Posts Tagged ‘Chatham-Kent’

Doctor calls for health study

February 2, 2009

Doctor calls for health studies on windmill farms

By JOHN MINER, SUN MEDIA

When London surgeon Robert McMurtry decided to build a house, he wanted to go green — geothermal heating, solar panels for hot water and a wind turbine for electricity.

But when he started reading about wind turbines, the former dean of medicine at the University of Western Ontario said he had a change of heart.

“I thought, ‘Holy Toledo, there are some issues here.’ ”

Dozens of wind turbines have already been built or proposed in Southwestern Ontario, as Queen’s Park tries to wean Ontario off dirty coal-fired electricity plants and reduce its reliance on nuclear power.

McMurtry is calling for health studies into the wind turbine farms popping up across Ontario with backing by the provincial government. With towers nearly 100 metres tall, and blades half that long, the turbines can be an imposing sight, even from afar.


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“At minimum, they should be doing a survey of people around wind farms and getting a sense of how many people are complaining of problems,” he said.

“If there is enough evidence, they should mount a formal epidemiological study,” McMurtry said.

In the U.S. and Western Europe especially, where wind farms are more advanced than in Canada, complaints abound about the low-frequency sound the giant windmills generate.

In Canada, Ontario is one of the only provinces with any regulations governing wind farms, requiring a noise-impact assessment for areas up to 1,000 metres from the wind turbine.

McMurtry is concerned about the health complaints he’s heard from people living near wind farms, including sleep disturbance from the noise of the giant turbine blades.

“Once you have sleep disturbance for a few days, you aren’t going to be feeling well,” he said.

Last week, the province announced it’s backing six new wind farm projects, including three in Chatham-Kent, that are expected to create 558 jobs.

Total investment in the new farms is expected to reach $1.32 billion.

McMurtry, who has taken his concerns to Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman, said it’s going to be an uphill battle to convince people to look hard at the health implications because turbines have become closely associated with green energy.

“It has got an iconic, symbolic status that really carries a lot of weight and there is a very powerful, worldwide lobby group behind it,” he said.

McMurtry said turbines smaller than the ones being installed may be better than the monsters now going up.

“Harness the wind safely. Let’s look at other alternatives. There are better, smarter options,” he added.

Monica Elmes, of the Chatham-Kent Wind Action Group, an organization opposed to the wind farms, said the turbines will be an unreliable, intermittent source of electricity and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“All Ontario residents are truly the losers in this scam,” Elmes said in an e-mail.

For the latest local coverage, read The London Free Press on the web or in print.

Video of the Ripley wind farm

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The Enbridge Wind Farm Kincardine Ontario

September 20, 2008

A  few of the pictures I took at the Enbridge wind farm Kincardine.

If you want to listen to the full song (Green Energy Blues) play the slide show again.

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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

C-K business owner makes case for wind turbine setbacks

February 13, 2008

C-K business owner makes case for wind turbine setbacks

The need for proper setbacks in Chatham-Kent between wind turbines and homes and natural settings was voiced loudly Tuesday by Chatham businessman Harry Verhey.

Verhey told Chatham Sunrise Rotary Club members — of which he is a member — that he isn’t challenging the use of wind turbines, but is convinced there is an urgent need to determine setbacks that are right for the municipality.

“The recent proliferation of industrial wind projects will have a negative impact on the community,” he said. “The massive size of industrial wind turbines conflicts with the scale and character of the Chatham-Kent landscape.”

Verhey said the improper siting of industrial wind turbines will result in the loss of the scenic rural landscape, wildlife habitats and migration routes, peace, quiet and health of our citizens and future economic development opportunities.

Verhey made his comments while introducing Chatham-Kent planning official Ralph Pugliese, the club’s guest speaker.

“We are a unique community and cannot follow provincial minimum setback guidelines of only 250 to 600 metres,” said Verhey.

He said there is a need to come up with new setbacks that are right for the municipality.

“I love this community, its people, the rural landscape and the lifestyle available to us here,” said Verhey. “It’s my hope we will all be able to feel the same way in the future.”

Verhey noted Chatham-Kent is playing host to applications for the installation of hundreds of industrial-sized wind turbines.

“These turbines are of monstrous proportion,” he said. “The Greenfield Ethanol plant stack in Chatham is 260 feet high. The proposed turbines are nearly 400 feet high — as tall as a 40-storey apartment building.”

Verhey said there are many questions regarding how wind turbine developments will affect the surrounding area.

“Will property values decrease, will it stop new construction and future housing developments near by, is wildlife at risk and are there negative health affects?” he asked.

Verhey said he’s convinced the public is unaware of wind turbine developments in Chatham-Kent, planned locations for each turbine and any associated adverse affects.

“We need to evaluate the landscape of the potentially-affected areas, consult with the public and develop a criteria for the public input process,” he said.

Verhey said ads run in local papers by the proponents of wind farms aren’t enough — “for the most part the public is unaware of turbine developments and locations.”

He said significant cultural heritage landscapes, important bird areas, which include wetlands and staging areas, shorelines, the Thames River valley, small rural community’s areas for future development and rural homes need to be protected.

Club member Paul Roy of Pain Court said there is a need for the municipality to hold public meetings to help clear up the confusion that exists about wind turbines.

Larry and Linda Reaume of Erie Beach, club guests, said they would never have purchased their “dream” home at Erie Beach if they knew wind turbines were going to be erected in their backyard.

“We looked for a place to buy for years and finally settled on a home near the lake in south Chatham-Kent in 2006,” said Larry Reaume. “We had no idea the area was ripe for wind turbines.”

Source C-K News