We recently bought a home in Fairhaven, MA about a half a mile away from the town’s two wind turbines. There are homes that are closer to the Fairhaven turbines than ours and some of them have legitimate concerns. But “wind turbine syndrome” creator Nina Pierpont claimed symptoms from people who live more than twice as far away as I do, and many members of the anti-wind group “WindWise” live even further away than that.
Here’s my list of Things That Are Louder Than Our Nearby Wind Turbines:
- Bugs. There’s a conservation area next door and in warm weather the bugs are pretty loud from sunset until well into the night.
- Birds. They start up around sunrise.
- Planes. Lots of small ones heading to New Bedford Regional Airport, occasional big ones going overhead to Logan or TF Green, and the rare military plane out of bases on Cape Cod.
- Vehicles. Even though we’re on a small side street, we can still hear the distant-but-steady hum of traffic from a nearby main road for 18 hours a day.
- Air conditioners. In the summer there’s a steady hum of central units from neighboring homes.
- Recess. There’s an elementary school about a thousand feet away.
- A foghorn. The foghorn on the New Bedford hurricane barrier can be heard faintly but clearly from
- The wind itself. If it blows more than 10 miles an hour, it’s hard to hear anything else over the rustling trees & leaves.
But there was one night this summer … when the wind was blowing just the right way … when the bugs had quieted down … I woke up in the middle of the night, and went over to the window and leaned in, and thought in the distance I heard a faint noise … then suddenly I heard a much louder one. “What the hell are you doing?” my fiancee said. “Come back to bed, weirdo.”
I’m not trying to mock those with legitimate concerns – turbines should be sited using the best available science, like the American Wind Energy Association’s Wind Energy Siting Handbook.
I’m trying to mock our elected officials in places like the State House, Plymouth and Fairhaven who tie themselves into pretzels trying to please every anti-wind activist – no matter how many miles those activists live from an actual turbine – even though Massachusetts voters know that in this life, there are some noises up with which you must put.