CBC Documentary: WIND RUSH- A Look at the Wind Turbine Controversy

Doc ZoneWIND RUSH A Look at the Wind Turbine Controversy on CBC TV’s Doc Zone
Thursday, February 7
Time: 9:00PM

Turbine and farm houseDriving by a wind farm, looking at the rural houses, it’s easy to be skeptical about the talk of wind turbines making people sick. We’re told that wind turbines are good and green. So how could those people living by them have an issue? But there is a problem—and it’s there because some governments and wind companies didn’t do their homework before installing megawatt after megawatt of huge industrial machines. And as a result there are people living among the turbines who are suffering.

In the new documentary film WIND RUSH, produced for CBC Doc Zone by Toronto’s 90th Parallel Productions, the battleground for the pro and anti wind forces is southern Ontario. The government there pledged to wean the province off coal fired generation plants and replace them with green wind energy. WIND RUSH will be broadcast on Thursday, February 7 at 9PM (9:30PM NT).

But as soon as the turbines went up in places like Wolf Island, Amaranth and Bruce County, people realized they could hear them. Sometimes it was like a whisper, but other times it sounded more like a jet taking off.

And then it got worse.

New turbines started coming in at two and three times the size of the old ones. And they were even louder. It led to chronic sleeplessness for many people living close by—and that can lead to diabetes, depression and heart disease. Others were affected in their inner ears by low-level sounds that set off their equilibrium. Doctors started seeing patient after patient complaining of the same sets of symptoms. And then people started to realize that no one had done any significant human health studies before giving the green light to the turbine farms.

WIND RUSH takes viewers to southwestern Alberta, where wind has been an energy staple for more than twenty years. There is plenty of room for humans and windmills to coexist—a stark contrast to Ontario, where the same prairie technology was installed in a dramatically different landscape. The film then moves to Denmark, a country long considered the poster-child for the wind energy movement. But as WIND RUSH reveals, the relationship between the Danes and turbines has soured.

WIND RUSH talks to people on either side of the turbine divide, and then turns to scientists to try and determine what has gone wrong. In the next several years the turbines will double in size again—bigger, louder and more powerful. But without sufficient research have the people who live among the wind farms been forgotten?

WIND RUSH is produced by 90th Parallel Productions of Toronto. Gordon Henderson is Executive Producer. WIND RUSH is produced, written and directed by Andrew Gregg.

For further information, etc. please contact:
David McCaughna,
Publicist, WIND RUSH

48 thoughts on “CBC Documentary: WIND RUSH- A Look at the Wind Turbine Controversy

  1. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers/IBEW represents workers in the U.S. and Canada
    Daily Commercial News, Oct.23,2012
    “IBEW prepares for the next generation of Canadian electrical infrastructure”
    The Canadian district of the IBEW has joined with the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association/CECA to create the National Electrical Trade Council/NETCO which is to be front and centre in new issues like EVs and renewable energy.

    These groups are supporting renewable energy. Lots of jobs have been promised to the IBEW members.

    • Doubt it. He’ll likely commit suicide in a secret hideout with his girlfriend just before we get to him someday.

      • More likely we will find in a hotubub, drinking champagne with his mistress of the moment — regaling her with stories of how he single handedly defeated Climate Change and saved the Polar Bears, the Woodland Caribou and the forests of BC.

      • Naa,he’ll just prorogue his jail time. Or have Smitherman do his time and some of other scammers like the MOE minister and some of his buddies from Nexterra. All friends right?

  2. The turbines are impacting residents key habitat, woodland and wetlands in Northern Ontario als with companies like Northland Power on Manitoulin Island. mcsea.ca/

    • We need more programs on TV, newspapers and radio about the effects of these Industrial Wind Turbines. Until people from the city\ies actually go out to the country and see these monsters they will never know. This ‘NIMBY’ thing. The cities use most of the power perhaps they should generate it there. Just like they’re garbage. Not in they’re back yard for sure! Just think of the amount of fuel used every day transporting it out of the cities to the US. How green is that?

  3. The IBEW should be meeting with the native and local community groups, jobs are important and so are the lives of the residents, who should not have to live in fear, of health and other problems, for the sake of temporary employment, for a few. How many local and native residents are being employed on these wind turbine sites? It is important that unionized workers stay united with the residents and find a solution. The liberal government and its supporters, better listen to the people and find an accommodation that will meet with the approval of everyone involved. In the meantime a moratorium on new installations should happen until everyone has had an opportunity to find a solution!

