A case against wind turbines

Toronto Star  More wind than science in turbine debate, Opinion March 10

Leaving aside the questionable science that leads to the estimate of 9,000 Ontarians dying annually of complications resulting from air pollution, and also the fact that most of our pollution sweeps in from neighbouring U.S. states, Derek Satnik’s opinion has major flaws.

One of the biggest of these results from the fact that wind turbines have to be backed up by fossil fuel driven generators for the 80 per cent of the time when they aren’t producing power with the same generators on standby the rest of the time. Clean sources such as hydroelectric and nuclear can’t be ramped up and down as the wind comes and goes.

So the 9,000 Ontarians will still be biting the dust no matter how many turbines are built.

The only difference is that we’ll also have thousands made sick by their proximity to the turbines. Plus we’ll be spending billions on nothing — with the exception of keeping people like Mr. Satnik employed until the money runs out, while decimating property values across rural Ontario.

J. Andrew Watson, Guelph

25 thoughts on “A case against wind turbines

  1. Thankyou J Watson I was so angry that Derek S story was allowed into the Star I didn’t know they like printing fairytales I was shocked by his info but of course he’s getting free advertising so what he has an electrical degrees so he knows how to change a light bulb without getting a shock and he knows what colour wires that go to-gether he showed that he has not done his homework he knows nothing about turbines. I tried to write a letter in the opinion page but they didn’t put it in I felt really insulted by Derek I dare him to come to one our meetings and get the real truth. The guy is a joke and if he is running a company good luck for that company. Derek is incapable of telling and learning the truth. I also like the fact that eveytime I turn on my stove someone dies, the only thing that happens is my house the smoke detecter goes off and my husband orders out.

  2. A warning from Europe about green jobs:

    “The big increase in “green jobs” in the last 20 years in Europe has been in the public sector. A whole new caste of people are working to expand green tape. Green tape is now the reality, and has created millions of new public sector jobs in Europe. Typical green jobs are mainly public sector jobs – enforcing regulation, taxing, and surveillance of people. An ever-increasing tax on carbon will speed up this transformation of society.”


  3. Good on you Andrew for getting this letter actually published in the Toronto Star. Perhaps there were just too many letters on this obvious advertisement for the Star to not publish at least one. Way to go!

  4. It doesn’t sound like J. Andrew understand certain things either.

    If the US pollutes, does that mean that we are entitled to pollute as well? We should be telling them to keep their coal fired pollution at their border. I don’t want to breath it in every summer.

    The cleanest winds blow from the north!! Does that make sense?

    Harper should force the US to clean up their coal plant emissions.

    If the coal industry had voluntarily cleaned up their act (decades ago) then there would never have been a GEA or anything like that. Now we’re stuck with a political mudslinging that will never get us anywhere.

  5. Jpseph:

    J. Andrew seems to have excellent understanding of the issues….

    Harper should force the US to clean up their coal plant emissions.

    Excellent idea! Will you be joining JTF2 in hopes of smacking the US army around? Now instead of grousing maybe you have some practical suggestions…?

    In the meantime read some of the Ross McKitrick papers and don’t waste people’s time till you understand them…


    If you have trouble with the stats I’ll try to help.

  6. Is it any surprise that Derek Satnik is the Vice-chair of OSEA?

  7. Are suggesting we just roll over and forget about cleaning up our air?

    What article do you want me to read in that academics’ blog?

  8. Joseph:

    The titles are clear. Pick some. Read them all. Cherry pick a few points. Try to refute them.

    You are asserting that our air is dirty. Tell us what you mean and read some articles I pointed at. Try to justify the expense.

    Start here. Read these papers then tell us if he is right. They are light and fluffy… Start with the first one — it’s a simple presentation. The second link is broken.

    Just don’t try the “He”s wrong!” tack. Tell us why! Supply data that refutes his position(s)!

  9. When are the “Greenies” going to realize their opinions on clean air and Green Energy Will Save the World is nothing but BS?

  10. Ross’ assertion that ozone from US sources is not that bad is watered down due to the fact that it’s based on a yearly average. If you take summer smog days with south or westerly winds and then measure smog from US sources you’ll come up with an entirely different conclusion.
    He is a typical acedemic with an agenda, just like all the others.
    I don’t have to prove anything, David. I know that in the summer, a southern wind stinks and make my lungs congested and a north wind, everything clears up. No academic can tell me otherwise with graphs or maps!
    Anyone else feel the same effects?

  11. I don’t have to prove anything, David.

    Then we don’t either. You’re wrong and you are imagining things. Case closed.

