Eighty years ago, on Oct. 30, 1938, the United States experienced an episode of mass hysteria unlike any experienced before. The reason for this hysteria seems almost comical at this time. The hysteria was caused by the radio play production of “War of the Worlds,” a dramatic fictional broadcast of little green men from Mars invading our planet. One in 12 people that heard the broadcast thought the story was real.
While the reason for the hysteria may appear comical now, one might ask if it is possible that such hysteria could grip our well-informed society today? Well, let’s consider the last several years of hysteria propagated about the Lighthouse Wind Project.
We have heard that sound and vibrations from wind turbines cause disease, although we already live with more abundant sound and vibrations from the machinery and instruments in our houses, cars and work places.
We have heard that inert hard concrete foundations located in fields will somehow leach poisons into Lake Ontario even though almost all homes in Somerset and Yates have concrete foundations that do not leach poison into the lake.
We even heard John Riggi once claim at a Yates Town Board meeting that driving past wind turbines on Route 75 causes his equilibrium to become out of balance.
And there are numerous more of these types of claims. Come on folks, our communities deserve more elevated discussion than fear from little green men, or hysteria as equally ill-founded.
Interesting enough, Buffalo had its own version of “War of the Worlds” in 1968 that created a similar level of hysteria.
Hysteria fooled us once in New Jersey, again in Buffalo, …don’t let it fool us again.
When we strip the false claims about the Lighthouse Wind project back, we are left with the production of clean energy and local tax revenue investment for the benefit of the communities, schools, farmers and local businesses.
An opportunity for such benefits may not come again any time soon. We better ignore our imagined demons and grab this gift while we can.