Archive for the ‘Kingston Ontario’ Category

Man decries 'intimidation tactic' Critic of Wolfe Island wind plant issued cease-and-desist order

September 12, 2008

What can I say – Industry and govt. working together = citizens take a back seat.

Posted By JENNIFER PRITCHETT WHIG-STANDARD STAFF WRITER

   

The Calgary-based company building a $410-million wind plant on Wolfe Island has issued a cease-and-desist letter to a citizen it claims is spreading “false and defamatory statements.”

Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. sent the letter in connection with a statement made by Wolfe Island resident Chris Brown, an outspoken

critic of some aspects of the project.

Brown, a local musician, is one of a handful of citizens who sit on a community liaison committee Canadian Hydro set up last year to answer local concerns about the project.

Brown regards the letter as an attempt to gag critics of the project.

“It’s an intimidation tactic,” he said.

Brown said he isn’t against wind power or the Canadian Hydro project on Wolfe Island. He does want to see the 86 turbines that are being erected there placed in areas where they won’t impact wildlife or people.

The cease-and-desist letter goes back to an e-mail Brown sent to former St. Lawrence College president Volker Thomsen and others, following an international wind energy conference at the college in June.

Brown said he hoped “the examples brought to light by the conference can prevent Wolfe Island from becoming an autopsy of grid monopoly and community exclusion.”

Canadian Hydro took exception to his comments, saying they suggest the firm “has no respect for the environmental and regulatory process and fails to consult with the community.

“Canadian Hydro has conducted itself in a responsible manner throughout the approval process,” stated the cease-and-desist letter.

The letter, written by Canadian Hydro’s Toronto-based lawyer Paul B. Schabas, warns Brown of the possibility of future legal action.

“Should you persist in this course of conduct, please be advised that our client will proceed against you and pursue all legal and equitable remedies available to it without further notice being provided to you. Kindly govern yourself accordingly,” Schabas wrote.

When theWhig-Standardrequested an interview with Canadian Hydro about the letter, the firm issued a short statement from Geoff Carnegie, its development manager for the Wolfe Island project.

In it, Carnegie wrote that Brown’s “claim of community exclusion overlooks three and a half years of community consultation by Canadian Hydro, as documented in the Environmental Review Report.

“The purpose of our letter to Mr. Brown was to insist that he act responsibly and utilize the relevant facts in his arguments.” Brown said he refuses to be quieted. “I will continue to exercise my right

to free speech and advocate for a full and transparent public review of this project, just as I will continue to participate in the community liaison group to ensure proper communication between proponent and citizenry,” he wrote in a response to Canadian Hydro.

The Kingston Wig Standard

Wind power was useless in blackout

June 1, 2008

Editor:
Another example of the importance of wind energy.

The Ont. govt. is a regular visitor to this site and should have learned something by now. I’ve come to the conclusion they suffer from one of the following.

1) They can’t comprehend what they read.

2) They are stupid and suffer from very low IQs.

3) They are evil traitors and are following the UN – New World Order Agenda.

Which one do you think it is?

With these fools at the helm, it is easy to understand why our Health Care, Education, Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors are in such disarray.

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
industrialized civilizations collapse?
Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about
?”
Maurice Strong, former Secretary General of UNEP

Read Agenda 21
Now!

.

Wind power was useless in blackout

The British Wind Energy Association claims that there are more than 2,000 turbines in the UK with an installed capacity of 2,500 megawatts. Where was all this megawattage when it was needed on Tuesday, when 500,000 homes were blacked out as Sizewell B and eight other power stations shut down?

The answer is simple: the 2,000 turbines were impotent and would have made the situation worse had the grid operators tried to feed in their spurious outputs.

Coincidentally, Government figures describing the CO2 savings achieved in 2007 show no contribution from wind. The wind industry received nearly £320 million during 2007 in subsidies — from us, the consumers.

A letter by Bob Graham, Inchberry, Morayshire to the Telegraph

1 June 2008

Disturbing wind brewing

May 8, 2008

Editor:
First, I would like to thank the The Chatham Daily News for printing this story.

Nowhere on the planet has industrial wind energy proved it’s claims. Dalton McGuinty, our esteemed Premier, calls  wind energy  expensive and unreliable. What does that statement infer. To me it says, he is not in charge, but is in fact taking orders. A little research on your part will verify what I have said.

