The Tizzy over Judd Hirsch’s Wind Turbine

  |  November 18, 2013
Photo by lamoix/used via Creative Commons license

Photo by lamoix/used via Creative Commons license

The hot button development issues in the Hudson Valley and Catskills have hewed toward mammoth projects: the plan for a luxury skill village at Belleayre; the implementation of casinos in the more challenged stretches of Sullivan County; fracking. Few of them involve celebrities, aside from the occasional anti-fracking appearance by Mark Ruffalo. But in the small, western Ulster town of Denning, residents are upset over the actor Judd Hirsch’s plan to run his property on wind power. “He plans to install a 177-foot-tall wind-turbine electric generator on his land, and dozens of residents have signed a petition in opposition,” reports the New York Times.

Residents fear the whirr of the machine, the disruption of the view, the potential for ice to be flung from the turbine in winter months. “I bought property up there, built a house, because it’s beautiful, and the ‘forever wild’ promise that was made,” one nearby neighbor told the Times. “[The turbine] would ruin the beauty of the location.” He went on, “Once you put it up, you can’t take it back.”

Hirsch’s reply: “Their fears, in my estimation, are baloney. Behind it, I believe, is the pollution of jealousy and the pollution of stupidity.”

Do the residents have a point, or is Mr. Hirsch right in taking his property toward greener energy? Wind power seems to inspire fury even in folks who lean green.

Read On, Reader...