Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

We made the decision to move about a month ago . We are primarily moving because of the Risks the Santa Isabel Windmill Farm will bring upon the environment and residents; the project will be finished next month near our current living space.

Once we kept on reading about the health risks and symptoms these windmills were having on people living near them in the states, we were advised to do everything possible to stop the Windmill Project or move. We realized we needed to reach a decision quickly.

We shifted most of our efforts from educating people about the health risks into finding a new home. The lack of interest expressed by the people living near the windmills about the health risks helped us put our energy elsewhere.

Our Politicians don’t Give a Fuck

Our local Government including Governor Luis Fortuño, Pedro Pierluisi, and Santa Isabel Mayor Hector Questell decided to put their constituents at risk by convincing the public that those 44 structures of what they call new technology will help with the current energy issue.

I reached out to the other large political party the PPD to see what was their stance and they have no comments on the issue. My interpretation is that they must protect their interests in this project. For either political party winning votes is more important than the well being of those who vote for them. It is always easier for them to point the finger on the other party (when the shit hits the fan) than to raise awareness on a possible future issue and shut down a project where residents might be put at risk.  I have not seen a politician from any of the main parties come out and take a stance against this experiment.

Puerto Ricans as Guinea Pigs again

The windmill project puts Puerto Rico once again as a testing ground for new technologies. Repeating history as they did in the past when they used people as guinea pigs for pharmaceuticals. We can only blame ourselves because even those that live near the Windmills (except me) are ok with having them near by.

Health is Less Valuable than the Dollar

Most politicians and does that benefit economically have sold this project as the solution to our local energy crisis. The biggest problem is the devaluation of life and those who might suffer consequences because of living close to the windmills. I am not sure how the savings over time will outweigh the benefits once people start showing the terrible symptoms these structures can create.

Protect your Pocket by Conserving Energy

If what everyone is looking for savings then energy conservation should be the first option. If you make electricity less expensive, it only makes people waste more energy. I know of many people like my friend Melvin Rodriguez points out that sleep with the A/C running all year but they are covered in blankets. The ironic part is when they complain about a high electricity bill. For them I offer the simple solution of turning a fan and eliminating the blankets which we clearly don’t need here in tropics.

Did they Identify the Root Problem?

When are we going to start attacking issues by identifying the root of the problem and finding solutions?

Why is it that Puerto Ricans allow politicians to make decisions for them? Most politicians are only thinking of themselves and how they can benefit individually from any project? Why trust them?

I already made the decision to move and I feel it is still my duty to create awareness on an issue that is pretty much silent on the island. It would mean a lot if you could share this article with someone or many.

What would you do if you know those around you might be at risk but they are blinded by politics and other facts?

This issue goes beyond politics it is about safeguarding all types of life.

If you want to find more about the negative effects windmills like the “Molinos de Santa Isabel Experiment” can pose take a look at some external posts where I have collected multiple links on the subject.

Thanks to Alfredo Richner for Creating Awareness

Alfredo founder of the blog Puerto Rico Indie wrote this for Global Voices. We want to thank Alfredo for amplifying our message and starting a conversation via the communities he is a part of.

 

13 Comments

  1. BellaVida on July 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

    The attitude of placing business above people is one I cannot understand but what I find even worse is when people don’t even love themselves enough to educate themselves on the very things effecting their well being.

    I’m glad you guys are moving and hope you found a wonderful place for you and your family.



    • Raul Colon on July 13, 2012 at 11:19 am

      The problem is when people allow businesses and politicians to do so. Instead of doing the research most people are applauding that something was put up without measuring the consequences. 

      We have found a wonderful place and I am excited of moving in already! 🙂 



  2. Gil C. Schmidt on July 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t doubt that wind turbines can cause health problems, although I understand the pro/con evidence is still sketchy. A decision to protect your well-being and that of your family doesn’t need solid evidence: it just needs conviction, and that you have.

    What bothers me most about this windmill project is that it clearly shows how beggarly we are at the government/business level, barely higher than kowtowing serfs licking “the master’s” boots. (If that sounds melodramatic, it is. It is also real). Windmill projects in the States and Europe almost never use fertile lands; the ones in Santa Isabel are on lands designated as agricultural since the 1970s. And windmills in the States and Europe are almost never placed near or in urban settings; you can practically hit the ones in Santa Isabel with a rock thrown from your office window.

    What that tells me is that the Mayor and the central government bent over forwards and offered both orifices for the energy company to plug. (If that sounds disgusting, it is…and quite accurate.) This project has very little to do with energy and everything to do with politics and lining pockets. If it were truly geared to energy, any number of local sites were better suited, with land that has little agricultural value and better wind patterns. Not to mention that the IMMEDIATE energy benefit could have been offered to the residents of Santa Isabel in terms of reduced monthly bills to make the project more palatable overall. PREPA says their billing system “can’t do that”,” but that’s pure hogwash, as their system can monitor down to the household level and has been able to do that since the 1990s. Their other argument, that giving Santa Isabel residents a discount for energy used around the Island is specious at best and poopy-headed at worst, for what other incentive method would help sell future energy-saving projects whose biggest hurdle is often “Not In My Back Yard”?

