Be wary of the green monster

Shoreline Beacon
As it rises from the ground it reminds me of something designed by a committee, where everyone’s input has to be considered. I am sure that someone thought it would be great symbolism to paint it green. Yes, it will be a 30 story striped green tower with a red flashing light. That should blend nicely into a surrounding neighbourhood of trees and 1 to 2 storey residences. Why, you’ll barely notice it! Too bad they did not truly consider the neighbourhood. One might surmise that a good neighbour would have had an information meeting more recently than August 2005. Can you imagine the moral indignation from the CAW if a corporation were to use 6 year old data when discussing Health and Safety during a contract negotiation or if the government was to make changes to the labour laws and not consult the CAW!

In a response from Ken Lewenza on the CAW website, Ken suggests that Ben Lobb MPP has “misconstrued many of the facts related to our windmill project”, this is interesting, given the CAW’s use of the George Canning Report on property valuation, and its refusal to respond to a request to do a comprehensive study in our area and to include the properties bought out by wind developers. Furthermore, they have ignored the growing evidence of health and safety problems related to Wind Turbines and instead rely on the use of “there is no direct causal relationship”. Granted, not everyone is affected, but like the people on a boat, not everyone is going to get sea sick, and you cannot always predict who will. Finally, Ken discusses their complete disclosure, and I understand that there was information on various government websites, but I truly doubt many people spend time scanning government websites to ensure that their neighbours are not planning on building Industrial Wind Turbines inside city limits! Ken points out that the Union has been a positive member of the community for over 40 years however he has laid waste to that tradition in just one act, and has succeeded in dividing a community and has attracted calls for boycotts of CAW products and the Family Education Centre.

I call it the “green monster”, but I am sure the CAW media department is busy working on a Grand Opening when they will unveil to the public their new Residential Industrial Wind Turbine, specially painted green, symbolizing their commitment to “green” energy. Maybe we will be able to hear some “feel good” stories about it being easy to be green, and maybe some stories about how many good “green” jobs this project is going to attract to Ontario, and in case the visitors missed the 100’s of turbines on their drive from Windsor, they will be able to stand under one in the parking lot, but only from May to October. That is, according to the signage posted at the local Enbridge installation that states, “stay back from November to April inclusive, due to potential ice shed”.

Nevertheless, I hope that the CAW Media Department advertises this nationally (less signage of course) to show the world what CAW Corporate Greed is all about.

The Elector-Motive issue is not settled, and in a press release from the OFL, Ken Lewenza is quoted as saying, “that he is taking a stand against the worst kind of state-sponsored corporate greed,” “Prime Minister Harper is spending billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize tax cuts for corporations who are taking our cash … and our jobs. It is like having our own money used against us.” However, if one were to substitute Prime Minister Harper for Premier McGuinty in the above statement, you could easily be talking about the Green Energy Act and the FIT program, where corporations, including the CAW, are taking advantage of billions of dollars of subsidies, and according to the Auditor General’s report and my letter last week, are costing jobs. Yes, they are using our own money against us! I did not realize that there are various degrees of “state sponsored corporate greed”, but apparently the CAW is a part of it as well.

One final note, I have a 2009 Ford Flex for sale. It was assembled in the Oakville plant, low mileage, has a glove-box full of Ford Service Department receipts for recalls, TSBs, and warranty claims. This past week it spent 4 out of 5 days in the shop for warranty work. I am thinking another Toyota or Honda will better suit my needs.

P.S. If my children, or anyone else’s children get sick, because of the affects of the CAW Wind Turbine, how do I explain to them that they won’t be able to spend time at their beloved beach?

