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Wind power... It's green... It's good... It reduces our dependency on foreign oil... That's what the people of Meredith, in upstate New York first thought when a wind developer looked to supplement this farm town's failing economy with a farm of their own -- that of 40 industrial wind turbines. Attracted at first to the financial incentives, residents grow increasingly alarmed as they discover side effects they never dreamed of, as well as the potential for disturbing financial scams. With wind development growing rapidly at 39% annually in the US, WINDFALL is an eye-opener for anyone concerned about the future of renewable energy. Written by
Beautifully Filmed, Well-Balanced Look at the Potential Perils of Wind Energy
To start, the art direction, the cinematography, the soundtrack, the editing -- all excellent. So the film is a pleasure to look at and a pleasure to listen to - which is sort of unusual for a first film. And the subject matter couldn't be more topical or more important. Ms. Israel has given us a look at wind energy on the local level -- the pros and cons from an energy standpoint and the effects on a small community when the wind company strategy is obviously to divide and conquer. It clearly achieved at least the divide part of that strategy. The film also makes a great case for doing your homework. There are green energy sources that are productive and actually good for the community. But not every energy technology that touts itself as "green" is either productive or good. The wind company in this film, an Irish outfit called Airtricity, seems to be taking advantage of tax incentives and carpetbagger-style quick profits. They certainly aren't looking to fill even local energy needs by scattering isolated wind turbines in residential rural communities. These turbines use more energy than they create and the air company won't be around 10 years from now when the turbines need repair or replacement (images of a 400-foot turbine burning uncontrollably while tiny firetrucks stand by helplessly on the ground far, far below bring that point home very dramatically) - they'll have sold them to another outfit looking for the same subsidies and quick profits. Ms. Israel provides viewpoints from both sides of the aisle and the science is explained clearly and succinctly. Much of her focus is on the local town council as it debates the potential impact of wind power on this one small community. These are real people, most of them really trying to do the right thing -- but their town is never going to be the same. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I recommend that anyone who has an interest in alternative energy technology - or an inclination to do something to help - see this film. It's really first rate.
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