Wind Power’s Negative Externalities (Part I: introducing www.windturbinepropertyloss.org)
“A new website, www.windturbinepropertyloss.org, provides summary materials and emerging events around property loss and wind turbine sprawl, suggesting that a robbery is well under way, stretching well beyond 30 years, and knowing no geographical limits. Some of the focus is on individual lives shattered by loss of property values.”
Wind developers and anyone aiding and abetting the new textbook example of a NEGATIVE EXTERNALITY should pay damages in full for turbine “trickery.” The damage to homes and landscapes–all because of government largesse–is deep and long-lasting. The “green” bill of sale has been utterly false, with no concern about, but even visible contempt for, personal reports of financial losses and personal suffering. It is really not hyberbole to call this uncompensated racket one of the greatest, lengthiest robberies of all times in a free society.
Despite the trumped up reports by the wind proponents, and others whose financial interests are at stake, sizeable property losses are reported, not just following the installation of massive turbines but also at the whiff of a development. Property sales are aborted, entire communities commonly almost instantly devalued; businesses lost or downgraded, tourism values slashed, including associate industries that depend on tourism.
Inherent in these financial losses are the dashed dreams of people who have actively sought out peace, alternative living, farming and recreational havens, or even the peaceable enjoyment of their own personal property.
There have been three major North American studies suggesting that devaluation of properties due to proximity to turbines is not real. (REPP, also known as the Sterzinger study, 2003, was one study, with subject properties too far from turbines to be relevant; secondly, the largest study in the USA in 2009 by Hoen, now widely disputed; and thirdly, the Canning study, an equally fickle presentation with numerous flaws in 2010. Wayne Gulden of Wind Farm Realities has provided an excellent overview and critique of these industry-favored reports and can be linked to here.)
These studies are in direct opposition to the realities of social and economic displacement, personal and financial loss that is internationally unprecedented. A new website, www.windturbinepropertyloss.org provides summary materials and emerging events around property loss and wind turbine sprawl, suggesting that a robbery is well under way, stretching well beyond 30 years, and knowing no geographical limits. Some of the focus is on individual lives shattered by loss of property values.
Roger Oliveira, formerly of Melancthon, Ontario, writes eloquently of his sense of loss of his dreams, as well as his finances. In an open letter questioning the wind developer, he asks, “How much is my dream worth?” (Please see Featured Story for Roger’s letter, and the map of the surrounding turbines.)
The reality of living surrounded by nine massive machines impacting his health, his dreams dashed of country peace, a lifelong dream, Roger moved. Rather than continue the litany of health complaints, the depression from having lost “everything” financially, he had no choice but to gather the strength to pick up and move. For Roger and others like him, countless others around the world, there will be no damages awarded that will ever allow him to recover from that sense of complete and utter loss.
Fighting Industry Fiction
Still as the industry continues its fiction on zero property impacts, and in the wake of thousands of stories like Roger’s, Michael McCann of McCann Appraisal, LLC, Chicago, Illinois, finds that the hard data is irrefutable. McCann refers to some unsalable properties as “ground zero.” As several others have noted, zero sales are not included in reports of values and devaluations, and because so many of the turbine affected properties are unsalable, or on the market for well beyond norms of three to six months, any reports not reflecting this reality are also not valid. Gordon Callon writes in a comment to a blog:
There is one thing I find curious about many property studies, especially those favourable to wind power. They often rely for analysis only on houses actually sold. Considering that many homes most seriously affected by nearby turbines are never sold and cannot be sold regardless of price, it appears that the total market value of these is lost. This must be considered. Perhaps their value should be averaged into the statistics as zero. The other, similar, factor often ignored is time to sale. It is one thing to sell a home in days or weeks. It is another to have a home on the market for many months or even years.
McCann further notes that noise and sleep disturbances are “commonplace,” that homeowners are almost instantly deprived of “reasonable liquidity” and market value; McCann measures losses of 25% to 40% with mention of those properties that are indeed, not able to be sold at any price. He also references that
Serious impact to the “use & enjoyment” of many homes is an on-going occurrence, and many people are on record as confirming they have rented other dwellings, either individual families or as a homeowner group-funded mitigation response for use on nights when noise levels are increased well above ambient background noise and render their existing homes untenable.
At the conclusion of his discussion of property devaluations at Brewster MA, two 400 foot turbines, he includes a list of the medical and disturbance effects that is like a catalogue of an almost unimaginable Gulag of suffering.
[Part II tomorrow: Wind Power's Negative Externalities: Here Come the Lawsuits]