Opponents of wind energy want to be heard

Guelph Mercury

A few hundred people from various places in Ontario travelled to Queen’s Park April 28 for a rally to attempt to bring concerns about wind turbine farms to the Liberal government, and show support for a Conservative motion in the legislature to place a moratorium on establishing more wind farms pending an independent study on their effects on our health.

For those not familiar with wind farms, take a drive to the Shelburne area and see for yourself. Under Dalton McGuinty’s Green Energy Act, wind farms will continue to be built across Ontario. As of April 8, Ontario Power Authority had offered approximately 50 contracts to wind energy companies to establish wind farms, with approximately 140 contracts on a waiting list.

To set up a wind farm, a wind energy company does not need consent of a majority of landowners in the proposed community — just a few “willing hosts.” Under the Green Energy Act, the local municipal council has no say as to whether the project goes ahead. Some democracy we live in.

At the rally, not one Liberal MPP spoke to the people about their concerns.

Duncan A. Lamond, Arthur

5 thoughts on “Opponents of wind energy want to be heard

  1. The list of environmental costs imposed on wildlife and people are now being recognized
    Wind Turbines; Offensive industrialization of human space
    By Online Monday, July 28, 2008

    By: Dr. Brian L. Horejsi, Dr. Barrie K. Gilbert, George Wuerthner

    People are barking up the wrong tree by promoting, or succumbing to, wind turbine construction regardless of where it is proposed and how many there might be. Many North Americans are infected with tunnel vision and erroneously appear to believe that turbine generated energy is somehow linked to reversing the growth in and impact of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

    There exists NO evidence anywhere that Turbine energy is substituting for or displacing fossil fuel dependence, nor is there any evidence that it is in any material way slowing the rate of GHG emission growth. Turbine energy is a non factor in the never ending growth agenda of the fossil fuel industry, and it is not a factor in the agenda of governments promoting growth in and dependence on oil and gas consumption. There can be no better example than North America of the failure of turbine energy to slow growth in anything.

    People have been hoodwinked into promoting wind turbine energy as some sort of Nirvana all while human population growth and per capita energy consumption continue to spiral upward. Turbine energy generation is fueling growth in human population and energy consumption and growth in a false “economy”. It is NOT doing the opposite.

    Matching the folly of the energy replacement misunderstanding is denial by governments and promoters of the ecological impacts and health effects of turbines; the ugly reality is that they are a serious addition to the industrialization of quiet rural landscapes that people have long valued for quality of life, retirement, and recreation.

    The list of environmental costs imposed on wildlife and people are now being recognized; they are far from meaningless, but they have been trivialized by turbine promoters and politicians that have systematically tilted the deck sharply in the developers favor. Environmental costs have been systematically ignored by a political and regulatory system that has corrupted individual and societal freedom and environmental integrity by relegating these values to some distant offshoot of economic growth. These costs, and those who stand by them, are treated with contempt; how dare they influence the decision to grant some landowner a chance to make a buck by carving your backyard and your space into fragments with giant chopping machines?

    Wind turbines are an assault on human well being and act to degrade the human “gestalt”. Promotion of wind turbine energy is a case of serious misjudgment by those who fraudulently use green wash to promote their commercial aspirations.

    Buried deep within the human genome is an innate recognition and suspicion of monsters – large objects – looming on the horizon. Wind turbines are todays versions of a threatening monster, jammed down the throats of neighbors and localities. 30% of the human cortex occupies itself with processing visual information, far more than any other sense, and nothing delivers a more intrusive and intense visual picture than the tower and blades of wind turbines. Turbines erode freedom of the human mind hour after hour, night after day, virtually forever, like a cell phone ringing incessantly and yet no one is able to turn it off. To many people this intrusion into their physical and physiological space is an insidious form of torment. The mental effect is analogous to the physical effects of a heavy smoker sitting next to you essentially for life!

