Industrial Turbines, old-fashioned windmills are two very different things

Owen Sound Sun Times

My goodness Mr. Armitage, what an informative piece on the history of windmills!

Your picture of the old-fashioned windmill in front of the modern industrial wind turbine almost leads one to believe that the modern turbine is only a little taller than the old-fashioned windmills we see sitting dormant and rusting in farm fields. They are two very different things indeed.

You may not have enough property at your home for an industrial-sized wind turbine to spin and hum next to your bedroom window but “they” are looking at smaller models for use in town. You may get your wish sooner than you think. I wonder if “they” will have any more concern about the effects of this new technology on a neighbour with the smaller version than “they” did with the current massive industrial-sized turbines.

New does not always mean better.

We have seen articles like this before, Mr. Armitage, where one claims they would have no problem living near turbines, that they would welcome them next to their home. These are pretty presumptive declarations on your part, sir.

On Oct. 1 in Owen Sound and on Oct. 6 in Walkerton the Grey Bruce Health Unit held two public meetings with Dr. Ray Copes as their speaker.

In the audience were a number of victims of turbine installations. When asked of his experience with turbines, Dr. Copes said he hadn’t actually spoken to people reporting difficulty but had stopped on his way to the meeting to stand near the turbines in Shelburne. He was fine.

In that audience there was:

* a family being billeted in a motel by a wind company because the expectant mother was having contractions when she stayed at home (near turbines). Her young daughter would scream in agony with ear pain whenever she returned to the home (near turbines).

* a family who was finally forced to purchase another home in town to regain their health and, to this day, return to their farm only to tend to the livestock each day (near turbines). They are burdened with managing two mortgages now.

* a family who found their health disintegrating every day (near turbines) to the point where they hired a lawyer who, at great expense to this family, managed to get fair market value for their home from the wind company so they could get out.

* a very independent lady who was managing very nicely in a home built especially so she could cope with some disabilities (near turbines) who has since had to abandon that home in order to function again.

* a man who moved far, far away from his family home and who, to this day, attributes his cardiac issues to living in his home in Goderich (near turbines).

* an articulate and well respected high school teacher who ended up in hospital one night close to having a stroke who, on the advice of her doctor, has since moved out of her family home (near turbines) to regain her health.

These are only some of the people who have been public about what has happened to them, who would not, in good conscience, even try to sell their toxic homes to another family.

To this day, although it is starting to change all too slowly, people who come forward are dismissed, sometimes ridiculed, told that their problems are there because they are just too sensitive and lacking control over the turbines near them. You, sir, have revictimized all of them again with your lack of understanding of the issue.

These people, whose lives have been completely decimated, who were very balanced, healthy and happy before the operation (they were fine even as turbines were installed and many welcomed them) of turbines nearby, who could no longer sleep at night because of noise, both audible and a low frequency “hum” coming through their walls and pillows, who suffered terrible headaches that no pill could touch, who had sores that would not heal until they got away, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea and diarrhea not accountable to the usual suspects, ie flu, etc., were just publicly revictimized by your insinuation that the biggest concern is what they look like.

I’m not a doctor but here is what I know. These people were fine before industrial wind turbines were up and running. These people get better when they leave the area of turbines and their symptoms return when they return to living near turbines. For goodness sake, some of “these people” who are sick are too young to even realize what a turbine is! Shame on anyone, doctor or otherwise, who dismisses these concerns as related to control or aesthetic issues.

Please Mr. Armitage, when you walk in the shoes of the people who’ve lived it or who are trying to cope with it as best they can, when the 400+ foot (they are getting taller) industrial wind turbine you wish you could have is next to your bedroom window, let me know how it’s going for you.

Lorrie Gillis, Grey Highlands

8 thoughts on “Industrial Turbines, old-fashioned windmills are two very different things

  1. I’m not a supporter of Industrial turbines but I think this particular blog is focusing attention on an argument that Wind Warriors find hard to defend in the public arena because of the Orwellian nature of modern society.

    The point about older turbines is they were providing power for local production. No transmission and need to back up with other forms of power when the wind doesn’t blow. We fall into a trap when we try arguing on the basis of what people who are disturbed by turbines and have their property values reduced feel as much as that is a point that is real and devastating for those living close by.

  2. From the bottoms of our hearts, thank you for putting our case so truthfully and compassionately.

  3. Sad to say but we are living in a very bad time right now where “GREED” dictates actions and there is no empathy or honour left in a Society that embraces $$ over everything else.

  4. This letter has nothing to do with property values. Or old windmills either. It has to do with what is happening to the health of many who have been forced to live near industrial wind turbines. It is in answer to Mr. Armitage ridiculous comment declaring that he would just love a nice big turbine near his bedroom window at night. I stand by what this letter says.

  5. Nobody wants a house that makes you sick.
    Victims of Wind Turbines do not need to be re-victimized by people such as Armitage, unless he wants to test out living in one of these vacated dwellings for the rest of his life. Why doesn’t he buy one of them out?

  6. You have a very valid argument, but we still need wind turbines. I suggest smaller scale units for higher density areas and larger wind farms for areas with little or no population.

  7. Maybe Ron could clarify why we still need wind turbines? Having read actual research reports and Norway’s analysis of their results, it is becoming ever more likely that this is another case of people wanting to be seen as “green” and taking a good ‘concept’ and totally failing on the execution.

    Are you aware Ron, that Denmark, with 6,000 turbines and the world’s most intensive user of wind power, has yet to close a single fossil fuel plant? The unpredictability of wind power has resulted in a requirement for 50 % more coal-generated electricity. Pollution and carbon emissions have risen. The German experience has been similar. Wind turbines do very little to reduce green house gases and have been shown to be uneconomical. Check out the reports from Europe where countries are moving away from subsidies of wind farms in droves.

    And despite what the wind supporters say, there is growing medical evidence that wind turbines cause health problems. Do you really believe those who are profiting from them versus doctors treating the victims and the people who are having to abandon their homes? Simply look back on recent history to figure this one out (A review of how both the thalidomide and tobacco stories played out might prove instructive).

    There is ample evidence and real data for those who care to actually look for the truth that wind power, as presently being put forward, is neither ‘green’, healthy, or economically viable.

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