The Wind Farm Wars

The news that residents in Eastern Oregon are trying to halt production of a new wind farm because of health concerns over noise, lights, stress reminds me of similar, community-related issues occurring around the country related to wind energy.

This potential stoppage is not the first of its kind. Recently, a different proposed wind farm in Oregon was put on hold after the discovery of an eagle's nest in the area.

The wind farm in Eastern Oregon, residents say, will be loud, obstructive eye-sores. Residents also fear that the wind farm will be harmful to their health, cause property values to decrease, and endanger wildlife. One teacher feared the harmful effects of the farm's proximity to a local school.

This argument can be called another example of what has become known as NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard. NIMBY, though, is an inherently harmful idea. If everyone says "not in my back yard", then in this case, the wind farm, which will likely be beneficial, never gets constructed.

Perhaps residents in Eastern Oregon should take into account the positive impact a wind farm can have at the community level. I am sure the residents of Roscoe, Texas are quite satisfied with the wind energy they produce:

Roping the Wind (Webisode 122)

So what do you think? Is a wind farm worth the frustration to a few local residents? Can wind farms really be harmful to one's health? What about the widespread benefits?

Maybe the residents have a point with a wind farm of this scale, do you agree? Share your thoughts below...

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.