MELODIE MCLANE: YOU KNOW YOU LIVE TOO CLOSE TO A WIND PROJECT IN VERMONT WHEN …
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Melodie McLane, who is a neighbor of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project.
• You dread checking the mail because you probably have another filing from the Department of Public Service that supports the wind developer in every way possible, even though they supposedly work for you.
• You do a slow burn because someone has written that you will participate in the Public Service Board’s noise investigation only because you lost. Lost what? The right to sleep at night?
• You spend every Sunday afternoon meeting with the neighbors that are still speaking to you to write discovery questions, answers, briefs, comments and to do research.
• You have stupid looking equipment set up near your house to monitor sound from the turbines.
• You laugh at the look of shock on people’s faces when you tell them to be aware that everything they say is being recorded outside when that stupid looking equipment is there.
• You have to sign a release saying that you give yourself permission to listen to your own conversations before the wind company will release the raw data from the monitoring to you.
• You plan your barbecues and neighborhood parties around whether that stupid looking equipment is there.
• You go ahead and have that barbecue or party regardless and get perverse pleasure out of blasting loud music all night at that stupid looking equipment in order to drown out all conversations.
• You realize the noise from the turbines gets louder when they take that stupid looking equipment away.
• You think you are going to stroke out if one more person says “I drove over to New York and listened to the ones there and couldn’t hear anything.” Were they running at full capacity?
• You understand why your father used to sit and swear at the television when a politician was talking.
• You know the true meaning of “campaign donations” and “follow the money.”
• You have “wind friends” who you can talk freely with about the stupidity of wind and then you have “regular friends” with whom you never discuss wind.
• You go to work ticked off and exhausted because you could hear the turbines rumbling all night, even with your windows shut.
• You are dreading summer, even after one of the most miserable winters on record, because the noise is worse when you open your windows.
• You used to love a good snowstorm but now it just means more noise with all the moisture in the air and southwesterly winds.
• You used to love going to bed at night in the summer with your windows wide open, listening to the rain. Now you shut your windows and turn the fans on to drown out the turbine noise, because it’s always louder when it rains.
•You look out at your garden and remember how peaceful it used to be to work in it. Now it’s just an annoying place to be.
• You used to love having your morning coffee on your south porch, but now you are driven away from it by noise.
You try sitting on your back porch, but the noise is worse back there because the noise bounces off from the ledges behind your house.
• You open your door in the morning and think you hear a jet flying over really low, but then realize it’s just the turbines.
You have pet names for noises that come from the mountain. There is the airplane noise, train rumbling noise, whale noise and semi-truck noise.
• You open your door in the morning and think the turbines are really loud, but it’s just a jet flying over really low.
• You have pet names for noises that come from the mountain. There is the airplane noise, train rumbling noise, whale noise and semi-truck noise.
• You are angry because the turbines are running and you can’t sleep.
• You are angry because the turbines aren’t running and someone ruined a perfectly good mountain for no reason.
• You want to stroke out every time you hear a wind developer say that you only complain about the noise because you didn’t want the project there in the first place. You didn’t want the wind project so close to your house because you knew it would be noisy.
• You want to stroke out every time you hear a wind developer say that only “two or three” neighbors complain about the noise. Those neighbors are the only ones who are ridiculously close to the project.
• You are shocked when the project owner starts using the Facebook group, Victims of Industrial Wind, to tout the merits of wind when most of the people in this group are suffering from sleep loss every day from wind.
• You are shocked when that owner says on his Facebook page that he has a Trunk Monkey by each turbine on Georgia Mountain to keep the anti-wind people away. Trunk Monkeys shoot people with guns and beat people up with tire irons.
• You are up checking the victims group at 4 a.m. on a regular basis to see if someone else is being kept awake by the noise.
• You are in constant disbelief at how loud 45 dBA is.
• You know that some people will make nasty NIMBY comments about this when they read it, but you have been bullied and called names so much that it doesn’t even hurt anymore.