Sir: I hope I wasn’t the only one surprised and disappointed to see the picture of the mayor (July 9) standing self-satisfied and smug in front of another industrial windmill while the accompanying text purposely misleads the reader to infer that:
1) the power generated by the windmills in Chatham-Kent is being consumed by the population of Chatham-Kent. It is not. It is collected as surplus, which is then sold and distributed wherever the utility chooses. It is often sold to other markets such as Quebec or New York State.
2) the industrial windmills in Chatham-Kent are automatically green. They are not. Many sit on arable land that could be better served producing foodstuffs for a world desperate for food. The process of a commercial business harvesting a natural resource for their own profit is not necessarily green simply because it takes the form of a windmill as opposed to an open pit mine. And again, the energy being collected is not being consumed by the people whose land and landscape the windmills intrude on. And no fair compensation is returned to the community. Compound this with the fact that all customers of C-K Hydro are obliged to pay a substantial percentage on every bill they receive to pay off the utility’s debt.
3) that all this adds up to being good stewards if the land.
While it certainly would be possible, with the desire and the consent of the population, to install and operate and reap and share the benefits of a community–based wind power project, to insinuate that these metal towers, surely our version of Dickens’ Coketown coal stacks, are green, are contributing their energy to Chatham-Kent’s electric power needs, and therefore satisfying C-K’s demand for clean energy, and finally that the windmills’ very presence is a manifestation of good land stewardship, is not supported by the facts.
James Nash, Chatham