    We do not subscribe to the managerial / market approach to democracy or conservation with its deeply entrenched bias against human values such as an unadulterated horizon. This largely corporate view denigrates the value of freedom of the human spirit – the very pedestal upon which human dignity, character and strength are built.

    In an honest and fair regulatory and political environment, local citizens and communities would bury turbine projects long before they get to the serious implementation stage. Once again, however, citizens are being forced to try and employ the very tools that degrade our quality of life and humiliate us as mere pawns of some corporate created market economy. That being the case, it occurs to us that wind turbines wearing eternally on the human psyche, constituting a “taking” by corporate promoters and biased government collaborators; a taking that damages the well being of all residents. We asked ourselves if $1000 payment per person would compensate for the damages imposed on the ever day life of hundreds and thousands of affected citizens? Not even close. Perhaps then, $3000, or $8000? Would that kind of money make up for the forced collapse of part of your quality of life, your loss of right to space, loss of privacy, loss of political power, curbs on your freedom, and the mental and physical costs imposed on you by stress associated with constant angst, irritation and distraction? For some, we suspect yes would be the answer. For others, like those who have lost a child to negligent corporate behavior, been strangled slowly by nicotine, or been poisoned by toxic emissions or effluent, no amount of money can compensate for the deprivation and harm they have and will suffer. Regardless of the compensatory damages you might place on that part of your life lost because of turbine industrialization, should you not be compensated for this taking?

    The commercial private sector is forcing itself into your life, and that constitutes a taking of your rights, benefits and well being. We propose that each person impacted by a turbine receive, as a starting point for negotiations, $3000 annually, to be paid by the developer for the loss of private and citizen rights, a very large portion of which includes peace and satisfaction, a critical part of your state of mind. We all know that is a significant part of personal, social and democratic well being. The concept is simple; if the developer and some uncaring land owners want to destroy your rights and those of other citizens, inflicting on you suffering and mental distress, the good old “free” enterprise system developers and local governments love to hide behind, comes into play; they pay to destroy part of your life. There has to be pain and resistance in the system for those who knowingly exploit the public and individual vulnerability, a now institutionalized vulnerability which commercial and private sector interests worked hard to establish.

    The recent proliferation of wind turbine farms is just one more case of the serious aggression and destruction that reflects the continuing expansion of an extremist private property and commercialism agenda. This socially, legally and politically defective agenda and process is being exploited by corporations, some local residents, and local governments. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not freedom and it is not democracy; it is vandalism and oppression in the name of commercialism. As citizens we have the right, and we say the obligation, and we must marshal the courage, to reject wind turbine invasions as a corruption of our well being that is cached “in our spirit rather than in our wallet”.

    Dr. Brian L. Horejsi

    Behavioral scientist and citizen advocate for democratic process
    Box 84006, PO Market Mall
    Calgary, Alberta, T3A 5C4


    Dr. Barrie K. Gilbert
    Wildlife Ecologist and conservation activist
    Box 252
    Wolfe Island, Ontario KOH 2HO


    George Wuerthner,
    Ecologist and writer.
    POB 719, Richmond,
    Vermont 05477
    28 July 2008

  2. Some scientists hide behind the cloak of objectivity saying they “can’t” be activists.

    Bravo to Brian, Barrie and George who have the intellectual rigour to keep their scientific objectivity while retaining their humanity.

    I have too many bad memories of scientists who used the excuse of following orders from their superiors.

  3. No monetary compensation will bring back the rural quality of life in any area with industrial wind turbines. Industrial wind turbines are basically a waste of time and effort. Industrialization of the landscape will give some people a false sense of contributing to being “green” which in turns promotes the use of electricity which is supposed to be “clean”. Anyone with such an illusion has no understanding as to what really provides electricity to users. Industrial wind turbines increase the need for “dirty” electricity on top of what consumers need. Electricity supplied to the user most likely will not be produced by industrial wind turbines, no matter how many litter the landscape.

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