Basta! Non Voglio Eolico! 

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Enough!  I do not want to see another ugly wind mill on one Southern Italian Mountain!  They are putting up more and more around Pontelandolfo, Casalduni and Morcone.  What I discovered is that the local community doesn’t benefit one iota from the ugly things.  I thought they could tax the landowner – who is getting rent.  Or the town got a piece of the revenue generated – or even a break on the electric bill.  Nada.  Niente.  Nothing.

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I have been talking about the turbines for a number of years.  First I thought they were wonderful.  Than, I thought they we’re ruining the south’s chance to get a piece of the tourism pie.  I mean would you want to sit on the terrace of a charming agriturismo and stare at the whizzing blades and hear the ongoing whoosh of the colossal metal whirligigs?  Now, my anger has intensified – they are defiling mountain top grazing lands.  The mega corporations are the only winners.

My ire increased last summer when Jack and I finished a mini vacation in Northern Italy.  We drove on A7 through the mountains in Liguria and noticed high tension electric lines transmitting power but not one giant windmill between Milan and Genoa. Not one.   Staring out the windows I realized that I also hadn’t see one gargantuan whirling edifice in the hills surrounding Lago Como, any where in the regions of Lombardia, Toscana or Lazio! Hmm, the trees were flowing in the wind.  Perhaps that was an anomaly. Obviously, the wind has stopped blowing in Northern Italy.  I’ll bet those ski slopes never feel the slightest breeze.  The hills of Rome must cry for a breath of wind. Years ago cute Dutch looking windmills were used in Montefiesole, Tuscana for the salt production industry. But now, there obviously isn’t enough wind now to generate electricity or blow out a match.

We are tired of the disparity and don’t want to take it anymore!

The residents of Morcone are taking a lesson from the Dakota Pipeline.  On February 14th, they decided to peacefully stop the building of windmills on yet another ridge.  A mountain that for hundreds of years has been grazing land for large herds of white cattle and its rich soil farmed.  Stalwart citizens stood in the road blocking access to the bulldozers and mammoth drills.  Pleadings, negotiations and dialogue have been going on for years.  The mayors have gone to Naples championing the cause but no one seems to care what happens in the Province of Benevento’s mountains.

Saturday, February 11 environmental groups and local residents organized a sit-in on the mountains outside Morcone.  They wanted to draw attention to the abject devastation that occurs to a mountain by the savage and seemingly careless construction.  Complaints had been submitted to Comando Stazione Carabinieri Forestale di Pontelandolfo, Comunità Montana Titerno e Alto Tammaro the Carabinieri Command of Pontelandolfo and the Prosecutor’s Office of Benevento siting irregularities and asking for urgent intervention and suspension of work in progress. These arguments apparently had no impact.

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Photo by Pupo in Pontelandolfo News

So, on Valentine’s Day morning mountain farmers, ranchers and citizens stood in the way not of progress but of the degradation of the Sannio hills.

Pontelandolfo News  has a great article full of interesting yet depressing data on how the south gets screwed again – this time it seems by the politicians. (How unusual, she said with great rancor.)

American newspapers have not picked up on this political  travesty.
Errrrrggggggg.

Not In My Backyard!

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Windmill Pollution – UGGGGGGG – They are Everywhere!

Cripes Midge, you are a liberal Democrat and always err on the side of the greater good what the hell do you mean NIMBY?  Why are all the f’n windmills going up in Southern Italy!!!  Energia eolica – power generated by the wind – is a grand and noble idea.  I just don’t want to look at another bloody giant windmill.  They are cropping up like weeds on every hill in Campania.  Last year, I saw the wind farms from afar and thought them noble and wonderful.  Italy was going green – great!  I made a cute video and gushed about the inroads Italy was making on renewable energy.  Here’s the link:  http://wp.me/p3rc2m-8h

The Associazione Nazionale Energia del Vento – ANEV has a great map on their website!  Pull it down and look where the windmills are!  Yup, not near the ski resorts in the rich north but in the south.  Come on – go look –  http://www.anev.org/

The European Commission – way back in 2001 – set a goal for Italy to obtain at least 25% of its electricity form renewable sources by 2010.   The Italian government targeted 12,000 MW by 2020. Does it all have to be  windmills? How about a nice solar field on the mountains they don’t obstruct the views?

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We SEE Them Rising to the Sky Near Our House and Shudder.

Now, even when we sit on our balcony in Pontelandolfo I see windmills.  More and more every month!  The hills are alive with the sound of bzzzzzzzzz.  According to a recent article in Il Sannio – our local paper will soon be enjoying even more.  http://www.ilsannioquotidiano.it/attualita/item/19265-eolico-multinazionali-scatenate-altre-richieste-di-autorizzazioni.html

La società di Bolzano ha depositato un progetto per realizzare un parco da 56 Mw tra Pontelandolfo e Morcone.

Now, leaving Pontelandolfo and driving south through Puglia, I’m staring out the windows looking for trulli (round huts with a conical roof) and all I see are fields of windmills.  There are so many on SS55  that I thought I was on the New Jersey Turnpike in the middle of an industrial zone.  I know, I know it is good for the farmer – he gets paid rent for the land.  It is good for the planet.  But the more I read it seems like it’s really good for the banks who have the notes, the businessmen who get the cash from the EU and of course the mob.

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Right Near the Highway – Behind a Rest Stop

Take a gander at this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356879/Italian-mafia-turns-wind-farm-investment-launder-money-benefit-EU-subsidies.html  Here is the opening paragraph:

The mafia is ramping up investment in wind farms to launder criminal earnings and benefit from generous EU subsidies, a report by Europe’s policing agency has warned.

Attracted by generous EU and state handouts, and coupled with lax controls, the Europol analysis found that Italian  gangsters are increasingly  seeing renewable energy as easy pickings.

So all I”m saying is Not In My Backyard!