Emperor McGuinty has no clothes!

By Michael Den Tandt, London Free Press

For years, Premier Dalton McGuinty has made an art of dividing rural Ontarians from urban.

Now he’s gone one better, seeking to split the wealthiest rural landowners, those with lakefront property, from the rest of us.

It’s a breathtaking display of cynicism and a move that, in pure political terms, is clever. But it won’t keep this former idealist’s fat from the fire come October, I’m guessing. It’s too little, much too late.

Here was the stunner in the late-day announcement recently freezing offshore wind-turbine developments in Ontario: Energy Minister Brad Duguid, the hapless point man, allowed the government needs more time to study the environmental impact off offshore turbines– and the health effects.

“On-shore,” Duguid ventured, “there’s 30 or 40 years of peer-reviewed science … there’s no evidence of health impacts from on-shore wind, but off-shore is completely different.”

Completely different? Fascinating. The crowds of people who’ve packed public meetings around the province, reporting proximity disorders ranging from insomnia to headaches to a skin-crawling malaise, were no doubt intrigued to hear this. But let’s stick to the minister’s talking points.

The government needs more time to study the possible health effects, Duguid said, of offshore turbines. Presumably he meant human health, as opposed to the health of zebra mussels, catfish, lampreys or lake trout.

But what possible health effects could there be, one wonders? For that matter, what environmental effects could there be, from a wind-turbine platform far out on the water?

Maybe the flow of water around the platform would annoy bottom-feeders, spoiling their digestion? Or perhaps there’s something about water that touches cement–something mysterious that makes it dangerous to drink, even after it’s treated and purified in a water-filtration plant.

Of course, this is patently nonsensical, when set against the province’s dogged determination to force residents of Central Ontario to live within 550 metres of land-based industrial wind turbines.

If there’s a possible health effect from an offshore turbine, isn’t there necessarily the same possible effect from one on land? Isn’t there an even greater possible effect, since the land turbines are, relatively speaking, right on top of nearby residents?

Don’t people matter at least as much as fish? This is why news of the moratorium immediately drew hoots of derision. Anyone who has followed the slow implosion of McGuinty’s ramshackle and grotesquely expensive energy policy can see this was entirely political.

Lakefront residents of the urban belt along Lake Ontario, including Kingston and Toronto, have political clout. They have the numbers. They also have assets, which can be deployed in elections. Why? Because they own waterfront land–the most precious property around. The value of waterfront land, as any real estate agent will tell you, depends on the view.

The view. How could anyone pay any heed to the poor, selfish NIMBYists across Central Ontario who hate the prospect of turbines in their back yard simply because they don’t want to see them glowering in the foreground when they’re relaxing on their porch?

And yet now we have the government acting to defuse a portion of its political problem, by mollifying waterfront landowners–in effect, preserving their net worth by preserving their lake view.

Will the gambit work? In some individual cases, maybe. But in the majority, no. McGuinty has for the first time admitted that this emperor has no clothes. It’s not something he can undo.

Opponents of industrial wind turbines can sense victory. Their efforts will be redoubled now.

6 thoughts on “Emperor McGuinty has no clothes!

  1. He must really believes that the electorate will buy his stories! But then we knew last time around, that he was not a man of his word. As soon as he is back in power (re-elected), all the “required” studies will be completed and the deals are back on.

  2. I am so happy that a news outlet has picked up on this story.

    Yes McGuinty really did make an urban vs rural story out of this.

    Yes he did make a waterfront vs the “un”privileged out of this story.

    Here have a laugh — you need it now…


    And print this and paste it on your fridge — so you can decode stories for your neighbours…

    “since records began” – since 1850 if using observed data, or about 1980 if using satellite data (Records that have not been “re-worked” anyway…)

    “might, may, could, perhaps” – we can say anything is happening if we put enough modifiers in front of it (A Mannly way of speaking eh?)

