by Robert Bryce
On January 25, I got an email from Charlie Porter, a Missouri-based horse trainer. The issue: noise from wind turbines. His emails said that in 2007, a phalanx of wind turbines had been around his family’s farm near King City and that “The overwhelming noise, sleep deprivation, constant headaches, anxiety, etc., etc., etc., forced us to abandon our home/horse farm of 15 years. We had to buy a house in town, away from the turbines and move!”
I called Porter immediately. What he told me was like a bolt from the blue. His 20-acre farm was, he said, “surrounded by lots of acres that nobody lived on.” He was training quarter horses, and having good success with it. But the wind turbines, the closest of which was installed 1,800 feet from his home, changed the life his family had grown to love. The noise from the turbines “just ruined life out in the country like we knew it…. We never intended to sell that farm. Now we couldn’t sell it if we wanted to.”
I immediately began researching Porter and his background. I double checked everything he told me. I talked to the Gentry County tax assessor’s office to verify his property records, including his claim that he’d had to buy a house in town to escape the noise. Everything checked out. I also began looking at the health effects that Porter described, symptoms that are now known as “wind turbine syndrome” – a term created by Dr. Nina Pierpont, a Malone, New York-based physician who has studied a number of people, like Porter, who are suffering ill health due to the noise from wind turbines.
Since then, I’ve talked to, or corresponded with homeowners who’ve had wind turbines built near their homes in Wisconsin, Maine, New York, Nova Scotia, Ontario, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. All of them used almost identical language in describing their dislike of the wind turbine noise and the deleterious health effects the noise has had on them. And I’ve written a number of articles about the issue.
That’s a long introduction to this review of Laura Israel’s new documentary, Windfall. But as I watched the film, I realized that nearly all of the issues that Israel exposes on the screen are ones that I’ve been hearing about in my own research since Porter contacted me in January.
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