Living With Wind
Gathering impressions of the newest power technology

Summer/Fall 2011

Appalachia Website

This article is being co-authored with Will Smith.

In it we write about the ways people respond to wind facilities in their communties. We have conducted a number of interview in Searsburg and Lowell, Vermont and Lempster, New Hampshire. Searsburg has had a wind facility for fifteen year, Lempster has had one recently build, and one is being planned for Lowell Mounatain.

Below is the introduction of the article.

“ By now most of us have heard at least a few facts about the economic and ecological effects of wind power, and a few stories of the controversies turbines seem to stir up starting when they are just ideas. We don't hear much about the aesthetic and social aspects of wind turbines. We wondered what what people who live near active wind turbines think of them, and what it's like to be near one when it's running. We wondered if there was a whole other world we weren't hearing about, one in which the people who find turbines ugly and disruptive are balanced out by others who find them beautiful. We wondered if most people even care how they look. So we set out to visit some places where people are living with wind power.

Ray's Market is a general store in the postage stamp sized town of Irasburg, Vermont, a few miles east of Lowell and Lowell Mountain, the proposed site of Kingdom Community Wind. The cashier there, when asked how the villagers felt about the wind project, shrugged her shoulders and said, "Yeah, I don't really hear much about it now. I guess people don't really care much either way." To her, the debate over Lowell Mountain was yesterday's news, and it was time to move on. That isn't the way a number of people around wind facilities feel, especially when a proposed site is being debated. It can be a divisive issue that fractures communities. We thought this divide would be between progressive "green advocates" and old time conservatives, but that isn't what we found. ...