    • Andrew, please clarify.
      Is your showing 9:00 pm Atlantic Time?
      For the Ontario Wind Resistance audience, would that not be 8:00 pm Eastern Time?

      • It looks like CBC Doc Zone is on at 9:00 p.m. local time, so that time would work whether you’re on Eastern Time or Atlantic Time.It’s also repeated on CBC TV and CBC News Network. You might also be able to watch it on line after the broadcast at http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes.html

    • Interesting indeed. Suzuki’s program is about fracking, opposing which is considered “green” from all I’ve seen in the media, while “Wind Rush” looks like it exposes what’s wrong with “green” wind power. I’ll wait to pass judgment on how unbiased both programs are until I’ve seen them.

      • There was a commercial for global warming and wind turbines in the middle of all the awful stuff fracking is doing..
        Suzuki is something else..

  4. For a CBC program it was probably as good as it gets although at times it almost seemed to downplay the negatives at times. Overall it was probably as much as we could expect? Mostly wasted though unless a lot of open minded wind energy proponents watched it…???
    By contrast Suzuki was on his usual ‘no holds barred’ rant against fossil fuels, this time it happened to be gas.
    But I do have to say I found it compelling to see the sort of negative impacts that fracking is doing and wonder how it can be seen as any less harmful, long term, than oil, coal, etc., etc?
    I thought it made the oils sands look almost benign by comparison…???

    As for Suzuki himself I found it only made me loathe his sanctimonious hypocrisy even more.
    A whole program devoted to questioning why no one is doing anything to help ‘fracking gas victims’ whilst he still refuses to even admit the existence of ‘wind victims’?

    It has been environmental activists just like him who have pushed a weak provincial government into forcing wind energy on Ontario without believing any business plan or investigations into potential health or property value impacts were necessary.
    The same environmental activists who, when they realized that wind was so unreliable it required a full back up system, actually welcomed ‘natural’ gas as a ‘green’ alternative to the ‘hated’ coal!
    I guess that’s probably our biggest problem of all. Trying ti fight wind proponents who for a whole range of reasons are prepared say ‘black is white’ whenever it is necessary because they flat out refuse to admit they could be wrong about this entire energy debate.
    Andrew Watts

    • Proponents of wind energy are not going to say they are wrong because they are making money one way or another from this scam. The rest of them are just plain stupid.
      The average person has no idea who the big money interests are in this scheme.

      But the discovery of all this new natural gas just might save us from more and more wind energy projects as gas is so cheap now and wind can’t compete with wind on a cost basis.

      • Meant to say wind can’t compete with natural gas on a cost basis.

    • Andrew:
      But I do have to say I found it compelling to see the sort of negative impacts that fracking is doing and wonder how it can be seen as any less harmful, long term, than oil, coal, etc., etc?

      Fracking has been in use almost since drilling began. Apparently, fracking when the drilling runs horizontally, causes environmentalists to foam at the mouth. That really is harmful — more so than the fracking.

      Do a little digging and you will find that much of the material on fracking is just plain balderdash.

      Now by way of disclosure, I help in one of our family companies that drills for resources and yes I think we have used fracking in occasion — but most of our holds are vertical — or curve to miss rock formations that are “too hard”. SO, there is no need for any “foaming” on our behalf. Yes I do have rather direct input on some of the decisions and yes — I do sleep well at nigh knowing that we cause no harm — except, perhaps, to granites and drilling mud.

      I could say more about the junk that is written — but then I might start foaming.

      • So the bits about a fracking plant by those schools was all balderdash and all those parents were just complaining? No problems with venting off gasses 300 feet from a school?
        The videos appeared to show schools and gas being vented, in about the same shot?
        I don’t think even Suzuki is bright enough to use Powerpoint do do that is he?
        ‘Natural’ gas maybe the way forward, I don’t know, but based on all that has gone before I don’t believe anyone can forecast there will be no ‘unforeseen(environmental) consequences can they?
        After all, what we are fighting is wind energy. Wasn’t that promised as completely environmentally friendly?
        Andrew Watts

      • Andrew:

        A little digging will educate you to the fact that a lot of the anti-fracking material was simply faked. So yes.

        Assuming that your opponents are stupid is a deadly error in any battle. Suzuki may be a loon and a fool — but he is not stupid.