David Shemilt Port Elgin

13 thoughts on “Be wary of the green monster

  1. “Good Green” is an oxymoron in cases involving windturbines. A typical 30 to 40 story windmill holds about 800 gallons of oil used for cooling and lubricating. When they are not turning they consume electricity; their coolant and heating motors continue to run, the motors that turn the nacell into the wind and the motors that change the blade pitch remain in standby, the electronics that communicates with the control center and/or sub station are always running, and lets not forget those red light that are designed to be seen by aircraft 40 miles away. Thousands of pounds of cement are used in every windmill base. For every pound of cement manufactured one pound of CO2 is also produced. According to the AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) the 5,700 windmills put up in the States in 2009 used 36,000 miles of rebar and 1.7 million cubic yards of cement. (each yard weighs about 4,000 lbs.) That’s enough cement to pave a 4′ wide sidewalk from Los Angles to 134 miles past Sydney Australia! In 2010, according to Vestas own website, they and their subsuppliers used 700,000 tons of steel just for their windmills and they only had 11% of the market. And we haven’t even talked about all the trucks, planes, trains, bulldozers, cranes and other equipment used to just install these things. Think of all the electricity that goes into the machiining and forming of all the parts in a windmill. They use more electricity to make these than they’ll produce. The total carbon footprint of these things far exceeds any minute savings they may have over countless years. Holland has the most windmills perpopulation and still has to buy electricity from other countries. Then, when it comes to disposing of these things, how and who will handle the hazardous waste? HERE IS A LINK TO A MUST READ STORY. The story is somewhat long but this will tell you just how green these things aren’t. This should be sent to every politician.

  2. Excellent article Mike! Everyone should read this slooowly and let the pure numbers sink in!

    Green my A*s! There is nothing green about those machines and what the heck was CAW thinking? They work there but more importantly people LIVE there. They didn’t keep the safe distances away from homes, my opinion is everyone in town that is fed up with it should sue the pants off the buggers. They don’t care if it throws ice on their own staff or the kids that play under the darn thing in the soccer park, doesn’t their own sign state that its not so safe? If they wanted to be “green” they should have put some darn solar panels on the roofs. Why a turbine?? What are they trying to prove? And putting green stripes on it? A pig with lipstick is still a pig!!!
    This green energy crap is getting very old

    • I am not sure of what make the turbine is that they put up there but I got my hands on a Vestas safety manual and it tells it’s workers to stay 1,400 feet away from an operating turbine unless they are moving through the area or working on it. If they put the thing on city property then the city could be held responsible for the loss of home value if the right kind of suit is brought. Problem with that is the amount of money needed to do it.

      • About 500 meters. Can you capture this and put this on the internet with title page or Vestas’document number? Something for a positive identification of this.
        Wind developers manage to keep IWT safety issues concealed from the public.

      • Thanks! We have people in Ontario who are living closer to IWTs than 1,400 feet. Should be important to copy this information before it is taken down or changed.Be sure to copy any pages that identify this publication. Includes the title page.

  3. Maybe the CAW will get sued for negligence because inevitably many people will be made ill by this improperly sited wind turbine. It would be a shame if all those dues that were siphoned off of hardworking people’s paycheques went to pay for damages because of the CAW’s wreckless behavior. It will also be a shame when the CAW goes broke paying these damages and all the union members are left to fend for themselves.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk

    • The CAW may be allowed to build their IWT but operating it at a safe distance for the public is a different issue.

  4. When using the Vestas safety manual to make a point be sure to point out that wording is for OPERATING windmills. The proponents are going to say something to the effect that this is an old manual and only meant for use during construction. It is obvious from the wording that it is not just for “during construction.” To make good use of it as David says you should also point out that a dime falling from that height in a slight breeze could land a good distance from the mill and could cause serious human injury or property damage,,, let alone a dropped screwdriver or a 4 foot long piece of ice. Speaking of ice throw, we posed that argument here and the proponent said that with the new technology the turbine will sense ice and can stop the blades in one revolution. At moderately good wind speed the blades will complete 20 revolutions in one minute. That means, what the proponent was saying was that the blades could be stopped in 3 seconds. Any good engineer will tell you that the physics involved would make that impossible without something breaking. There is just too much mass to stop it that fast. Remember the blade tip is traveling at over 100 mile per hour.

    • Fencing would be done after the project is completed. Saying this is old information dosen’t change things. Inorder to avoid liability the wind industry will say anything.Let them provide their latest safety instructions to their employees as to safe work distances from IWTs.
      The safe distance applies to everyone and not just to the workers. If it is an unsafe distance for workers then the same distance applies to the general public.

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