Jamie Lynn Fletcher's voice is perhaps an unlikely addition to our Project Milwaukee series on clean energy.
We’ve talked about a lot of different angles to the equation this week – we’ve talked politics, economics, and technology. What we haven’t gotten into is the arts angle.
Actually, the worlds of energy and music within the life of Fletcher are pretty distinct – but she adds a unique dimension to our series. Fletcher is a musician who lives in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley, but when she’s not playing music, she is working in opposition to large-scale wind farms, pointing to health concerns of hers, and others who live near wind turbines.
Many public health researchers have evaluated the reports of health maladies related to wind turbines and found scientific evidence lacking, but Fletcher says the effects are very real. "I did my own study and conducted my own interviews with people down in Fond du Lac, and it was just horrifying," she says.
Fletcher says people in that area complain of a variety of health issues - from headaches to insomnia - which they believe are linked to the large-scale wind farm they live near. She says some fifty people have come forward with complaints.
She says she doesn't oppose the use of wind power to supplement conventional forms of energy, but she believes better regulation is needed. But Fletcher says she thinks health concerns have been shuffled aside in the effort to adopt clean energy technologies.
"It's so tough to say to break through that mentality," she says, "and say 'okay, let's stop here. Let's stop before we hurt other people'."