This New York Times video highlights the growing issues related to wind turbines that are in close enough proximity to residential neighborhoods as to be visible and audible. What is interesting to us from this story in Maine is not the particular decibel level at two miles (and why people’s bedroom windows are apparently so badly insulated in such a cold climate so as to allow 40db outside to disturb their slumber), but rather the underlying fact that public acceptance of renewable energy technologies greatly depends on the cultural pride that is associated with them. When citizens are encouraged to see value beyond the clean energy, they may be less inclined to react negatively against power generation in their neighborhoods.
Artists have an important role to play in this discussion. How can sound be mitigated through other means or creative uses of technology? Can the sound generated be made to be pleasant (sound art)? Can artists help power companies succeed in convincing the public to embrace renewable energy and thereby contribute directly to greater proliferation of ecological solutions?
Some more commentary with which we agree can be found at treehugger.com‘s posting of this video.