The wind industry is part of the E8 which is about the internationalization of energy. The wind farms are carbon credit creators. They have no other purpose.

I have worked with the people and councilors involved with the Kingsbridge l wind farm for over a year. Kingsbridge l one has been a source of noise, flicker and stray voltage problems since it began operation. One family that has just moved says they are now, after 2 years, finally enjoying a full nights sleep. The nearest turbine to their home was approx. 550 meters.

They have just passed Kingsbridge ll with a setback of 450 meters. Now, if your thinking, wait a minute, if people at 550 meters are having problems then why would they make a setback of only 450 meters.

According to a councilor, at the re-zoning meeting Apr.17th.,  they were told  by lawyers and govt. any setback over 450 meters would prompt an OMB hearing costing the township $100,000 and the township would lose.

Dwight Duncan is on record saying the govt. doesn’t want to force anything on anyone. The truth is exactly the opposite.

The wind industry with the backing of the govt. is picking off small municipal councils one at at time with lies and threats. This should be of grave concern to all citizens in the province.

The old saying “United we stand divided we fall” needs to instituted by all councils in Ont. Until a coalition of councils is formed and it stands united the “wind scourge” will continue unabated.

You, as councilors, were elected to look out for the best interests of your constituents and the community. Too often I have heard to same lame excuses. (1- they will take us to an OMB hearing. (2- we don’t have the resources to fight this.

If you are a councilor and you agree with the above statements, please resign immediately.  Otherwise, educate  your constituents about the fraud that is taking place. It is your duty. As long as you, the council, try and separate yourself from your constituents, the “wind scourge” will continue its unrelenting march across this Province, laying ruin upon the lives and property values of the very people you were elected to protect.  Embrace those who voted for you, tell them the truth.  Get the people on  side through truthful education.

I recently had a comment sent to this blog from a family living at the Ripley wind farm. They are saying that they and their neighbours are suffering from sleep disturbances caused by the noise emitted from the wind turbines and feel their health has deteriorated in the last five months since the arrival of the wind farm. The nearest turbine to their home is 808 meters. If these people are suffering at 808 meters, how can a setback of 450 meters be justified? It can’t.

There is more than ample evidence that the turbines are being sited too close to homes.

The wind industry and the govt. continually saying there is no “ABSOLUTE” proof of these health issues should be a wake up call to everyone. Denial has always been one of the favorite tools of both govt. and big business.

The wind industry is a fraud and the govt. is complicit (choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, esp. with others; having complicity.) The govt. knows that wind (1- does not have the ability to keep the lights on in Ont. (2- wind is not capable of substantially cutting C02 emissions. (3- wind cannot continually power anywhere near the number of homes the industry and govt. claim.

Yet, these are all things being promoted by both the wind industry and the govt.

I always invite the govt. to look at this blog to make sure it is accurate and to let me know if there is anything they think needs to be changed. Govt. agencies visit this blog quite often. So far there have been no requests for any changes.

We try very hard to be as accurate as possible.

Note: The number of visits from K12 schools colleges and universities is  growing daily. The idea that Global warming is a fraud is being accepted by more people everyday. People will find the truth, even when the media works to hide it. Once you wrap your mind around the global warming fraud, you can ask, why are we destroying rural Ont. with wind turbines. Why?

Do your own research

Disturbing wind brewing

An article written in response to articles published in The Chatham Daily News April 15, “Gengrowth wind turbines approved,” and April 17, “Open house held, another wind farm project proposed.”

Don Quixote, in Cervantes’ classic by the same name, gallantly road off on his faithful steed, to slay the haunting, implacable, and ever-present giant — the windmill. Poor Quixote didn’t have a chance.

Concerned residents of Chatham-Kent feel the same frustration as independent companies, such as Gengrowth, and now Calgary based BowArk Energy Ltd. and Windsor-based Wind Prospect Inc. are proposing to add another 50 turbines to the 20 already approved by the Council of Chatham-Kent. Montreal based Kruger Energy is putting up 44 turbines near Port Alma. The windy invasion has just begun.

