Vote ONPC to stop wind turbines that are not “green”

The belief that wind turbines are “green” and reduce CO2 emissions is an Ontario Liberal myth! In fact, some would say that claim is an outright lie.

For proof, take a good look at the above image. Given that three six-foot tall men are standing on the rebar it becomes obvious just how huge that turbine foundation actually is. In fact, the base is reported to require some 45,000 kg of reinforcing rebar and 480,000 litres of concrete to fill and cover it — 20% of the volume of an Olympic sized swimming pool. And that is before you even add the turbine itself!

Think about that and multiply that hole by hundreds of such spaces and what they would do to a rural and farm environment. Of course, the Ontario Liberals don’t worry about such things because turbines are primarily placed in Ontario Progressive Conservative (ONPC) ridings.

During the 2011 provincial election, for instance, the Ontario Liberals, then under Dalton McGuinty, moved two partially built gas plants, one in Oakville and one in Mississauga, out into ONPC territory, because Liberal voters didn’t want them. That gas plant move ended up costing nearly a billion taxpayers dollars.

Similarly, also in 2011, the McGuinty Liberals cancelled a 60 turbine project that was to be off shore near the Scarborough bluffs, which is at the Eastern end of Greater Toronto. But, live in a PC riding, and the Ontario Liberals really don’t care what you think.

The worse part, as we now find out, is that wind turbines are not “green” as they do absolutely nothing for the environment, nor do they reduce emissions. Worse yet, add in the Ontario Liberal Cap and Trade tax and they make hydro unaffordable.

For example, the Toronto Sun identifies one manufacturer who got a recent monthly statement showing they were charged $13,060 for the hydro they used. Plus, on that same bill, they were charged a “Global Adjustment Fee” in the amount of $107,698.00. Can you imagine that? As the Sun states: “A ‘global adjustment fee’ is the term the Ontario government and energy companies use to describe the amount they tack on to businesses’ bills to cover the extremely generous and above-market rates the government has agreed to pay green energy companies in the province.

Meaning, all but the $13,060 is Liberal spin to cover Liberal “green” energy overspending. In other words, the $107,698.00 is a business tax that is going to kill jobs and destroy the Ontario economy.

Well, there is a solution and that solution is to elect a majority PC government in Ontario on June 7th, 2018.

The crux of the matter is, I believe, that under a Premier Patrick Brown, the Ontario economy will be turned around. As it says on the PC website, a PC government would reinvigorate the Ontario economy by cancelling the job killing Cap and Trade costs under the so-called “global adjustment fund”, as well as non-green wind turbine subsidies.

Social consensus key to Denmark embracing wind energy

Click on Spiegel image for photo album.

While this post is not about education per se, it is certainly educational. The topic?

Why wind energy is succeeding in Denmark compared to other countries (or provinces of other countries such as Ontario, Canada) that are wrapped up in protests and very expensive litigation.

In Denmark, according to an excellent article in Spiegel Online, it is succeeding because there is a social consensus on global warming and the need for alternative sources of electricity. There is also:

(1) A provision for financial and other incentives for everyone involved in a community affected by wind turbines;

(2) A provision for energy co-operatives and wind project auctions via a tendering process (suggesting no one is getting rich off taxpayers);

(3) Compensation when real estate values are adversely affected by the installation of wind turbines;

(4) A great deal of “meaningful” public consultation; and

(5) A democratic government and bureaucracy that actually seems to listen to people.

In Ontario, on the other hand, we have the Green Energy Act and wind farms are a bane to civilization as we know it. Just double the population of Denmark and such a difference. In Ontario, the Act itself is partially to blame, as few appeals are allowed, as is the unilateral “my way or the highway” attitude of the McGuinty government. And, of those appeals concerning zoning that find their way to the Ontario Municipal Board, most lose in favour of the wind turbines. I mean, not even local municipal councils can impact a decision related to the Act.

Now compare that paternalistic attitude to what is going on Denmark. On page 3 of the Spiegel article, it states:

Wind parks [note they are not called wind farms], particularly on land, also have their opponents in Denmark. But then the government goes about making the wind turbines more appealing to locals. The agency offers incentives: A portion of the profits from the wind energy generated flows back into the communities, where it’s used for environmental projects. ‘That’s a nice additional source of income for them,’ [Hanne] Windemuller says [a legal expert for the Danish Energy Agency].

