Windfall | Chicago Reader


A full-throated attack on wind energy, this feature by Laura Israel is one of the most surprising (and depressing) eco docs I've seen in years. Like many of her neighbors in upstate Meredith, New York, Israel is an urbanite who bought a place there to enjoy the countryside, and her video chronicles the popular revolt that ensued when the town planning board tried to bolster hard-hit dairy farms by permitting contracts with energy companies to install 400-foot-tall industrial wind turbines. Israel exhaustively inventories the negative effects of turbine farms—noise pollution, low-frequency vibrations, maddening shadow flicker from the spinning blades, possible ice throws, even harm to the local bat population—and frames the local conflict as a fight between the people and federal-tax-break-exploiting energy corporations. The argument is so tilted against windmills (sorry) that this comes perilously close to an advocacy video. But Israel deserves credit for delivering the bad news that wind power, like natural gas and nuclear, comes with its own array of social and environmental headaches.



  • Laura Israel


  • Laura Israel
  • Autumn Tarleton
  • Don Faller

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