Many other wind energy companies are lining up with the direction and view to make Chatham-Kent a grid of hulking windmill giants and an eco-industrial park. It is a fast blowing wind. Not only, wind farm projects, but also the token and obligatory information nights cropping up all over the municipality. Interestingly, the information nights follow in the wake of deals cut by turbine developers and individual landowners prior to consultation with the public and a seemingly complicit council. This council represents taxpayers, and has an elected responsibility to protect the municipality’s most important natural, cultural and economic assets. Agricultural land, hundreds of acres, will ultimately be taken out of production. We have a unique fragile ecosystem including Rondeau Provincial Park and conservancy lands. Lake Erie is one of our greatest natural assets, tourist/vacation attractions, and cultural gems. Then there are heritage properties including, the historic Talbot Trail. Community and cultural identity is based on its natural assets and historical roots.

Gengrowth wind turbines are to be situated in a great monotonous line along the historic Talbot Trail, through Palmyra, Morpeth, and stretching out along the shores of Lake Erie. It is hard to imagine that in 2008, precious land bordering beautiful natural beaches and cliffs of Lake Erie will be dotted with giant wind turbines sweeping the countryside.

This is only one of many lines and grids that will weave through, connect, and wind around heritage and cultural landmarks while fencing in small towns and fencing out the natural beauty of rural Chatham-Kent.

While looking up, through and around these hunkering giants, one has to wonder what benefits they bring to Chatham-Kent and surrounding communities. It is interesting to note that some communities, like Leamington, have succeeded in stopping the spread of this invasion. Obviously, with the exception of the landowners who have generously allowed acreage to be taken out of production, very little is said about the economic and employment benefits to the trusting, green-friendly citizens of Chatham-Kent. While the public is assured that “Turbines have a significantly smaller impact on birds and bats than the dangers posed by high-rise buildings, predators or climate change.” What, perhaps, is being ignored is that this area is unique and fragile because it attracts an abundance of unusual bird species, and as a result is considered a Mecca for bird watchers and campers. The impact of turbines and its effect on a distinct and fragile eco system have not been studied to the fullest extent due to the fact that an independent environmental study has not been undertaken or supported by municipal council. Nor has a consultation with the Heritage Committee been initiated by council prior to granting permission to Gengrowth.

Like Quixote, one cannot help but feel an unsettling and disturbing ill wind brewing. While some residents of this municipality embrace wind turbines as a welcome and renewable energy alternative, others find it more prudent to consider the cost and long-lasting effects. The “not in my backyard mentality” is, admittedly, too often a selfish and a shortsighted response. This backyard, however, is species rich, agriculturally fertile and it comes with an enviable historical and cultural legacy.

Hopefully, there are a few Don Quixotes left. It is important and necessary to fight against the smiling giants of profit and opportunity whose false promises of economic benefits are, in this opinion, full of hot air and come at a great expense. It is time to demand that both the provincial and municipal governments preserve the heritage, and unique cultural and natural assets of Chatham-Kent. It is time to “tilt at windmills.”

Patricia Pook

Ridgetown

The Chatham Daily News

8 May 2008

Turbines Meet Ontario Noise Guidlines

April 30, 2008

.Dust-up over wind farms

Source the Toronto Sun

Report: Noise from turbines meet guidelines

By JONATHAN JENKINS, QUEEN’S PARK BUREAU

There’s no scientific proof wind turbines make disturbing levels of noise and, although more study is needed, Ontario’s guidelines are sound, a long-awaited consultant’s report for the ministry of the environment says.

The report by Ryerson prof Dr. Ramani Ramakrishnan was finished in December 2007 but was only posted on the government’s Environmental Registry website on Monday.

It reviews the work of a Dutch scientist, Dr. G.P. Van Den Berg, who found that 98-metre tall turbines at a German wind farm near the Dutch border made more — and more annoying — noise at night than expected. The report has been heralded by groups opposing wind farm projects near their homes.

“(Van Den Berg’s) dissertation was to provide scientific evidence for increased annoyance from wind farms during evening and night time hours,” Ramakrishnan wrote. “The review showed the above was not the case.

“One of the main criticisms of the doctoral dissertation of Van Den Berg is that the conjectures of his research have not been supported by solid scientific data.”

The Dutch study should be used as a catalyst for further work, though, Ramakrishnan said.

Holland has accepted the findings of Dr. G.P. Van Den Berg.

Hiring someone to trash Dr. G.P. Van Den Berg to further the wind scourge, shows the lack of integrity of both the govt. and the wind industry.

