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‘You Paved Paradise, Put up a Parking Lot!’

by Ellen Landauer

“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, You paved Paradise, put up a Parking Lot.”

The prophetic words of Joni Mitchell sang through my head as I came upon the wasteland wrought by the Industrial Wind Turbine installation that is under construction just one town away. How out of touch have we become that we can dutifully bring Save-a-Tree bags when we shop, yet support a technology that lays waste to irreplaceable ecosystems?

The liquid notes of the song of a wood warbler floated through the trees as friends in the town of Florida took me up a woodland path to witness the destruction that is the Hoosac Wind project, just over the hill from their home. They are terrified that once the blades start turning, that like others, they may become too sick to live in their beautiful home. Below are photos of what I saw.

How do we rationalize turning this: Into this:
Florida before turbines

To build these?

Isn’t it ironic to be deceived into destroying
the world in order to save it!?

All over the world, the use of fossil fuels has INCREASED everywhere Industrial Wind Turbines have been placed. Not only that, but some of the most precious wild areas in the world – from the moors of Scotland to the Carpathian mountains are being invaded by this useless and damaging technology that decidedly will NOT save us from climate change.

Yet tragically, towns like Florida and Monroe, where Iberdola (a Spanish company) is erecting nineteen 340 foot tall machines, have bought into the idea that this is helping the world. My friends there are terrified that the peaceful home which has been their sanctuary for nearly 3 decades may become a torture chamber making them nauseous, dizzy, sleepless and unable to function. Two women in Falmouth with no previous history of such tendencies have attempted suicide as a direct consequence of living near turbines.

Industrial Wind Turbines do NOT last for 20 years as we are told by the multinational companies that make billions from selling them. There are now Turbine Graveyards in places like Tug Hill NY, littered with giant blades and broken turbines – long deserted by the companies that lied to the town boards and people.

What are the alternatives? Power to the people! Home solar and geothermal should be subsidized as opposed to Industrial Wind. Industrial Solar should be installed to shade store parking lots or on store and factory rooftops – NOT on open land and mountainsides!

Worldwide, people are rising up to oppose Industrial Wind Turbine installations. We must, too – before our area becomes an Industrial Wind Sacrifice Zone.

Ellen Landauer is a Charlemont resident. These are her photographs.

Raised in an environmentally aware family, she has been a health researcher and consultant for over 30 years.

(This appeared as a letter to the editor in the Shelburne Falls Independent on August 3, 2012).

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