    The fact remains: PREPA has NO interest in reducing energy costs unless they control the source (GasoDildo, anyone?) and the government/business interests that plague our Island are in full looting mode; any good they do is an unwanted (by them) accident.

    I take it your affection and link to Santa Isabel is deep, so moving, even to the other side of town, is heartache. We’ll see what happens as the windmills go up and start churning out unseen and unfelt “savings” to us and dirty profits to a few. We’ll see if health issues arise and if they are taken seriously. There’s only one sure thing in all this fiasco: we aren’t getting the full story and nowhere near as much benefit as “predicted.”

    You brought up Don Quixote, let me close mentioning Ali Baba…



    • Raul Colon on July 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Good close with Ali Baba. 

      My affection is towards the people that are blinded and are exposed to this nonsense which eventually in a butterfly effect affects us all. 

      Thanks for always supporting Gil. I can’t wait till I meet you in person! 



    • Lucy on July 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      Gil I was just living in St. Isabel and not appreciating how fertile the land was until we started growing our own food. With the help of our dog who scattered seeds around the yard, we grew collard greens in a matter of days with rains back in March/April. Since then we have talked to several farmers at the Organic Market in San Juan who have stated that they have never been able to get their collards to flower and provide seeds. I have the brownest thumb in the world and I was so proud of our accomplishments. It just frustrates me how so many people take things for face value and don’t dig a little deeper into the how and why of things. Many see what is in front of them and never look beyond. These windmills extend from one farm into another. Since there are many who are no longer connected to what they consume, they really don’t appreciate the land they are living on. But we shall see what our next adventure brings us. 



  3. Wendolyn1 on July 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Wendolyn ‏@gwenpr@PRSecState jejeje disssparate y q monumentosss querra decir experimento queeee barbaridad from Pueblito del Río, PR Reply  Delete  Favorite
    from Pueblito del Río

    Puerto Rico, US
    10:02 AM – 2 Jul 12 via Twitter for iPhone · Details
    2 JulKenneth McClintock ‏@PRSecState@gwenpr Hay miles de torres como esta-no es un experimento sino una realidad probada. Rompe tus cadenas que te atan al petroleo esclavizante
     Hide conversation Reply  Retweet  Favorite10:48 AM – 2 Jul 12 via Twitter for BlackBerry® · Details



  4. Wendolyn1 on July 13, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    incluye a mcclintock en la lista de politicos,…esa fue su respuesta a mi burla de lo que el llama “monumentos  al progreso”…o algo asi,…



    • Raul Colon on July 14, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Tienes el Tweet! A la verdad que he conversado con @prsecstate:twitter  y siempre habia sido muy respetuoso que lastima que quiera ignorar estos riesgos hacia los mismos que le pagan su sueldo! 



  5. Kenneth McClintock on July 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Look out the windows of your car as you drive from Salinas to Ponce and you’ll see that the biggest threat to preserving our agricultural lands is urban encroachment or what I call “urbanizaciones de cañaveral” that have been allowed and permitted by all administrations.  The windmills, which occupy 30 of 2,700 acres, add farmers between 30-50% to what their crops provide, reducing the financial lure of selling off their land for non-agricultural uses.  Thus, the windmills protect the agricultural use of those farms while providing renewable energy to 25,000 homes.



    • Raul Colon on July 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      @twitter-58068743:disqus 

      Agriculture is an issue but the biggest threat I see immediately is the health risks these windmills pose! 

      I see you different to other politicians at least care enough to respond in a blog post. 

      Can you confirm if feasibility assessments where made to gauge the impact these windmills have on humans and other animals?



  6. Prometeo on July 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Sleeping with thick blanket while putting the AC on maximum. There you have it, a clear case of wasted energy. 

    We have been taught to spend and not save. That why this island is steaduly sinking into an economic hole from which it won’t be able to come out. If people think than planting windmills is gonna lower their energy bills they are in for a surprise. If the current uncontrolled building continues they are gonna have to put windmills everywhere to lower the electricity bill. 



    • Raul Colon on July 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      I could not agree more! So many things are tied to those behaviors and people don’t realize it! 



  7. Joel Pomales on July 14, 2012 at 11:42 pm

     So let’s forget agriculture. Let’s leave the ‘molinos’ there to do whatever it is they do. Let’s also close the Experimental Agriculture Station in Gurabo, too. Yeah.

    What are people going to do? Eat concrete and nails if (when?) something catastrophic happens in the US? Upwards of 80% of things that puertorricans eat is imported into the island. Using the world’s most expensive merchant marine. At least they’ll have power to tweet and post to facebook about how hungry they are, or how expensive basic items are.

    Retarded. Sustainable agriculture is the future. No farms = no food. I’ve been helping my brother as much as I can (I’m in the US, he’s back home) with his Aquaponics business (Sorry for the plug, Raul. Worth mentioning). He has a good thing going on over there, and he sure does need all the assistance he can get. He hasn’t told me that the government has stepped up to help him develop and deploy his systems. He, and other persons doing similar work, are raising herbs, lettuce, tilapia and other things (waste that could be turned into energy!) often on their dime and time. The government should be helping these guys equally, or more, as the power companies.

    Just remember what I said earlier: no farms = no food. You owe it to yourselves, and to future generations.