The Miserable Sound of Clean Energy

A group of families on an island in Penobscot Bay cheered when three wind turbines were erected in late 2009. Now that the blades are turning, they're having second thoughts. Turns out that even those who find wind turbines to be eye candy also find them to be an ear sore.

Now, the Lindgrens, along with a dozen or so neighbors living less than a mile from the $15 million wind facility here, say the industrial whoosh-and-whoop of the 123-foot blades is making life in this otherwise tranquil corner of the island unbearable.

They are among a small but growing number of families and homeowners across the country who say they have learned the hard way that wind power -- a clean alternative to electricity from fossil fuels -- is not without emissions of its own.

The story is pretty good, and more complicated than "noisy blades are gonna kill wind energy." Many turbines are kept on wind farms out of earshot, and in noisier urban and suburban areas, they don't add much to the din.


Read the full story at NYT.
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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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