by Linda J Rogers RNEC
I am a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner and currently a member of RNAO (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario) and I do not support Green Energy. Professional organizations are asking members to vote in the upcoming provincial election to support programs and policies promising to save society from industrial pollutants and practices that are deemed to be contributors and/or causing global warming. I am also a landowner of a small acreage near the coast of Lake Erie. Ironically the Nanticoke Power Plant (a coal burning electrical generator that is slated for closure) is within view – ground zero of coal emissions in Ontario. Registered Nurses are mandated to participate in “reflective practice” by the College of Nurses, so let me explain my stance further.
Wind energy supplied by Industrial Wind Turbines is being touted as the solution for being able to supply electricity with zero carbon emissions. The Liberal government has made sure the turbines are being installed unimpeded under legislative changes made in the Green Energy Act of 2009. The effect of this act has removed local input and control by municipalities for any green energy project. It has also effectively muted any opposition from the communities that will be hosts to these machines.
My home will soon be ringed by 12 or more turbines on the lands adjacent and abutting my property lines; in a project that is composed of almost 200 turbines in total from 3 different projects (Next Era, Capitol Power, Samsung) in the Haldimand Norfolk region.
Generating energy has always been a dirty business. Extraction of fossil fuels, radioactive waste, alterations to major watersheds are the tip of the iceberg for impacts associated with electrical generation technologies. Supply and demand of energy can be the driving force in the creation of wealth &, prosperity, technological and cultural advancements and peace. It also can be the source of poverty & corruption, suppression of a free society- suppression of democratic rights. Many wars are, and have been fought over access to energy resources. Big money involved in big projects and allegations of big corruption have always been present. Power and control measured in financial assets and political influence. The latest discussion point is “carbon tax’ trading in the international community. Generation of energy has had its negatives balanced by the transforming benefits of access to plentiful, reliable and cost available energy,
My community is at war- with its elected officials, community leaders, international companies who are developing the wind projects, turbine lease holder’s, neighbours, friends and family. Polarizations of opinions are now either for or against wind development.
Wind energy has three major areas of conflicts and concerns
1) Environmental 2) health and safety 3) democratic rights and wealth sharing
We all want energy and need energy that is
SAFE* CLEAN* RENEWABLE*EFFICIENT
Industrial Wind turbine projects require a large land mass (for poor energy output) and large expansion of existing hydro transmission lines, switching yards and substations to carry the energy to the grid. These are machines that produce sound, both audible and inaudible, light pollution (night time lighting for aviation) and other electrical energy byproducts (e.g. electromagnetic fields) The effects and impacts of low frequency noise, infrasound, wake turbulence, localized pressure changes, seismic vibrations and the resultant impacts upon the environment and humans are being documented world wide. People living within a 3 kilometer radius of any wind turbines will be impacted. We will all be impacted irregardless to our location to installed industrial wind turbines.
Just as we pay the costs associated with generation electricity from water we will be paying for the electricity produced from the wind. Huge rate increases to our hydro bills (as a direct result of the subsidies being paid for the “Feed in Tarfiffs”) are starting to be implemented. What are the benefits?
Follow the money trail:
Who is really going to benefit from wind energy?
What are we getting for our money?
Where are the industrial turbines going to be?
When will we learn that things are never as simple as they appear to be?
But the most importance question of all is…..Why?
The fuel for wind may be considered carbon free but the reality is that wind energy has a very real carbon footprint that includes backup energy generated by the burning of fossils fuels or nuclear to maintain a steady state of “base load” for our grid. Energy needs to be there when there is demand. Currently we do not have a “smart regulator” for our hydro grid that could allows seamless introduction of energy produced by the wind or the means to store wind energy on a large scale for later use, hence the need for backup power.
Simply put no wind no energy output. Wind may not be an infinite resource to be exploited after all.
Opposition to “Green Energy” means opposition to false promises of renewable technologies. I will reflect upon any renewable that delivers what it is promised to produce and has the least amount of real damage to environment, health, and the democratic process.
(This article in accordance to good nursing practice has been peer reviewed by multiple members of a multidisciplinary health team)
Linda J Rogers RNEC Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner