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
Not the best film to watch if you want a clear picture with all sides of the debate presented fairly.
"Windfall" is an extremely frustrating documentary. I honestly wanted to learn more about wind power--it's benefits and shortcomings. Instead, I saw a very one-sided presentation--and one that really didn't seem to care about data or empirical evidence. So, by the time the film was complete, I felt confused and a bit angry, as it wasn't helpful in helping me learn anything other than a particular town didn't want them.
This film is set in a rural portion of New York State--farm country. Apparently, some wind power companies thought the location ideal for installing some wind turbines. However, as soon as word got out, the N.I.M.B.Y. (Not in my backyard) phenomenon occurred--with folks arguing vociferously about these eyesores. I understood this aspect of the argument--the structures are unsightly and the direct financial benefit is usually seen by a few individuals, not the entire community (as rents are paid to the landowner, not the neighbors who have to look at them). But then the arguments got very, very strange against the windmills. All sorts of insane arguments were presented as fact--that the turbines cause tinnitus, heart palpitations, itching (!!), will fall on people and squish them and that they are incredibly loud (though NO evidence was submitted regarding this other than anecdotal reports--and reports I've read on my own would clearly contradict this assertion). This is when I noticed that NONE of the many arguments against the towers were based on scientific data but alarmism and emotion. And, this was even true in cases where I WAS sympathetic to the people in the community--why didn't they provide data about how these windmills would cause a drop in property values?! Why? Well, it seems that it's because the people making this film had no interest in having an honest discussion of the problem--just scare the crap out of people and create a climate identical to the arguments against solar, nuclear and fossil fuels!! So what do we use for power...treadmills?! A good documentary should at least give the appearance that it is objective--this one didn't try in the least. Poorly made, poorly constructed and illogical.
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