    Come back when you have something interesting to say. 😉

  12. Yup, David, it’s all just B.S.:

    http://www.airqualityontario.com/science/transboundary.cfm 🙂

    According to Sarah Scott, who wrote an article entitled Smog Daze in the Summer 2006 ON Nature a few years back: “even if we removed every single vehicle from the road and shut down every coal-fired power plant, ozone levels would decrease by only 1 to 16 percent depending upon location.” Chalk that up to the USA — although these days even the Asian Brown Cloud is reaching us (click on the fourth graphic down that page):


    BTW Thanks muchly for those links to Ross McKitrick’s work. I’d never heard of the guy until now. Thinks just like I do:


  13. 9,000 Ontarians dying annually from pollution. There’s another phony report or study. I would guess the taxpayer or consumer paid for.
    There’s thousands of people testifying that the wind turbines are making them sick and the developers and government want to deny it. This guy needs to learn the truth.
    He needs to do some research! There’s lots of good articles out there and testimony from those effected. Maybe he will send us his email address so we can send him some info.
    “Green” Wind Power Devastates Environment

  14. Joseph Martins,

    You shoud have been around when the air really was smoggy in Ontario. This is not the situation here anymore. The air is now probably close to 90% better now than it was.

    Besides a southwest wind brings more moisture laden air whereas a northwest wind is a cooler dryer air mass. You are feeling the humidity in south west air.

  15. And the air will be even cleaner after McGuilty and Minister Do-No-Good chase all the industry out of the province with their outrageous “green” electricity prices!

    Yup, we’ll only be sucking in Made-in-the-USA smog by then (with a dab of Asian “spice” for flavour).

  16. NSG:

    Yup, we’ll only be sucking in Made-in-the-USA smog by then (with a dab of Asian “spice” for flavour).

    Sending you the bill for my keyboard that I spit my coffee on…

  17. In some respects I agree with Joseph. I don’t like the fact that the 3 coal generting plants on the Michigan side of the St. Clair river have no pollution controls or scrubbers. These plants and Chemical Valley are the reason why us residents downwind in Lambton and Middlesex County have the most polluted air in Ontario. Meanwhile 2 of the units on the Ontario side had some expensive scrubbers installed in the 90’s and now the Liberal’s in there infinite wisdom want to close them down. Putting some pressure on the Americans to clean up ther plants while putting scrubbers on our remaing coal units will do far more for air quality than this assbackwards wind turbine policy ever will.

  18. Joseph Martain Why Don’t you Read Dr. Nina Pierpont’s “The Wind Turbine Syndrome” then when you are finished read Dr. John Etherington’s The Wind Farm Scam” he was a professessor at Cardiffe University Wales he is a Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science.

  19. I don’t think ol’ Joseph is wrong at all. Why shouldn’t we want clean air? The problem with wind turbines is that they don’t do a damned thing to clean the air up. A trifling nothing. The biggest clean-up acts are nuclear and hydro which supply most of the power anyway. If coal goes, then it’ll just be replaced by natural gas which is ONLY half as bad!

    The 5,000 pound elephant in the room — air quality wise — is the smog coming in from the USA. You could cover the landscape with IWTs and scrub southwestern Ontario air with Algonquin pine fresheners each and every day, yet still have all that U.S. smog rolling in — and that amounts to probably 60% of the problem. Force the Americans to clean up their air — in the same manner as McGuilty is doing — and you’ll simply force more industry jobs offshore to the unregulated spheres of China, Vietnam, India, Thailand etc etc.

    It’s a fine balancing act. You might get cleaner air, but there won’t be anyone working to pay all those taxes going to green energy.

  20. And the dirty air is simply transferred to another part of the planet — involving countries which, being almost unregulated, will spew even dirtier stuff over the earth. We all share the planet’s air.

    The USA runs on almost 70% fossil fuels. In contrast, in Canada, we run on 60% GHG free stuff — hydro and nuclear, as examples. Ontario is 75% GHG free. If the U.S. cleans up its act, it’ll mean a big switch to nuclear and natural gas.

  21. Wanting clean air is one thing.

    Misunderstanding the root of the problem leads to “solutions” like wind turbines.

    For those of you who think our air is dirty and causes Sickness — so read the presentations I pointed to.

    You could also read the recent English Study which came to the same conclusions as Dr. McKitrick.

    Let’s understand:

    What the problem is; and,
    The source of the problems; and,
    The range of solutions.

    …or we will end up with another four years of McGuinty or his clone.

    Joseph was wrong. He said J. Andrews misunderstood the issues. The discussed other issues. Follow the pea under the thimble…

  22. David, I think that ol’ Joseph is just a tad confused is all. Blame that on the smog he’s sucking in from the US of A. 🙂

    And hell will freeze over before the U.S. gets rid of cheap coal to upgrade to nuclear and natural gas. Has nayone had a look at their National Debt lately:


    (Gosh, I think that might be another great slogan in the making)

  23. We are spending way too much time “bantering words” with “Greenies” here. We all know this Green Scam is wrong and should be shut down completely across the country by whatever authorities we have left. It isn’t a subject for debate anymore, it’s a subject for prosecution by law enforcement!

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