I experienced the Dr. G.P. Van Den Berg theory personally at the Kingsbridge l wind farm. It was early Oct of last year. I returned to the home of Ernie Marshall, after attending an all candidates meeting, to pick up my car. Beautiful fall evening, no wind at ground level but the wind at hub height was still strong enough to turn the turbine blades. How loud was the noise? Throw a pair of work boots in the dryer and turn it on. Go get your pillow, curl up beside the dryer. Sleep well. That in essence is the findings of Dr. G.P. Van Den Berg. (added) RS

Mr. Marshall and his wife have since moved out of their home. Mr. Marshall says his health is getting better and he and his wife now enjoy uninterrupted sleep at night. (added) RS

His report also found Ontario’s noise guidelines for wind turbines are reasonable and strike a balance “between noise impact and the need for wind farms, based on currently available scientific data.”

What the hell does that statement mean. Noise impact! The wind industry is promoted as whisper quiet. The need for wind farms? What need? The only thing that wind farms can hope to offer the people of Ontario is an unstable, unnecessarily expensive electrical system. (added) RS

Kate Jordan, a spokesman for the ministry of environment, said the report, held back from December, was being posted on the Environmental Registry for 30 days to allow the public to comment on it. “We wanted to make sure it was the final report. We needed to know it was complete,” Jordan said of the late release.

The report has found what the industry has believed for some time, Sean Whittaker, vice-president of policy for the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said.

“The report does confirm that the findings of Van Den Berg are put into question,” Whittaker said.

“CANWEA has been confident that the noise guidelines we have here in Ontario are very good.”

Ontario has about 500 megawatts of Canada’s 1,856 megawatts of wind power. CANWEA wind projects could rise to as much as 4,600 by 2020.

Ron Mattmer, who lives a kilometre from a proposed wind development in Kincardine, says he supports wind power but is opposed to locating them so close to homes.

He said the ministry is “in denial” about Van Den Berg’s noise findings and have “jiggered” their own limits to ease development.

Source the Toronto Sun
.
Comment By Ron Stephens

“CANWEA has been confident that the noise guidelines we have here in Ontario are very good.”

They are confident because they were instrumental in the formation of those guidelines.

I remember Ford claiming the PINTO didn’t blow up. Big Pharma is always getting the FDA to pass drugs that end up hurting or killing people.

Industry policing its self, with govt. pushing the bull down the taxpayers throat. Neo-Liberalism at it’s worst. Never underestimate the power of denial, especially when govt. is on the side of industry.

Here is an email I just received the other day.

Maybe the wind industry or the govt. could comment .

I live 808m from a Enercon 82 wind turbine and within a km. of 11 other turbines at the Ripley Suncor/Acceon wind project. My health and the health of my neighbours has deteriorated over the past 5 months. We hear a constant roaring of jets 24/7 and at night when the house is quiet there is a CONSTANT HUMMING which going right through your head no matter what you try to do occurs. We have had many meetings but the humming still goes on and we are still waken 2-??? times/night. We do NOT get a deep sleep.

But of course this person must be complaining because 1- they like to complain 2- they didn’t make any money on the deal 3- they must be crazy 4- they work for or are being paid by the fossil fuel industry 5- they hate Mother Earth.

This govt. and the wind industry are so full of crap it is ridiculous. This scam is no different than the door to door reno scams. Promise a lot and never let the truth get in the way.

The wind industry and the govt., here in Ontario, claimed they could greatly reduce emissions. Lets see the peer reviewed results. Why aren’t the papers full of the results the wind industry claims? They don’t exist, not through my research. If they do, lets see them.

Bird and Bat kills too small to worry about. Then why the deal to hide the results from the public.

Noise – the turbines are whisper quiet, about as much noise as your fridge they said. Then why are people being forced from their homes.

A doctor from Kingston stated that the health problems created by wind turbines are only temporary and a persons health will return once they no longer live near the turbines. If that doesn’t sound the alarm bells what will?

This is a CRIME against the citizens of the Province of Ontario.

Explain this CanWEA and the McGuinty govt. of Shame

Reaction to the Scottish Government’s refusal to construct one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms, 181 turbines on Lewis in the Western Isles , has exposed the myth of wind power.

In response to Scottish industry’s concerns that its lights may go out, Britain’s power industry had to admit it would not make one iota of difference as wind power is too unstable to be included in any calculations of how much power is needed to satisfy the country’s needs – whether or not the wind is blowing our power stations will still burn the same amount of fossil fuel.