        Much of the pro-wind turbine data is simply BS and Balderdash as well. As someone who did some of the original studies on wind turbines I can tell you that I started out with an attitude that they do work effectively… They do not. People were told for example that in Ontario “The wind was always blowing somewhere — so turbines “over there” will make up for the ones that aren’t turning. Simple analysis of the data proved that to be false.

        Fortunately I am able to do the analysis of much of the data at an engineering level and do not have to rely on the MSM — if I did — I would still believe the previous meme for example.

        I did not see the program. However, I hope that you pull the slideshow and the presentation I provided and look at them — then compare them to the program. A little investigation and research never hurts. It may educate you to even more of the tricks that are being used in the wind power debate and how they are able to get well educated people to swallow them.

        A badly placed vent has nothing to do with fracking.

    • I also want to point out that fracking is used below an impermeable rock layer — a cap — on the deposit — otherwise you would get no pressure. Most wells that are fracked are down at the 1000, 2000 or 3000 foot level — or deeper. The ground water level is typically in the 40 to 200 foot range — some wells do go deeper — but mighty few are deeper than 1000 feet. If you don’t believe me then dig out contrary evidence and present it…

      Please think about this logically. Besides — when did Suzuki last get something right — outside of fruit flies I mean…

  5. The relevance of Fracking to the wind debate is simple. We have a case where environmentalists have stepped far out side their area of expertise to conflate, confound and consude issues.

    If you want to know what is going on the USA look here. The debate in the USA is really heating up now. This talk was apparently embargoed — I guess because it was factual…


    Slide show here:

    The last 10 or 15 slides show that there is virtually zero possibility of ground water contamination — yet NY state has an active group claiming it proves that there will be — go figger… Do watch it — worth the time.

    Found the info here:

    It is worth noting that the environmentalists have again run amok with junk information. Does this surprise you?

    • You really do need to see the slide show to get the point.

      If you do not have Microsoft Office — then download Open Office from openoffice.org. It’s free and will show the slide show.

      You can also get a free viewer from MS — but the Open Office suite is worth the time to download and install if you don’t have it. It’s a complete office suite — and yes it seems to be safe over the 10 years I have used it. :-).

      Just say no to junk science.

  6. My apologies for my spelling and typos — guess I better go foam quietly by myself. Good night all — and don’t give up the fight — and don’t get confused by more junk environmentalism.

  7. The documentary was as objective as possible considering it was on CBC, I was mostly satisfied.
    I thought the last portion concentrated too much on Denmark, but then my concern is clearly subjective, ie.. southern Ont. It did get some figures out there, the height of the monsters, no one can call them windmills, the number of units in Ont , 1200, the fact that a significant number of people are sick, the interesting item that 170 anti turbine groups exist in Denmark. This dispels the argument that wind is widely accepted in Europe. The camera angles from ground up caught the the size of the towers relative to the houses, and the shadows from the blades.
    All told, a worthy documentary, will it change any minds? Hard to say, but it might cause people to think a bit more critically.

  8. What a great job Norma Schmidt, David Colling, Michael Nissenbaum and Alex Salt did on CBC doc last night!

    I appreciated the ending showing Denmark, one of the poster children for wind, falling into the same problems (health-wise) that we have been facing for years now. It’s always good when our side gets the last word in.

    In my opinion, pretty softsell on the total insanity of turbines, trying not to knock the green energy religion but there’s probably been a fair bit of time gone by since they filmed. The show on gas fracking beforehand was an hour of deja vu on the wind issue.

    Sometimes the utter lunacy of all of it makes me wonder how so many people can just set all this information aside and drift back into illusory dream-state life.

    P.S. I would hope that Dr. Lynn has stopped saying that only 8 or 10% are being effected by now too. We will see what Dr. Lynn says on Feb. 22, 10:00am in Owen Sound at a public meeting where she is to read a report. More details to come in a few days but if you are interested in attending, set that day aside.

  9. wish there was more on property loss of value ……..if as the turbine companys say there is no evidence, why wont they give affected property a guarantee or better still buy them out at market value plus moving expenses save everyone a lot of problems in the first place

    • Steve……My wife & I live on the same property passed down to us, in an unbroken line through the generations, by my great, great grandather and live in the house built by my great grandfather. We don’t want to be forced to move UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!! even if our moving expenses ARE covered! If anyone should move, it should be the IWT companies! After all, We were here FIRST!

