In The Falmouth Experience: The Green Debate, Sean Corcoran spoke to an activist from each side of the onshore-wind debate. We want you to hear more about both sides of the story, so we’re bringing you extended interviews with wind advocate Liz Argo and wind opponent Eric Bibler. Eric Bibler is a vocal opponent of onshore wind. He lives in Western Connecticut and is the president of Save Our Seashore, based in Wellfleety, Mass. Read and listen below.
Eric Bibler: There are thousands and thousands of people around the world reporting empirically that they were fine before the wind turbines were installed and they are no longer fine. They have symptoms that vary from person to person, but the list of symptoms is relatively consistent and consists of sleep depreivation, which is a recognized health issue, headaches and ringing in the ears.
(There’s also) so-called flicker, which is a very intense strobe-like fact which is almost intolerable. Its very, very disrupting, people can’t function normally. It’s as if someone’s turning the light switch on and off every second. People have a low tolerance for that.
The issues are complicated to begin with. The acoustics are complicated, the health issues are complicated. All over the world, there’s definitely a trend towards more caution and more conservatism and more outright acknowledgment potential problems and overcoming the denial that there is a problem.
Every individual board that faces this problem now has to get up at a fairly steep learning curve in an attempt to try to make a good decision for their town. I think on the Cape this is especially complicated by the fact that most of the projects have been municipal rather than private. So the towns are conflicted. Every town is facing budgetary problems, just trying to pay the bills for their schools and their police forces and so forth in an era and in an against the backdrop of declining tax revenues.
So they’re all struggling, and suddenly they have this project to consider that will create revenue for the town. And seems to solve a lot of their other problems. They’re faced with this very complex task of trying to determine what the impacts might be, but, at the same time this is temptation because it seems to be as a revenue generator. It seems to be that you could build one of these cash generating machines and solve a lot of problems.
We hear it all the time. People say I went to Falmouth and I stood at the foot of the wind turbine and I don’t think it’s in a big deal.
That’s really irrelevant. You know, if you don’t live there, and you don’t live there under varying conditions and particularly if you’re not sleep being there every night when the ambient noise may drop — and there may be high winds at the level of the wind turbine but not that much ambient noise at the level of your house — you really can’t judge.