Urban-rural division on wind power

by Roger Nerney, Toronto Star   Re: McGuinty plugs the cabinet holes
Martin Regg Cohn’s column demonstrates why us peasants from the rural hinterlands have completely different mindsets and needs from our urban cousins. The main reason most of the province outside urban areas is Tory blue is clearly its opposition to industrial wind factories. All the other items were peripheral to this issue that coalesced opposition like I’ve never seen before. The only rural residents who support industrial wind factories are land owners who directly stand to profit and a few misinformed residents who believe all the propaganda from off-shore wind factory companies and Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals.

Cohn claims “. . . polls show wind power remains broadly popular . . .”, however the majority of respondents are from urban areas who pass these wind factories on the way to their cottage and think, “How wonderful, we’re saving the planet.” They don’t have to put up with these ugly, inefficient, hazardous and expensive machines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, forever. We do!

If urban residents feel so supportive of these machines and rural residents are firmly opposed, there seems to be a simple solution that will satisfy everyone: only build industrial wind factories where people support them, (i.e. the urban areas that voted Liberal). Voilà — a simple solution to a sensitive political headache for McGuinty.

The “shrill voices of anti-turbine protesters” will not fade away. If this government fails to acknowledge the problem it’s created with its Green Energy Act, further action can be expected.

If urban dwellers fail to see the harm they’re causing in supporting this method of producing electrons, then maybe it’s time to ramp up the opposition. Maybe a “boycott everything Toronto” program by rural residents could start the process.

Maybe it’s time to again discuss creating a province of Toronto outside of the province of Ontario. That way urban and rural issues need not become so cloudy!

Roger Nerney, Port Elgin

14 thoughts on “Urban-rural division on wind power

  1. A perfect place to start is the abandoned gas plant in Mississauga, that is if construction actually is halted as promised by McGuinty (suggested by barbara yesterday).

    I have hoped for months that someone would draw attention to this basic hypocrisy; If 550m is a safe setback, there is no reason why turbine plants cannot be built in cities. Unfortunately this never came up in the election; journalists simply did not ask.
    In Ottawa plans for a small 12 m private turbine in Westboro caused such a concern that neighbours took the case to the OMB. Yet some of the same individuals see nothing wrong with proposed 600 ft towers in the rural city, a short drive away.

    Dalton McGuinty should be made to answer why Ottawa South, with ample industrial space cannot support a wind plant.

    • The present government has deemed IWT setbacks 350-550 meters from homes safe, do not cause any health problems, no property value loss and little or no environmental damage. So IWTs should also be ok in urban settings and transmission costs will be greatly reduced.

      • Most Ontario urban areas are on the lakes or not far from the lakes so the wind speeds should be good. London has good windy weather fronts that move through. There should be at least 5,000 IWT sites in Ontario urban areas.

  2. From Forbes:

    “The average U.K. household bill is a tad under $200 per month, and so the thermostat goes down. It’s pretty chilly there for much of the year, and a cold house has consequences. A study just came out today on the health costs of what they call “fuel poverty”, commissioned by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary (don’t we need one of those?), Chris Huhne. Bottom line: the chill from green taxes is now killing more Brits per year than car crashes.

    London has suddenly awoken to the costs of indiscriminate greenness and is proposing to reduce the solar subsidies and — this is big — now threatens the multibillion dollar subsidies for its massive (and massively ugly) wind power scam.”


  3. Don’t Brits heat with gas and oil? How could that make their heating bills go up if its related to increased electricity costs?

    • They use gas and electric at least in urban areas. Gas may not be available in all rural areas. Since their climate is not usually that cold they use small wall mounted gas furnaces.A lot of electric heat is used in the old apartment units that were converted from coal fireplaces. Their climate is similar to our Pacific northwest due to the water circulation in the Pacific Ocean. That is cold and damp much of the time. The Atlantic circulation feeds cold water from the Artic into the UK area

      • The majority of uk heat is from ( as Barbara said) is gas,but mainly small gas fired boilers that heat hot water Radiators. The boilers can fit in a small wall mounted 2ft x 3ft kitchen cabinate (most are situated in the kitchen,hidden away) these are normally hot water on demand as well as heating and fairly efficiant (sp). However the Gov ran down the road for a condensing boiler, which is the pits!…Replacement and service is required from time of installment……..cost around 10,000 bucksish installed. A non condensing boiler is recommended by ALL the old school plumbers and heating installers…but funny enough they are not very available due to uk green GUV regs and rebates!

        As the previous link tells you how uk gov down loads the cost to consumers through the 5 privatly owned gas and electric suppliers..these utilities sport a large/gross profit margin each year and are mainly owned overseas…..

        Much like Canada’s large companies.opps! …..owned across the borders!
        (Wind fall and down fall all in one. tm:)

      • Ocean water circulation in the northern hemisphere is clockwise and in the southern hemisphere the water circulation is counter-clockwise. This makes our cool & damp coastal north west climate similar to that of the UK.

  4. They could build them in the median along the 401 acrosss Toronto, or on golf courses in Toronto

  5. Ex Owen Sound Bruce Grey MPP Bill Murdock has the right idea. Let rural Ontario separate and create a NEW province. LET’S ORGANIZE A REFERENDUM AND WATCH HOW THINGS WOULD CHANGE IN QUEENS PARK

  6. A separate province would be a great idea! We could charge tolls to Toronto garbage trucks parading through our municipalities – oh, maybe an ’emissions’ tax too for all the damage they are doing to our environment in the process! Perhaps that would give them an incentive to stop trampling over their rural neighbours for whom they have so little respect.

  7. Yes, this shrill voice is voting for the creation of the new “Province of Toronto” within Ontario.
    FYI: Germany has three City States —
    We all know which one would be ruled by the Liberals.

  8. Good a place as any for this I guess…

    Smart Grid Wiseup: Google and Microsoft Quietly Exit (energy efficiency vs. the hassle factor)

    by Robert Michaels
    October 26, 2011

    [Premier McGuinty — Please note: ]
    “I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need to be employed in dissuading them from it.”

    – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1)

    We all know that Google is incredibly future-oriented, and that, for all its problems, Microsoft, knows a lot about technology and markets. Why, then, did each shockthe ‘smart grid’ movement by announcing the phaseout of their home energy metering and control technologies (Microsoft’s Hohm and Google’s EnergyMeter)?

    The deep meaning of this is less about technology than it is about politics.

    Penny-wise, Pound Foolish

    There are more understandable reasons for the twin exits. Home area network (HAN) enthusiasts initially expected bill savings of 15 percent, but even the earliest and nerdiest adopters usually averaged around 3 percent (Greentech Media, June 24, 2011).

    The rhetoric tells you a lot. Two years ago (June 16, 2009) GreenBiz.com heard from Google’s head of energy and climate policy:

    Imagine if you walked into a grocery store, chose the food you want (no price tags), took it home and then, at the end of the month got the bill in the mail. That’s essentially what we are doing with electricity and gas right now.

    The analogy works only if we assume that the only known food is oatmeal, if we disregard the fact that power rates are regulated and if we forget that most peoples’ bills are so predictable that they can easily budget for them. He noted that Google employees, not surprisingly, enjoyed beta testing their meters, saving as much as $10 a month and finding all sorts of subtle and unexpected patterns in their power use. I find the same sort of patterns when studying martinis. Problem is that a $10 saving probably won’t get you more than one quality martini in a nice bar, if that.


    Enuff said…

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