The green gold rush


The green cause of preserving nature has been corrupted ever since ugly, towering wind turbines began appearing in many beautiful locations. But now renewable politics is disrupting even the social texture of rural life. One man, who along with his wife has become active in a network of people who oppose the wind companies, told theNYT: “They tear communities apart... My sisters and brothers won’t even talk to me anymore".

Soft energy is the new gold rush. So much so that people in upstate New York, speckled with huge areas of industrial decline, are scrambling to get hold of the green cash thereby intoxicating not only community relations but even splitting families. The industry is being accused of targeting the weakest NY-upstate communities whilst avoiding more affluent areas like Long Island, even though the wind blows much more strongly there.

But in the small towns near the Canadian border, families and friendships have been riven by feuds over the lease options, which can be worth tens of thousands of dollars a year in towns where the median household income may hover around $30,000. Rumors circulate about neighbors who can suddenly afford new tractors or trucks. Opponents of the wind towers even say they have received threats; one local activist said that on two occasions, she had found her windshield bashed in.

There seems to have surfaced so much corruption that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has promised to investigate the allegations. It could be that the nobler the cause they pretend to serve, the worse the business's ethics.