If the construction of a wind turbine threatens to erode the value of nearby real estate, the owners receive compensation. Furthermore, the state acts as a guarantor should a local operator association go bankrupt [which, no doubt would still be less expensive than huge subsidies and law suits]. ‘This takes away the locals’ anxieties about joining forces and investing in wind power.’

An added benefit is that there are not as many wind-power-related lawsuits in Denmark as there are in Germany. Instead, there are two boards to hear citizens’ objections, each of which is presided over by a judge. ‘Anyone who has objections can voice them there,’ Windemuller says. It takes between six months and a year for the arbiter to reach a decision, and there are no provisions for appeal. ‘As far as I know, a lawsuit has never been brought before a normal court,’ says Windemuller, as she enters the conference room right on time for her next meeting.” [My highlighting and comments in square brackets.]

My conclusions? It’s not only about ideology. It’s about laws and government policy. However, I doubt we (who live in one of Canada’s provinces or territories) will learn from the successes of other countries like Denmark, because at its core, the majority of Canadians are not convinced the planet is warming, let alone that it is due to human causes. I do tend to accept the warming part, just not the aspect that developed countries are to blame, as that whole issue was too closely aligned with cap-and-trade systems and other wealth redistribution programs.

But, I do envy Denmark in the way it is handling things. A recipe for modern democracy indeed!

Adverse “sound” affects of wind turbines on autistic kids

Click image to find out how wind developers unable to respond to concerns.

Read this story at Quixote’s Last Stand about a family in the U.K. that had to make the decision to move because of the planned installation of three wind turbines on the property of a nearby farm.

That decision was not an example of the NIMBY syndrome either. Their son has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and extremely sensitive to sound and would have had to stay indoors all the time had they not moved.

Yet, the farmer is alleged to have made the ridiculous claim that the wind turbines wouldn’t be heard inside nearby homes.

Pardon me? Has the farmer only stood under a turbine when it is not working? I mean, when the blades are whirling in the wind, they make a very loud whooshing sound. Plus, they set off vibrations which can be felt under foot or, in some cases, even hundreds of metres away.

Look, wind turbines are here to stay because, like solar power, they are an alternative sources of energy. However, throughout the entire developed world, they are going up faster than proper health studies can be completed. 

With the result, that people living near them have essentially become guinea pigs for the investors — more often than not subsidized by their local governments using the property taxes of the very people suffering.  

Interestingly, at the end of the BBC article, it states that wind projects were turned down in the case of twins who had autism. So, that key information is obviously out there.

A little history. I understand autism and learning disabilities disorders from both a professional and personal point of view.

First of all, my adult son has an ASD and, like the young fellow in the U.K., he is extremely sensitive, not only to touch, but sound and vibrations as well. Plus, I did research and worked with children and youth with mild to moderate autism in my private practice. Therefore, I can say that I know, first hand, that sensory sensitivity is an aspect of the syndrome.

By way of comparison,  just imagine having to live in an environment that would be very similar to sitting, lying down or standing in an idling passenger jet aircraft 24/7.  

So, I say to all government officials worldwide, those who are in a position to approve wind turbine projects, slow down with both the subsidies and the installations until unbiased health studies can be completed. Plus, when decisions are made about wind turbine installations, keep them away from where people live (e.g, the CAW turbine in Ontario’s Port Elgin).

Please!

H/T quixoteslaststand.com

Port Elgin’s single CAW wind turbine vs Scarborough Bluffs wind projects cancellation

A local citizen of Port Elgin, with a blog called Quixote’s Last Stand, has put up a billboard to complain about the CAW’s wind turbine. I wrote about this controversy last winter and, although I am no longer writing about politics, thought I would at least do a follow-up since I got an e-mail about this issue this morning.

I understand the frustration of the people of Port Elgin because the turbine in question is smack right in the middle of the town, thus affecting the surrounding homes, businesses and recreation areas. The CAW turbine is not only noisy but unsightly as well.

However, the problem is that the train has already left the station. As such, the CAW is unlikely to ever have to take the turbine down– unless the federal government’s study on the possible health effects finds it too close to Port Elgin’s residents. 

In fact,  even if there was an Ontario election and change in Ontario’s governing party, nothing would change in this situation because the costs of a lawsuit would be prohibitive for Ontario taxpayers.   

CAW Education Centre, Port Elgin

I mean, read the claims the CAW make on their website.  If those claims are correct, and I have no reason to doubt them, their single wind turbine is now generating up to 50-60% of their Port Elgin Education Centre’s energy needs.

