In the Face of Anti-Wind Threats, Intimidation, People are Standing up

February 3, 2019

Big victory this week for the wind industry, the State of Michigan, and the next thousand generations of human beings – when the Isabella County Planning Commission gave a conditional green light to what will be Michigan’s largest wind development, smack in the the hard-scrabble heart of the state.

Huge public support was in evidence as speaker after speaker stood up – in the face of months of ugly abuse and intimidation attempts – and spoke out in support of community, land, family, and our children’s future.

At the end, after the unanimous vote was taken – a brief comment period afforded Anti-wind Attorney Josh Nolan a chance to melt down, and deliver an amazingly brazen threat to those willing to stand up to the fossil driven fake-grassroots campaign that has been building in the midwest over the last 7 or 8 years.  I’ve seen Nolan make slightly more veiled threats in the past, but this was rather amazing, glad I caught it on camera.

Meanwhile, a few weeks before, in opening a meeting of the Casnovia, MI Township Board, Supervisor Kelli Ashbaugh summarized a harrowing week of abuse that she and other board members had been subjected to, merely for having the temerity to discharge their responsibilities and give consideration to a local wind development.

In coming weeks I’ll be posting more voices from the majority, the folks who want and desperately need the economic stability that wind brings, while preserving the rural character of small towns and rural communities.
For now, listen to John Fabian, whose simple, heartfelt, and dead on message brought the house down toward the end of Thursday’s meeting.


WKAR Lansing MI:

Michigan residents support a transition from coal-fired energy to more solar and wind powered electricity, a new Michigan State University research report finds.

•           SOSS respondents support solar energy slightly more than wind. About 86 percent favor wind. Five percent strongly oppose the use of more wind energy. Three percent strongly oppose solar.

•           A majority, 56 percent, oppose more use of nuclear power.

•           A slim majority, 52 percent, support nuclear power when questions are asked about construction of generators described as “smaller, cleaner and do not use water.”



14 Responses to “In the Face of Anti-Wind Threats, Intimidation, People are Standing up”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Nolan both looks and sounds scary—-as do many of the whores for fossil fuels. Keep up the fight in MI, folks—wolverines can be scary too.

    Since Dominion Energy pretty much owns VA, we haven’t had many discussions about wind. There have been some protests over gas pipelines and coal ash disposal ponds—I’ve attended some hearings, but this being VA, the “Virginia Gentleman” rule is usually in effect.

    The people afflicted by coal ash dump pollution often sound like John Fabian, but the fossil fuel whores are all smiles, reasonableness, and politeness to your face and in public. The VA gentlemen part comes in when they later stab you in the back when no one’s looking—-learned this fairly quickly when I moved from NJ to VA 50 years ago

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    I don’t know any of the specifics about this, and John Nolan may well be an ass, but it sounds to me like he has a good point. If there is a process with issues and details that are supposed to be in compliance with something, then it seems to me that his point is valid – non compliances can lead to consequences.

    Seems to me it would be better to address those issues, if indeed they exist and are valid and pertinent, to avoid trouble down the road?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead! We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!


      Non compliance with the Laws of Nature by the fossil fuel interests and the capitalists-plutocrats never stopped them from putting us in this predicament. We ought to start doing this everywhere—there can’t be enough whore lawyers to deal with it all.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      this is a normal part of a permitting process.
      It means, go ahead and proceed, but come back to us with further details on this, this, etc.
      One issue was a permit from the FAA, which was held up by the shutdown. There is no reason to believe they will not supply the needed permit, given the applicant’s proposal.
      Several other points involved curtailment plan for certain times to mitigate shadow flicker at specific locations.

  3. Terry Donte Says:

    The opposition comes from people who live there who will have to hear the turbines, look at the turbines and do not want to do that. Wind turbines are noisy and obtrusive just like your fossil fuel plant is obtrusive.

    • sailrick Says:

      Alberta tar sands, earthquakes and contaminated water from fracking, 700 mountaintops blown off and 700 adjacent streams destroyed from coal mining in Appalachia, ocean oil spills, mercury contaminated oceans from coal burning, air pollution from fossil fuel burning, pipeline ruptures, ruptured coal ash collection ponds ……

      Now those are obtrusive and worse

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      Well, Terry, you are, after all, an expert on “noisy and intrusive”.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Many of the hosting properties for wind turbines are farmers – although anyone in the project area may qualify for “participant” status, thus deriving a monetary benefit.
      For farmers, it is the difference between success and failure. Many of these are 4th and 5th generation families, who have been stewards of the land and pillars of the community, and who take pride in the service they provide to us all, and the way of life they have.
      Too often I hear someone stand up and say, “I moved out here for the view, and now they’re going to change it.”
      What I’m hearing is, “Mr Farmer, sit down and shut up. Your job is not to steward the land, scrape out a living growing the food we all eat, or provide for your family and retirement – no, Mr Farmer, your job is to be a groundskeeper to maintain an unchanging pastoral backdrop for my lifestyle.”
      Fact is, turbines enhance communities by almost any measure, and most of the loudest complainers have little experience with turbines beyond the Facebook fever swamps – and their behavior, as illustrated above, speaks volumes about their character and intentions.
      Below see Doug Merchant, former chair of the Michigan Township association, and current assessor for Arcada, Pine River, and Bethany townships in Gratiot County, home to many turbines.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        I don’t think there’s a wind turbine of any size within 100 miles of Washington, DC, so no one’s complaining about noise or views. We DID have some “conflict” over cell phone towers when they arrived many years back. Again, the “entitled” new-to-the-country McMansion owners complained about their “view” being RUINED.