      • I agree with you 100% but thanks to the Liberals we have no rights these damn things are going up against our wishes and I dont see things changing with Wynne or the NDP we need Hudak in as long as he doesnt turn out to be another Dalton promise everything until they get in power these people shuld be held accountable

      • I bought my farm 17 years ago worked my ass off to pay it off so I could retire here in peace and quiet and then found out in 2009 some of the neighbours secretly signed land lease agreements I dont want to move either but I am going to be surrounded by wind turbines

  10. Its hard to imagine that viewers seeing the actual aerial views of the turbines in such close proximity to homes and barns in Ontario, juxtaposed to the wisdom of placing them in wide open spaces where they will have minimal negative impact to human or animal life was not enough to convince people of the threat we face in rural Ontario and yet still, some continue to refuse to get it. Thanks CBC for the visual reality check.
    The proposals threatening to multiply the problems that have already been created, through expansion of these projects has rural people profoundly worried about the viability of living out here. It’s as if there was a covert attempt being made, at some level of government, to force migration into ‘human settlements’. Could this actually be happening? What a nightmare!
    Are we really that desperate for energy? Lets look seriously at the facts.
    Energy conservation could go a long way toward reducing our need? When I see the waste of energy in cities, I am not at all convinced that urban people and corporations located in cities of Ontario are trying hard enough to reduce their consumption.
    If industrial wind is in fact such a promising energy source, and we really are desperate because we’ve genuinely reached the limits of our potential to conserve wasted energy, then why not cluster as many as possible on land that is far away from people’s homes? It seems so obvious to me.
    An unfortunate reality is that the relatively small group of farmers, who so eagerly signed the leases, were approached during a time when they were financially desperate. I sympathize fully with them. The financial strain on farmers, after the global economic collapse and other sudden realities, has seriously threatened them.
    Are industrial wind turbines, as a financial solution to a small group of struggling farmers, at the expense of their neighbours, the ethical solution?
    We really do need to think this through carefully and try to ‘walk a mile’ in the shoes of folks whose health and financial security is/will be threatened by the imposition that the Green Energy Act Alliance has brought into their lives due to the poorly planned issue of placement/proximity.
    Let the voices of reason be heard as we get to the bottom of this mess.

    • sommer! Have you actually done much research into wind energy?
      Doesn’t matter which part of the planet’s environment you decide to ‘screw up’ far away from human habitation it will still be an environmental disaster for future generations and though I hate to shout via the written word –
      You want to put hundreds and thousands of non-biodegradable materials in our remote wilderness, only accessible by thousands of miles of transmission lines, also non-biodegradable, and accept the destruction of woodland and unspoilt wilderness to make way for them? Offshore is an even greater disaster. They have no clue what the varying pressure fluctuations will do to marine life, both fresh and seawater, and the actual costs of not only construction, but maintenance, are a 24/7 cost nightmare that will bankrupt us all even faster than onshore.
      Even Ontario’s wind energy companies no longer spend much time claiming their projects offer any benefit at all to the communities they are destroying, apart from offering the occasional ‘bribe’ to gullible and weak municipalities.
      All they do now is hide behind the Green Energy Act which a corrupt government put in place and a judicial system, largely appointed by that same government, which is a total farce!
      Andrew Watts.

      • Wow your comments are right on, all the BS we read is 100% from those that benefit $$ financially!

  11. I thought overall the documentary was well done. Especially Drs. Nissenbaum and Salt and Norma, the did a great job explaining the issues.
    If anyone thought the CBC was going to totally demonize IWTs, then you are delusional.
    Frankly I did not know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised.
    I think it was the best we can expect from MSM who tried hard to portray both sides.

    Although everyone should be VERY concerned about IWT’s. There are waaaayyyy too many people who are making waaayyyy too much $$$$$$$$. They do not want the gravy train to end.

  12. sommer! And I’m afraid I don’t sympathize with the landowners any more………. 🙂
    If someone knocked on my door and offered me a ‘too good to be true deal’ as long as I signed a gag order not only to not tell my neighbours what I was planning, but also to agree not to make any negative public comment if I should ever discover what I agreed to was making my family sick and my property worthless, I think I just may have done some research before I signed, wouldn’t you?
    One or two might have been conned because they once actually believed in the promise of ‘green energy’. I’m afraid the majority, the supposed farmers who are also intelligent businessmen(?)are every bit as crooked as the wind energy company and the McGuinty government.
    Otherwise both landowners and government would have accepted that there was a real problem almost as soon as this insanity started and agreed that further investigation were necessary before any more harm was done to a predominantly innocent rural citizenry!
    Andrew Watts

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