A spinning turbine’s only value, for the environmentalists, is as an icon of their power over the vulnerable and as an “at least we are doing something” comfort blanket for gullible politicians, plus, of course, an exponential currency generator for the wind industry. full article here


Never forget – Enron started the wind scam. Enron is gone but the scam lives on. Google Enron, Maurice Strong and Al Gore. Maybe that will open your eyes.

The govt. should have put the scrubbers on the coal plants and built a new nuke. Cost approx. 10 billion. Cost for wind, solar, gas plants, new transmission lines and a new nuke, 60-70 billion. Think what that extra money could have done for Health Care, Education and our Farmers

Read Agenda 21. It’s about a lot more than just the wind industry.

Note: I, unlike Mr. Mattmer, do not support wind power as presented.

“Ron Mattmer, who lives a kilometer from a proposed wind development in Kincardine, says he supports wind power but is opposed to locating them so close to homes.” (found in Toronto Sun article above)

I do however, support Mr. Mattmer, and all the other people in Ontario who have worked so tirelessly to expose the truth. Please join us in the fight for truth and Democracy.

If the govt. is serious about the environment they would be putting the money into grants to retrofit homes and encourage home solar and wind. This would reduce the need for new generation and save money in the process. After all, it’s your tax dollars subsidizing the wind industry of which the only “benefit ” to you will be higher electrical costs.
The wind industry on the other hand will make a fortune.

I think it is time for an open televised debate – maybe on TVO. I, and many others, including engineers, are available, and look forward to such a debate. The govt. and the wind industry debating with citizens of Ontario. Sounds like democracy to me.

What is going on now is about as anti-democratic as it gets.

Councils are told to pass the wind farms or they will be taken to an OMB hearing at a cost of approx. $100,000. and they are told they will lose, and God forbid-they will look anti-green. Did I mention the “GREENS” are pagan based and anti-Christian. Ever wonder why Mr. McGuitny wants to remove the Lords prayer from the Legislature?

Kingsbridge l has been a source of noise, flicker and stray voltage complaints for the two years it has been operating. People and animals suffer up to a kilometer away, yet no health study. The setback for Kingsbridge ll 450 meters.

Criminal

Turn off the TV, put down the newspapers and do your own research. Get the family involved. Think often and think critically.

Democracy is not a right. When a democracy is not guarded, protected and demanded by its citizens it will be lost. That day is getting very close.

RS

Ron Stephens ran as an Independent candidate for Huron-Bruce in support of those suffering from wind turbine nuisance and he continues to fight for their rights.

Editor:
Once again, I ask both the govt. and the wind industry to look over this blog and if you find something you can prove is not correct let me know and the appropriate corrections will be made.

Update- Fri. May 1st – 9:30 am
Someone from the govt. of Ont. and Suncor have read this post. Site Tracker stats

Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

February 6, 2008
Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

[ News Watch Home ]

“Understanding Sound Associated with Industrial Wind Developments”, was the theme of the presentation by Rick Bolton, Engineer & Sound Specialist, and sponsored by Citizens for a Healthy Rural Neighborhood (CHRN), on Wednesday, January 30, at Perry’s Masonic Temple.

Though Wednesday’s inclement weather prohibited attendance by many from outlying areas, citizens and Town Board members from Perry, Gainesville, Leicester, and Orangeville were there. Mr. Bolton’s presentation was designed to convey a basic understanding of the complexities of sound, effects on humans, and flaws in current analysis standards being employed by wind developers in the U.S.

Mr. Bolton began by explaining that sound associated with wind turbines is an extremely complex issue, and one that needs thorough analysis. “Sounds are waves – just like light and water,” he said. These sound waves are measured in deci-Bels (dB, or dBA – A-weighted deci-Bels – most closely imitate the human ear).

“Human audibility is extremely sensitive,” he said. “In fact, far more sensitive than anything we can use to record sound electronically. While the human ear can detect to 0 dBA, the lowest range even the most expensive noise meters can measure is 14 dBA.”

Elaborating on the factors that can amplify sound, Bolton pointed out:

1.) Sound can propagate for over a mile, and even further over water;

2.) Sound gets worse in water (i.e. – ice, fog);

3.) Low frequencies can double sound by refraction off hard surfaces (hillsides, snow-pack);

4.) ‘Wave Coherence’, created by a number of turbines together, amplifies sound;

5.) When the wind is blowing, it can refract noise from the elevated source-point downward;

6.) Sounds below 30 Hz, termed ‘infrasound’, create serious health problems (turbines have been indicated as being a strong source of ‘infrasound’)

7.) Ice-loading on the front edge of turbine blade tips disturbs air flow around the blade, creating turbulence, and increasing sound.

