Recently, the Sentinel-Review published an article regarding the Innerkip Wind Farm, including a quote from Bart Geleynse of Prowind Canada describing those opposed to the project as an “activist minority.”
Claims that informed members of the community are an “activist minority” should be met with concern and skepticism.
First, let’s review the “minority” claim. Based on petitions and letters signed in local project areas, it is the project supporters (typically comprised only of landowners having signed leases with the developers) who are significantly outnumbered by their concerned neighbours. Both developers and landowners who have signed contracts must realize that proceeding with these projects is contrary to the wishes of the community, and the consequences will be borne for years to come in community relationships, health, viability of neighbouring agricultural operations and legal proceedings. In other areas of Ontario, several landowners who had signed lease agreements are already pursuing options to rescind their contracts for these reasons.
Secondly, let’s review the “activist” claim. This language is pre-emptive stereotyping of legitimate concerns. It is lobbyist language unbecoming of an industry that tries to position itself as being community oriented.
Legitimately concerned community members have researched the risks. They have discovered very disturbing facts about the effects of industrial wind development, despite gag clauses used to silence families whose health and homes have been sacrificed.
In contrast to the dismissive health reports produced by paid wind industry consultants, there is a rapidly growing body of evidence worldwide regarding adverse health effects associated with industrial wind turbines. In response to the need for research and education, the Society for Wind Vigilance has recently been established. This international organization is a volunteer-based advocacy federation that leads in education on the adverse health effects of human exposure to wind turbines.
The society’s governing board is comprised of international health and research professionals, with the ultimate goal of mitigating the risk of adverse health impact through the advancement of independent third party research and its application to the “siting” of industrial wind turbines. Excellent reference materials are available on the organization’s web-site, which can be accessed at: www.windvigilance.com.
Interestingly, the wind industry itself acknowledges that wind turbines cause adverse health effects associated with sleep disturbance, stress and annoyance. Yet at every public meeting, developers choose to deflect questions posed by concerned citizens.
The risks posed by these projects are significant and will be borne by our communities and our children. We cannot sit idly by until the effects seen in Kincardine, Ripley, Amaranth, Clear Creek, Blenheim, Nova Scotia, US, Japan, UK and Australia (to name just a few) repeat themselves here in Oxford County.
Joan Morris, Masters of Health Science Woodstock, Ont.