through the diligence and determination of every wind group across the state of Maine, across this country and the world we will be able to address the price that people and the environment shoulder as a result of the greed and arrogance of industrial wind.