8.) Modulation occurs when the blade compresses air as passing the mast of the turbine, and is worsened by large groups of turbines’ blades not operating in sync. (Bolton has never seen modulation addressed in any wind developer provided studies.)

Bolton explained the many ways wind developers methodology is flawed. Field measurements are not done correctly (i.e. – improper microphone placement, no justification for sampling sites, etc.); accurate samplings need to be done for a full year to account for seasonal variations, but aren’t; and computer prediction models wind developers rely on are inadequate because they don’t account for modulation, coherence, refraction, and icing.

Facts contained in Perry’s DEIS from the sound study done by Horizon for Perry were brought up that highlighted Bolton’s point that sound studies being done are totally inadequate: “5 monitoring locations; Survey was carried out over roughly a 3-week period; Unfortunately, 3 primary & 2 backup instruments were destroyed by water infiltration, so octave band data could not be collected for ALL positions for the entire 3-week survey; There were a number of periods of either inclement weather or low wind speeds – conditions that are not generally useful; General conditions of temperature, barometric pressure, & wind for the survey period are shown in plots below as observed at DANSVILLE, NY – some 20 miles southeast of the site.”

Illustrating and explaining his points with numerous charts and graphs that were part of his presentation, he also included examples and measurements from homes that had been abandoned by their owners due to the resulting life-altering health effects of living too close to turbines. Not surprisingly, these health problems have been linked to sleep disturbances.

The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend that sound level should not exceed 30 dBA for a good night’s sleep. WHO also unanimously agrees that noise levels greater than 42 dBA create sleep disturbances, and that disturbed sleep has serious health effects.

Bolton explained that rural country settings currently enjoy extremely quiet night-time noise levels of 20 – 30 dBA. However, wind developers typically propose 50 dBA as acceptable noise levels at property lines of neighboring homes to their industrial wind installations. They do so despite the fact that the NYS DEC recommends no more than a 6 dBA increase over existing night-time ambient noise levels.

“Every 6 dBA is a perceived doubling of sound, or loudness,” Bolton said. When you understand this, you can begin to understand the problems that are occurring from siting these facilities far too close to people’s homes in rural areas. Bolton’s research suggests that 3,000′ – 5,000′ setbacks from the nearest property line should be the rule of thumb.

Neither citizens, nor the town officials being rushed through zoning, siting, and approval processes by wind developers truly understand the vast difference between 30 and 50 dBA until it is too late. Bolton stressed the importance of “getting it right” before allowing industrial wind facilities to be built, since mitigation after the fact is not available. He has yet to see wind developers do any follow-up studies for those now experiencing problems. They simply ignore them.

Bolton also explained that NY Townships are perpetuating flawed methods by accepting, and placing in their ordinances, the 50 dBA sound levels being submitted by wind developers, without demanding justifications – despite the fact that this is contrary to SEQR rules. NYS DEC’s Environmental Conservation Rules for SEQR state that the noise pollution potential must be evaluated at each affected “receptor”.

NYS DEC’s Program Policy, “Assessing & Mitigating Noise Impacts”, states: “When a sound level evaluation indicates that receptors may experience sound levels or characteristics that produce significant noise impacts, or impairment of property use, the Department is to require the permittee or applicant to employ necessary measures to either eliminate, or mitigate, adverse noise effects.”

If our townships fail to hold developers accountable to required standards, “we will lose the privilege, and precious asset, of having the peace and quiet of the country,” he said.

Mr. Bolton then took questions from the crowd. In response to questions asking what he thought of being “surrounded” by up to 23 turbines within 1.5 miles of their homes, he answered, “I would be VERY concerned if I were you.”

When asked if he has conducted any studies in the Perry area, Bolton replied that he had. Those who attended Perry’s Public Hearing October 16, 2006, will remember Mr. Bolton adding his comments, and handing in the study he did for Perry to the Board that evening. (Mr. Bolton’s comments on the Noise Issue can be found in the Comments to Perry’s DEIS under H-1, pages 1-24.)