        Of course, the farmers who were renting out a small piece of land in the back 40 for the tower and making $15 thousand a year from it (then) were thrilled—-it’s now up to $30-$40 thousand+ and churches and small businesses with large enough properties are getting on board.

        I have a relative who farms in MD to the SE of DC—-he says that the “cushion” from the tower land lease has made it possible for him to stay in farming, and they want him to add another tower (the rent from it will go to the retirement fund).

        It must make the plutocrats crazy that some little guys are making $$$$ like this.

  4. […] the occasion of the approval for what looks like the largest Wind park in Michigan, almost 400 MW – I wrote an op-ed for […]

  5. Joshua Nolan Says:

    Mr. Sinclair,

    I am curious to know when the footage of my purported “melt down” will be shown. A quick review of the video you have posted reveals no such incident. At no point do I raise my voice, use inappropriate language, or act in any way that could be considered a “melt down.” I simply stated a fact – in 15 years of practicing law, I have never seen a municipality approve a Special Land Use Permit when less than 50% of the requirements to obtain that permit have been met. I will be anxiously awaiting that video footage or your acknowledgment that your statement and the conveniently timed screen shot was nothing more than click bait.

    Interestingly, I see no mention of your financial relationship with energy companies. Why have you not disclosed to your audience the financial incentive that you receive for promoting wind energy? You have acknowledged this financial relationship in township meetings, on video. Considering that companies like DTE own coal and natural gas plants, the only logical conclusion is that you, Mr. Sinclair, are in fact a puppet and proponent of the fossil fuel industry. Considering the allegations that you have leveled against me and others who voice concerns about proper siting of industrial wind turbines, the irony of your fossil fuel funded statements is simply too rich.

    In contrast, as a member of the “grass roots campaign” pushing back against improperly sited industrial wind turbines, I can state categorically that I have never received a single penny from a fossil fuel company or from any organization that is funded by fossil fuel companies. I represent citizens who are concerned about the demonstrable impact of industrial wind turbines, including noise, shadow flicker, flying debris and significant reduction in residential property values. My fees are paid by citizens in the proposed project area, people who spend their hard-earned money trying to protect their homes and families. Your fees, as you have acknowledged, are paid by energy companies. Thus, the only “fake” grass roots campaign that appears to be occurring is your propagation of false information through

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I’m fine with my record. Your statement speaks volumes all by itself.
      Thanks for posting!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      To: Joshua Nolan, Esquire

      MISTER Nolan,

      in the very first reply to this Crock post, I said “Nolan both looks and sounds scary…”. I have looked at the clip again after viewing your pro forma complaint and see no reason to alter my opinion. You DID look rather wild-eyed and IMO your body language WAS aggressive—-in the world of lawyers (with which I have some experience), I too would classify it as a “meltdown” also, if not quite a complete eruption.

      We who visit Crock come from all over the globe and value MISTER Sinclair for the many contributions he makes to the understanding of climate change both here and through his connections with Yale. We don’t give a rodent’s rear end that you are trying to make a living by tilting at windmills in Michigan and he’s a thorn in your side. Go suck a lemon!


      PS Your smarmy BS about Peter’s fossil fuel funding does not play well in front of a Crock jury. Even if it were even the slightest bit true, I am reminded of the famous Tommy Lee Jones line in the Movie “Fugitive”—-“I (we) don’t care!”

  6. jfon Says:

    ‘ A majority, 56 percent, oppose more use of nuclear power.’
    Well that’s a shame, because the countries with the lowest power emissions, by far, do it mostly with nuclear and hydro. As a snapshot, at the moment,
    Ontario – 34 grams CO2/kwh, 69 % from nuclear.
    France – 26 g/kwh, 74 % from nuclear.
    East Denmark – 157 g/kwh, 18 % from wind ( running at 25% of capacity. )
    South Australia – 433 g/kwh, 16% from wind, running at 14 % of installed capacity. SA’s famous ‘world’s largest battery’ is giving 0.01% of its power. The rest is from gas and coal power imported from Victoria. Denmark’s figures look a lot better because it is importing clean hydro and nuclear power from Norway and Sweden.
    The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, whose bailiwick includes Michigan, currently has aggregate emissions of 397 g/kwh, eleven times higher than those of Ontario, just over the border.

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