    “experts say” – (a) we’re an NGO in need of funding or (b) I’m a scientist in need of funding (L like flowers especially Trilliums…)

    “science is settled” – stop asking questions, we know better than you skeptics/deniers/cranks/scary people (Like Dr. Music?…)

    “consensus of scientists” – the wisdom of crowds is all we have left, so SHUT UP (Oh so many names…)

    “CO2 pollution” – your high school science teacher lied about CO2 being plant food (Can YOU think of a name to put here?)

    “increasing global population” – pesky developing nations are demanding cars and appliances. The horror. (Can you spell China?)

    “sustainable development” – subsidies now, or the planet gets it… (Remind you of some like possibly a Dr Rick Smith?)

    “raising awareness” – hippies doing something daring or stupid for attention (Were they thinking of fruit fly specialists with names like say … Suzuki?)

    “cooling caused by warming” – hey, you believed everything else we said, why stop now? (speculating on this, but maybe like EC climatologists and UVic Profs maybe…? or maybe not eh!)

  3. What is becoming “crystal clear” with the “Re-Evoltion” of the world around us right now is that for some reason, People in Power seem to all share one thing, eventually: INSANITY!

    They become so “disconnected” from the people that once supported them that they begin to appear “of a different species” than real “Human Beings”.

    Their speeches and announcements about what is “good for the people” becomes so absolutely “lunatic” that real people can’rt even understand what these announcements means anymore. UNLESS on attempts to place themselves in the “shoes” of the politician and then attempt to see where their “true alliances ” come from. If you are an “investor, Industry rep or another political leader” then you can better understand where people like McGuinty are coming from.

    “Damn the people, they are too stupid to know what’s good for them”…………”people need to be ‘guided’ through life because if you leave ‘them’ to their own devices they aren’t capable of even heating their own homes without leadership input”…………..these are the types of dialogue going on inside these leaders heads when making decisions, so in effect some type of “infection” has invaded these guys and girls who have been in power way too long!

    Your time in power has come to an end McGuinty……..do the “honourable thing” if you can even spell the word, and QUIT NOW!

  4. Can you imagine how much more wind power costs consumers by putting turbines in the water? For one thing it can be proven that it is NOT necessary. If turbines are put up in an area demand the power be used at that location. If not isn’t this waste and abuse? Why are consumers having to pay for this type of waste? If there is no benefit to adjacent landowners why are they being abused? ALL rate payers should demand that this stop. This is one reason why the rates are skyrocketing. Who is responsible for this unnecessary over pricing technique? Thousands of people are reporting sickness from wind turbines. How do fish and other species report problems? Do you think there are unforeseen problems with wind turbines in the water and elsewhere?

    Take a look at what happened in New Zealand. 107 Whales Die on New Zealand Beach-Navigation Error or Worse? February 22, 2011 06:50 AM EST

    Stealth wind farms – BAE Systems (Skip navigation) Jump to Content [Accesskey ‘s’] · Jump to Sections Navigation … Rotating turbines of wind farms wreak havoc on radar systems and cause clutter … 4.7GW of renewable energy projects are now held up because of military or … “The development of a process where wide-scale planning issues can be …
    http://www.baesystems.com/…/Stealthwindfarms/index.htm – Cached – Similar

    … from turbine blades can affect radar systems used in commercial and military … Control (ATC) and air route radars, marine navigation and even weather monitoring and prediction. The rotor blades cause a Doppler problem and the nacelle and structural … The causes of why the wind turbines have a large RCS are: … https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/…/NPRE%20475%20Wind%20Power%20Systems/ Radar%20Signatures%20of%20Wind%20Turbines. pdf

    New England Wind Forum: Radar, TV, and Radio Signal Interference Aug 3, 2010 … Wind turbines can sometimes cause electromagnetic interference affecting … the interaction of wind turbines and navigational or defense … Most turbine and radar interaction problems concerning the FAA can … “The Effect of Windmill Farms On Military Readiness (PDF 1.3 MB) Download Adobe Reader. …
    http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/ne_issues_interference.asp – Cached – Similar

    Military’s Newest Enemy: Wind Turbines

    The Effect of Windmill Farms On Military Readiness

    Wind turbines can cause problems on military bases, officials say

Comments are closed.