By Mary Kay Barton

Batavia Daily News

Wind energy: beware, turbulence ahead

November 22, 2007

[Bernard Viau was the editor of the national newsletter for the Green Party of Canada. When he posted an article denouncing wind in early July, Green Party of Canada Opposes Placing Industrial Wind Farms too Close to Homesthere was such a backlash that he resigned his post.]

Wind farm projects are growing like mushrooms after a rainy day, but the air is turbulent in the wind industry. Industrial wind farms are not as nice and green as promoters want us to believe. Like an opponent puts it : “There is more here than immediately meets the eye with industrial wind generators, and often the devil is in the details.”

Pugwash in Nova Scotia, Wolfe Island in Ontario, Saint-Arsene in Quebec, and Edinbane in Scotland are actually living very stressful times. These small places are being called names by both industrialists and environmentalists because of their opposition to a green energy project.

Lots of other small places have the same problem in the world : Carrolltown in New York, Cairnbrook in Pennsylvania, Chilton in Wisconsin, Glenrock in Wyoming, Saint-Joseph in Manitoba, Greensburg in Kansas, Benjamin in West Virginia, Mount Hays in British Columbia, Sevenmile Hill in Oregon, Bagthorpe in England and many others.

Wind farm projects are growing like mushrooms after a rainy day, but the air is turbulent in the wind industry. Industrial wind farms are not as nice and green as promoters want us to believe. Like an opponent puts it : “There is more here than immediately meets the eye with industrial wind generators, and often the devil is in the details.”

Like a lot of other countries, Canada is actually facing a rush of private wind energy companies. Don’t be fooled, the money promoters are investing in wind energy has nothing to do with the environment. What these astute industrialists want is clear : profit from government Green Energy Projects, grab all incentive money available, commit as little as possible to local economy and then run or sell their wind farms to large income funds. All political parties are praising the wind energy but all, including the Green Party, are carefully avoiding the tough questions. The truth is that our politicians are misinformed, naïve and gullible. They all want to be known as green because nowadays for everyone, green is the politically correct colour to wear. The story is the same whether you live in Canada, in Australia, in Scotland or in France.

Don’t misunderstand me ! I believe that making a profit is a sign of good management. I have no anti-capitalistic thinking and I believe that the wealth of nations is built by entrepreneurs but I also strongly believe in responsible investment. A few years ago, I did sell one of the first Canadian tax shelter in the wind energy when I worked as a investment broker. Don’t give me that grap thinking about what is good for the economy and the global market. Buying garlic from China at the supermarket instead of buying it from local producers is totally stupid from a common sense point of view and some wind farms also defy pure common sense as you will see.

Most wind energy projects are industrial in size, ranging from 30 to 150 turbines. Simple people are often blinded by the very words “wind energy”. They cannot imagine that one could oppose so green a project as a wind farm. Well, I’m opposed to some industrial wind farm projects and for good reasons ! Wind farms do have downside effects : on the landscape, on health, on property value and also on our energy supply.

Wind farms may be built on private land but they affect the landscape, which is common property, so to speak. We judge things according to their potential return on investment. It is then only normal that promoters are at loss when one speaks of the “value” of a landscape. In Europe, citizens are complaining that miles of landscape have already been destroyed by wind farms and that people have been forced to leave their homes for health reasons. Let’s face it, a wind farm is like a forest of huge towers with intermittent headlights on top of them for airplanes ; nobody can miss them ! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but still, some landscape are exceptional and we need to protect them ; a wind farm project in front of Niagara Falls would certainly not gain public support in Canada.

The French National Academy of Medicine has called for a moratorium of all industrial wind farms within one and a half kilometers of any residence, because they felt there was a risk for people exposed to the sounds generated by the turbines. The United Kingdom Noise Association recommends the same. A number of health issues have already been raised and researchers have found a cluster of symptoms near industrial wind turbines : headaches, dizziness, nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, anger and irritability.

The wind industry has been trying to convince everyone that there is no problem with bird kills but independent scientific reports of bird and bat deaths near a wind facility estimates the annual death toll between three and six thousand, far worse than anything the wind industry is ready to admit publicly.

It is a well known fact in Europe that land value near a wind farm declines immediately because nobody wants to live near a forest of huge towers. A wind farm is different from the idyllic postcard we mentally have of wind mills in Holland and a wind farm is not a tourist attraction. A wind farm area is a ghetto area, land prices go down. In Danemark, the liberal government is about to pass a bill to give compensation for land loss value to people living near a new wind turbine.

