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Windfall (DVD Review)

31 May, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

First Run
Box Office $0.007 million
$27.95 DVD
Not rated.

Using natural sources of energy is a good thing, right? So how could anyone — especially those wanting to be green — possibly get so furious over wind turbines?

That’s what happened in Meredith, N.Y., a rural town in upstate New York.

The documentary Windfall tells the story of how a town was divided when certain residents put wind turbines on their properties.

This quiet, windy town with green, rolling hills and trees and people wanting to wean themselves off of oil dependency seemed the perfect place to build wind turbines.

But the residents didn’t realize what the impact would be from these massive 400-foot-tall turbines.

Shadow flicker on the roads and in people’s homes resulting in a strobe light effect, noise and vibrations, ice shedding and ice throws, the short distance between the turbines and property lines, and a permanent change in the visual and audio landscapes were among the issues that made many residents unhappy with the turbines. These people, in turn, were vilified and accused of being against the environment and not thinking long-term for the benefit of the entire community.

It should be said that those who put the turbines on their property were paid thousands of dollars by wind developers. And the various developers had its potential customers sign an agreement that they would not tell anyone about their talks with the developer.

A lot of other documentaries about environmental issues pit environmentalists against corporations. But here, everyone wants to be green, which makes for interesting and complicated arguments. 

As one resident put it, everyone believes they are the doing the right thing, which makes for deep, heated conflict.

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