Now, let’s compare the CAW turbine result with what happened to the Scarborough Bluffs wind turbine projects.

In 2010 the McGuinty government said it planned to allow a number of offshore wind projects in Lake Ontario, not far from the Scarborough Bluffs. Well, the Toronto Save Our Shorelines (SOS) lobbyists had something to say about that and fought hard.

So, it was not really a surprise when, a few months before the 2011 Ontario election, the project was cancelled. The reason for the cancellation?  Apparently, the science was not settled or some such excuse. However, the more likely reason was because the MPP for Scarborough Centre was Brad Duguid, the Liberal Energy Minister at that time, and the looming election campaign.

However, let’s face it, politics is at play all the time. Even if the PCs or NDP had been in power in Scarborough, the offshore projects would have been cancelled or at the very least been part of a broader moratorium.  Of course, if there had been a PC government at the time the CAW first put up the turbine, it too would have been cancelled due to a moratorium. But, as the people of Huron Bruce already know, the PCs did not win a majority government in October 2011.

So, at this point, regarding the CAW wind turbine in Port Elgin, whether it is a Liberal, PC or NDP government in Ontario now or in the near future, unless it can be proven that turbines have a direct impact on human health, nothing significant is likely to change.

CAW wind turbine hypocrisy in Port Elgin Ontario

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who are the biggest hypocrites of them all? Well, you would be right if you answered the decision-makers at the Canadian Auto Workers union — which is ironic to say the least. I mean, this is the union who says they represent the little guy. For example, check out this CAW website.

On their left sidebar, it shows a text box with a banner that states: “Fighting Back Makes a Difference.”Except, when the fighting back is by an entire community against the CAW’s financial interests, then it doesn’t seem to make any difference at all to CAW administrators.

So, why are the citizens of picturesque Port Elgin, Ontario protesting and fighting back? Because the CAW is installing one of the largest and noisiest wind turbines available right in the middle of their town, and given what has been alleged, they are doing so by skirting around every rule in the book.  Why? In their own words:

“The CAW is erecting a wind turbine on the grounds of its Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario. The construction of this wind turbine is an important milestone in our union’s efforts to build a more sustainable future. A vision that was lead by environmentally-conscious union members and activists in 2003 is now coming into focus.”

The tragedy is, of course, the primary reason the CAW would have chosen Port Elgin for its world class education and conference centre was because of its pristine beauty.

However, there are grand visions and reality. As Karen Hunter wrote in the Huffington Post:

“Despite all the places CAW could have located the mammoth structure, it picked Port Elgin, ‘considered — one of the leading recreational playgrounds in Ontario’ for an industrial wind turbine. CAW’s vacant 128-acre property nearby was deemed too environmentally sensitive. Besides, the land had just been subdivided and its lots stood to rake in $2 million. The FEC’s densely-populated neighbourhood didn’t have such sensitivities.

The turbine’s proposed location was so beautiful, it posed a problem: the land’s picturesque, clean beach and nature trails led to its classification as a tourist and recreational community. Therefore, the turbine’s noise emission would exceed legislated standards. Not easily deterred, CAW found a quick fix: Classify the small tourist community as ‘urban’ on the turbine application since acceptable noise emission levels are higher. No one will notice. The scheme worked, and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) approved it. Voila.”

There are other issues as well.  According to Hunter, the CAW is using non-labour to build the turbine.  And jobs in construction and related trades are being held up because people backed out of new home deals as soon as they found where the turbine was going to be built.

In other words, when it comes to the leadership of the CAW, it is do as I say, not as I do. I mean, can you just imagine if the shoe were on the other foot and it was the housing developer who shut out CAW workers? Well, we know what would happen don’t we, given recent CAW threats to occupy the London Caterpillar plant.

So, the next time you see or hear Ken Lewenza protesting about something he disagrees with (particularly how industries are ruled by their profit margins), stop and ask him why he is putting the CAW’s financial interests ahead of an entire community

In the meantme, it is obvious that the people of Port Elgin are not going to give up without the very fight the CAW tells other people to undertake to make a difference. And, while I don’t live near Port Elgin, but in the Niagara Region, I wrote this post to support that community from the hyprocrisy shown by the CAW.

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Endnotes: (1) For more on this topic, check out the archives at quixoteslaststand.com and ontario-wind-resistance.org, as well as this Google Search page. . (2) If the attribution to any photographs is incorrect, please send me the correct information or link via my Contact Form.