The construction of a wind farm also implies a lot of cement ; a sea of cement would give a better picture. Thousands of very long, broad and heavy trucks will damage all the network of roads. Who will pay the bill ? In 30 years, if the promoters have not declared bankruptcy to avoid paying for dismantling the towers, the cement foundations will be left to the grandchildren of the original owners. Promoters should put money in trust to cover end-of-life dismantling ; a form of asset fund for future generations.

By nature, wind is erratic. An expert who spent his whole life working in generating stations says that “wind power can never become part of any large power grid, it is nothing more than an unreliable add on which is a serious nuisance to grid operators.” A wind farm produces little electricity and adds almost nothing to our generating capacity but yes, it is green and more importantly, it has the favour of politicians around the world.

Promoters say that their wind farm brings an economic windfall, but 75% of the expenses are for the turbines built by multinationals. The truth is that local entrepreneurs will provide the sand, the gravel and the donuts. The company pays royalties to the farmers for their land but prices vary a lot depending on how gullible people are and contracts are secrets of the trade. Farmers often realize later on that all the drainage system is modified and that their lands are permanently damaged for crops. An industrial wind farm creates few jobs locally because the turbines can be monitored by a technician working far away in an office filled with computers.

During public hearings, two promoters were recently scolded by the commissioners for having failed to mention and supply critical information, for not having notified residents affected, for having frequently changed site plans without consulting the township and for failing to comply with several regulations, showing in fact no regard for the environment or for the residents. This is the reality Wolfe Island near Kingston Ontario is actually living and there are hundreds of other cases around the world.

Urban environmentalists, unaware of the real issues, are often saying that any opposition to wind farm project is wrong. If greedy promoters and big shareholders had their way, public enquiries would never be necessary. It is not a question of NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitude. One company in Ontario has a wind farm project right in front of a wildlife protected area. Some far-west entrepreneurs would like to construct wind farms right in your frontyard. The landscape, the local environment and public opinion are being ignored, this is totally unacceptable for society as well as detrimental to the wind industry in general.

These huge towers will still be on our landscape when today’s decision makers are dead. In June of last year, during public hearings by an environmental commission, we proposed that wind farms should be moved away from cultivated lands, away from rivers, from migratory corridors, scenic landscape and heavily populated areas. The best place for wind turbines is the seashore like in Holland. Substantial indemnities should go to repair the road system and standards should be set for the contracts with the farmers. Local residents should be paid on a system based on proximity to the turbine rather than on a system based on straight rent because landscape is a form of common space which belongs to everyone. Municipalities have to become partners with the wind industry. Power utilities should have standard offer contracts that permits local participation. Large wind farm projects, especially those over 100 turbines, should be moved in Canada’s northlands or on the shores of large hydroelectrical reservoirs.

Some will say that the wind farms are replacing coal fired generating plants or nuclear generators. This is not the case. We have better alternatives. Geothermal energy is the greenest and most economical alternative to meet our heating requirements while solar energy is the best one for our energy requirements. Wind energy projects have several downside effects. Why is it that the protection of multinationals and the wind industry’s interests override the protection of wildlife, the environment, local public opinion as well as pure common sense ? The answer is that money talks.

The people building wind farms are not environmentalists but astute promoters who want to profit from green subsidies using tax shelters. These companies feel that they should be able to do as they like without regard for the stakeholders. Milton Friedman would be proud of them for he once wrote that an officer of a company who cares about anything else but maximizing shareholders dividends is to be considered as a subversive element. How could he receive a Nobel prize in Economy ?

Because of greedy promoters, large industrial wind farms are rapidly becoming anti-environmental because they are symbols, not of our respect for the environment but of industrial domination over our resources. The situation is the same in every modern country of the world. Only China has no opposition to the wind industry, but is opposition really possible in China ? The best options for our heating and energy requirements are clearly solar and geothermal energies. Governments should transfer tax credits from wind to geothermal and solar energy. They should also start seriously to promote the use of these green energy in all public buildings and give strong fiscal incentives to companies working in the energy efficiency field. Wind farms are unreliable and are not the best solution to the world energy problems.

If you ever wake up in the middle of a 100 turbine wind farm project, you will not be fighting alone.

Bernard Viau
viaub@sympatico.ca

August 4, 2007

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