There has been a steady flow of marvelously informative letters on the wind turbine situation in the Silcote area. Most of the letter writers are clearly situated in the line of fire of the Silcote Wind Project, and they have good reason to be concerned. Mention has been made of the fact that at least two letters in December were written by industry insiders.
One of these pretended to be up front about his background without being anything of the sort, in my view. The wind-energy industry has plenty of money and lots of technical information that we, pure amateurs at this, have to painstakingly develop, all on our own time and dime. Not for us the $300,000 seed-money, to be followed by much more, that the Sussex Strategy Report recommends to this combine of largely foreign-owned companies.
The report constantly refers to this as “earned contributions to the media campaign,” which we note to be full of disinformation, distortion and pure bluster. As the report suggests: “. . . it will be critical to ‘confuse’ the issue in the political/public/media” (their exact words).
The gentlemen, in their tone, remind me of Macbeth’s famous parting lines: “It is a tale . . . full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
A reading of the report in question, available on the Ontario Wind Resistance website, reminds me of the tactics so successfully used by the tobacco industry for the better part of half a century. There should be no doubt that the wind energy industry has been extremely successful in selling worldwide what turns out to be a bogus product.
Two years of research have convinced me that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to be said in favour of wind-turbine complexes as presently pushed into every nook and cranny of rural Ontario. Nothing. They are uneconomical in many ways, ungreen, unsightly when seen in clusters, unhealthy in close proximity to humans (1 1/2 miles or less).
Just as importantly, their propagation is driven by greed. Wherever I turned for information since the test tower went up at Silcote Corners, I have found nothing but rot: false information, misrepresentation, deliberate distortion, a flawed process hidden in secrecy and “privileged information” as well as a total disregard for the rights of all those who are not favoured with, or chose not to “host” a turbine.
We, the designated losers in this zero-sum game, have no access to anyone in the Liberal government of Ontario. Does any of this, the effect on people living nearby, bother the two designated hitters for the Wind Energy Company Combine? Or is it all just a matter of transmission lines, megawatts and green, of course? Or would that be greenbacks?
Two months after the initial information meeting organized by International Power Canada in Meaford, I have still not received a reply to the six written questions the developers were given. No sign either of the two studies which, they claimed, prove that wind-turbine projects do not lower nearby property values. Other than a card left in my mailbox, the company has never contacted me about anything.
The same is true of many people sitting right in the middle of the project, with several planned turbines all around them. When a manager of field operations tells you that there is no proof of any negative impact on real-estate values, adding that he has a large hydro-tower right beside his house and finds it beautiful, what is one to say? All dialogue is now wasted, for I would have to tell him that he is either ill-informed, abnormal or deliberately lying. Perhaps all three?
None of this would advance dialogue. NextEra Energy Canada, at an information meeting on their project near Drayton, had a virtually identical answer.
I wondered why companies would take the risk of spouting such obvious nonsense that contradicts some of the most basic economic principles: markets do not like uncertainty and when even a small percentage of potential buyers are aware of even unfounded rumours about a potential cause of illness, bad smell, bad noise, bad views . . . the market is immediately affected. But not turbines.
Why? At 550 metres even? Both companies claimed to have two professionally prepared studies to prove their contention. I finally have the reports and I think I have hit paydirt in my analysis of these reports. But that will have to wait for a further letter.
Andre Den Tandt, Municipality of Meaford